In most cases, your metal building plans will only include the basic construction elements - four walls, the framework, and a steel roof. Of course, your metal building manufacturer will probably discuss heating and cooling options, or various weather-protective elements depending on your geography and climate, but often the details such as interior finishing options are up to you.
While some warehouse and agricultural applications need minimal interior options, your office staff and family members might think differently when they arrive at their new metal building structure and discover a large, empty space, devoid of wall coverings and basic furnishings.
Here is a checklist of sorts - to make sure you have thought of (at least) the basics of your new metal building. Whether it is an industrial space with a few offices, a strip mall application, or your new energy-efficient steel home, you want it to be as aesthetically pleasing and physically comfortable as possible.
Interior options for your metal building
Steel walls and partitions.
Steel is an excellent choice for your metal building's partitions and walls. It removes the worry about:
- Wear and tear
- Susceptibility to moisture
- Pest infestations.
Metal partitions save you considerable money in lifetime maintenance and repair expenses.
- If you leave them exposed, they are very easy to clean.
- If you decide to insulate and cover them for a cozier look, you still benefit from their unmatched longevity and durability.
A wide variety of colors, finishes, and textures are available to finish out the walls; they can be given the appearance of any traditional wall covering or something completely different to make your living space truly unique.
Aside from aesthetics, protective wall coatings increase the durability of metal wall panels. Most prefabricated panels arrive with a factory coating to prevent corrosion, but if the coating becomes damaged, it opens the way for rust. A secondary coating or finish can cover any scratches or areas where the coating has been removed.
You can also order panels precoated with your choice of color, texture, and finish directly from the factory. Prefabricated metal panels are cost effective choices in comparison to finishing out with other materials or the need to cut metal onsite.
Metal building insulation.
Hopefully, you have already selected a roofing finish with a highly reflective surface, which will help with your annual heating and cooling costs. Even so, you will still want to make sure that the attic or roof space, as well as your exterior walls, are well insulated.
Insulation performs two services:
- Stabilizes the interior temperature
- Prevents moisture from entering or collecting via condensation
Metal is an excellent heat conductor meaning in the winter the heat will radiate easily out of the wall, and in summer the sun will raise the interior temperature to unbearable levels. Insulation is the only way to keep the environment at a comfortable temperature without spending a fortune on utilities.
This same ability to conduct heat is also responsible for causing moisture to condense on metal or glass surfaces creating the opportunity for corrosion and water damage. Mold and mildew further create a toxic environment.
Insulation in a metal frame building is generally installed over the framing for a continuous cover, preventing energy transfer and condensation on the metal frame members.
The energy efficiency of steel, paired with insulation of appropriate R-Value for your climate will boost your metal building's efficiency to the next level.
Certified blueprints of the interior.
Any interior construction or remodeling of your metal building still requires you to apply for a building permit from your local government agency if you haven't done so already.
You may want to meet with a local building official beforehand to make sure your existing plans for the interior space are up to current local building codes. Your metal building manufacturer can direct you to a local architect or designer to draft them for you.
The proliferation of homeowner associations means you may be required to submit architectural change requests and drawings for certain changes that are visible to street traffic. If the interior of your home or building includes a front-facing enclosed patio or sunroom, you may need to obtain permission from your neighborhood management company to proceed with any changes.
Drywall for metal buildings.
If you prefer a more traditional office feel, or if you are constructing a home using metal building technology, you probably want to use drywall to enclose your interior spaces. Once your interior walls are properly framed, you will want to adhere to the same types of construction principles as with any other structure, ensuring that all electrical wiring, plumbing, fire protection devices, lighting plans, etc. are wired, installed, and inspected before closing the walls.
While you may not want to leave exposed steel beams throughout the space, select a few areas where the exposed metal framework will enhance the building's interior design. As mentioned earlier, you have a selection of colors, textures, and finishes to create the look you want.
If noise is an issue, you can select a covering or finish to reduce sound transmission and echoes within the structure. Also, if you later decide to change the look or use of the ceiling, metal beams are easy to cover with a dropped ceiling.
You can use wood, laminate, tile, carpet, or any other flooring type.
You can even stain your concrete floors for a contemporary look. You will probably want to use area rugs in certain living spaces to keep them more comfortable during the winter months.
Once the interior construction of your metal building is complete, the world is your oyster. Depending on the metal building manufacturer you choose, you may have options for selecting metal furnishings to complement your design.
Now you can relax and celebrate the completion of your new energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and long-lived structure.