Due to the recyclability and accessibility of steel, you’ll rarely find a material that can match its reliability. Even if you could, that’s not the only thing steel can offer. Constructing steel buildings is also simple, so it often requires few personnel. Due to the durability of steel buildings, insurance companies also offer better terms to owners.
Perhaps these reasons are what drive homebuyers to be on the lookout for steel buildings. Unfortunately, turning a steel building into a residential home isn’t easy, so you certainly don’t want to waste your money.
If you’re one of those who have recently bought a steel building or perhaps plan to for the purpose of turning it into your lovely home, here are the steps to take to do just that:
- Consult Specialists In Metal Buildings
Steel buildings are often used for commercial or storage use, so you might want to consult architects or specialists in metal buildings for some tips. Experts from companies like Murray Steel Buildings could be good options.
Professionals can help you with various things that would otherwise be unfamiliar to you. For instance, they can help check if the local departments allow converting steel buildings into residential homes. They can also help you procure building permits if required. Simply put, having a professional help you throughout the whole process can be a huge help.
- Focus On Insulating The Building
Because you’re dealing with steel, you need to remember that steel has high heat conductivity, so one of the biggest problems you’ll have is insulation. After all, you wouldn’t want the inside of your house to be too cold or too hot as the temperature outside fluctuates.
To insulate a steel building, you must add insulative sheeting between framing and siding and outside the framed walls. Below are a few sheeting materials that work well with steel:
- Insulated Panels
- Reflective Foil
- Rigid Board
While you can install some of these insulative sheeting without prior knowledge or experience, it’s still a good idea to seek professional assistance. If you’re working with designers and architects, you can make their job a lot easier if you have the steel building’s blueprints.
- Find The Blueprints
One of the best things to do when working with interior or exterior design is knowing what you’re working with and what better way to do that than by having a copy of the floor plans or blueprints to the building? If you don’t know where to find one, you can try the following tips:
- Contact the contractor who built the property. One can usually find the contact information of the contractor through the county clerk’s office.
- You can also try asking directly for the blueprints from the county clerk.
- If you bought the steel building from another homebuyer, they most likely have a copy of the floor plans. If they don’t, chances are, the real estate agent has the copy.
Once you have the blueprints at hand, the entire operation can be a lot easier, especially if you have a professional assisting you.
- Calculate Snow Load Of The Roof
Experts suggest working on your house’s roofing before anything else, and it’s no different with steel buildings. Dealing with the steel building roofing is not very different from when dealing with typical residential homes, but there’s one difference—the snow load of the roof.
Usually, the calculations on the snow load of a steel building’s roof don’t consider the occupants, but now that people will start living in the building, this variable may alter the calculation. Your best bet is to go over the math again, this time taking the occupants into account. If the roofing is no longer sufficient, replacing it shouldn’t be too expensive as most metal roofing comes with a 40-year warranty.
- Complete Overhaul On Plumbing And Electrical Plans
If the steel building was initially designed for commercial, industrial, or storage uses, chances are, the electrical and plumbing systems are not suitable for living spaces. In that case, you might want to do a complete overhaul of these aspects. Simply hire licensed professionals, and they should be able to complete the entire job by themselves. However, it would help if you let them work on it before making any significant interior design modifications.
Turning a steel building into a residential home is by no means an easy task. If you’ve been working on wooden houses up until now, chances are, you’ll be making a lot of mistakes throughout the whole process. These tips might help minimize the damage you can incur, but it’s still best if you have a professional helping with all your decisions.