General Information on Metal Building Plans
If you require plans that are suitable for submission to your local building department for permits, we can help you. Obviously, it is impossible for us to stay abreast of all the municipalities in this country that regulate building requirements in their respective areas. However, we can still provide you with metal building plans that include all standard engineering calculations and specifications (often called “engineered plans”). Unlike what many companies offer, all concrete and foundational drawings and specifications are also included – not just the steel building itself.
In the event you do wish to have original engineered plans for your building, we have relationships with engineers who are licensed in forty-eight states, and familiar with the different buildings we offer.
In general, compliance with your local building codes is your responsibility.
Many of our customers do not choose to obtain permits, even though we always inform them that anything that is affixed to the ground normally requires a building permit.
At minimum, we suggest that you observe property setback regulations, so you do not erect the structure in a spot that violates local rules (and so might attract official attention and possible penalties).
Obtaining a permit after the fact is not much trouble if you properly anchor and assemble your building. Relocating the structure is an unnecessary hassle that can easily be avoided with a bit of due diligence at the start of your project.
In some cases, we’ve sold structures to out-of-state customers who have then gone to their local building departments and found that submitting just our assembly instructions was adequate for permitting purposes.
If you don’t plan to apply for a permit before building, it’s a very good idea to at least take photographs showing the depth of your concrete caissons, or footings and floor. Include a clearly-visible measuring tape in your shots, so measurements are well documented. You should also take photos of steel reinforcing bar (rebar) properly in place in your footings, before concrete is poured.
Visit our concrete / foundation information page for advice on what is recommended by engineers for our building and carport / canopy products.
Permitting and/or Design Review Fees
Some customers have had to pay in excess of $800 in municipal fees, for both design/plan checks and building permits. Others have said their costs were less than $100.00.
Cost of Original Engineered Plans
As mentioned earlier, we have working relationships with engineers familiar with our buildings, and licensed in 48 states. We’ll be happy to provide you with three sets of original plans, stamped and sealed by an engineer licensed in your state. There is a fee of $450.00 for carport structure plans, and $650.00 for most of our metal building kits.
Plans for custom or non-standard steel structures sometimes cost a bit more. For example, if your building site requires a stepped slab or footing due to irregular site conditions, engineered plans could run from $1200 to $2000. Your Absolute Steel representative will be able to narrow this cost down for you when you speak to him / her.
We are not in the business of selling plans for a profit. Our fees represent what we are charged for engineering services and signatures (which indicate the engineer’s assumption of liability for any inaccuracy of his/her calculations). We will always arrange to provide such plans, even if you find you need them after the structure is erected.
We have no desire to sell you plans that you won’t actually need.
Before ordering engineered plans, you need to check with your local building department and verify that they will allow you to put up your building on the spot you’ve chosen. Every Building Department or Planning and Zoning Department has certain rules about “accessory structures” – which is what they usually consider our smaller products to be.
Two very important items to ask about in order to confirm you’ll be allowed to build your structure:
1. Property setback requirements (how far away from your property boundary line a building must sit).
2. Required distance from other structures.
There’s one more point to check, while you’re talking with the building authorities: ask them for the design load requirement figures, for the type of building you’re planning to install. You’ll need these figures when ordering engineered plans. (If the authorities will not be requiring engineered plans, you can skip this step.)
Remember: It would be useless and a waste of your money to order engineered plans unless you know the local authorities will allow you to build!
Ordering Engineered Plans
Assuming you have checked out the above described items and your placement of the building complies with the regulations, you are ready to move forward with ordering your plans. Please fill out the Engineering Request Form online, or print a copy and fax it to us (480-768-1514) along with a hand drawn sketch of the floor plan you have in mind. Remember, you must furnish us with all the design loads information called for on the Engineering Request Form. We cannot order plans from our engineering associates without this information.
We will then provide you with a more detailed and accurately-scaled floor plan, as well as an invoice for your review. Absolute Steel will not order your engineered plans from our engineering associates until your invoice has been paid in full.
Please Note: Your local authorities might only require shop drawings, or copies of engineered plans (plans with no original signature or seal, and perhaps not even prepared by an engineer licensed in your state). If we have such drawings or plans in our archives (as we often do) we will send them to you free of charge.