Metal Purlins and the Costs of Steel Buildings 101

Steel is extremely durable, steel is often used to denote something firm and strong. Using steel is the best option for your building for safety and quality. If you know already that you want a quote for roll formed c or z metal purlins, click here.

Buildings made of steel are typical in many sectors of the US industry and have been for decades, including farm structures, manufacturing facilities, storage buildings as well as many other industries that are beginning to adapt construction of purlins, also know as girts. These buildings are durable, they need little maintenance, and can be constructed quickly.

How much does a steel structure costs? The price revolves around many factors such as the size and thickness of the metal used to make the purlins, current market prices for the land, and cost of labor, permits and other materials. When looking at the cost to manufacture steel studs and beams, most likely from galvanized steel it’s cost is built into the current price of a steel coil, the tooling that will need to pre-punch the and roll the flat steel into a custom shaped metal purlin, not to mention transportation costs. All of these factors and more impact the cost of a steel building, so let’s get deeper into what costs are there to build a steel structure.

The Average Price of Metal Purlins and ‘Pre-engineered’ Metal Purlins.

Most people and companies go with pre-engineered steel buildings when buying. Why? Mainly the price that they get the steel studs for also referred to as c purlins, zee purlins, and girts. Pre-engineered buildings are not inexpensive. Obviously, there are many advantages that we will discuss, but let’s talk just about calculating the cost to assemble a metal building once you find a source for the metal purlins.

According to, pre-engineered steel buildings average cost of $18 per Sq ft. Let’s put this steel building cost into another perspective. For example, you need a 30×50 workshop. So you want it to be an excellent workshop, not some wooden shed that is bound to crumble in five years time. Well, you’d have to set aside $16k for your new building. Do you need a large 60×80 insulated steel building? Fine, that would be around $41k.

This doesn’t count the money you will spend to get the site ready for the steel. You’ll have to research the best method to deliver the material. It is essential to work with a manufacturer or a supplier that is well known within the industry for their manufacturing, quality, packaging and shipping methods. All of this will affect the price of the metal purlins.

Metal Purlins

Common presumption and truths about metal purlins

An average person would think that the price of metal buildings depends on building size, but that is not the entire truth. Pricing a steel building isn’t easy, and it’s essential for you to see how it will all “come together.” Below you’ll find all the critical factors that have a role when it comes to metal buildings prices.

The design

It’s plain and simple: if you design a complex building, there is going to be a lot of steel being used. The design of your building directly affects price, a simple building such as a shed, workshop or a garage requires no architecture or detailed plans On the other hand, if you want something more substantial, engineers will have to work to develop a structural engineering plan to satisfy the needs of the user but also the community and when the city is involved, we all know that the price will only go up. These types of construction companies will have experience in large, heavy-duty buildings and develop plans so a project can be built within budget and on time.

Only detailed engineering can plan for a building such a structure to withstand strong winds and potential ground movements, not to mention the day to day industrial usage. These plans are what affect the cost of the building more than anything else, the labor costs are pretty stable from year to year, but the building site, environmental conditions, and design is what will impact the value of the building.

The price of metal purlins

Bear in mind that at any time, there are a number of factors that impact the cost of steel.

  • Economies of Scale
  • Dimensions
  • Potential Wind load
  • Seismic Considerations
  • Potential Snow Load

You have to be aware of current steel crisis such as a shortage or a glut in the market, with a glut on metal purlin would be great for you! There may be trade barriers that affect the price of steel coil, the labor to roll form and cut them into girts as well as fuel costs to transport them to your job site. Keep in mind that steel is always a price roller coaster for these and many other reasons. some political some market related but always moving. Here is a link to the current hot rolled steel coil prices per 40,000 pounds:

Metal Purlins
Economies of Scale

Steel building prices also depend on an important factor, the price per square foot typically decreases at the 5,000 Sq. ft. threshold. You can then expect a price break about when the building is larger than 10,000 Sq ft. Use this as a rule of thumb when you begin to make plans to expand or buy larger amounts of steel for future expansions if you have the funding and space to store the metal. Any type of metal studs – c purlins, zee purlins, or girts will not take up to much space to store and never go bad!

Let’s take a look at the most critical factors that affect the size, design and ultimately the steel building cost and this brings me to the design and how significant is its role?


Of course, these variables first come to mind when someone is talking about design. You have to take into account the width, height, roof pitch and length because these have a huge impact on the amount of steel you’ll need to buy. If you increase the width of your building, the price will be affected more than what you’d expect when you extend the length of the building.

Wind Load

Depending on the location the wind load is an important consideration for your new building. Obviously, every area is a story of its own, and every area has different wind ratings. Welding helps tremendously with the strength of a structure. For example, windy places such as Florida have higher wind ratings. Opposite of a state like Florida, states with lower wind ratings, there will not be a need to invest in a steel building that will sustain hurricane cane-like winds and this, of course, affects the cost. If you are in high wind areas, the stronger you need it to be, the more prepared you have to be for additional costs.

Seismic Conditions

Do you know what a seismic hazard is? It is the probability of an earthquake occurrence in a specific area within a particular window of time. Of course, these seismic ratings also vary according to the amount of seismic activity. And that’s something that is different for each and every location. In locations where these activities are numerous, you’ll need to invest more money in material costs. It is a toll that needs to be paid.

Open Areas

If you leave a side of the building open to the environment, you don’t get the same protection against up-drafts you would get if your premise were closed. Therefore, the bigger the wind load, the more expensive the metal girts and purlins will be.

Snow Load

Again, just like there are different wind ratings, there are different snow ratings. It’s not going to snow in Florida as it does in Alaska. If it snows heavily in your designated area, you need to design around this factor, again strong metal purlins will be needed.

One step ahead of the price? Is it possible?

People make a living out of predicting the trend of the prices of steel, and that’s really difficult, just watching the prices change on a daily basis makes a person’s head want to explode! Every company you contact has to consider the cost of steel for that whole month. That’s the only way they can give you an accurate price for your new building. Every steel manufacturer knows very well that a rate in one month can change quickly in the next. You can never know what the demand for steel will look like in 15 days time. Even though this material widely watched and used all over the world, experts always seem to fail at predicting its price fluctuations over a long period of time. Many have a hard time predicting the price changes over the next 24 hours! When the demand is low, the price falls, and if the market demand is high, the rate of the metal will be high. It’s up to you to determine when the time is right to make a move. Remember, one-third of your building’s cost is determined by world affairs which affect the price of steel that you need. You have to be extra smart.

Fuel plays a role

Yeah, you might be wondering how so? A fact it is, the cost of fuel plays a big part in determining how much you pay for your steel purlins. Fuel is a commodity and it’s essential in the entire transportation process of the steel to the rollforming company to the end user (you). Hot roll steel, cold roll steel, galvanized steel, it’s all heavy! Fortunately, fuel prices don’t change like steel prices, but they can move around from time to time. So fuel prices tend to be stable, it’s the transportation that spikes up the costs. Keep in mind when looking for a wall stud supplier, be smart and look into where your manufacturer is, and how far your steel has to travel to get to your job site. The closer the manufacturer is to you, the less fuel costs.


You need trained workers to make things happen at your site. Of course, the availability of labor varies from area to an area. Regions where there is a higher demand, have workers that expect to be paid heftier wages. If you want to secure the best workers, you have to pay the higher rate and it’s worth it in the end. On the other hand, remote parts of the country have lower demands, and the landscape is different there. You may be forced to bring in laborers from other parts of the country if there’s no one available near your site. You might have to deal with incompetent workers. This all contributes to the final cost of your building. Some workers want living accommodations, and some require a premium for traveling. If you can work out good terms, you can save your budget. If not, put some cash aside for those rainy days. Good labor doesn’t come cheap. You don’t want inexperienced and careless workers on your site.

Purchasing power

You know how you get a better price if you buy more? If you have a Costco or Sams Club membership, you buy more you save more. The chances are that you’ll get a better price if you buy in bulk – that’s how you can also reduce the price of steel. Go and buy it in quantity if you have access to the cash. Look for companies that offer a discount when buying in quantities of hundreds or thousands of metal purlins. Requesting a tiered quote like this will clearly show the discount. the higher the quantity the better pricer per part you’ll get. The more parts the cheaper the coil of steel could be and the roll former will be able to pass this saving along to you. You can also as the roll forming company if they offer early payment options? Like Net 10 days 2% off the invoice? It never hurts to ask.


Whatever you add, whatever custom feature you want to have on your building, you have to pay more to get it. Add-ons affect costs, in most cases. Some construction companies, however, won’t charge for various add-ons and include the add-ons in the base price or a custom section of the quote for the metal building. These custom features can make the building more user-friendly, comfortable and cost-efficient. Let’s take a look at a few examples.


The majority of insulation in buildings is for thermal purposes, as well as acoustic insulation, fire insulation and impact insulation (for example, there are vibrations caused by industrial applications). You can probably guess that insulation is extremely costly. If you have to maintain a steady temperature in the building, it would be impossible without good insulation and insulation pays itself off over time. And by using metal purlins you’ll easily be able to install insulation although it comes with a price tag so be prepared.

Solar panels

Solar panels pay for themselves over some time, much like insulation does, we use solar panels to collect energy from the sun and transform it into usable energy inside. Any excess electricity you have you can sell back to the grid, or you can use it to reduce your peak hours, thus reducing your electric bill. able to other building, Its initial installation is not cheap, but it’s terrific to see a lower electric bill, especially when there is volatile energy in the marketplace. Solar will produce free, warm water and with newer battery technology you can store it for longer periods of time. oh and don’t forget the free warm water solar energy produces!

Functional add-ons

This category includes simple additions that improve the usability of your new building. For example, energy-efficient windows are great add-ons, vehicle doors, walk doors, skylights, etc. The list doesn’t end there, but these are some of the more popular ones.

Land factor

Lastly, it is essential to think about the site location. People turn to grading when they want to reshape the surface of the land to the desired slope they need, mostly to handle the drainage in a better way, and for the foundation and possible basement. Most sites’ the surface is uneven and if you have a lot of grading, you’ll be paying more. Grading controls run-off and soil erosion while creating a suitable site for your new metal building.

Consequently, the location impacts the equipment and labor needed for grading. The more complex the job, the pricier it will get. If there are steep grades, they need to be terraced to create a hard, flat surface which in turn requires more hours and more expensive earth moving equipment.

The Conclusion for Metal Purlins

As you can see, there are numerous factors that will impact the price of your new steel building. Choose the right construction company and the right welding equipment. There are pre-engineered materials that use zee purlins, c purlin, that cost a bit more but have clear benefits; there is the steel price factor, there is the labor factor. The list isn’t short at all. Matters from all around the world can have an impact on your budget. Overlooking some of these factors can be a grave mistake that will set you back a good penny or two! Everything needs to be taken into account and it is important to be economical when it matters the most. Be smart, take everything into account and everything will work out. The more you know, the less likely you have a costly mistake. Click here for your quote for metal wall studs.