The Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Steel Construction


Putting a steel building together can be frazzling, especially to a neophyte builder. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it can be an enjoyable experience. 

Besides the actual construction of the steel building, you need to consider the preparation and purchasing procedures, as well as local laws that may apply to your do-it-yourself construction project.  

Building your own steel structure has both its benefits and downsides. But you can turn the drawback into an advantage once you practice the following steps: 

The Do’s of DIY Structural Building   

  • Do Prioritize Safety First

All you need to know about steel construction were the basic safety tips before you start your DIY steel construction. You’re probably don’t need to be reminded about this. But the construction workers hold one of the highest occupational risks. Construction companies have their own set of safety protocols, tools and equipment, but accidents can and may still happen. A DIY construction project builder needs to have the appropriate tools and knowledge for safety and accident avoidance.

  • Do Ask Professionals to Check the Soil

Because metal buildings are generally lighter compared to common construction materials, you don’t need to make deep ground excavations before you can start building the foundation. However, even before the digging begins, you should have the soil tested in order to determine whether it’s safe to build your steel structure in the area.   

The soil may either be hard or soft, and you should choose to erect your facility in hard soil to ensure it can support the structure. If your land is soft or is filled-in, make sure to have it compacted.    

  • Do Coordinate with Local Building Officials

Make sure to visit your local building officials to check for zoning, construction, and excavation, and other types of permits needed. If it’s your first time, ask how the procedures work, as they might have special considerations in special structures like do-it-yourself steel facilities. 

While a DIY steel building project takes only a few days to complete, you still need to err on the side of caution by making sure there are no future snags in your construction project.   

  • Do Your Due Diligence  

You may need to brush up on your skills in dealing with metal. While you’re not expected to be as good at the job as structural welders, it pays to know the basics. 

Before choosing a prefab steel company to supply your needs, do your homework and check the company’s background and unbiased customer reviews. It’s better if you have family members, friends, or neighbors who can attest to the services of a special steel manufacturing company. 

Also, check whether the company is facing disciplinary action, or worse, a lawsuit. When faced with these red flags, run for the hills and don’t transact with them.  

The Don’ts of DIY Structural Building   

  • Don’t Skip the Preparation Process

Site preparation is key to having a successful project, whether you’re planning a traditional construction or a steel building.  As earlier mentioned, you have to go through all the procedures needed, such as obtaining the proper permits, licenses, and authorization.   

Besides having the soil quality checked, also make sure that the worksite is cleared of litter and potential causes of accidents such as broken glasses, sharp objects, and other throwaways that can reduce your room for the parts and work area.    

  • Don’t Rush  

The cornerstone for a good steel structure is a strong foundation. Metal buildings need to fit the foundation perfectly so you have to do everything with precision. That being said, allow a great deal of time for your concrete foundation slab to cure before carrying a load. It typically takes one week or more before placing the load on it. 

Also, follow instructions properly.     

  • Don’t Make Changes 

Seasoned handymen who had building projects may be tempted to make some alterations to show their workmanship. As metal is highly malleable, some veteran builders may stretch the limits of steel by changing the actual design. While it’s a good idea to show your skills and make the project your own, this may not be a good idea when dealing with steel buildings.   

Do-it-yourself prefab kits are custom-made to perform their best when left unaltered. You can always contact the steel manufacturer for any issues or if you have problems fitting the pieces together.   

  • Don’t Buy a Steel Building D-I-Y Kit from Unreliable Providers

As with other purchases, make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable company. A steel building needs the expertise of an engineering professional to serve its purpose. Choose a contractor with a record of successful projects. Seek to visit their local office or contact them to ask as many questions as you can. Don’t hesitate to seek references and professional advice.    

The Bottom Line  

Do-it-yourself steel building construction may be quick and easy but always proceed with caution. Prepare the site properly, follow all instructions and make sure to look for providers who can walk you through the building process without hitches.