Why Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings are Easily Expandable

As with many major purchases, the metal building that you may purchase is largely based on two factors – need and price. Of course aesthetics comes into play – providing your budget will allow it.

Your need for a metal building may be based on the required capacity of the operation you wish to house in the facility… But what if your needs grow and you require an expansion with more space?

With pre-engineered metal buildings you have a couple of options for economical expansion. Perhaps it makes sense to increase the width of your metal building. Or does it make sense to extend the length of the facility?

Extending the Width

To increase the width of your pre-eng building you would add on what is called a lean-to. This type of steel building expansion allows you to continue the run of your roof-line out to add an extra bay or even multiple bays.

The main framing of your addition expansion frequently attaches to the main frames of your current building. In this case the siding would be removed as well as some -or all - of the secondary framing (girts) to allow you access to your new space. You may opt to leave most of the siding material in place and only have doorways for access to your new space.

The main columns of your existing building must however be maintained. With some manufacturers and in some geological locations you must plan ahead with your main building for a possible expansion. This is because of the load-bearing capacity of the soil in your construction location and in some cases so that the manufacturer can design extra capacity into the columns.

If you are planning to add a multiple bay extension, you must ensure that your roof-line is high enough at the new outer wall to accommodate your planned activity.

If your metal building is much higher than your planned expansion area requires you can lower the roof-line of your new addition to suit.

I many cases with this type of expansion you can re-use the wall panels of your existing building side-wall on your new expanded side-wall. Of course new roofing and end-wall panels will be required.

Expanding Your Metal Building Lengthwise

It can be equally easy to expand your existing metal facility in length. In this case, to have the most economical length expansion you would need to have planned for this when you bought your original metal building.

The end-walls on most – if not all – base building pre-eng steel buildings are fabricated of post and beam construction (sometimes called stick-framing). This type of end-wall does not allow you to attach your new addition directly to the existing framing.

However if you had planned ahead (and paid a marginal add-on) for a load bearing frame end-wall, you could start directly with your next frame to add on a bay length. The number of bays that you can add is unlimited (except by your budget and space!).

The secondary framing would attached directly to your original expandable end-wall main frame and then to the first of your new expansion frames.

In this case your existing end-wall panels and some (or all) of the secondary framing can be re-used on your new expanded end-wall.

Expanding a Post-and-Beam End-wall

If you happen to have a post-and-beam end-wall in your existing facility you can still expand your pre-eng metal building lengthwise. It will require however that you provide new structural main framing right next to your existing end-wall.

Essentially you would be adding a new building – with two structurally framed end-walls to your existing facility. This would increase the cost of your expansion slightly but in the over-all scheme of things it wouldn’t be cost prohibitive.

In any case, expanding a pre-engineered metal building may not be as difficult or expensive as you might first think. If the need arises for more space, check out your options!


What to Do Next

· Check out the other articles relating to metal stud panelized building kits and residential building packages on our Metal Building Kits Articles Map