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Steel buildings offer strength, durability, eco- and econ-friendly options for your home, office, storage and workshops… only to name a few benefits on the matter!  You may as well finish the interior to your liking while you’re at it and simply enjoy living out the purpose for which you intended it for.

Structural Choices Before Building Purchase

When you know for sure that you will be finishing the interior, say with plywood or drywall sheets, you will want to order your rigid mainframes to be straight columns, rather than the less expensive tapered.  Tapered columns are wide at the eave height, and taper narrower to meet the foundation.  These offer more foot space plus cost less.  But that won’t work for interior wall sheeting.

Most metal building brokers with integrity will assume the most cost-efficient tapered columns as the default, unless you request, “Straight columns, please, for I intend to apply interior wall finishes!”  Be sure to thank your broker for being considerate of your budget.

“Of course, if you buy your steel building wholesale,” reminds John Barber, owner of Factory Steel Overstock, “the public will always get more for less.”  Be sure to come to the call educated, and communicate exactly what you want to your broker so that they know how to guide the purchase order.”

Applying ‘hat channel’ to the secondary supports, called girts, allows you to screw in the interior wall surfaces.  A tapered column, however, would result in walls slanted inward at the floor.  Now, unless you’re building a fun-house…

Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

Did I mention you will need to insulate your steel building structure?  Metal is highly conducive to heat.  It will release your heated interior space to the out of doors–poor energy efficiency on winter days–as well as bake your innards on hot summer days.  And we all know that when warm air touches a cool metal surface, such as humidity inside on a cool day outside, or humidity inside while the AC is running… condensation forms.  (By the way, if you’re breathing, there is humidity in the air.)  Water next to finished interior finishes not only invites rusting but decomposes your beautiful interior construction choices.  That said, INSULATE…

Protective Finishes and Primers

In addition to insulation, be sure to choose flame retardant primers and paints for your interior surfaces.  Check with your local building department regarding codes and requirements.  You definitely want peace of mind for the long living hours you will be dedicated to your new steel building.  I can’t say enough on this subject…

Interior Wall Sheeting Choices

Whether you are choosing to install drywall or plywood, be sure that your bottom edges are kept clear of the floor.  You won’t want any future spills to be wicked up into the walls and cause damage.  Apply the appropriate metal channels to affix your chosen material too.  ¾” tongue-in-groove plywood offers a sturdier option than drywall.  Be sure it’s flame-retardant primed to meet fire codes.  This option has greater tolerance to wear and tear, plus you are not searching high and low for a wall stud to hang your favorite picture, as you may be with drywall.  When you weigh out the price comparison, in addition to lower-maintenance over the years, it’s not far off from the less expensive drywall; remember you will need the necessary 2×4’s, taping, etc. required for drywall install.  You may want your interior design finishes to be as durable as the steel building housing it all.  Enjoy!

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