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  Any wisdom regarding steel buildings?

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Author Topic:   Any wisdom regarding steel buildings?

Posts: 97
From: Sask., Canada
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-13-2006 11:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69Cat        Reply w/Quote
I would like to build a garage/shop at the farm next summer and am starting to make some inquiries. It would be 30'x40' x 8' or 10' straight wall.

I would have one overhead door in an end wall and one in the side wall so that I could partition the garage into two sections for warm and cold storage.

I read Rory's thread from last year. Maybe someone has finished a project and has some wisdom to share?

As with everything, you get what you pay for, so if any companies really stand out with good quality (or a really bad experience) then I definitely would like to know.


Ryan Wilke

Posts: 3237
From: Stanton, Michigan, zip 48888
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08-14-2006 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke        Reply w/Quote

That's a nice size for a garage/workshop.

I can't recommend any particular supplier, but off the top of my head I would recommend these points to consider:

1) That you go with the 10' (or better yet 12') sidewalls...just because.

2) That you have a man-door next to each overhead door.

3) If you plan on having any windows, install them over 6'high; such as 1.5'tall x 4' wide, for security reasons yet still giving you natural & free light.

4) Provide for adequate ventilation. By having 1' eves, you can utilize soffit venting with a ridge vent. If you plan on eventually installing a ceiling, ensure that you provide some sort of air exchange for the enclosed space. A "whole house attic fan" is awesome.... Ventilation is an important concern regarding the escape/removal of moisture/humidity (preventing rusting inside), and secondly, to allow any exhaust or welding fumes, or paint vapors that may eventually occur inside a place to exit.

5) That the floor be raised at least 1' above the surrounding ground with gravel below the eve drip line and a gravel leader feathering any water away from the building. The last thing you need is for rainwater, snow melt, etc. to be trying to get inside your new building. Include in your planning where you will plow/place/leave snow banks - if possible, at least 10' away from the building.

6) These days, I'd say the best way to heat a work space is with radient floor heating. So, if the budget allows, when you pour your concrete floor inside the 'heated' portion of the building, do some design reading/homework & install some radient floor heating pipe. Then later on you can install a small boiler of some sort to heat the workspace via hot water heat circulating within the floor. Radient heat is quiet, dust-free, spark-free, no fans and no ductwork.

Here is a great site for more ideas & advice:

Good Luck!


Posts: 604
From: Front Royal, Va., USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-14-2006 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blacksmith        Reply w/Quote
Steel IS GUARANTEED to rust...
No matter how well they protect it with a finish.


Posts: 97
From: Sask., Canada
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-19-2006 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69Cat        Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the thoughts Ryan. The infloor heat is a good idea. I have seen it in use a couple of times. Now that you bring it up, it is something I should plan for as I will spend most of my wrench pulling time there in the winter months.

Thanks for the link too. I am going to be doing some reading there.

I've read a few places about concerns with rusting but I have never seen it. Our shop at the farm is a 27 year old ATCO steel building and I can't think of any where that it is rusting. Its insulated and only heated occassionally with a propane burner or wood stove. Also, galvanized grain bins all over the country side are upto 50 years old (some of ours included) with no signs of rust other than some of the hardware. I don't know if I should consider rust a big issue other than go with what is considered a normal design practice like ventilated eaves and roof.

Rusting is one criteria that one could seperate a good company from a bad. If the treatment on the steel is crap and flakes off then it will rust. So, if anyone know of specific companies that are known to have rusting steel then I would like to hear so I can put them on the 'B' list.


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