Some of you may be familiar with Magic Hammer Forge here in Southern
Louisiana. We took quite a hit from a giant oak tree that was blown
down by Katrina. The building was pretty much destroyed. You can see
pictures here; http://www.noahmudge.com/katrina . I am looking for a
tutorial on metal building construction. I have checked out several
commercial companies that manufacture metal buildings, but they are
very expensive. Especially since I need a custom size, 26' x 36'. I
am considering building my own. I am also looking to borrow a hydraulic
log splitter for a couple months. I have a LOT of oak firewood to
When we moved to Maine two years ago we had to put up a barn (1500 sq.
ft.). There was no way we had time to do it, hired it done (which may
make a difference in costs).
We started with the assumption that a metal building would be cheaper,
but not look as nice. We got quoted $100,000 (!) for a metal building,
couldn't find anyone else even interested in quoting. Timber framing
would have been cheaper, running $70-80k. What we ended up with was a
guy whose crews build garages normally, he built us a stick framed (2x6)
barn, reinforced loft for hay, concrete floor. It ran $35k for the
building (not counting electrical). We're pretty happy with it.
While we're talking wind, I was building a play house for my daughter
this summer and decided I should do the roof right. When I went into the
lumber yard asking for roof clips, they didn't have any idea what I was
talking about. I explained, and they said "oh, just toe nail the rafters
down". It is really nice being out of the Colorado wind belt.
I found that I could get a metal building shell (which needed
insulating, etc) for about the same money that I could get a structural
insulated panel shell (which is very well insulated). I also looked into
the "morton buildings" wood-frame/steel-skin, but again, not truly
competitive. This has probably all gotten worse with the dramatic rise
in steel prices over the last few years.
SIP can be very quickly put up yourself. With a crew consisting of one
person who had worked with SIPs, a couple of people with carpentry
experience, and 5 or so willing to help but no experience, the walls for
my 24x48 shop went up in 2 days. An experienced crew or lifting
equipment probably could have that down to one day. I went with a normal
truss roof (with high heels for more insulation, but I'm in cold
country). I also went two story, and would advise against that, as it
has slowed down finishing the building considerably - all the fussing
about with staging, etc...(2nd floor walls took 3 days, but getting
windows, siding, etc in, with the help that was willing to come for the
"raising" not so willing to help with boring details...or up in the air).
You might see if you gan get a bunch of oak beams made from parts of
your trees. You'll still have plenty of firewood.
A couple of years back, and some things have probably gone up since. I'm
still puttering on the finishing process (the joys of spare time DIY),
and have not got all costs nicely collected, though I can ballpark you a
figure of $30,000 or so, with only foundation, garage door, and roof
hired out, for a 2000 square foot shop. That probably includes the $5000
spent on septic.
The panels (10 ft first floor walls, 8 foot second floor, 144 feet long)
were about $10,000 with fasteners, splines, sealing foam, etc. These
were "8 inch" panels (a 7-3/8" "2x8" fits in the edge if the foam is cut
back) for R-34. You would probably be fine with 6 inch or even 4 inch
panels, given milder climate - that also cuts your lumber costs. You no
doubt need more attention to termite-proofing. Main floor is 11-1/2 feet
tall as the 10 foot panels are on an 18" stemwall.
Trusses were $2500 or so. 16 square of metal roof (screw-through) $1600,
plus $1250 or so for sloppy installation when I ran out of time and
hired who I could get to put the thing on (one more downside of being
2-story, and far up in the air). Fancier metal roofs (standing seam)
were quoted at $6000 and $8000 installed by fancier (or at least more
expensive) contractors. With steel tripling or whatever since then, good
Random lumber (no studs needed - top plate, bottom plate, and around
window and door openings) perhaps another few thousand.
Couple hundred on housewrap under the siding. Siding is rough pine
boards from local mill, 50 cents a square foot, $2000 or so. You could
special-order T-111 for an outside face on the panel and call it done,
but I hate T-111.
Drywall, when I get to it (want it on there for fire reasons, rather
than having exposed OSB) about $1500. Ceiling insulation about $700.
Foundation and floor about $8000, but I'm guessing that you are re-using
those. $100 to paint the concrete white with basic, non-fancy,
non-slippery (no non-slip additive needed) concrete paint - makes a lot
more light in there, easy to recoat or patch if needed, unlike fancy
expensive slippery epoxy coatings.
Second floor, framing (TJIs) deck, etc - $3300 or so.
I spent about $4400 on windows, since I hate a dark cavern of a shop -
the main shop floor has 6 3x6 foot windows, and a few smaller ones
(large enough to get out of in case of fire), second floor has smaller
ones, all are low-e & fiberglass framed.
10x10 garage door, well-insulated (R17.5), $1100 installed (manual
operation). Much better deal than the man-door at $400 and R4 for 3x7.
Much of this could be much more, you have to keep plugging and try to
find out what you can do to keep the price down - costs do not always
appear to make logical sense. For instance, I considered insulated, stay
in place concrete forms - supposed to save money. The forms alone cost
80% of having the whole foundation done by a crew with traditional forms
- not an actual bargain, so I didn't do that. Likewise, I had to hunt
for quite a while before finding a local mill for the siding, as the
mill I had planned to get siding from went out of business, and many
available options for the same material were 2 and 3 times the price.
The structural panel industry association:
A good, short article on what SIPs are:
The folks I bought mine from (they ship, but if you get a closer
supplier who is reasonable, that should cost less). Some suppliers are
jerks, just keep looking until you find one who will work with you. I
had a closer supplier, but they got harder to deal with the more
specific the project became, and I gave up on dealing with them.
Frame it out of square tubing and weld it together, then hang metal on it
with screws. My garage is framed in 3" by .250 wall welded into one piece
and bolted to the slab. It has withstood a pecan tree fall and 100 mph
winds with no damage. Yeah, steel is up right now, but square corners are
easy to jig up and trusses are a snap. Chop saw and a Lincoln 225 and ten
pounds of 1106 rod. Should take about fifty hours to get up and ready for
Stucco both sides (or stucco/plaster), & put it up on a concrete
stemwall. There's a book, there's a strawbale mailing list (with
archives) on crest.org, there are old articles from before the list on
After years of participating in that discussion, and thinking I'd build
with strawbale, I found that (with lack of local grain crops) importing
straw was economically non-viable .vs. SIPs. Cordwood might just make
sense here, but is a different deal.
Here are a few links to read over...
http://solstice.crest.org/efficiency/straw_insulation/ <-- This is the
crest.org link mentioned in another response.
http://www.geocities.com/PicketFence/Garden/8784/Rock2.html <-- very
interesting method of a poured in place concrete roof, not a bale
building but could maybe be adapted for bale use.
It is very true that you do need a local source of straw for the
economics to work to your full benefit. As for fire and vermin the
bales are coated inside and out with stucco or plaster. I have read
studies where wall withstood extended periods of open flame contact
with nothing more than cosmetic surface damage. Vermin are not really
a problem because straw has no actual food value unlike hay. The
vermin don't eat it, and a well made wall prevents any chance of
Smaller works well with bale but one of the real appealing points is
also how fast the walls go up on larger building. Think of it like
I personally would go with post and beam with bale infill and
incorporate an over head crane system with the money I saved on the
building. Also add a second room or attached shed for compressor and
generator storage to help with noise.
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