Steel hut assembly timeline two men working on building

How To Build A Building: Step-By-Step Construction Guide For Steel Buildings

One of the greatest advantages of purchasing a prefabricated steel building kit is that it’s simple to assemble. If you can turn a wrench, chances are you can build a Quonset hut!

In the building guide to steel building construction, we’ll give you information on the basics of erecting a steel building and what materials you may need.

What’s the general process of Quonset hut construction? Is it difficult to do?

The components of your building are made to precise standards of accuracy for easy assembly and construction, with pre-punched holes and only one size nut and bolt for the entire building.

This prefabricated building is so simple to erect that many customers construct their own building, leading to huge labor cost savings.

  1. Build your arches: Assembling your building is safe and easy, with 70 percent of the work done on the ground with only one size nut and bolt for the actual building.
  2. Raise arches: Depending on the size of your building, heavy equipment may or may not be required when raising the arches.
  3. Fit arches together: Our precision-built arches fit together perfectly. The precision overlap of the arches provides more steel at critical connections, ensuring the easiest-to-assemble, strongest, best-fitting arch system available
  4. Add endwalls: Finish your building with a steel endwall or a custom endwall that you can create and add on yourself using local materials.
How long will it take to construct my building?

Generally speaking, most buildings can be completed in a matter of days. The time it takes to put a metal Quonset hut together greatly depends on the building’s size, complexity, and customizations.

For example, building a small, 10’ x 10’ outdoor shed can be done in a day, whereas a large secure storage facility that has power and plumbing will take significantly longer.

Also, the more people you have in your crew and the more time they spend on the job, the faster the construction process may go.

What tools do I need to build a steel building? Do I need welding equipment? What about drills and drill bits?

Because metal Quonset huts are prefabricated, there is typically no significant cutting, drilling or welding required.

Additional tools may be necessary for the installation of certain optional components or may help simplify or make construction go faster.

Equipment:

  • Safety tools like hard hats, work gloves, safety glasses, safety boots
  • Several lengths of heavy rope to lift arches into place
  • Ladders, scaffolding or scissor lift (recommendations depend on size of the project)

Tools:

  • Cordless drill driver, electric drill (⅜’’ minimum, variable speed), or pneumatic impact gun with corresponding drill bits
  • Tape measures (20’ or 50’ or 100’)
  • Laser level, plumbob and chalk line
  • Drift pins and S hooks (use in lifting arches into place)
Do I need to rent a crane in order to construct my building?

Typically, no. For most buildings the most that is needed is scaffolding or scissor lifts and enough people to safely raise the arch in place.

However, using a crane is recommended for a large building.

Does my building need a foundation?

For all projects, some type of foundation is required. Your foundation can be concrete or made from other materials like shipping containers based on your intended use.

SteelMaster’s engineer-stamped blueprints typically provide you with dimensions of the concrete footers and slab, plus the locations and specifications of anchor bolts and reinforcing steel for our foundation design.

The foundation design on the blueprints is a minimum design since foundation requirements vary from site to site and may require increases for the design.

How do I build endwalls if needed?

Endwalls are installed after all the arches have been erected and all of the bolts in the arches have been tightened.

The first step of installation of any style of endwall is to mark the centerline of the building on the foundation. Use this reference point to position the endwall panels.

When installing a solid endwall, the centerline will mark the position where the two longest endwall panels overlap. Be sure to tighten the bolts with your fingers only during this step.

Install these two panels first, and then install the remainder of the endwall panels working out towards the walls.

Once the panels are all in, you must go back and tighten all of the bolts with a drill to 10 to 12 foot pounds of torque.

How many people do I need to construct my building?

While you can do the construction of your panels on the ground by yourself, the speed of construction goes faster with more people giving a helping hand.

Additionally, the larger the building, the more assistance you’ll need to lift the arches of your steel building into place.

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