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Recommended Tools to Build a Metal Building Without a Hitch
Jan 2020

Recommended Tools to Build a Metal Building Without a Hitch

Stephan Michaels
Maintenance, Metal Garage

Steel building kits, just like kid’s building blocks, enable us to construct neat structures fast and easy. They are simple, logical, and give you a chance to do it yourself, further cutting down on costs and time. Not to mention, it can be a lot of fun for all you DIYers out there who probably already have some of the tools needed – like a screw gun. Who doesn’t? But there’s more to it.

Getting Started in Metal Building Installation? Safety Comes First

As obvious as it may sound, we can’t emphasize the importance of safety enough. It will not only ensure smooth completion of the job but also save you on potential expenses related to neglect of safety measures. Be keen on following OSHA guidelines. These guys can levy fines for lack of compliance, making things expensive very fast. Your prefab metal structure will provide safety recommendations, but here are the essential things to keep in mind:

  • Hard hat: for protection against head injury, a hard hat is a must. Find out if you need impact, penetration, or voltage protection and pick the appropriate hat.
  • Ear protection: necessary if you’ll be dealing with a loud noise.
  • Safety goggles: for specific workplace hazards such as welding and chipping.
  • Gloves: pick the appropriate material between leather, mesh, fabric, canvas, and rubber.
  • Safety Harness: all chores that involve heights should include a safety harness for fall protection. You have several options, including safety belts, lanyards, lifelines, and safety netting, depending on the type of activity.
  • Workboots
  • Additional safety equipment: you might want to have things such as fire extinguishers on-site, just to be sure. A first aid kit is not such a bad idea either. Ensure that it has bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antibiotic packs, and a flashlight. Check it daily and restock as needed.

What Power Tools are necessary to install a Metal Building?

Progress will be plodding and laborious if you don’t have some power tools to make your work easy. As we said, some of these things might be in your garage/ workshop already. Then, you might have to buy, borrow, or rent the rest. Here’s what you need, although the provider of your metal building kits will also give you a recommendation.

For Unloading and Storage

You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you have prepared and planned regarding how you’ll handle and store your metal structure building kits. Some might be heavy and require specialized equipment, depending on type and size. Remember, the truck will arrive with pieces of the building, some of which will be separate and others in bundles.

Forklift, Crane, or Other Power loaders

A forklift will be enough in most instances, although a crane gets the job done as well. If you go for a crane, be sure to use a spreader bar that is fit for the length of the load. Wire rope slings are a terrible idea because they could damage the metal or the finish. Then, apply the lifting force at the center of gravity. With a forklift, you want to ensure that the forks are wide apart and place the load all the way back on the forks and never drive it with the forks up. If the pieces are over 25 feet long, consider using two forklifts to avoid straining the materials or equipment.


Blocking materials are essential for protecting the slab as well as splice plates from damage during the unloading process. They also give the contents a lift, so you have an easy time slipping slings and cables around. And in the case of forklifts, sliding the forks underneath when you want to lift the pieces. It’s also convenient to use blocks when bolting together subassemblies horizontally on the ground. Ensure the blocks are neat and level, and that the stacks are stable to avoid injury or damage.


For extra protection, you might want to put your kits under a roof or at least cover them with something. You could use a waterproof tarp (tarpaulin). You have various choices on this one. For instance, you could go with canvas tarps, poly tarps, or vinyl tarps. However, a storage shed is more appropriate if you are going to be storing the parts for a long time.

For Installation and Assembly

The most basic tool that you will need is a cordless drill with a screwdriver bit. Preferably, however, you want a specialized screw gun. Something that has variable-speed, torque adjustable (up to 2,500 RPMs), and maybe a high current motor that has enough power to handle long or thick screws would be great. A variable grip wrench is also necessary for most instances. Here’s a detailed list to give you clues as to what you may need:

  • Cordless drill and drill bits
  • Wrench for the bolts
  • Spud wrench or a large screwdriver for lining up bolt holes
  • Hammer
  • Level to ensure everything is aligned straight
  • Pry bar
  • Punch
  • Pliers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Nibbler for cutting across wall and roof panels
  • Vise-grips
  • Screw gun
  • Hacksaw
  • Push broom and wire brush
  • Channel locks
  • Caulking gun
  • Load binders
  • Chalk line
  • Extension cord
  • Plumb bob
  • Ladder (obviously)
  • Chain
  • Tape measure
  • Snips
  • Power pull (come-along)
  • Rope
  • Sawhorses
  • Tarps
  • Socket wrench
  • Bull pin
  • Utility knife
  • Crescent wrench
  • Tin snips
  • Roto-hammer
  • Rivet gun

Sounds like a long list? Don’t worry – you won’t need all of them because prefab steel structure parts are predesigned to fit seamlessly, thus saving you time and resources. What’s more, the installation manual from your supplier will have a complete list of the specific tools that you must have.

Recap and Further Recommendations

Remember, when installing a metal building, safety comes first (get conversant with OSHA guidelines to avoid trouble). Then, find out what equipment you might need in advance to save time and avoid the hassle of loading and unloading as well as assembly and installation. The tools given above are supposed to provide you with clues. You don’t have to go on a shopping spree before you find out what is necessary for the type of prefab metal buildings you’ll be working with.

Doing it yourself is fun, a learning experience, and can cut on costs. However, leaving it to the professionals is not a bad idea either – they can save you a lot of energy, hassle, time, and damage. They do these sorts of constructions often and, therefore, know exactly what to expect.

Consider Garage Buildings for your prefab steel structure. Garage Buildings is dedicated to providing the best building kits, having put simplicity and convenience in mind. We are keen on providing real solutions to various metal building problems and, therefore, value customer satisfaction immensely. Our A+ BBB rated customer service speaks for itself. We also ensure timely deliveries of building parts and strive to maintain unprecedented metal building expertise. Garage Buildings is one of the leading dealers for the best quality steel buildings in the U.S., complete with highly qualified and trained design consultants that have years of experience in the industry.

Contact us now on +1 (888) 234-0475 to receive a quote or consult a steel building specialist for further information.

Garage Buildings