Texas Metal & Contracting

Steps to Successfully Construct a Pre-Engineered Metal Building

Silhouette of metal structure of large industrial building in construction site against sunset sky

Steps to Successfully Construct a Pre-Engineered Metal Building

Metal Construction

Constructing a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) can be an exciting and rewarding project. However, it requires careful planning and execution to ensure a successful outcome. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of erecting a PEMB while highlighting common mistakes to avoid along the way. By following these guidelines, you can streamline the construction process, save time and money, and achieve a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing metal building.

Step 1: Planning

Before embarking on any construction project, thorough planning is essential. Start by visualizing your ideal metal building and consider factors such as its purpose, size, design, and location on your property. Sketch your ideas on paper or use a 3D building design platform to bring your vision to life. Setting a budget is also crucial at this stage to ensure financial feasibility.

During the planning phase, you should also decide whether you will hire general contractors and erectors or handle some of the processes yourself. Assess your capabilities and preferences to make an informed decision that aligns with your project’s requirements.

Step 2: Engineering

Once you have a clear idea of your metal building, it’s time to consult with professionals for engineering and design. Most manufacturers have in-house engineers who can transform your sketches and ideas into a practical design. By utilizing pre-engineered parts, the overall cost of the project can be reduced while still incorporating your specific needs and preferences. Furthermore, the manufacturer will ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.

Step 3: Ordering

After finalizing the design and obtaining necessary approvals, you can proceed with placing an order with your chosen manufacturer. Typically, a deposit is required to secure the commitment. The manufacturer will then provide you with detailed erection diagrams and plans, allowing you to prepare the building site before the components arrive. It is important to coordinate with your general contractor or erector to ensure a smooth delivery process.

Step 4: Manufacturing

While you prepare the construction site, the manufacturer will be busy manufacturing the various components of your metal building. Some standardized parts may be taken from inventory, while others will be custom-made based on your design. It is essential to ensure that the manufacturing process aligns with the agreed-upon timeline, allowing for a seamless transition to the erection phase.

Step 5: Site Preparation

Before the actual erection of the metal building begins, the construction site needs to be properly prepared. This includes tasks such as grading, brush removal, excavation, and surveying. It is essential to follow the guidance of the foundation engineer to determine the appropriate type and size of the foundation required for your building. Adequate site preparation sets the stage for a smooth and successful construction process.

Step 6: Delivery

Coordinating the delivery of the metal building components is crucial to ensure that all materials arrive safely and in good condition. It is your responsibility, along with your general contractor or erector, to receive and inventory the delivered items. Any damaged materials or shortages should be promptly reported to the building supplier. If the construction process is not starting immediately, it is important to cover and protect the building materials per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7: Erection

The erection phase is where your metal building starts to take shape. If you have hired a general contractor or erector, it is important to be present for consultation and to clarify any questions that may arise. The process typically involves setting up the primary columns, placing the girts and purlins, and attaching the roof and wall sheeting. Adhering to the instructions and safety protocols provided by the manufacturer is crucial to ensure a safe and efficient construction process.

If you have opted for a DIY approach, it is essential to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, prioritize safety by using proper handling techniques and equipment. Thorough research and understanding of the construction process will go a long way in ensuring a successful DIY metal building erection.

Step 8: Construction

After the erection of the metal building is complete, you will have the building shell in place. Now it’s time to move on to the construction phase, where you can add interior ceilings and walls, skylights, windows, doors, HVAC and electrical systems, insulation, and rough plumbing. You can either hire a contractor for this phase or take on the task yourself. This stage allows you to customize the interior of your metal building to suit your specific needs.

Step 9: Finishing

To complete the structure, the finishing touches are added. This includes laying down flooring, painting ceilings and walls, installing external lighting and plumbing fixtures, and adding door and window trim, decking or steps, downspouts, and gutters. These final touches enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your metal building, making it ready for occupancy.

Step 10: Walkthrough and Inspections

Before fully utilizing your new metal building, it is important to go through various inspections to ensure compliance with local regulations. These inspections may occur at different stages of the construction process. Once all inspections have been successfully passed, a final inspection is scheduled, and a Certificate of Occupancy may be issued, granting permission to use the building. Conducting a personal walkthrough with your contractor to address any minor corrections or adjustments is also recommended.


Constructing a pre-engineered metal building requires careful planning, coordination, and execution. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article and avoiding common mistakes, you can achieve a successful and efficient construction project. Whether you choose to hire professionals or take a DIY approach, prioritizing safety, adherence to instructions, and attention to detail will ensure a structurally sound and visually appealing metal building that meets your specific needs and requirements. So, start planning your metal building project today and turn your vision into reality.

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