What do you do if you need additional room in your house and already have a metal building standing? You retrofit it into a house! And metal carports retrofitted into metal building homes are gaining popularity. Indeed, metal buildings are no more confined to agricultural, industrial, and garage purposes. The residential sector is increasingly considering it a lucrative way to build homes. Because they are affordable, weather-resistant, and can be made into notable homes.
After retrofitting into a house, Metal garages are an excellent idea because it provides you with extra living space, increase your property resale value, and you can earn more money by putting the additional room on rent!
But the big question is, how to turn a metal garage into a house?
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How To Turn a Metal Garage into A House?
Turning a monotonous, vacant garage into a livable space makes for a perfect solution. But how you do that is the challenging part. Below are a few ideas to evolve your storage space into a house.
Ensure the Metal Building Is In The Right Zone
Before construction, the first step is checking whether the to-be living area is built in a residential or commercial zone. This will ensure you do not face any hassles while procuring the building permit.
Also, ensure the room would receive an adequate amount of sunlight.
Preparing the Foundation
The next step is figuring out the type of foundation you would need. The foundation you choose depends on your property’s area and the soil around that area.
Plan Energy Efficiency
Adequate planning for insulation, heating and cooling systems, and energy efficiency would go a long way in keeping the metal building sturdy for the years to come. Thus, adequate insulation and energy efficiency planning should be at the forefront of your building plans.
Begin with The Roof
Beginning with the roof, check if your existing metal carport is sturdy enough to be converted into a liveable space. If not, consider buying a new one.
Most carports come with a warranty of 20 years or more, and with proper maintenance, they can last you even longer. You just have to get the metal carports roofs cleaned from time-to-time.
A key point to remember here is that load calculation will yield different results than when used as a carport because it is the question of human life now. You can take professional advice here.
Using Adequate Insulation and Framing
The next step is to begin framing the ceiling and the interior walls of the carport. Next, work on insulation by insulating the structure properly with spray foam. Adequate insulation will keep the cabin cozy and energy efficiency and even reduce the noise levels inside it!
Ensure Adequate Lighting & Ventilation
Keeping your brand-new metal building homes airy and bright will go a long way. It will serve anybody who uses it much better.
Thus, apply appropriate lighting techniques like skylight and windows wherever possible. This will provide you with natural light saving you some on electricity bills too!
Also, taking care of appropriate ventilation will keep the metal building airy and keep you colder in the summers.
Include Electricity and Plumbing Plans as Priority
Adding a toilet or kitchen to your metal buildings can substantially increase your property value and utility as a rented house.
Thus, if you plan to add a toilet or sink to your metal building, prepare your plumbing before building your steel building. The same goes for electricity work. Plan your charging ports and fixtures and get the plan approved by an electrician.
Get Done with The Finishing Touches
Now that your structure is almost complete finish it off by adding extra insulation between you and the walls. This step will ensure better soundproofing so that the rain pattering on your steel building will not disturb you as much.
These were some of the best ideas for constructing your own metal guest house. And the best part about this guest room would be you do not need to worry about mold and foundation issues as much. Also, it is very sturdy against the natural elements of rain, wind, snow, and earthquake.
How to Prevent Condensation Issues in Metal Buildings?
Metal buildings are better than standard concrete buildings because they are relatively inexpensive and can handle rough weather like magic.
But with the plusses come the minuses. Metal buildings bring some issues that other materials buildings do not struggle with. And condensation and water damage top the list.
The biggest reason condensation is such a massive issue with steel buildings is the lack of insulation. Without insulation, the metal gets cold, and water vapor forms. And since steel rusts, water damage is not only a structural issue but an aesthetic one too.
It is essential to tackle this issue while planning your structure. And the first step toward protection is to understand the reasons behind the problem. So, let’s start!
Lack Of Insulation
Whenever there is a considerable temperature difference between the exterior walls and interior walls, the water starts condensing on the cooler side, and metal roofs and walls easily collect it.
This can become a serious issue with time due to the resulting molding, rusting, and pooling water eroding the foundation.
Most often, the reason for these troubles is a lack of insulation. This leads to temperature difference, and the cooler surface against the warmer, more humid air starts observing water vapor.
But this problem is relatively easy to solve. Insulation material like spray foam insulation can be added to almost any metal building type. This small detail will keep the temperature inside the structure cooler and prevent problems arising out of condensation away!
Be it steel sheds or metal buildings; all can benefit from insulation.
But simply adding insulation is not all. You need to do that well. Because wrongly done insulation is worse than no insulation at all.
Poorly done insulation means that the insulation is not appropriately sealed from the outside air. And if rain enters it, insulation like fiberglass or spray foam insulation can quickly get soaked with water and end up causing issues like mildew, mold, odor, and problems like rot, illness, and allergies!
So, how to tackle the issue?
Easy, seal the top and bottom spaces with a vapor barrier or vinyl backing. This will keep the humid air and run out. Also, since it is completely disconnected from outside air, it will insulate better, giving you better results!
Here are a few tips for insulating your metal building better.
What Are the Benefits of Insulation?
A well-insulated metal building can match any wooden or concrete structure’s comfort, given you plan early on. Here are some reasons for planning spot-on insulation:
- The most straightforward reason to insulate your steel building is to keep the inner temperature stable. Adequate insulation ensures the internal temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.
- Energy efficiency is another huge benefit. Whenever you heat or cool your metal carport, the insulation would ensure it stays on the desired temperature for longer, saving you energy and bills.
- Condensation, a common issue with metal buildings, can be prevented by insulation. It reduces the open-air access to the steel structure. Thus, considerably lowering the chances of other problems like mold, mildew, rot, and allergies.
- Lastly, it reduces the sound that can enter your metal building homes. Thus, preventing you from the loud thuds of pattering rain, hailstorms, and passing vehicles.
Which Is the Right Material for Insulation?
Different materials suit different projects and budgets. You must keep in mind the material’s qualities and your budget in mind while choosing the material. Below are some of the most common insulation materials.
It is a popular choice, but it is not attached but instead blown between two surfaces. Thus, particular construction methods like interior walls like drywalls, sheetrock paneling, or drop ceiling panels are required. You need an extra surface to hold it in place. Unfinished walls cannot use this technique.
But this technique has its benefits. It can be blown into small places where it is hard to insulate manually. It is an outstanding insulator as well. And lastly, it is best to make it for a living space or workspace.
Fiberglass batting is a prevalent and inexpensive insulation material. It comes in various thicknesses and insulation values, which can be used for multiple climates and projects. Also, fiberglass is easy and quick to install and can be used on unfinished walls.
But there are a few downsides to this material. It’s bulky and difficult to handle if you are inexperienced. Also, it tends to leave fibers on the surface of the surfaces and clothes, which is very unpleasant for the eyes.
Rigid Board Insulation
The rigid board is quite similar to fiberglass batting, but it is in the form of heat-resistant polyurethane sheets instead of bulky blankets. These sheets come in varying insulation values and are lightweight too! They are suitable for horse barns and workshops that are more prone to fire.
But despite all the advantages, they are challenging to install. Being solid sheets, they need to be cut into shape to be fixed on walls and adjusted with wall studs and ceiling joists. Also, it isn’t easy to fit them in hard-to-reach places, and there is always a risk of leaving air gaps.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is the final and the best type of installation found in metal buildings. It is similar to lose fill insulation. It is blown in between two surfaces and requires interior walls like drywall etc. But being better than loose-fill, it self-adheres to surfaces.
Thus, it quickly reaches hard-to-reach places when you blow it in and leaves little to no air gaps.
But its downsides are that it requires special equipment and should be done by trained professionals. Also, its cost is on the higher side.
Should You Use Radiant Barriers for Extra Insulation?
Radiant Barriers provide extra insulation by reflecting infrared rays and heat toward the exterior wall. They also play an active role in preventing condensation problems and helping insulation last longer and work better.
Like insulation, they come in various types but ensure you place them before putting in insulation.
You can talk to your contractor for more details about whether you require one or not and, if yes, which one is best for you. Please do it early on to save a lot of hassles and have a better decision.
Why Should You Add Electricity to Your Metal Building?
You need electricity to power appliances, use Wi-Fi, light, cooling and heating systems, etc. And a metal carport without electricity wiring lacks value.
But before you start wiring, you need to have a plan in mind. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “What am I going to use it for?” And the answer would just be knocking on your doors.
Perse, you only want to add some lights and utility; direct wiring from your home’s main electricity connection would work. But if you want it to be a full-fledged metal building, you need a higher-capacity solution.
Depending on the quantity of work, you should be done with the electrical wiring in a day or two.
How Should You Add Electricity to Your Metal Building?
This feat might seem like a tough job, but surprisingly it isn’t! However, if you aren’t an experienced DIYer, you can always take help from an electrician. Let’s get to know the steps.
Plan The Conduit
It is essential to figure out the route of the wire before you start laying it. The best and easiest way is to use the power from the main panel. This will ensure you are not putting too much load on any other house circuit. But in this case, you will need the help of an electrician to make the final connection.
If your main panel is not accessible by the metal barn, you can use another junction box or circuit of the house, given you are not putting too much load over it.
Pro Note: The National Electric Council says while planning your wiring route, you cannot ‘bend’ the wiring more than 360 degrees while you are running them through an electric pipe.
This implies that you can take only one 180-degree bend or two 90-degree bends because you probably already have two 90-degree turns planned—one going towards the ground and the other towards your metal carport.
Now that the conduit is planned, it is time for action. The easiest way is to run standard electric wire through a rigid metal conduit, like a thin metal pipe. This pipe needs to be buried 6 inches underground in the earth. Other types of underground cables like electric feeders should be buried 12 inches deep inside the ground.
Dig The Trench
This step involves digging a narrow trench to accommodate the wiring. The trench should be such that the rigid metal conduit (RMC) is 6 inches below the ground. You can use a pick or a mattock to get the trench of the desired width. Also, remove the sod and grass as you go.
Laying The Conduit
After digging the trench, the next step is to lay the conduit. To do so, assemble the lengths of the RMC first, and then make markings where the bends should go.
You would need a pipe bender to make these 90-degree bends. You can rent these out at a hardware shop if you do not want to buy them.
After laying the conduit, the last step is to make connections. It is easiest done by using connectors called LBs. LBs have access panels at the back to access the wires easily. Plan out where you would want the connections for your house and metal building to be, and mount them on the walls at that exact place. You may need long drills to complete the circuit.
Fastening The Pipe & Pulling the Wires
This part includes running the wire through the laid conduit. Make use of pipe wrenches to fasten all the RMC units with each other. After assembling the conduit, use a compression fitting to attach the RMC to LB at your metal carport.
Now time for the trickiest part- running the wire through the steel pipe. But relax, it’s almost fun. Pull fish tape through the complete length of your conduit and ensure to attach a guide string at the other end of the fish tape.
Attach the wire to this guide string and pull the fish tape carefully out, bringing out the wire. This job is best done with two people, one at both ends of the conduit.
- Never pull the wire with only the fish tape. Always use a guide string in between.
- You just need two wires, red and black, for a simple circuit. However, if you make a three-way switch and multiple circuits, you may need more wires.
Pull the wire through the conduit and feed it into the wall through the LB. Lastly, do not forget to add a power disconnect switch where the power enters the metal garage. Now you have successfully connected power to your metal building, and you are free to power the insides as per your wish. Only remember not to put too much load over the circuit.
Converting Existing Steel Buildings to Livable Space
Converting the existing metal building into livable spaces is an excellent idea as it provides more space for the family. Here is a small process on how to go about the task:
Check the Zoning Rules
Zoning rules define the local building rules. Thus, you need to check with your local building department, or county zoning rules whether a steel garage can be used as a residential place or not?
Procure A Building Permit
Again, check with your county or local building department whether you would need to procure a building permit or not.
Create and Execute a Renovation Plan
Converting steel buildings into residential buildings requires more insulation than any other building. Proper insulation hinders the heat transfer and maintains the temperature inside.
Once the insulation work is complete, the next job is to cover the interior with sheetrock or drywall. You can color these sheetrock walls if you like, and your additional metal house is ready.
Modern metal buildings are the perfect solution to create an additional room for children, hobbies, or even rentals. They add value to your property and earn you some extra cash if you put the metal barn on rent.
However, the construction of a metal house can be a daunting task. But no worries, as Steel and Studs supply the best quality metal building homes, we even assemble metal buildings & metal carports at lowest cost possible to you!
Steel and Studs is your ideal metal building partner, as we can fulfil all your shelter needs, from metal carports to greenhouses to metal storage sheds to portable garages, solar carports, aluminium carports, portable carports, etc. Interested in knowing more about our services and products, please feel free to email or call us! Our customer service representative will guide you with your zoning rules and further queries on a free consultation call!
Metal Carport Delivery & Installation Across the USA:
Customer service representatives will contact you ahead of time to schedule your delivery date in your location. We offer metal carport installation services in 48 US states, including:-