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The Four Factors Affecting Industrial Building Structural Steel Frame Costs

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As a business owner having a new custom industrial building constructed, it is important you understand the four factors that affect the costs associated with the building's structural steel frame. Since the steel frame structure is the most important and expensive part of the building process, understanding these factors can help you to better work with your building contractor to erect a building that meets your needs and your budget.

Cost Factor #1: Internal Floor Space

You may be surprised to learn that the internal floor space requirements for your new building will greatly affect the cost of the building's structural steel framing. For example, a building that requires few internal roof supports will be more expensive to build because it will require more substantial framing beams. In contrast, a building that has regularly spaced internal beam supports will be less expensive to have built.

Cost Factor #2: Design Complexity

The complexity of your new building's design directly impacts the cost for the structural steel framing. For example, a square or rectangular building with a simple design will always have a lower cost to frame than a building with more complex angles and curves.

Cost Factor #3: Site Location and Access

The cost of the structural steel frame for your company's new building is also dependent on the location and ease of access of your building site. For example, if your building is being built in a rural area that is located a long way from suppliers, then your costs will be higher. Also, if the access is limited to your job site by other businesses or non-existing roads, then it will result in extra costs to you for:

  • road creation
  • road maintenance
  • time delays in transit

Both restricted access and rural locations will lead to a lot of extra trucking charges for your heavy steel framing. 

Cost Factor #4: Raw Steel Market Cost

Just as with other metals, the price of a pound of steel is constantly in flux on the international metal market. In addition to this constant market price fluctuation, the price of steel is also affected by:

  • iron ore availability
  • recyclable steel availability
  • the quality of the steel produced

One way to help manage your project's budget is to use the average price for raw steel over the last six months when you talk about cost issues. This will help your cost estimates for raw materials to be more in line with the end cost than simply guessing or using a longer period of historical data.


Now that you have a better understanding of the factors affecting the cost of your company's new industrial building, you can work more effectively with your building contractor through this portion of your construction project. If you have additional questions about industrial steel building components, then you should speak with your licensed building contractor like one from Palm Springs Welding.