We need to build a building for our small business. We plan to put a living area in it and live in it as well for the time being. Size will be 80 x 120 x 18.
I have a steel building selected by a friend at 80 x 150 x 18 with a cost of 57K to my door, but of course that does not cover anything else. This is a real distressed sale so I cannot make it smaller or drop the 2:12 pitch. Total price erected will be around 145K. We have since been looking at all wood construction because of cost. By the numbers, it looks like I can do the wood building for around 100K. I am considering simple stud walls and no pole barn because those poles with eventually rot and then I'd have nothing left. We are engineers here, so designing a free span wood building can be done, but I am really wondering if I will beat myself later for using wood?
Right now, I need square footage and I need it at a certain price. I can see benefits of both because I will fully insulate, have climate control, and build a living area in it. I know steel will last a lifetime, but wood really should too if taken care of. Both would be sheeted with metal.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor B:
If you are going to build this in an industrial area, then you should go with steel. When it comes time to sell the building, you will find many will shy away from wood for an industrial environment.
If this is in a rural setting, then you might be better off with wood. A wood building can more easily be made to blend with the surroundings. An example would be building it to look like a barn... cupola and all.
In either case, that seems to be quite a bargain for the steel building. You may have to pay more up front, but will probably end up with greater equity.
As for fire resistance, its the contents that burn, then the steel building collapses because it starts to lose strength at about 600F. Rigid frame buildings have the tapered columns that interfere with the use of the space. I've had a shop in a concrete block building without insulation other than vermiculite in the cores - bad deal in our climate. If I were to do a new building it would be tilt-up concrete insulated panels. Another disadvantage of metal is the panels are screwed on from the outside; anyone with a battery operated screw gun can quickly run the screws out and pull back the panels for a little midnight tool supply.
As far as insurance, this will just be a residential building for right now. Minimal business function in it. I have not priced insurance but sure sounds like I need to give that a look. I may be one of those guys to insure my contents and roll the dice on the building. I heard it can cost 1K/mo to insure a building this size. Jeez, in 4-5 years, I could just replace the building at that price.
Your building insurance rate will depend on how far from the fire station (1mile), how far to the water supply (30'), construction (steel 25,000SF), contents (woodworking), activity (do you spray/store flammable liquids? no), central station fire alarm (no), fire sprinkler (yes), etc. Talk to an insurer that specializes in woodworking businesses before you build.
Our insurance: building value $845,900, loss of income coverage, deductible $5000, business liability $1,000,000, medical $5000, general aggregate $2,000,000, products completed $2,000,000. Annual premium $557 + business liability cov-L $816 = Total $1373/yr. This does not include our other insurance for work-comp, other liability, etc. that comes to about $40,000/yr.