Metal Building Homes
Everything to Know About Metal Building Homes
When it comes to building a home, you have three major options for construction: stick, post, and metal. Most people will go with stick-built homes because that is the standard way of building a home, but more people are starting to go with post frame (also known as “pole barn”) homes. There has also been a rise of metal building homes. With metal building homes, you will have a steel shell, but the interior will still be conventional stick frame. While that doesn’t seem like a big difference, it is. The material used for the exterior of the home can make a huge difference in how your home will fare in natural disasters as well as everyday wear and tear.
What Do Metal Building Homes Look Like?
When you think of a metal building, you likely think of commercial buildings. When I first heard about metal building homes, I couldn’t help but think back to the tacky looking metal buildings I had seen in my small town. However, metal building homes don’t have to look like that. In fact, metal siding comes in many colors so you can make it match what you’re dreaming of for your home. Imagine building a barndominium or cozy tiny home with beautiful black, white, or even blue siding. You can choose from so many colors, just like you’d be able to with vinyl siding. Metal building homes don’t have to look like commercial buildings; they can be elegant, cozy, and classy.
What Are the Pros of Metal Building Homes?
Metal building homes may seem like an odd concept. Maybe you’re not sure of what the building entails, or you’re not sure why you should choose it over the lumber options that are more common in residential buildings. Thankfully, there are many pros to help you understand what sets metal building homes apart from your typical house.
1.Metal building homes are sturdier. That’s something that most people would assume, and their assumptions are correct. A steel shell is able to withstand natural disasters much more easily than a lumber build. If you live somewhere that is prone to natural disasters, such as areas with hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or high winds and snow, steel is a no-brainer. While the interior of your home might be damaged, the shell will still be standing afterwards, giving you a little peace of mind in those awful situations.
2. Steel homes are termite proof. If you’ve ever owned a home before, I’m sure you’re familiar with the dread of thinking you might have termites and the worry that soon follows when you imagine how much damage has been done to your home and how much it’ll cost to repair it. With a steel home, you won’t have to worry about your house crumbling down on top of you because of some pesky termites.
- Steel is fireproof. With a metal exterior, homes in fire-prone areas will be able to find some comfort knowing that their home won’t go up in flames the way it would with a stick or post frame home.
- Metal building homes are available as a metal building kit. Metal building kits consist of all steel framing for the exterior of the home, metal roofing, metal siding and trim. Some metal building kits like those offered by BuildMax can include Pella windows, Therma-tru doors and C.H.I. garage doors.
What are the Cons of Metal Building Homes?
After seeing the pros, you’ve probably got a million questions about why you shouldn’t go with a metal building home. Look no further, I have some of the cons right here.
- Metal building homes are more expensive. Unfortunately, this is the case for the market as it is today. Lumber prices have dropped considerably, so it is the most cost-effective building material at the moment. Of course, this may vary based on the market, and maybe your house design will lead to a different outcome, but you’ll most often see that lumber is the better way to go if you’re looking to save some money.
- Metal building homes are difficult to keep warm or cool. This is because metal conducts heat more than lumber does, so on those hot summer days you may find it harder to keep cool. During the cold weather, you also will find condensation accumulates on the steel, which can lead to erosion. With proper insulation, however, you won’t have to worry about these things as they make a huge difference. When building a metal home, make sure you pay close attention to insulation and type of metal being used, as there is corrosion-resistant steel, though it’s likely more expensive.
- Most builders are not well-versed in building metal homes. Due to this, you may have difficulty finding someone who can build your home, or you risk having someone do it incorrectly, which is a costly mistake.
- Permits may be more difficult to obtain. There are many rules, stipulations, and requirements that you must meet for your county’s building department to give you the okay to proceed with a build, and metal building homes are no exception. However, it may be more difficult to obtain what is necessary for metal homes because they are not a common build and are often labeled as a non-standard property. This also leads to difficulty securing financing for the build.
- If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, they may not allow metal building homes. This is something to keep in mind when deciding where you want to build and how you want to build it. HOAs can be very strict, so if you’re dead set on building in a neighborhood with one, steel is not the way to go.
Are all Barndominiums built as Metal Buildings?
There is a lot of misconceptions on the Internet about barndominiums and metal building homes. Not all barndominiums are built using metal framing. Many barndominiums these days can be built as post frame (aka pole barn) or conventional stick-built methods just like a site built home. Architectural designers are designing barndominium blueprints in 3 different methods; metal building, post frame or conventional frame and each method can use a variety of siding and roofing options. If you live in the south then metal siding and metal roofing are very popular and can be an economical exterior siding choice. In the southwest you may see barndominium siding in stucco or adobe style. Some people choose to wrap their barndominium in OSB and use Hardi-board siding or brick. No matter what building method you use (post frame-stick frame-metal frame) you can use any exterior siding you deisre. Now back to the original question, “are all barndominiums built using metal buildings?” the answer is no, in the early days of the barndominium movement all barndos started out as metal building but today the field is wide open. I have even seen barndominiums built using ICF (insultated concrete forms) and SIP (structural insulated panels) the options are endless.
So What Should I Do?
You might have more questions now than you did at the beginning, and that’s understandable because there was a lot to take in. Ultimately, you should think about how much money you’re willing to spend and whether it’s the right build for you. Metal building homes can be expensive, and they can certainly make getting funding and permits difficult. However, they can also provide some safety and security for areas that frequently see natural disasters. In those cases, you’d be saving money in the long run because you wouldn’t have to constantly rebuild from scratch every time something beyond your control happened. Perhaps you can see the benefit long-term of using steel rather than lumber, or perhaps you just don’t want to spend that much money on a metal building house when you don’t live in an area with natural disasters. Either way, you should spend your time considering what type of build you want to go with. Take a look at this article asks the question “Are Metal Building Homes going away?” Don’t rush a decision that can impact your dream of a home you’ve envisioned and love.