3 Metal Building Projects You Can Do Yourself

Published October 29, 2014 by Whirlwind Team

metal buildings diyUsually, DIY projects lend themselves towards the more conceivable, like a raised garden bed, a snazzy interior paint job with geometric designs or building a chicken coop. What if we were to tell you that you can do much larger projects, like build a garage for instance, as a weekend DIY project?

Metal Buildings Make is Simple to Construct DIY Projects Around Your Home

The nature of metal buildings - pre-fabricated and sent as kits - makes it possible for those with rudimentary construction experience to assemble their own storage shed, carport and even a garage alone or with the help of a friend or two.

Not all metal buildings are created equal, of course. So, for your first attempt, DO make sure to purchase a kit that emphasizes it's DIY-friendly.

The following are some of the benefits of choosing a DIY metal building kit over traditional construction methods.

  1. No contractor needed. In most cases, you will have no need for measuring, cutting, framing or the carpentry skills that are typical of most building projects. You will save a great deal of money by not needing to hire a contractor.
  2. It's mounted to a foundation. Your metal building kit will come with drawings to help you with the concrete perimeter footing. Once that's in place, the rest of the building will be easily mounted.
  3. There's only one bolt size. There's a good chance your toddler's tricycle was more complicated to build because of all the different connecting parts you needed to keep track of. Your metal building kit has one size bolt, and should provide extras, so you'll never be caught wondering what goes where.
  4. It's as easy as 1-2-3-4! Metal building assembly requires a tried and true, four-step process that is clearly laid out via instructions and using pre-cut and pre-drilled steel panels. You'll pour the footings, assemble the arches, raise the arches and then add your finishes. If you stay on task, most DIY metal buildings can be constructed in a couple of days or less.

When selecting your metal building products, you'll want to work with a reputable vendor. Choose a product with the quality of metal and parts you feel your project will require. Also verify the manufacturer's warranty and customer service policies. Paying a little extra for a higher-quality product is always worth it.

Assembling a Metal Storage Shed

If you haven't built with metal in the past, start with a basic metal storage shed. If you are assembling a small shed, you may be able to skip the foundation and simply elevate the shed on pallets or concrete blocks for stability and protection from moisture. Larger and more complex sheds will require a foundation. The more work you put into it now, the better your storage shed will look and hold up in the long run.

Assembling a Carport

A carport is a great next step in your DIY metal building journey. You will need to clear the ground of any notable debris, including vegetation and rocks. Use a large construction level to ensure the ground is level and adjust it accordingly. If your soil is soft, you may need to manually compact it to make it firm.

Then, follow the instructions to pour your concrete footings. In most cases, your slab should be 2-feet longer than the building. Average slab thickness is 4-inches but if you plan on parking heavier cars or equipment in there, we recommend using a 6-inch thick slab. Colder climates may require deeper footings so check with your local building department.

We recommend using a DIY kit as you will be less likely to make mistakes. However, you can also find online instructions for fabricating your own carport.

Assembling a Metal Garage

Now you're working your way into the "big time." Your metal garage construction will commence similarly to your carport, preparing the ground for the foundation. We recommend using builder's twine and stakes to get your foundation perimeter as perfect as possible. Make sure your diagonal-diagonal measurements are equal so the foundation will be square.

Use building forms made from wood to pour your concrete and re-check that they're square. Once your foundation is poured, lay out the parts as per the manufacturer's instructions. Each manufacturer has their own recommendations. Some recommend assembling the walls first and then erecting them as a unit, others advise that you bolt the bottom rails in place and add the side and top frames afterwards. Some kits have metal rafters that are covered, others have pre-fabricated panels that are lifted and bolted in place. Regardless, never veer from the manufacturer's instructions or you risk compromising your warranty.

Would you like assistance choosing the right DIY metal building kit for your first project? Contact Whirlwind Steel and we'll be happy to help you out.

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