Homes in the USA are traditionally built from wood, but metal homes are becoming increasingly popular, and they represent a good option for people looking for a stylish property that can be built quickly and on a budget.
Here we will look at the types of metal homes available, how much they cost, and what other factors will affect costs.
In This Article
History of Metal Building Homes
Metal buildings were first built back in the late 1700s in England as an alternative to building factories made from wood because these were prone to catching fire and being burnt down.
Metal continued to be used as the structure for buildings throughout the 1800s, but it was an expensive material that was not easy to work with until rolled iron beams were invented, which heralded the beginning of metal becoming a staple material in architecture and construction.
The first structure built using rolled iron was completed in 1859, and this was the Cooper Union Building in New York City. The development of the modern steel industry soon followed; after that, pre-made metal buildings became much more prevalent.
Pre-engineered steel buildings could be constructed extremely quickly, and as such, they became enormously popular during World War Two for building aircraft hangars and Quonset Hut homes.
Today, thanks to the increasing price of lumber, metal has once become a trendy material to build structures with, most notably residential homes, and barndominiums.
Pros and Cons of Metal Homes
Metal homes offer plenty of advantages, but you should also consider the potential disadvantages when embarking on a project as significant as building a new home. Here we will look at the pros and cons in detail.
Metal homes are most commonly made of steel, which is an exceptionally strong and sturdy material. It will withstand even the most extreme weather conditions and is, therefore, a good choice, especially in regions that are known to experience heavy snow or severe winds.
Many types of metal structures are customizable, but this is not always the case. If you are happy to pay a premium, then you can make a metal home in any shape and layout you like, but for the more budget-friendly prefabricated metal homes, you will not be able to alter the design.
Metal homes come in a huge variety of styles. You can find metal homes that mimic the look of traditional country cottages or ones that have a modern and industrial style. Some types of metal homes base their look around a farm barn, or you could create a futuristic style if you wish.
The majority of metal home manufacturers offer a long period of warranty as standard. For most reputable companies, this will be a 20-year warranty. This gives the homeowner peace of mind that any issues that occur will be covered for an entire two decades.
Metal homes can offer a very affordable option compared with traditional building methods. This is most certainly the case compared with brick build structures. For the best prices, choose a prefabricated metal home.
One of the main benefits of a metal home is how quickly it can be built. For wooden structures or brick-built homes, you can expect the construction process to take at least several months, whereas a metal home can be built in just 2 or 3 weeks.
This is because it is completely manufactured in a factory and then will need to just be fixed together on site. The fact that metal is much more lightweight than timber means it is easier to work with during building, and therefore construction is quicker as a result.
Most metal home builders offer environmentally-friendly materials to suit the eco-conscious consumer.
Metal homes are known for having excellent insulation levels. This means heating bills in cold months will be reduced, and cooling bills during hot months will also be less.
A well-insulated home will help you to feel more comfortable throughout the year and reduce power wastage.
Metal homes are not fireproof, but they are certainly a lot more resistant to fire compared with wooden structures. This makes them an ideal choice if you live in a region commonly affected by forest fires or you are worried about your home catching fire.
Specialist builders required
As metal homes are a relatively new way of building, this means that there aren’t as many builders experienced in this type of construction.
You may get lucky and find a local, reputable team of builders to construct your metal home, or you may have to go further afield to find builders who are able to complete your project.
Some people who have built metal homes have found that the planning process takes longer compared with building a home from more standard materials.
This could be because local authorities do not have as much experience with the rules and regulations of metal homes.
In humid climates, the metal structure of your home can corrode and lead to rust. This can also be a problem in areas that experience heavy rainfall or snowfall.
You can protect your building from corrosion by applying a special sealer, but this process will need to be repeated every few years, making metal homes quite a high-maintenance option.
Cost of Building a Metal Home
In the USA, the current cost of building a metal home can vary hugely, just like the cost of building any other type of home.
The cost of building a property will be affected by the price of land in your region, the local cost of materials, the cost of builders, as well as the size of building you opt for, and any additional extras you wish to have included. Here we will look at average prices for this type of project.
The total cost of building a metal home can be anywhere between $73,000 and $228,000, with the average of these numbers coming out at around $150,000.
While this is by no means a small number, it is quite low compared with other types of home building prices. Metal homes also represent a good investment because as metal is more durable and stronger than wood, metal homes are expected to last longer than wooden homes.
Metal Home Kit
The price of a metal home kit can be as low as $20,000, but it will typically not be any more than $90,000. This will vary hugely depending on the supplier you choose, the design you opt for, and the size of the building.
If your plot currently has a building on it or trees growing on it, then you will need to pay to get it cleared and leveled.
This could cost anywhere between $1000 and $4500, depending on the size of the plot and the extent of the clearing that needs to be completed. If you have bought a plot of land that is already cleared, then you have just saved yourself a chunk of money.
The delivery of your metal kit house is not usually included in the price. Delivery can range from $5000 to $20,000, with this amount typically being lower if you live closer to the place where the kit is manufactured.
The less distance the kit has to travel, the cheaper the delivery will be, so it’s worth seeking out local metal home manufacturers.
The assembly of your kit home can vary between $20,000 and $50,000. The price will depend on how complex your build is because the longer a project takes, the more builders will charge.
An open-plan metal home will likely cost less to construct because it won’t require the assembly of lots of internal walls. Be sure to get a quote from several building companies to get the best deal and select a trustworthy team.
Your metal home will need to be built on a foundation, which could be a concrete slab or another type of foundation. Depending on the size and the type you choose, this will cost between $4000 and $12,000.
The installation of pipework to ensure you have running water and a usable toilet in your new home is essential. This can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000.
To save on energy costs, use the best insulation you can afford. This can cost between $1000 and $2500.
Depending on the type of waste you choose, this can be a significant cost. Expect a bill of between $2000 and $10,000.
HVAC & Electrics
You will have a choice of a range of options here, which can cost anywhere between $3000 and $16,000.
You may or may not want to install siding on your metal home. If you do, this can cost between $6000 and $16,000.
Many prefabricated metal homes will include a roof. If yours doesn’t, add an extra $5000 to $10,000.