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Steel Building Cost Per Square Foot (SQFT)

cost per square foot

Steel is a great material for building structures. These structures are strong, durable, and can be efficiently constructed. However, one of the most relevant variables when you are planning a building project is cost. This article zones in on the aspect of cost, and will help you plan accordingly.

One of the first things you want to know when looking at steel building prices is “how much is a steel building per square foot”?

This number will help you quickly asses if a project is feasible, or help you budget for your planned building.

Here you’ll find answers to those questions and more.

  • A metal building costs on average $10 – $25 per square foot, but can range from as low as $6 to as high as $120 depending on options. 
  • The main things that affect per square foot costs are: steel market prices, location, snow and wind conditions, building complexity and construction costs. 
  • The cheapest buildings are quonset huts, and the most expensive are modular buildings. 

In this guide, you’ll find out all you need to know about a steel building’s actual cost per square foot and detailed info on all the cost variables. We will start by giving you a guide to calculating the cost per square foot of a steel building project. Then, we will give you some strategies to reduce overall costs. Finally, we will take you through the various elements that constitute the costs when building with steel.

So let’s get started.

What’s in this guide?

How Much Are Steel Buildings Per Square Foot?

Structure Cost per SQFT
Quonset Hut Up to $12 per SQFT
I-Beam Up to $17 per SQFT
C-Channel Up to $18 per SQFT
Modular Up to $60 per SQFT

Building Dimensions and Estimated Costs

Although the exact cost of your steel building will depend highly on the supplier you choose, as well as the materials that you need and where they are from, you can use the table below for a guide.

You should always compare your options before you make any decisions about your steel building, to make sure that you get the best deal for you and your business.

Therefore, the best way to read this table is to first make a rough plan of the materials you need and how you want to build. Then, match your ideal plans to the figures below. This way, you can get an accurate picture of how much your ideal steel structure will cost.

Example for the most simple warehouse structure, with no options:

Building Dimensions Square Foot Estimated Cost Approximate Price Per Square Foot
24×24 576 $5,800 $10
30×40 1,200 $9,100 $7.50
40×60 2,400 $17,500 $7.30
60×80 4,800 $33,600 $7
50×100 5,000 $31,000 $6.20
80×100 8,000 $48.800 $6.10
100×100 10,000 $60,500 $6.05
100×200 20,000 $120,000 $6

Example for a residential home, with quality options, windows & doors, finishing, plumbing, electrical fitting, lights and dry wall:

Building Dimensions Square Foot Estimated Cost Approximate Price Per Square Foot
24×24 576 $69,120 $120
30×40 1,200 $120,000 $100
40×60 2,400 $252,000 $105
60×80 4,800 $480,000 $100

What Can I Do to Reduce the Cost per SQFT?

No one wants to be paying more than they should for their steel building. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure that you don’t make this mistake.

Before you do anything, figure out your budget and know exactly what you want from your building. This allows you to have a clear idea of what you can afford regarding design, size, and additional features.

By doing so, you eliminate the possibilities of hidden costs and other unwanted surprises