You want your metal building—and the company you buy it from—to be right for you. Right for your situation and budget. But buying a metal building can be tricky. Just a few mistakes can lead to more headaches and costs than you bargained for.
Avoid surprises by answering the most important questions long before you pick a particular model. Regardless of which company you buy your building from, use these three steps to make sure that—in the end—you’re completely satisfied.

Blane Hill

“Before buying they were quick to respond and answered all my questions. And even after it was done, they called me to make sure the contractor did a good job and that I was completely satisfied. It was simple, expedient, and they were friendly from beginning to end.” (Read More)

– Blane Hill, Patterson, GA



Knowing Your Basics

What are all of the ways I want to use my building?

This is different from what the building is—a shop, garage, tractor shed, restaurant, etc. Instead, how will you use the building? Many customers, for example, start with the goal of keeping equipment and/or vehicles out of the weather. Later, some discover they should have planned their space to also perform maintenance or repairs on that equipment and/or those vehicles. Other factors like the height of the building; the size, type and placement of doors; and insulation can also be affected by the specifics of the building’s end use.

If you take time to first consider all of the ways you’d like the building to serve you, you’ll be much more satisfied with the finished product.


Will my building require a permit?

Not all buildings will require a permit, but those that do will need to meet local zoning and building codes. Depending on where your building is placed, zoning laws may limit the building’s size, height, appearance or door configuration. The easiest way to know what limits your building might face is to look around you. If you see something in your area that looks similar to what you need, you’re unlikely to be denied based on zoning issues.

Whether you need to meet local building codes will be determined by how you plan to use the building. A building used for hay storage, for example, can simply be strong and durable, while a retail space must also be designed and engineered to meet codes. Location is another factor. In the state of Georgia, for example, buildings must be able to withstand wind loads from 90 to over 120 mph.

If your building must meet codes, you may be limited to the types of buildings designed to comply with them, especially if your building provider does not offer customizations. If they do. bear in mind that certain customizations can also require a sign-off from an engineer, which will add time and expense. Bottom line: Look for a provider who can help you balance your needs with code requirements in a way that’s both affordable and efficient.


Asking The Hard Questions

Do you make the buildings you sell?

Many companies are distributors or dealers that simply purchase a building from a manufacturer which they mark up and sell to the customer. Customers do receive a toll-free number to call if they encounter problems including storage of materials, damaged items, or fabrication errors. However, since the manufacturer sold to the dealer, they often won’t know the end customer. This can result in poor service and in some cases a failure to correct the problem.

You can avoid service issues like these by dealing with a provider that makes the buildings it sells. Or at least be sure your provider has in-house customer service, technical support, and engineering.


Can I see one of your finished buildings?

You can learn much more by walking through a completed building than you can from a photograph. Terms that may not be familiar to you like “eave height” or “ladder truss” will make much more sense when you can see them in context

Look for a building company that can walk you through completed structures to help you understand the differences between them and find the solution that works best for you.

Not sure what an “eave height” is? View popular terms and definitions here


What will be my total Cost?

Buying a building is a lot like buying a car. Some companies advertise a low base price that does not include all of the costs. Accessories (doors, windows, insulation, etc.), for example, can often be tacked on at the end of the transaction, making the cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars higher than expected. There are also other costs to consider including the foundation, pouring the concrete, installation, engineer stamps and county permit.

Even if you plan to save money by using a kit to install the building yourself, some kits do not include all of the components needed to install it. Instead, they include a list of the supplies you will need to find and purchase on your own.

Make sure to work out the full cost to erect your building—from start to finish—with your provider before making the final decision.

Choosing A Solution That’s Right For You

A little preparation and research can go a long way when choosing a metal building:

Think through what you want from your structure. Confirm which standards it will be required to meet. Ask the hard questions of your building provider to determine if they are the best fit.

If you take time to equip yourself, your process will be smooth and enjoyable. But most importantly, you’ll be much more likely to choose the building that’s right for you for years to come.

We at Atlas would love to be part of your journey in choosing the perfect metal building. Quality & service, trust, and a genuine willingness to help you get the best metal building for your buck…

That’s who we are.

But don’t just take our word for it. See what others have to say about why they choose Atlas over and over again.


Popular Industry Terms & Definitions

Wind speed – how fast wind gusts can get in your area. We take this into account when engineering a building so it won’t blow over.

Code Requirement – the range of engineering code required by county and state for erected buildings.

Open Shelter – a structure with a roof and open walls.

Pole Barn – a farm building with no foundation and with sides consisting of corrugated steel or aluminum panels supported by poles set in the ground typically at eight-foot intervals.

Enclosed Building – a structure with a complete roof and walls.

Piers – a platform supported on pillars or girders, used as a landing stage.

An Eave Strut is a required framing member of the roof system. It serves a dual purpose. It is double sloped which is necessary to secure the roof sheeting on the correct slope and the wall sheeting on a 90° angle.

A “Z” Purlin is a required roof framing member which runs perpendicular to the rafters the length of the structure which the roof sheeting is secured. They are spaced about 4′ ( + or – ) from the Eave Struts up to the peak.

A roof gusset brace is used to strengthen the connection between the column post and the rafter or can be used to reduce the unbraced length between the rafters when installed from the rafter bottom chord or flange up to the roof purlin. It is usually installed on a 30° to 45° angle.
These are not used on every Series and not necessary for every application. They add to the structural rigidity and are used when necessary.

An eave height is the measure from the bottom of the splash plank, to the intersection of the underside of the roofing at the outside edge of the sidewall columns.

Combo – a partially closed/partially open shelter

Roof Pitch – the measure of the steepness of a roof. For example, a 1:12 pitch means for every 1 inch travelled vertically you also travel 12 inches horizontally

Slab – a large, thick, flat piece of concrete, typically rectangular

Erection – the action of erecting a structure or object.

live – the weight of people or goods in a building
dead – the intrinsic weight of a structure, excluding the weight of and extra add-ons
collateral – the weight on the inside of the building pulling down, such as a sprinkler system, HVAC (heating and air conditioning), lighting, drop ceiling, speaker systems, etc
snow – the weight on the top of the roof pushing down
wind – the force on a structure arising from the impact of wind on it

A Warren Truss is a signature style used in the Residential Industry which is pre-assembled. We use the term “modified” to indicate is specific to our structure and also is not pre-assembled or welded as is the “Admiral Series”. This makes for easier handling and more economical shipping. This modified rafter is put together on site.
warren truss

Ladder style truss
ladder style truss