What Makes Prefab Buildings Unique

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What is Prefab?

Prefab 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.

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 homes, RV storage facilities and even casino buildings.

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.

What 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

Secondary Framing


An Analogy for First Time Prefab Metal Building Researchers

If 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.

4 Factors That Make Every Building Unique

When a company such as General Steel designs your steel building, the project consultant takes four primary 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

One More Reason to Choose Prefab Metal Buildings

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.