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Should You Buy a Metal Storage Building?

Daniel Torres

“We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” This old Winston Churchill quote says a lot when you read between the lines. I like to think of it as the limits we impose on ourselves by the way we choose to build the things we use.

A metal storage building is a lot like a garage. But instead of storing vehicles and household items, as you would with a normal, attached garage, you can use steel storage buildings for inventory management, backyard storage for your toys, a workshop, or even commercial storage. 

When you need a storage building, your first decision is between a wooden structure or a metal storage building. Both types will provide the storage you need. Deciding between the two comes down to the application, your budget, and personal preference. 

Metal storage buildings provide key advantages over wood. A metal shed meets all the objectives of a woodshed at a lower price point. Prefabricated steel buildings are durable, require less maintenance, and you can customize them to your application in a variety of colors, facades, shapes, and sizes.

How much is a metal storage building?

Metal storage building prices vary. Design, insulation, windows and doors, and size all impact price.

Metal storage buildings rank high for their lower costs and affordability. Metal averages $14 a square foot to build, far lower than the square foot costs for wood, which ranges between $35 to $65 per square foot. A metal building the size of a two-car garage which is 22-feet by 20-feet costs roughly $6,500. A massive metal shed could cost up to $20,000. Windows and doors, electrical, and plumbing are extra costs.

Insulation also adds a little to the cost. The increase in price depends on the insulation you choose, who installs it, the building size, and the insulated areas within the building.

The cost of spray foam insulation averages $1 per square foot for each inch of thickness. One-inch of spray foam offers around an R-7 insulation value. Getting to an R-25 insulation value would require at least 3.5 inches of spray foam at a price of $3.50 per square foot. If you choose fiberglass insulation, an R-25, 8-inch-thick batt averages 85 cents per square foot.

How soon are you hoping to install your metal building? Talk to one of our  specialists about available dates.

Benefits of a Metal Storage Building

A metal storage building offers some distinct advantages over a wooden storage building. 

  • Durability: A metal storage building is built to last many years. These buildings resist pests and rot and stand up to extreme weather. Wood cracks and rots when exposed to the elements and attracts pests. Plus, their shingled roofs require frequent The metal roof of a prefabricated steel storage building eliminates shingle repairs.
  • Better Value: A metal storage shed costs about one-third the price of a woodshed and boasts lower maintenance costs over its lifetime. Wood storage structures are also more expensive to build and maintain than their metal counterparts. A metal storage building averages $11 a square foot to build compared to $35-$65 per square foot for wood.
  • Flexibility: You can customize your metal storage building to serve multiple purposes, from equipment to inventory. You can add doors, windows, sections for storage, and even climate control.
  • Maintenance: Wood structures attract termites and other destructive pests, requiring regular pest control. A steel storage building resists termites and other pests. Wood buildings also require repainting and new shingles. Metal buildings are not without maintenance. They will degrade without regular care to prevent rust and corrosion. But metal storage buildings never need painting or staining, and there are no loose boards to deal with.
  • Safety: A metal storage building stands up to the elements. Rain, snow, wind, and seismic events are not a problem. The steel used in metal buildings is also non-combustible to protect the contents inside from fire. 
  • Build Time: Building a metal storage building requires special tools and a knowledgeable expert, but most buildings go up in a day or two. Even the largest storage building only takes about a week to construct. A wood building can take twice as long to build. 
  • Eco-friendly: Steel is one of the most recycled materials on earth. You can buy steel storage buildings constructed of recycled materials.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Sheds can be custom made, built from a purchased plan, or assembled from a kit. A cheap metal shed kit might cost $1,500, while a larger metal shed might cost $10,000. Most homeowners pay around $5,631 for a 10-feet by 12-feet storage shed clad in pine siding with a simple gable roof. You can purchase an affordable metal storage shed that is 12-feet by 20-feet for $5,500.

You can buy a do-it-yourself (DIY) shed. You may even receive a 10% to 12% discount to pick up a kit and install it yourself. But you need to decide whether saving a few hundred dollars is worth the hassle. 

A metal storage shed kit will come with easy-to-read instructions. But even with instructions, the process may overwhelm an inexperienced builder. To do the project yourself, you need to know how to level foundations, take precise measurements, and have basic construction knowledge. You also need the right tools, including a level, a hammer, and a drill. You cannot install the shed yourself without these tools. 

Erecting a metal building takes one to five days for a professional to install. Depending on your construction know-how and the size of your building, it might take you far longer. Only you know if you have the experience and the time to put up your metal storage building. Trained installers can install your building quickly and correctly. 

A metal storage building can store inventory, toys, and equipment while adding value to your property. But unlike wooden structures, a metal storage building costs significantly less money upfront and requires less maintenance over its lifetime.

Metal Buildings Cost