What are the Average Steel Building Prices in 2021? | Checkatrade
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Steel building prices

A steel frame building is resilient, sturdy and built to last. They may be a serious investment, but one that won’t disappoint when the project is complete. Steel frame buildings can be difficult to construct and require special tools and machinery. Therefore, most people contact a professional tradesperson for a quote before beginning a build. This guide explores everything you need to know on steel frame building prices, including steel cost per ton.

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Steel frame buildings prices

Cost provided itemUnitAverage cost
Steel building constructionPer m2£200-300
Steel house (complete)Per m2£1250
Steel frame building + composite cladding Per m2£250-350

Although timber frames remain the most commonly used material in home building, steel frames have become a popular choice for buildings that require a robust foundation.  Steel framed houses further benefit from the precision and speed of off-site construction.

The steel frame building cost isn’t massively different to a normal/traditional build but the frame can be erected considerably quicker than a normal blockwork frame be erected.  On average, steel frame building prices will range between £250-£350 per m2. This price usually covers the cost for a specialist to erect the frame with cladding but excludes the cost of groundwork.

Factors that influence steel building prices

Steel frame buildings are complex. Plus, steel is a specialised material. As such, steel building prices usually depend on how busy suppliers are at the time. Also, because steel buildings are quite difficult to construct, factors such as the size of the building, the shipping costs and the size of the team required will influence the final quote. Steel portal frame buildings costs will also vary depending on the location of the supplier, with costs in the South East and London, in particular, skewing higher.

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steel frame buildings prices

Structural steel cost per ton

Structural steel in the UK has seen an increase in price per ton recently, with the average price at around £700 per ton. If you’re looking to source steel by the ton, we recommend speaking to your local steel suppliers for accurate costs in your area.

They will also be able to provide you with fabricated steel cost per ton.

Stainless steel price per ton

Scrap metal prices for stainless steel are around £0.61 to £0.92 per kilo, which equates to roughly £620 to £934 per ton. As with an large scale material costs, it’s always worth speaking to your local stainless steel suppliers for them to provide you with accurate quotes of the price per ton.

Cost of carbon steel

Carbon steel, as the name would suggest, has a higher carbon content than regular steel. This makes it stronger, but also harder to work with and more prone to rust and corrosion. To find out the cost of carbon steel, speak to your local steel merchants.


Is steel frame more affordable than timber frame?

No – in fact, a timber frame will nearly always be more affordable than a steel frame. Since steel is the more heavyweight and durable of the two, the construction process is much more labour intensive. The additional work required for construction will push the steel frame building cost up.

What is more robust? Timber or steel?

Steel frames incur considerable costs due to the weight of steel and the volatility of prices in the market. The return on investment with steel is a more durable building – be it your own home, a garage, an outdoor garden room or a commercial building to be used in your business. What’s more, unlike timber, steel doesn’t run the risk of damage from ants and termites.

It’s worth noting, however, that steel is not totally immune to weather damage. In coastal areas where heavy winds and rain are a regular occurrence, steel buildings can be susceptible to rust.

Can I build a steel frame building on my own?

Due to the nature of the materials required for a build, you would require heavy-grade machinery to attempt any steel frame build on your own. We recommended either utilising the skills of subcontractors or hiring a team of professional tradespeople to complete a steel frame build. Also, always ensure that your architect is aware that steel is to be used so that the design can be customised around this.

It’s also important to ensure that your steel frame contractor sets their price to last as long as required. Steel often comes with a timeframe for pricing that states ‘Quote valid for xx days’. This is because steel prices fluctuate considerably. Timber frame, on the other hand, rarely moves as a price and quotes likely to be valid for up to six months or longer.

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