Before you design your building, review the steel building requirements with your local code authority. Most counties and city governments have codes and specifications for construction in their areas. Also, check with any local neighborhood associations that may have restrictions or guidelines concerning steel buildings.
Now it's time to start designing. Tell us what your requirements are, and we’ll help you design a structure that meets them, both functionally and aesthetically. Here are several subjects that you need to understand before beginning design work:
Width & Length - In determining the size of building you need, think carefully about what you're going to use it for. Mueller buildings can accommodate just about any purpose, from a small workshop to a large storage building to an actual home. We can easily accommodate anything up to 120’ wide and 400’ in length. If your project requirements are larger than this, your Mueller sales representative will assist you.
Height - In steel buildings, the term “eave” height is used to determine how tall a building will be. This doesn't mean clearance inside the building, but simply the height of the outside wall. Determine how much clearance is required inside your new building and how tall you want your door to be. A general rule of thumb is that the building height needs to be two feet higher than your door requirements. See the "framed openings" section below.
Roof Slope -The roof slope, or pitch, determines how steep the angle of the roof is. This measurement is given in terms of rise over run. For example, a 1:12 roof pitch would rise 1" for every 12" of width. Say you have a 24’ wide building with the peak of the building in the center. The roof is going to “run” for 12’ before reaching the peak. A 1:12 roof pitch would rise one foot, so the peak would be one foot higher than the eave of the building. A 2:12 pitch would rise two feet, etc. If you need extra height in the center of your building, we can easily accommodate pitches up to 4:12.
Framed Openings - Large doors require us to frame the openings. This involves structural changes in the building, so it's important that we know the exact location and measurements of the openings. Typically, a framed opening needs to be 2’ shorter than the building height to allow for door mechanisms to work properly. For example, if your building requires a 10’ roll-up door, your building height will need to be at least 12’. The bulk of the door itself is housed in the space about the door header when opened. The door jambs (side door supports) need to remain 2’ away from all columns.
Another factor affecting framed openings is wind bracing. This is explained in the building engineering section, but you need to know that at certain places along the wall of the building, cable bracing will be inserted to strengthen the structure. This bracing will prevent you from putting a framed opening in certain locations. There are alternatives that will allow you to place a framed opening just about anywhere, but they are much more costly compared to the cable bracing.