Why Prefab Metal Buildings

Learn more about General Steel building systems.

General Steel Prefab Metal BuildingsPrefab metal buildings are custom designed by a steel building supplier according to your intended use for the building, budget constraints, future expansion plans and location specific atmospheric conditions.

Prefab Steel Buildings Designed for Businesses, Churches and You

As one of the most recognized construction methods, prefab steel buildings have been relied upon for decades by private individuals, businesses and churches seeking a dependable and flexible structure. However, until recently, prefab metal buildings were primarily used for industrial and warehousing applications. Today, prefab steel buildings are used for a wide variety of building types including:

Metal Barns
Metal Homes
RV Storage

Precision Fabrication for Easy Construction

You may still be asking what prefab means if your building is fully customizable. Prefabrication means that each red-iron support beam, every roof support, each wall panel, each entryway and window opening, and every hole needed to bolt the components together is completed with precision before your building arrives to the construction site.

Why is Prefabrication an Advantage?

As opposed to other construction methods which require numerous field adjustments and cuts, prefab metal buildings are delivered as designed. This means that all of designed processes including cuts, welds and framed openings were completed in a controlled environment ahead of time. This attention to detail upfront saves you time and money throughout the project and ensures that all of the prefab metal building components are matched and to spec before they ever arrive to you.

Common Misunderstandings

Contrary to popular belief, prefab steel buildings are not a result of cookie-cutter designs. Although two metal buildings may be prefabricated, when they are compared side by side there are more unique characteristics than similarities. We will examine how this happens in greater detail below.

Custom Prefab Metal BuildingsWhat Makes Two Prefab Steel Buildings Similar?

Prefab steel buildings are one of the most reliable and enduring construction methods due to the standard building features that make up the framing. These standard framing designs are the features that make two metal buildings similar and also strong. More specifically, if you were to look at the framing of a prefab steel building here’s what is consistent from building to building:

Primary Framing:

Primary Framing of Prefabricated Metal Building

I-beams and end wall frames

Secondary Framing:

Secondary Prefabricated Metal Building Framing

Consists of girts and purlins among seven framing components

Other Details:

Other Framing Details Included in Prefabricated Metal Buildings

Fasteners, sheeting, sealants and ridge caps

An Analogy for First Time Prefab Metal Building Researchers

Volkswagen designs like prefab steel buildingIf you’re new to metal buildings, it may be easier to compare this unfamiliar subject to a more commonly understood concept like the Volkswagen car company. According to a recent USA Today article, VW is now the world’s most profitable automobile manufacturer and VW has done this in part by using one chassis for many different car models.

Similar to metal buildings, VW cars start out as similar prefab chassis and what eventually makes that standard frame a Volkswagen Jetta, Audi A4 or A6 is determined by the customizable options ultimately selected by the customer. This comparable design and manufacturing process ensures that your prefabricated steel building is cost-effective, time-efficient and easy to construct when it arrives at your job site.

Two Preliminary Design Factors Make All Prefab Metal Buildings Unique

When a company such as General Steel designs your steel building, the project consultant takes two unique preliminary factors into consideration before providing you with a base building price. Some projects may require more diligence, but in general, the two following factors are all that’s needed in order to deliver a timely and accurate quote.

(1) Intended Use:

As we discussed above, the standard building features shown below make each of the following three buildings similar. However, because each building is designed for a specific end-use, the building takes on its own unique characteristics.

Example 1

Prefab Metal Auto Shop Building Primary Framing Finished

This prefab building became an auto shop with a professional lobby area to accommodate customers and employees.

Example 2

Prefab Metal Office Building Showing Primary Framing Finished

The girts added to this building support the stucco tile exterior walls, transforming the finished prefab building.

Example 3

Prefab Steel Aircraft Building Showing Finished Primary Framing

Prefab hangar buildings start like any other metal building, once the bi-fold door is added it can accommodate airplanes.

(2) Locational Engineering:

Whether you live in sunny California, snowy Alaska or somewhere in between, your metal building must be properly engineered for atmospheric conditions from the start to ensure it will last for generations. During the design phase, our expert designers will ensure that all operating efficiencies are considered and implemented into your building plan.

On the other hand, if the company you choose to work with does not have the experience to make sure your building will meet or exceed your local codes, your building and investment may fail due to a variety of environmental factors in your locale. Below are a few of the considerations we take into account when we supply a prefab metal building anywhere in the United States or abroad.

Unique Secondary Factors

When a steel building is fabricated at the plant, it is manufactured and pre-punched according to these two specific secondary design considerations.

(1) Aesthetics:

Whether your building needs to complement an existing structure, be HOA compliant or simply reflect your personal taste, there are several ways for a building to be aesthetically unique. You can select your own combination of roof, wall and trim colors or even change the roof pitch to create a unique elevation.

Color Schemes

Examples from a whole pallet of colors to choose from.

  • Metal Building Colors: Gallery Blue
    Gallery Blue
  • Metal Building Colors: Light Stone
    Light Stone
  • Metal Building Colors: Charcoal Gray
    Charcoal Gray
  • Metal Building Colors: Fern Green
    Fern Green

Roof Pitch

The most common selections are 1:12 up to 6:12

  • GlobeXplore metal office building Arizona
  • Golf cart storage warehouse at Racoon Creek Golf Course
  • Sectional door entrance to workshop building
  • Metal barn with Leanto

(2) Functionality:

Depending on whether your metal building will be used for your business or for private use, there are a multitude of accessories and components that can be pre-punched and supplied to make your building efficient as well as functional.

Personal Prefab Metal Building Designs

For example, this first building below was designed to be a personal workshop and home fitness area so the owner wanted several windows to gain natural light and cross ventilation.

Personal Prefab Metal Building Design

Business Prefab Metal Building Designs

On the other hand, this second building is a warehouse designed to receive semi truck deliveries, so its owner simply asked for functional roll up doors to accommodate the trailers.

Business Prefab Metal Building Design
Other Common Customization Selections

Prefab metal buildings can be designed to accommodate a wide variety of needs and uses including the following:

Crane Systems

Roof Top Units


Walk Doors




Vapor Barrier

Other Reasons to Choose a Prefab Metal Building

When you purchase a building supplied by General Steel, your prefab metal building kit arrives with the component pieces you need to assemble your new building. You simply need to have your foundation or slab in place along with your anchor bolts. Some projects are DIY-friendly and others require a bit more experience, depending on the magnitude of your project. Either way, all projects bolt together, eliminating the need for complicated and time-consuming welding.

DIY Friendly

Many individuals who are looking for a new steel workshop or garage space choose a building size that is modest enough to be a do-it-yourself project.

DIY Friendly Prefab Steel Building

More Complex

This isn’t typically the case if you are constructing a new warehouse, as larger equipment is necessary to assemble the larger I-beams.

Complex Prefab Steel Building Project Requiring Heavy Equipment
Why Prefab Metal Buildings - Custom Design Solutions
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Why Prefab Metal Buildings - Custom Design Solutions
There are numerous choices when you shop steel buildings. Find out why prefab metal buildings are unique & the best choice for your steel building project.
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General Steel Buildings
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