How much do metal buildings really cost? A guide for buyers

Building a metal home can be complicated, and working out how much a metal building costs can sometimes be confusing. This comprehensive guide for first-time buyers will help you work out how much a metal building costs and what you need to consider when developing a steel structure budget.

How much do metal buildings cost?

A question like ‘how much does a metal building cost?’ doesn’t come with a simple, immediate answer. The construction industry is complex, and every project comes with its unique requirements and challenges. 

Prices can differ drastically, and many factors can determine how much you’ll need to shell out for a metal building.

This can make the topic a complicated one, particularly for first-time buyers. There’s a lot to consider when buying and constructing homes and properties of any material, and metal buildings come with several unique factors to consider. 

In this blog, we’ll reveal how much metal buildings cost and the factors that determine how much you’ll pay. Read on, and discover what makes metal buildings so attractive and what gives steel its edge over other traditional construction materials. 

What factors affect how much you pay for a metal building?

Many first-time buyers assume that there’s a standard price for a particular size of metal building. 

This might be true in other areas of construction (but even then, there are always variables), but working out how much you’ll pay for a metal building relies on some specific knowledge and many decisions and local factors.


Customizing your metal building to suit your individual needs is one of the biggest drivers of cost variation. Your building design makes a huge difference in estimating how much your metal building will cost, and you’ll need to make decisions in advance, as well as a prioritized list of customizations. 

Metal building design revolves mainly around three areas: access, aesthetics, and functionality. Making decisions about adding windows and doors, cladding and siding, and gutters and insulation will all have an impact on the overall cost of your metal building.


The dimensions of your building will unsurprisingly have a significant impact on the overall cost too. But, you might be surprised to know that changes in length, width, and height all have different repercussions when calculating costs. 

Steel buildings can have a clear span width of up to 300′. Increasing the width requires more metal, which obviously costs more. Similarly, designing a taller building also has a significant impact on cost. However, increasing your building’s length doesn’t change the price anywhere near as drastically as making it wider or taller.

You can also benefit significantly from economies of scale. The price per square foot of metal buildings tends to drop at around 5,000 square feet, and then again at 10,000 square feet. Bigger buildings equal more significant savings. 

Codes and loads 

Understanding the building codes for your area and the impact of environmental conditions play a crucial part in understanding costs. 

Building codes are designed to prevent damage and injury due to inadequate construction quality, and complying with state and federal regulations is a vital part of building a metal home.

Environmental impacts, for example, snow, wind, or seismic loads, are a big part of building code compliance. Constructing a metal building in Alaska would require a significantly higher snow load than one constructed in New Mexico. Wind and seismic load requirements will also change considerably from state to state.


Accessories put the finishing touches on a metal building and deciding what final extra fixtures and fittings you need is another cost consideration. 

Your metal building design might be lacking drain pipes, insulation, vents, reflective roof panels, or even a half-mezzanine floor structure. We find that accessories can often make up around 15-20% of the final cost of a metal building, so ensure that your extras are included in your budget. 


It isn’t just the construction itself that has an impact on how much a metal building costs. Freight charges are important to consider, as your steel building kit will need to be shipped across the country.

A detailed metal building quote should include shipping costs from the nearest factory to the job site, allowing you to include this in your overall budget.

Price of steel

Finally, the price of the steel itself is not set in stone (so to speak). 

Steel prices can fluctuate quite a bit and can even change daily, particularly if affected by trade disputes or unforeseen events. 

Supply and demand, external tariffs on commodities, the value of the dollar, and even natural disasters can all affect the price and steel availability. As a result, the answer to ‘how much does a metal building cost’ can change daily.

Additional costs for metal building homes

If you’re asking, “How much do metal building homes cost?” then these can involve additional considerations. When creating your budget for a metal building home, there are some additional costs to think about beyond the metal building kit’s actual price.


If you don’t already own the property you intend to build on, you’ll need to purchase a plot of land. 

This might be a small plot of adjoining land you already own (for constructions like carports or sheds) or a sizable piece of land for a warehouse or barn. Either way, this will likely mean an extra cost to be factored in.


You’ll have to ensure that you have the right utility hookups to allow the property to fulfill its function. Whether your metal building needs electricity, water, or gas, you need to factor in the cost of putting in the appropriate cables or pipes.

Site preparation

You’ll have to do a few things before you can start constructing your metal building. Site preparation and excavations and renting or buying the right equipment all come with costs. 

Installation crew

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to hire an installation crew unless you are planning to erect the building yourself. You’ll need reliable, expert constructors who are well versed in building metal homes.

When you buy a steel building kit from California All Steel, you can access a comprehensive package. We offer experienced installation crews and high-quality products at prices that you can afford. Take a look at our steel building gallery today, and discover what we can do for you.

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