DIY Building advice self build construction garden design gardening garden buildings home tips

Type search for do it yourself home improvement
construction, gardens, kitchens >


Building Materials navigation


See these Building DIY Image sets:

Steel buildings Singapore clarke Quay green ventilation >

Steel buildings Island Hospital Penang Malaysia >

Steel buildings metal Buildings Singapore >

Steel buildings zinc cladding Melbourne Australia >

World's tallest buildings - more images >

Steel and metal buildings have advantages as they are cheap, easy to build, can be recycled at the end of life, and often come pre-fabricated (prefab) or in as kit steel buildings.

Because of the Meccano-like ease of construction, design stability, and high strength, steel and metal is used in many if not all buildings (even timber framed buildings often have some rolled steel joists - RSJs).

Anyone who can use normal power tools can put together a steel or metal building.

Welding might be needed but this an easily learned skill (get taught by a professional though as it can be a bit dangerous).

[The Editor learnt how to weld on a student summer job - it took about half an hour, although I knew metalwork. Obviously getting good is a different matter. The Editor's job was to construct a metal cage in a part of a car park to fence off an area for geology samples for an oil company - this was an ideal starter job as iot didn't matter what it looked like!].

Advice when choosing a steel building or metal building

What is it for?

Sometimes cheaper structures such as storage boxes or sheds can be timber or even plastic. Security and strength are the issues here.

What is your budget?

Get the best you can afford, although steel building prices are now low. Check the company is good as there is a variety of products on the market.

DIY and amateur weekend builder:


Large steel buildings - size and also complexity - number of opening, awkward shapes. Check that you can get a qualified erector or general contractor. This is usually easy in the UK. Make sure they are using proper plans and engineers reports and engineers calculations, check this as the steel building has to be strong and safe.

Planning (zoning)

Some areas will not allow metal buildings or steel buildings - such as conservation areas in the UK, or if you have a listed building.

Agricultural and farm buildings are usually exempt from planning as they are outside city limits and out of view.

Building regulations (structural approval)

The council building inspectors will make sure the structure is strong and safe.

Framing and frame types

Is the building built offsite (pre-fabricated) or assembled onsite with welding and bolts and rivets. The latter method is more expensive.

Roof Pitch

Is it a flat roof, or arched roof (curved), or pitched (with two or more sides and a top ridge, also known as a gable roof)?

This has a big effect on the complexity of the metal building and so the cost.

Roof extensions

Are you adding ventilation or windows? Or cranes, hoists, pulleys? Air conditioning ducts?

Cladding, panels

Cladding, for protection and appearance, might be wanted, especially in a city or urban location. Cladding might be in copper or zinc, or timber, or tiled.

Extras such as trim, guttering, rainwater goods, details, and decorative.

Security features such as grills, powder rolled steel fencing and barriers.

Tropical buildings often don't use gutters, the water sluices off with wide eaves.

Temperate buildings use extensive guttering.

Make sure guttering and drainage is designed properly or you might have flooding or water pooling problems. Inside the metal building

Liner Panels

These line the interior walls of a steel or metal building. They can be full height to the eaves, or partial height.