Cheap steel buildings as houses.

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moab
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Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:11 pm

I always wanted to build a house out of those cheap steel buildings. Not sure how self sufficient this is. But it's a great start to an off the grid compound.

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by crypto » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:15 pm

Way too many tornadoes around here to have any confidence in these structures in my AO. These things routinely get pulled apart around here.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:25 pm

crypto wrote:Way too many tornadoes around here to have any confidence in these structures in my AO. These things routinely get pulled apart around here.
Where I grew up in the PNW in a small town up in the mountains there is a family that moved into an older city building that was of this construction. They built out the inside and it was pretty great. I think better than a wood home. PNW is not tornado country. But wouldn't a metal building withstand a lot more than a wood building? I mean what kind of home stands up to a tornado? Nothing I would think. Unless it was underground.

These buildings are very well built with steel girders. And cost a fraction of a wood home. Not withstanding the interior build out. There are some companies that make traditional homes that are metal framed. But I like the idea of an industrial building built out on the inside for living.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by flybynight » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:30 pm

I'm seeing more and more around my area. There's one down my street bout half mile away. My supervisor just moved into his on a small acreage. It looks something like this Image . I live in tornado alley and most of the people I've talked to who live in or want to build and live in have a C'est la vie attitude . My Boss had a shelter incorporated into the shop portion of his. His looks very similar to the picture but has another forty feet of shop space on the end with drive through doors on each side. Really turned out nice.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:53 pm

They are dirt cheap for the bare bones structure too. I mean huge square footage for like 50 grand. Put in some plumbing and electricity. And build it out as you go however you want it. Like an industrial space out in the woods. I love that idea. And I love cheap. lol.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by boskone » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:11 pm

My parents (accidentally; long story) live in such a construction.

It's energy-efficient and durable, and since they only built in a part of it and left skylight panels over the rest self-lit most of the day. They have large doors to catch air, and even in the height of a Texas summer it's tolerable inside due to ambient wind flowing through. So far it's survived a near-run with a tornado and the grass fires a few years back.

I know personally several other people with similar setups, and all are pretty pleased. They're not necessarily pretty, but the performance is there.

I'm looking to buy acreage and while SIP or ICF is very tempting, I'll probably turn to this myself.

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:17 pm

boskone wrote:My parents (accidentally; long story) live in such a construction.

It's energy-efficient and durable, and since they only built in a part of it and left skylight panels over the rest self-lit most of the day. They have large doors to catch air, and even in the height of a Texas summer it's tolerable inside due to ambient wind flowing through. So far it's survived a near-run with a tornado and the grass fires a few years back.

I know personally several other people with similar setups, and all are pretty pleased. They're not necessarily pretty, but the performance is there.

I'm looking to buy acreage and while SIP or ICF is very tempting, I'll probably turn to this myself.
Cool. That's good to know. I looked at these a few years ago pretty extensively. And the cost savings over a traditional home is significant. If I ever get to a place where I can buy land and build. I'd seriously consider this.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by Anianna » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:28 pm

I'm not sure what kind of "cheap steel buildings" we're talking about here. The only cheap metal buildings I have been in personal contact with were used as sheds or barns and they would not be good structures to live in. For one, if you try to insulate them, they have condensation problems and all of the ones I've seen will buckle under tornado or even strong straight-line winds. The metal shed I bought was even a somewhat floppy nightmare to put up and I find wooden sheds to be far superior. Perhaps what you are referring to is a regionally available sort of thing?

I can only surmise from this thread that there are other more sturdy options out there that I am not familiar with, but it may be pertinent to know that people may be coming from the perspective of something different than what you actually mean in this discussion. FYI.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:36 pm

Anianna wrote:I'm not sure what kind of "cheap steel buildings" we're talking about here. The only cheap metal buildings I have been in personal contact with were used as sheds or barns and they would not be good structures to live in. For one, if you try to insulate them, they have condensation problems and all of the ones I've seen will buckle under tornado or even strong straight-line winds. The metal shed I bought was even a somewhat floppy nightmare to put up and I find wooden sheds to be far superior. Perhaps what you are referring to is a regionally available sort of thing?

I can only surmise from this thread that there are other more sturdy options out there that I am not familiar with, but it may be pertinent to know that people may be coming from the perspective of something different than what you actually mean in this discussion. FYI.
Yes. You're right. These are totally different structures we are talking about here. Heavy metal girders built to spec. Something that could withstand a winter storm and normal snow load.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by KYZHunters » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:17 am

What I see a lot of here when people buy bare land is that they build a large shop/equipment shed with power and plumbing to live in while they build their home. I would have done the same if I'd thought of it when moving from Cali to KY. We passed on some great bare land deals because we didn't want to try to build a house from across the continent.

When/if your dream house/bunker/compound is complete you've got a nice shop with a shitter in it.
crypto wrote:It's not that you were being "harsh" so much as a "douchebag".

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by moab » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:51 am

KYZHunters wrote:"shitter"
Key. :clap:
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by KGBrick » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:22 am

moab wrote:
crypto wrote:Way too many tornadoes around here to have any confidence in these structures in my AO. These things routinely get pulled apart around here.
Where I grew up in the PNW in a small town up in the mountains there is a family that moved into an older city building that was of this construction. They built out the inside and it was pretty great. I think better than a wood home. PNW is not tornado country. But wouldn't a metal building withstand a lot more than a wood building? I mean what kind of home stands up to a tornado? Nothing I would think. Unless it was underground.

These buildings are very well built with steel girders. And cost a fraction of a wood home. Not withstanding the interior build out. There are some companies that make traditional homes that are metal framed. But I like the idea of an industrial building built out on the inside for living.
Might the excess damage from high winds be the result of the large individual panels, spaced-out attachment points, and thin material (relative to panel size) used in such construction?

Either way, given the savings in construction, you should be able to afford a serious tornado shelter inside - and I wonder if insurance might not be cheap as well, due to a low cost of repairing any damage?

/nonhomeownerthoughts

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by crypto » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:38 am

yeah, thats the issue. I dont mean direct hits from a tornado, I mean that cheap prefab steel structures seem to suffer disproportionate levels of damage from high winds. roofs separate from the buildings, whole sections of wall peel away, sometimes they just lift off the foundation and blow away entirely.

Nothing except a concrete blockhouse would survive a direct hit from anything beyond a F1 but shitty buildings don't even survive near misses.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by boskone » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:26 pm

Anianna wrote:I'm not sure what kind of "cheap steel buildings" we're talking about here. The only cheap metal buildings I have been in personal contact with were used as sheds or barns and they would not be good structures to live in. For one, if you try to insulate them, they have condensation problems and all of the ones I've seen will buckle under tornado or even strong straight-line winds. The metal shed I bought was even a somewhat floppy nightmare to put up and I find wooden sheds to be far superior. Perhaps what you are referring to is a regionally available sort of thing?

I can only surmise from this thread that there are other more sturdy options out there that I am not familiar with, but it may be pertinent to know that people may be coming from the perspective of something different than what you actually mean in this discussion. FYI.
Different building style, more like warehouses than sheds. My parents overbuilt; the building itself is insulated with roll-out insulation, and the house part is independently insulated.
KYZHunters wrote:What I see a lot of here when people buy bare land is that they build a large shop/equipment shed with power and plumbing to live in while they build their home. I would have done the same if I'd thought of it when moving from Cali to KY. We passed on some great bare land deals because we didn't want to try to build a house from across the continent.

When/if your dream house/bunker/compound is complete you've got a nice shop with a shitter in it.
This is pretty much exactly my plan. Square slab, fully covered, half walled; bedroom/office in one end, kitchen/den in the other, split by utility room, closet, bathroom. After building a real house, the kitchen/den are will be converted into a workshop and the bed/office into a mancave. The other half of the slab would be basically a giant porch.
Last edited by boskone on Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by White Bear » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:51 pm

http://www.realtor.com/news/unique-home ... onset-hut/
But perhaps its ability to withstand the force of nature is the home’s finest attribute. The land is 200 feet above sea level, and the structure can sustain winds of up to 150 mph. Also: It’s quiet as a church mouse inside. “The only way we know there’s a storm is because the dogs will start panting,” says Robert. “You can’t hear the wind, you can’t hear the rain.”
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by boskone » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:57 pm

crypto wrote:yeah, thats the issue. I dont mean direct hits from a tornado, I mean that cheap prefab steel structures seem to suffer disproportionate levels of damage from high winds. roofs separate from the buildings, whole sections of wall peel away, sometimes they just lift off the foundation and blow away entirely.

Nothing except a concrete blockhouse would survive a direct hit from anything beyond a F1 but shitty buildings don't even survive near misses.
I think the emphasized word is key here. There's different styles of building.

Most sheds and small buildings are basically monocoque construction: the metal sheets are also the structure. Maybe a few posts to keep it from being floppy. It's cheap, fast, and tolerably durable.

The kind people use for houses are much more heavily built; c- or -beam posts and girts, and so forth. So it's basically a steel stick-frame house; just faster to put up, cheaper to build the shell (because it can be done at a remote location in industrial volumes).

It's not a miracle construction technique, but it is one with a lot to recommend it. (Like any other, really; weigh the pros and cons for a given build.)

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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by Stercutus » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:28 pm

I own a 4000 sqft (40X100') building like the one pictured. Half has a dirt floor and I use it as a barn. The other half is fully enclosed with a concrete pad floor and insulated. I use it as a shop. There are 17' garage doors on either end of the shop. The barn does not have a door. The building is 30' at center beam and built as solidly as these types of buildings come.

I have wood stalls built in the barn and a tool room built in the shop area.

There is no way in hell I would stay in one during a tornado. That is what the tornado shelter is for. It did not survive a near miss from one with no apparent damage.

The panels are strong but light. I have seen a number of these structure destroyed by Tornadoes over the years.

If I wanted to live in one I would just pull a motor home into one and use the extra space in the building for storage and other stuff. Someone nearby has done that very thing and this arrangement seems to work out great for them.
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Re: Cheap steel buildings as houses.

Post by RoneKiln » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:04 pm

On average, walls make up about 10% of the cost of a house. As you would still need to insulate and drywall the interior walls of a metal structure, I doubt it really saves you as much money as you think. Having the structure dried in quickly so you can then take your time building the rest out on your own could save you a lot. That's not thanks to the building materials though. That's your labor saving you money. There are a lot of options to get a shell dried in quickly.

If you like the metal look, it's a great option. But take some time to research construction theory and principles before making a decision based on price alone.
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