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Every pilot and operator understands that keeping your aircraft airworthy is critical for safety. Leaving a plane exposed to the elements is a sure way to increase maintenance and repair bills.
Metal airplane hangar kits are popular choices due to their low costs, solid protection and fast deployment time.
If you want to find out more about steel airplane hangars, including pros & cons, rough price estimates and handy building guide you’ll want to keep reading.
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In this article, we’re checking out a popular method of constructing an airplane hangar: prefab metal building kits. You’ll learn why prefab metal kits are one of the most efficient ways to build an airplane hangar for storing your plane (or your fleet). They are strong, durable, and cost-efficient, and in the following sections you’ll discover further details about this building style.
Prefab is short for prefabricated which typically refers to when something is made ahead of time. In the case of metal construction, it refers to when a metal building is constructed ahead of time by a manufacturer, packaged and then shipped to your location to build. The structure is designed using 3D modeling software and the components are manufactured in pieces. These pieces are then packaged up as a building kit and are shipped to the building location, where they can be erected efficiently, thus streamlining the whole construction process.
Let’s check out the pros & cons of metal prefab aircraft hangars so that you can decide whether this structure is right for your needs.
The benefits of prefab design come together to result in one important variable – cost savings. As you can see from the description above, the prefab metal construction process is efficient and streamlined. As a result, you save money and time during several stages of the process.
Prefab metal buildings are built with existing templates or modeled on 3D software to meet your specific needs. Using this streamlined method of modelling the building using a manufacturer’s in-house design team means you’re able to avoid hiring an expensive architect and save time and money on the design portion of the build process.
When the components of the building are manufactured, they are made with precision that results in a very accurate fit of components. The pieces are packaged together as a kit and because the parts arrive on-site in a semi-complete form, you save money on construction time as well.
Efficiencies in design and construction are especially important for the cost of a large building like an aircraft hangar, where the costs can add up fast if problems are encountered. These can be two of the priciest areas of building, and prefab kits have a solution for both.
Another factor that draws people to prefab design is their expandability. These structures use strong metal frames which support 26-gauge steel walls and ceilings. If there’s a need to expand, you can easily remove the wall sheets, add an additional structural frame, which results in expansion of the structure. This approach avoids expensive full building teardowns and then the cost to fully rebuild and is one of the most cost-efficient and time efficient ways to expand your aircraft hangar.
Expansion is particularly important if you plan on growing your fleet, need room for maintenance or would like to provide storage services for other airplane owners. Whether you own aircraft for business or pleasure, prefab metal design allows for any future expansions you might require to meet your needs. Provided you have the property for future expansions, building a metal prefab airplane hangar provides great flexibility to easily expand your space needs so that you have peace of mind you won’t run out of space to store your aircraft.
Metal is one of the strongest building materials there is and using this as a building material for an airplane hangar is an industry standard choice. Metal prefab kits use high-quality metal in their components. The structures use high-quality support beams and columns, and the walls are typically constructed from heavy 26-gauge steel sheets.
Metal’s durability is a valuable feature to keep your aircraft safe from being damaged by high winds, hail, heavy snow or falling debris, dust and other elements that need to be avoided. Storing aircraft in a metal building also provides an additional layer of security when your building includes heavy locks and security features. This makes the building very secure overall and provides protection from damage and theft.
Prefab metal structures are impressively low maintenance and will save you money over time on the expense of building upkeep and costs for maintenance. The metal is not susceptible to many issues which affect other building materials making it a valuable investment. For example, metal buildings are not very susceptible to rot, it’s not a fire hazard, and it doesn’t typically experience common pest problems like rodents and termites.
The overall result is that building owners spend far less money on maintenance, it keeps valuable dollars in your pocket and oftentimes, owners will also receive the benefit of lower insurance premiums from insurers to reflect the lower risk of damage to these buildings and their contents.
If there’s one thing above all else that every airplane hangar needs to have, it’s space. These buildings sole purpose is to create secure space in which to house your planes. Many prefer to have it much bigger than just the space for planes as this allows extra space for manoeuvrability as well as storage for extra equipment and plane maintenance.
Metal has a very impressive strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that it can support the ceilings and walls with fewer internal support beams than might be required with a different type of structure. Since there are fewer internal support beams needed that would occupy space the result is that it creates wide open spans of interior space for your planes.
Next, we’ll look at some potential downsides of metal aircraft hangars so that you can make a fully informed decision.
One of the main potential roadblocks in metal prefab design is getting approved for construction. Depending on where you live, you may be subject to various zoning bylaws or building codes that might prove challenging to navigate. The local bylaws and land zoning for your specific area could put constraints on your final building plans. They will dictate how you must build the aircraft hangar or whether you can build one at all in the area you’re considering. It’s a prudent choice to consult with the local regulators first prior to making any purchasing decisions.
You want to be sure that you involve regulators early in the process so that you can fully understand the details of your municipality’s guidelines and laws that apply to your construction project to be sure that you can proceed smoothly.
Many municipalities have a help-desk or hotline that you can call so it’s recommended that you take this step early so that it doesn’t become an issue down the line.
It’s much easier to adjust your plans at the start rather than halfway through.
Although metal prefab structures are highly cost-efficient in their design and construction process, they can be more expensive upfront because you are paying for all of the structure’s components to be pre-built before it is shipped to your location. A larger up-front investment can be a major hurdle if you can’t secure the capital right away.
The trade off to consider for this larger, up-front cost investment is that by choosing this building technology, it will save you money down the line with a more efficient construction process. Prefab metal structures tend to be less expensive overall once completed but with a different cost structure and timing, it is worth considering.
As you can imagine, the price of a metal prefab structure is heavily dependent on its size. In the chart below, we have included a general outline of what you can expect to pay for an average aircraft hangar. It is broken down into common sizes for both a rigid frame design and an arched frame design which are the two most common designs for this style of building.
The price varies based on several other factors, including interior options including adding insulation and whether you want to add features such as electrical, plumbing, etc.
The best way to get a quote that is accurate to your needs is to compare quotes from different suppliers. This way, you can have a quote that is accurate to your specific preferences and allows you the flexibility to select which manufacturer you’d like to proceed with.
Metal prefab structures are highly customizable to your preferences and as a result, there are many options available to suit your needs. In this section, we’ll cover some of the more popular styles and layouts. We hope this gives you some inspiration and guidance on how to build your ideal hangar.
The first important design aspect to note is that airplane hangars tend to be one of two major styles – rigid frame and arched. Both of these styles are available in metal prefab kits, and it will depend on which you prefer.
Rigid Frame Hangars: Rigid frame hangars are built like large rectangular structures, enclosed on all sides by walls, with slightly sloped roofs (refer to the picture above).
Rigid frame hangars provide an extra level of protection and coverage for your aircraft as typically they are built as a fully enclosed structure with a roof, 4 walls and a door. These hangars are ideal if you want to offer your aircraft extra protection from the elements including high winds, heavy rains and snow or if you want to lock your hangar to protect your aircraft against theft.
Rigid frame hangars also allow space for added functionality. You can add office space, utility rooms, and bench space for mechanics and maintenance projects. The enclosed nature of the structure makes them quite a bit more versatile than an arched hangar.
Arched Hangars: Arched hangars are slightly cheaper than rigid frame hangars on average as they are not fully enclosed hangar structures. Their primary appeal is that they are a very spacious structure making it quite a bit easier to maneuver a plane underneath the hangar. This style of hanger is normally without doors and makes it more convenient if you are frequently taking your planes out.
Some key points to consider with this style of hangar is that they don’t provide as much shelter from the elements due to their more exposed nature. This exposure also makes arched hangars not nearly as effective for preventing vandalism or theft. Even though it is quite difficult to steal a plane, many owners may feel uncomfortable leaving their possessions exposed in this more open style hangar.
Aside from the style of the structure itself, you’ll also need to consider the interior layout of the structure. For many plane owners, an airplane hangar becomes more than just a place to shelter a plane. You can utilize the interior space for equipment storage, washrooms, personal storage lockers and even office space if you are running a business.
As a result, you may even choose to insulate the building or run essential services such as power and water to your aircraft hangar; all of which is possible with metal prefab structures. Whatever you need from the interior of the structure, you can make it happen with these highly customizable prefab metal airplane hangar building kits. Contact a supplier who will work with you to make sure these needs are met.
Our final consideration is related to the size of your aircraft hangar. More specifically, it relates to whether you intend on expanding your fleet or anticipate the need to have additional space in the future. As mentioned above, metal prefab structures are relatively easy to expand and add onto when compared with more traditional building materials and structures.
It’s often a good idea to construct a building that provides more space than you need currently, especially if your business or space usage needs expansion. If you are using your hangar for hobby flying, then this may not be a particular concern.
Building a metal prefab kit is easy and straightforward. Here’s how to do it.
First, assess your needs and decide on the style you want; either rigid frame vs. arched and open frame building style. Next decide on a size that is ideal for housing your fleet or to meet your specific site location needs. As part of your scope at this point, consider whether you want to add any interior options to your hangar.
Once you have a rough idea of what you want, compare quotes from several suppliers. Doing so is the best way to gauge the market and select the best supplier for your project. If you have custom needs, then a supplier can work with you to build a 3D model of your hangar.
Once you and a supplier have reached an agreement, the work on your building can begin. The prefab components are manufactured off-site, packaged up as a kit and shipped right to your location.
Once the components arrive, you and your team can erect the hangar. As these are typically larger building projects, you may need to consider hiring a professional contracting team to finish the project smoothly and quickly. Since metal prefab components are manufactured with precision and arrive on-site in a semi-complete format, the entire process should be straightforward and efficient.
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