How Much Does a Steel Building Cost?


On average, a steel building costs 30% less than a timber, stick-built structure, and can be installed in half the time. But the final cost of your unit will depend on many factors; steel buildings offer a wide variety of shapes, roofs, gauges, and other custom options. Find out more about steel building prices below:

Steel Building Specifications

  • Tube frame

A tube frame steel structure is the standard, budget-friendly option. Steel tubing can come in circular, square, or rectangular shapes, and is commonly engineered with cold-formed steel. Steel structures can be left open, carport-style, or enclosed on all sides for energy-efficient storage. A 20×80 steel building has a purchase price of approximately $8,500, depending on your local market.

  • Arched buildings

An arched building will be recognised by most people for its shape; the well-known semi-circular military Quonset hut falls into this category. It’s rounded steel shape provides a surprising amount of space and incredible strength. 

This makes arched buildings one of the more popular steel buildings in the country, able to flexibly house vehicles, artillery, or crops. A 20×80 arched steel building will cost approximately $20,000.

  • Single-span frames 

Single span frames, or “clear span”, are prized for their versatility. This popular option is engineered for structural integrity without requiring internal support beans. What results is a clear, open space that has endless uses; create your town’s newest gym, have the art studio of your dreams, park all the farm equipment inside, or create the floorplan for your perfect guest house. A 1600m2 building will cost approximately $27,000.

  • Multi-span frames 

A multi-span frame is designed to be as wide as you need but will require extra steel reinforcement between the ceiling and the floor. You may find it more affordable to construct several single span frames and install them together, creating a longer building, rather than a wider one. 

This will affect the amount of steel reinforcement you need and the bottom line. A multi-span structure with the same space as a single span (1600m2) will cost approximately $32,000.

Steel or No Steel? Your Basic Steel Building Cost

The cost of a custom wood barn is between $30 – $150 per square ft. The cost of a metal barn is $15 – $70. Of course, every building’s price will be affected by size, location, and custom requirements, but data from every corner of the market still shows steel as the more affordable option. A basic carport may only cost $1200, while a roomy industrial 30×40 metal building will cost approximately $11,000. 

As metal buildings increase in size, the cost per square ft will decrease, providing greater value. Remember that steel buildings are cost effective in other ways, too! Because they are energy efficient and fire-resistant, your long-term energy and insurance costs will be far lower than a traditional wood structure.

What Affects Steel Building Price?

Your custom steel building will come with a base price, but custom options will have their effect. The good news is that customization is affordable in the steel building industry. A large building will be more expensive, but as buildings get larger, the price per square foot decreases. A more dominant factor will be custom options, such as windows and doors. 

Skylights can range in price from $200 – $1000, and steel sliding windows cost between $400 and $600. Adding aluminium windows will cost around $400 . These custom options can add up quickly, but they are still far more affordable than custom stick-built construction!

Believe it or not, your weather conditions and climate will influence your purchase price. For example, you can expect a cost increase from $.75 to $1.50 for a wind speed increase between 100 and 140 mph. Why? Because building codes will require more steel reinforcements for your building. A higher snow load will require extra steel as well and may increase the cost per square foot as much $2.00.

Steel Building FAQs 

  1. What is a metal building kit?

A metal building kit is pre-engineered and prefabricated steel; it’s everything you need to install your own metal building. Every bit of hardware and tube and panel is delivered to your doorstep. All you need is a few tools and the DIY attitude to create your building! Kits are generally cheaper and are still able to be customized.

  1. How long does it take to install a metal building?

Once ordered, the lead time for a metal building is approximately six weeks. The construction time for a metal building can be as quick as a few days! Of course, for very large and complex structures, it can take a few weeks or months, but on average, metal buildings are constructed in half the time as their stick-built competitors.

  1. Will a metal building save money?

Absolutely! In the short-term, metal buildings are more affordable and more quickly installed. In the long-term, metal buildings are more durable, require less maintenance, and are far more energy efficient. Your budget will thank you for investing in a metal building!

Metal of Honor

The metal building industry is growing more quickly than ever before, and it’s easy to see why! More and more consumers, both industrial and residential, are discovering the long-term efficiency, durability, and affordability of metal structures. 

As housing in the traditional market becomes more and more unattainable, the savvy buyer is turning to metal buildings for custom, affordable, eco-friendly alternatives. Steel building prices are far friendlier than lumber has been for the past two years; with climate change presenting a growing concern, more and more steel buildings will be dominating the marketplace.

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