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03Panther SuperDork
1/8/21 8:28 p.m.

I did not go to versi-tube due to their prices. If they have ton up less than others, I like their diy assembly (bearing in mind, I haven't actually built one!)

If you do go that way, a crew that does good work assembling carport style buildings will do side work cheap, and faster that you and friends could ever do. The crew that did my first one were way out of being any good, made a TON of mistakes, but still could do it quick... but no way I'd hire them. The second (24 x 25, two sides only) knocked out that building in a few hours. They have come back and done a couple other things for me since. I'd hire them to put up a versa-tube building long before doing it myself!

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/8/21 8:31 p.m.

Are versa-tube and other car port types like them considered a "temporary" structure?

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
1/8/21 9:28 p.m.

I am in the middle of having a 30x50x16 red iron building installed down here in FL.


Rough numbers: Building 20k, Install 10k, Concrete $15-20k but that will vary on foundation requirements and your site. 


A friend of mine had a quick steel style building which basically appears to be C channel bolted together rather than the I beam of the red iron. 

His foundation requirements were less than mine 12"x 12" perimeter footers versus that plus 24" x 48" where each of my columns are going.  Additionally my anchors are in concrete whereas his were drilled in place. Ultimately I believe my design is stronger but more costly.  I wasn't aware of this prior to ordering and it wouldn't sway me one way or another.  Ultimately if that strong of a storm comes through it probably won't matter much as my stick built house will be gone. 

Anecdotal evidence from working in insurance claims pushed me toward the red iron style versus square tubing, stick built or pole barn after seeing what hurricane winds and trees do to them. Again may not be as much as a concern where you are. 

7/25/21 9:03 p.m.

In reply to Greg Voth :

Can you tell me if you are contracting individuals or is a gc doing it? I was just quoted for red iron 30x40x12 , concrete slab, insulation, 2 manual roll up doors. Installed 90k

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/26/21 7:02 a.m.

About 25 percent of the homes in my area of North Texas have a metal shop in the back yard. I've personally done it twice including my current one.

You couldn't give me a shop with wood construction. Steel is forever and there is no maintenance. 

The roll batting insulation stuff is not very common anymore. They just come in and spray foam the entire structure nowadays. I have had both and spray foam is the way to go.

They do concrete in one day, frame in one day, roof and side panels in one day, insulate in one day, and trim it out with doors and gutters the last day. Then the guy knocks on your door and hands you the keys. You're talking a week timeframe here.

In this area, a 30x40x12 with insulation, two 12 foot roll up doors and two 48 inch man doors will run you about 40k dollars. That's turn-key from bare ground to holding the keys in your hand.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
7/26/21 12:29 p.m.
Florida5619 said:

In reply to Greg Voth :

Can you tell me if you are contracting individuals or is a gc doing it? I was just quoted for red iron 30x40x12 , concrete slab, insulation, 2 manual roll up doors. Installed 90k

I was acting as the GC so I got the plans, submitted for the permits and inspections, got a concrete contractor then the company I bought the building from sent an erector to build it. 

JThw8 UltimaDork
7/26/21 6:29 p.m.

This one just went up in my yard, 30x50x12, 8x10 and 10x10 roll ups and R12 insulated roof.  Included poured pad with footers (and a reinforced section for a 2 post later, installation and certification for 130mph winds.  @ $25k all in, with someone else doing all the work.   Still have to have electrical done and Im doing the driveway and plumbing myself.

Florida5619 New Reader
7/26/21 7:50 p.m.

Wow those are nice and nicely priced!  I thought 90k seemed high unless it's a bomb shelter.  I gotta shop around some more and do some research on how I need to have the concrete done, to accommodate beams etc. Do you have any good sites or info for me to learn from? 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/26/21 8:27 p.m.

I've been building for 40+ years. Spent 30 years building in wood, and the last 10 building mostly commercial red iron structures. I also had the exact shop you are describing- 30x 40 stick built with scissor trusses. 

Since it will have to be engineered regardless, there is no structural difference. If built right, they will both handle the loads and last. 

You  are right about appearance.  Wood framed looks better.  

I loved my wood framed shop, but if I get a chance to do it again, I'll do metal.  Mostly because the wood framed building never actually got finished...  the shell went up, then there was always something else to do.  Wire it, build a storage loft, insulate, Sheetrock, paint the exterior... it was a beautiful building, but it cost me a lot more than metal, and consumed a vast amount of time over the 20 years I owned it  

Pre-engineered (red iron) is cheaper, and vastly faster.  The building goes up in a week or 2, and it's ready to use.  No exterior paint, no insulation.  For me, I don't mind the semi-commercial appearance, and I would leave the purlins exposed inside and run wiring exposed.  Doesn't bother me a bit.

If I lived in your region, I would consider SIPs.  They are DIY friendly, can have prefinished panels on the exterior, and the insulation capability can't be beat.  I'd run the electric in exposed conduit.

It comes down to cost and appearance and personal preference.

Metal will be your cheapest option, SIPs will probably be your most expensive option (although the labor may be free if you do it yourself). Stick built will be deceptive... it will look cheaper, but include much less. By the time you actually finish it enough to compare apples to apples (finished siding, roof, paint, insulation, overhead doors, doors windows, engineering, finished interior surfaces, labor value) it will be much more expensive. 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/26/21 8:34 p.m.

In your region, if I was gonna do a metal building I would consider the cost of spray foam insulation instead of metal building insulation batts. It will cost a lot more, but is far superior. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
9/30/22 9:48 a.m.


darrisbrown None
5/15/23 6:06 a.m.

I have installed one 3 years back. It is a 36x40x12 A-frame Vertical Roof metal garage building, it is fully enclosed with two 10x10 framed openings, one per end and ten 36"x80" framed openings, 5 per side. Installed with additional framing pieces to increase its structural integrity and vertically oriented panels to easily channel all rain, snow, and debris off the roof, they are suitable for any climate. If you are looking for a multi-purpose metal structure then installing top quality metal garages will be a worth investment. 

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