Choosing the right frame for your steel building

There is only one way of choosing the right frame for a steel building and it’s to know what your options are first. The idea is to match the engineering and design of the framework with the intended purpose of the building, along with the size, weight and scope. So, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of framework as mentioned below, before you begin to buy steel buildings.

The Main Frames

The main frames, or primary frames, are the evenly spaced ones that carry the brunt of the building’s load and they are generally of two types:


One look and you should be able to recognize the I-beam because these are the most common type of primary frames in use today. As you can guess, these get their name due to the frame’s similarity to the letter “I” in the English alphabet. There are two ways in which an I-beam is usually made and no one type is better than the other in any significant way. The first and the most common method is to weld built-up steel plates together, but hot-rolled I-beams are also used at times.

Open Web

Sometimes referred to as “trusses,” open web frames are made by interconnecting the steel chords from top to bottom diagonally. This is a much more complicated arrangement than the standard I-beam, but it makes sense if you are looking to construct buildings that span close to 300 feet or more. The more expansive the building is, the more economical trusses are as a main frame option. You will probably remember seeing open web designs at an airport or a stadium.

Need Based Framework

Now that you know what the two basic types of frameworks are for steel buildings, it’s time to make a need based selection. It may also be worth getting the help of a steel building provider. Try using sites such as who have an online calculator that looks at your location, the building dimensions etc. to review what building you will need. So, if you aren’t sure about framework this kind of tool will help to guide you.

If you want to get educated beforehand, read on.

Clear Span

When trying to build a particularly large and expansive structure, you can either use any one of the two main frame designs or a combination of the two to create a clear span structure. Interior support columns are mostly non-existent in this design, making them ideal for stadiums and hangars because of the space they provide.


In case you are planning to buy steel buildings to build a factory or a warehouse, you will need to opt for modular framework. Interior support columns are going to be there to support the wide and somewhat boxy structure of the building, but that shouldn’t matter because manufacturing units and warehouses don’t usually need open, unhindered space.

Remember that this is only an introduction to steel building frameworks and not exactly the complete guide. Nevertheless, the next time you talk to a company that’s selling steel buildings, you will know what to look for. Talk with them in detail so that they clearly understand what you want and also listen to what they have to say. Communication and understanding is vital here because moving steel buildings once delivered to the construction spot is a waste of time and resources.