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Seven Things You Need to Know about Metal Building Foundations

Why Pre-engineered Steel Building Foundations Demand Precision

Precision and strength are especially important for metal building foundations.  A sloppy or inadequate concrete foundation seriously weakens the strength and durability of your pre-engineered metal building.

Icon depicting the importance of precision for metal building foundationsPeruse these seven foundation tips for successful steel building construction…

#1: Precision Equals Quality Framing

Prefabricated steel buildings promise precision.  Every part of the steel building kit is designed, engineered, and fabricated to exacting tolerances.

Consequently, a quality-made steel building does not allow you to “fudge” the framing to fit a haphazard or out-of-square foundation.

#2: Precision Also Equals a Quality Foundation

Every foundation also needs to be designed, engineered, and poured with the same commitment to quality and precision as the steel framing that rests on it.  The concrete footing and the building kit must work in tandem.

Photo shows a curing metal building foundation with anchor bolts embedded in the concrete.A well-designed and executed foundation should:

  • Match the steel building system exactly. All steel buildings are not the same.  One foundation does not fit all.
  • Meticulously insert steel anchor bolts in the wet concrete precisely as designated on the plan supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Meet all your local building codes.
  • Be designed specifically for your soil and weather conditions.
  • Have crisp, perfectly square corners.
  • Contain sufficient concrete to support not only the building, but also the weight of its perceived contents.

#3:  A Quality Concrete Contractor is Worth the Cost

Don’t try to cut corners on your concrete work.  Hire the best contractor you can find.

Look for a concrete contractor experienced with pre-engineered metal buildings.

Investigate several concrete businesses.  Ask for references.  Are they licensed?  Are they fully insured?  Do they have a sterling reputation?  How does the Better Business Bureau rate them?

#4:  Metal Building Foundations Types

Photo of a man smoothing the concrete on a metal building foundation.Most steel buildings rest on solid slabs.  However, other traditional footing styles work with steel buildings, too.

For example, you may prefer perimeter footings or piers for livestock and covered horse riding arenas with dirt floors.

#5. Don’t Forget Your Permit

Before you begin any construction, obtain your building permits.  Staying compliant with local building codes avoids later construction nightmares.

#6. Lay Your Groundwork

Before your foundation work begins, prepare the building site.

Your footing must rest on a solid and level foundation bed.  Unless you have excavation experience, hire a professional, licensed excavation contractor— especially for commercial and industrial projects.

#7. Allow the Concrete to Set

Do not rush to erect your steel framing.  Be sure your foundation is thoroughly dried before allowing construction to begin.

Curing cement takes longer than most people think— especially on larger projects with thicker concrete footings.  Weather, temperature, and ventilation all play a part in the concrete drying process.

If time is a critical factor, consult with your concrete contractor.  Chemical additions made to the concrete mix promote faster curing of the foundation.


Never compromise on metal building foundations!  The success of your construction project literally rests on your building’s foundation.


RHINO: Foundationally Secure

At RHINO Steel Building Systems, we have built our business on a firm foundation of high-quality metal buildings and congenial, expert customer service.  After over 20 years in operation, that formula has proven highly successful.  Today, thousands of RHINO steel buildings now proudly stand all across North America.

You can rely on RHINO’s vast construction know-how, as well as our premiere prefab building packages.

Let our experienced specialists assist you.  They will gladly answer all your questions about metal building foundations— and offer handy tips that bring your project in on time and on budget.

Is this your first building project?  Trust our experts to help you avoid the foundation pitfalls faced by first-time building buyers.

Make your next building project a RHINO metal building.  Contact RHINO today at 940.383.9566.