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  1. #1
    bluegrass is offline Aluminum
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    I bought a 30 x 50ft metal building for my new shop. It's one of the standard gabled buildings (not a hoop or quonset structure). It's fairly standard except the eave height is 16ft and the roof pitch is 6/12. The "kit" is already at the shop site.

    It was my original plan to erect it myself using the employees on the farm, but there's not enough "spare" time, so I have decided to have an erector do the job. I have now obtained 2 estimates. The first is from a guy who calls himself a "steel building erector". He bid $45,000 to do the slab and erect the building.

    I got a bid from a second guy last week. He formerly put up such buildings for the gov't, but now he has a general contracting business. He bid $46,300 but that doesn't include subgrade prep which will be done by another guy- I don't have his bid yet.

    The site is absolutely flat. I do not want any electrical or plumbing done. There is no rock in the soil (i.e., easy site to build). What do you folks think is a reasonable price for this project? Are these estimates in line with prices in your area? Is it that difficult to put one of these buildings up?

    Bluegrass

  2. #2
    Rick Rowlands's Avatar
    Rick Rowlands is offline Titanium
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    I would find the spare time. Those prices are ridiculous. If anyone knows about putting up a cheap building it is me. I'm flat broke and still trying to buy and erect a 40' x 60' building over our big steam engine.

    However those prices don't really suprise me as contractors are always the high cost option. I just don't see it costing that much to erect a building that is already purchased and sitting there. What will they have in it? Crane rental for two days, some scaffolding/ladders and a few laborers for a week.

    Become your own general contractor. Sub out the parts that you can't/won't do and do the rest yourself. Can you build concrete forms? Can you pour concrete? Erecting the basic steelwork is rather straightforward so I would try to do that myself. I'm afraid of heights so I would hire someone to put on the roof.

    The bottom line is you and your employees will be doing $46,000 worth of work to pay for this building, either working that much on income producing tasks to make 46K or by spending that time erecting the building.

  3. #3
    gbent's Avatar
    gbent is online now Diamond
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    Hard to evaluate without more info. The cheaper the building, the more it costs to erect. Did you want a 5" slab or a 8" slab? Concrete prices vary widely depending on location. A start would be the cost of the concrete delivered.

    But even at $250./yard complete, that is less than $10,000 for the slab. That leaves $35,000 for the erection, or $23.00/ square foot. That seems quite high to me. An equipment dealer I buy from just bought a 10,000 sf shop/office, completely finished, turn key for about $37.00/sf.

  4. #4
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    Couple things regarding the erection only.

    A couple pieces of specialized equipment will likely be required...a forklift for one, then a scissor lift is probably going to be required. A chained basket could probably be substituted for the scissor lift, but then it will consume the time of 2 operators.

    The anchor studs buried in the concrete need to be placed very accurately for the building to assemble smoothly.

    I think there are a number of "details" to the building which need careful attention, mostly fitting the sheetmetal and laying the insulation. Then there's a lot of mindless work like shooting thousands of sheetmetalscrews.

    I view this thread with great interest as I'm weighing this myself...you kind of need a temporary crew like the old "barn raisings" [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I have also been told that the biggest mistake of all is to start yourself and decide that wasn't the best idea and then contract it out...despite the commonsense thinking that some of the work has already been done with the price to match, such a half-baked project will consistently get bids of 100-150% of doing the complete project!!!

  5. #5
    bluegrass is offline Aluminum
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    Good info thus far...

    To answer a few questions, the slab is 6 inches, thus requiring about 27 yards of concrete plus some for the footers, so maybe 31 yards or so. I can build forms and I can pour, but I haven't poured anything quite this size before. I would probably need a finisher to help if I did do the pour. As Matt pointed out, the bolts are critical, so I think it might require some "jig" or something to keep them in place. I haven't seen how this is done, so I am not sure. Maybe I should job out the slab and do the metal myself (?)

    Matt, great idea on the shop-raising crew. If you think we can get a PM crew together, I will happily be the "guinea pig" to learn on!

    Please keep the comments coming!

    Bluegrass

  6. #6
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    I'm a concrete dummy, so I'd just want to pay close attention to the dimensional aspect of the bolts and let someone else do the concrete.

    I've also been told that there's some "windage" that's needed when setting roof and wall panels...for example, the panels set parallel to one edge of the roof aren't necessarily going to be parallel to the other edge when that is reached, so there's a process of measuring and then making incremental adjustments...i.e. set several panels 1/4" out of parallel with the one before it in order to make up a gap of an inch or more when the far edge is reached.

    While the buildings seem at first like an erector set that anyone with some crescent wrenches can assemble, line up holes and tighten nuts and bolts, some more attention to details in adjustments and a view of the overall structure is required for it to all come out right.

  7. #7
    speedsport is offline Cast Iron
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    A friend of mine has a steel building erection business, his adverage charge is $2.00 per square foot, thats just to put up a pre engineered metal building, no slab, no plumbing, no electric etc.. So that would be approx $3K. He also travels from his home base in Arkansas. If interested pm me and I will give you his ph#

  8. #8
    james robert's Avatar
    james robert is offline Stainless
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    Hi all, I like the idea of putting a PM crew together. My only reservation would be having a bunch of machinist doing construction.

    I helped my uncle " A machinist " build a house in co. back in 78 and watched him go crazy over measurements that were off by 1/8".

    A PM crew would be a good way to meet other members.

  9. #9
    Skeeter is offline Aluminum
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    Hi bluegrass,

    My daughter and son-in-law just had a 36x50, 20 high, put up in Marshall, Texas. This building cost them just under $40,000. This was without any plumbing or electrical. It had two roll up doors and one walk-in. This included the slab.

    My son-in-law had the electrical put in for aproximately $2500. He is going to run the water to the building himself, just for a small water heater and a sink.

    I think the estimates that you have are way high.

  10. #10
    kap pullen is offline Cast Iron
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    Bluegrass,

    I am in the process of having a 30' x 40' pole building done.

    The grade was out four feet.

    The grading, materials, erection, and concrete complete, was around half what you have been quoted for erection only.

    Two men erected it complete in two days.



    You figure?

    Kap

  11. #11
    D.spencer's Avatar
    D.spencer is offline Hot Rolled
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    Hi all, I like the idea of putting a PM crew together. My only reservation would be having a bunch of machinist doing construction
    "Yea, looks like we got the walls off by .0005" dang- gotta scrap the whole thing and start over" "somebody bring me the dial indicator and base, I gotta check the sides of the slab", "Forrest, you got your scrapers and straight edges"?

  12. #12
    SND
    SND is offline Diamond
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    Where do you guys get those steel building kits? I may end up having to go that way once I find land. Although I'd kinda prefer to do it all in wood, just looking at the options.

    kap pullen , that looks like a really nice shop. Just the size I'd need.

    D.Spencer, it took me 13 hours to do a granite tiled counter top. First I had to dial the machine in as it was tapering .040" over 12" of cut. Can't have that... I had the calipers and the machinist square out and checking everything.
    I truly don't have the patience to work with the "average" carpenter, we just don't mix.

    If it was only machinists involved it would probably turn into a beautiful project.

  13. #13
    fen2art is offline Cast Iron
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    My only reservation would be having a bunch of machinist doing construction.
    Reminds me of the story about my grandfather that my dad told. Seems grandpa was installing a j-box for the light switches.
    A.) Measure and mark location for j -box.
    B.) Hold j-box in position use center punch to mark location of holes for mounting.
    C.) Drill pilot holes for screws.
    D.) Install screws while using a level to make sure j-box stays in position while tightening screws.

    Contrast that to an electrician eyeballing the location and slamming home the two 16p nails to set the box in place.
    Did I mention grandpa was a well known clock maker?

    Phil

  14. #14
    Timw is offline Stainless
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    I graded and formed 50' X 65' X 4" slab 6 years ago. I subbed out drop and finish. I ask around and found a guy to do it. He and 3 buddies dropped and power troweled in one day and charged me $900. It took 34 yards which I paid for at $56. a yard. Ahh the good old days!!
    I would start looking for a building going up around me and ask some of the workers if they moonlight. Or be more discreet and ask if they could give me some advice on errecting it and then approach them with an offer to do it. Same approach with the concrete.

  15. #15
    bluegrass is offline Aluminum
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    Wow Kap,

    What a view out your back door! Very nice building indeed.

    I will watch ebay closely for 30ft and 50ft outside mics, so the group can be content with the walls... unless you prefer hundreds of JoBlocks between the inside walls.

    Thanks for all the input so far. If I job out the slab only, what do you figure is a reasonable price there? Six inches thick, wire mesh, poly vapor barrier, footers about 3ft tall with proper rebar in them. 4000 psi mix is a little less than $100 per yard (delivered) in these parts. Guesses?

  16. #16
    D.spencer's Avatar
    D.spencer is offline Hot Rolled
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    I will watch ebay closely for 30ft and 50ft outside mics, so the group can be content with the walls...
    make shure you get the standards with them or they will be pretty much useless... Doesn't Starrett still offer them in a nice wooden fitted case as part of a three piece set? May be kinda difficult to store them tho... the building would never be big enough to get them in and up against the wall... unless you put them in sideways...nahhh.. :rolleyes:

  17. #17
    GermanOkie is offline Aluminum
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    I am building a 30 x 50 in Oklahoma right now, and I think I will have around 25k in it. I can't believe someone could quote 45k! I think it could be built as a primary residence for that much here!

  18. #18
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    Bluegrass,

    Up here, 6 inches of driveway with fibre instead of mesh goes 4 bucks a square foot, about 320 a yard of mix.

    WAY high on the erection price. Sorry you had to buy the "DIY kit", now you are at heir mercy. You can't do it/afford to tke time to do it. PAY ME, MOFO.

    Friend of mine has been looking to build a 60 X 80. Prices are in the 25 to 30 range, fully erected.

    I think you are truly being ripped off.

    Cheers,

    George

  19. #19
    14tony is offline Hot Rolled
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    I just finished a 1200 Sq. Ft. Versatube steel building. I did everything myself except the slab. Working by myself it took two months, but hey I'm retired and need the exercise. If you are looking for a building you can put up by yourself on a standard slab without special equipment take a hard look at the Versatube design.

  20. #20
    Terry Talton is offline Plastic
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    I've been trying to get started on my shop for 2 years now. Actively for over a year. I can't find contractors who will return calls or show up to give me a quote. We're planning to put in a 5000 sq. ft. steel building (40x125).

    My plan was to hire out the grading, slab and plumbing and take care of the rest myself. Of the very few contractors who've returned a call once or shown up once, none have been able to make a quote on the first visit or come back for a second.

    I've even gone to getting bids for turnkey packages and can't get anyone to return calls or submit a full bid.

    If I had some clue of what I was doing with the grading, I'd just do it myself, but I don't. Unfortunately, I can't even go to the bank for the loan until I get some idea of what its going to cost. Right now I'm just paying monthly storage bills for my tools and wishing I had a place to work with them.

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