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Man inside a Morton steel buildingIs a Morton steel building really worth it?

The Morton name has a reputation for producing high quality buildings at a high price. Though an argument can be made for the enduring reliability of quality, some have found that similar manufacturers have provided a comparable product that meets their needs just as effectively. So it begs the question: is a Morton steel building really worth it?

Case-by-case comparisons
You can learn a lot with just a little comparison shopping. And for most people, that process now begins online. A search through forums and other industry-related message boards reveals not only average costs of a Morton steel building, but also what was provided for that price and how it stacks up to similar offers. Consider the following examples.

How do Morton buildings stack up to buildings from other suppliers?

Building Type Dimensions Wall Height Rooms Insulation Doors and Windows Floor Exterior Cost
Morton steel barn 30x45 12ft None Roof 1 door, 2 windows, garage door N/A 20x30 concrete pad, 50 ft drain pipe, 50 ft perimeter grading $25,000
Conestoga steel barn 36x48 12ft 3 rooms Roof 1 door, 1 window Concrete 24x6 roof $35,000

The first particular quote was for a 30 foot by 45 foot Morton steel building (a barn) with 12-foot walls, adding a 50-foot drain pipe (culver) and grading about 50 feet around the building. The construction also included two skylights, an 8-foot by 16-foot overhead door, two windows, one door, an insulated roof with open cupola and a 20-foot by 30-foot exterior concrete pad. Though there were additional expenses associated with preparing the location for construction, the total reported cost for the building itself was around $25,000.

Though slightly larger in scope, Conestoga, a company in New Holland, PA, was contracted to build a 36-foot by 48-foot barn. The building featured concrete flooring, with two 12-foot by 12-foot stalls, a finished 12-foot by 12-foot tack room, insulated roof with a cupola, one door, one window, two 10-foot sliders and a 24-foot by 6-foot roof to protect the area outside the stalls. The total price tag ran around $35,000.

Verdict: Although the building dimensions and specs differ slightly, the Morton steel barn actually ends up $10,000 cheaper than the Conestoga building. In this situation, the Morton building was definitely worth the price tag.

Building Type Dimensions Wall Height Insulation Doors and Windows Special Considerations Delivery Assembly Cost
Morton building 24x36 N/A N/A N/A Wind/snow resistant, water tight $5,700 Self $10,800
ARCO building 24x36 10ft Walls 2 garage doors, 1 walk-through door None Included in cost Contractor (Cost unknown) $10,400

Harsh climates call for strong building structuresIf you live in a location where wind resistance and snow loads are a concern, it’s best to have these figures in hand before requesting a quote. In this example, the buyer had specific strength and snow-load needs when quoting a basic 24-foot by 36-foot Morton steel building. The cost for this building was quoted around $10,800 with an end-wall that was quoted at $1,100. According to the review, the buyer was able to negotiate discounts. The entire package was delivered to the location for $5,700 and took five days to assemble on site (assembly was not contracted out). In addition, the quality of construction received high marks in this instance, as the building ended up water tight, with every 5/16" bolt provided with neoprene washers.

The second structure, a 24-foot by 36-foot building, was provided by ARCO Building Systems in Norcross, GA. It included 10-foot sidewalls with insulation, two 10-foot overhead doors, a 36-inch walk-in door, and also came with bolt drawings and blueprints for the concrete contractor. The package was shipped via trailer and construction was hired out to a four-man crew that took two days in its assembly. Cost of the building itself was reportedly around $7,800 with labor and the cost of concrete taking it up another $2,600 for a total cost of $10,400.

Verdict: Taking the cost of delivery out of the picture, this Morton steel building was only slightly more expensive than the ARCO steel building – by just $400. Because the buyer was so concerned with getting a building that was durable, sturdy, and able to withstand wind, snow, and rain, it may have been worth it to pay a little extra for Morton’s quality assurance. However, if the buyer wasn’t located in a harsh climate, he may have chosen the other building supplier because it was a cheaper price and the delivery cost wasn’t astronomical.

As the above examples illustrate, a Morton steel building is relatively competitive with other vendors and depending on your intended usage. In some cases, the reliability of Morton building materials seems to be the factor that pushes people to spend a bit more on a building. In terms of cost, the determining factors seem to be based on how close you are to a shipping location and how much of the labor you can complete yourself, with these two dynamics contributing to some considerable discounts and savings.

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