How Much Do Metal Homes Cost?
$74,000 - $240,000
$74,000 - $240,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated October 12, 2022Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.
Building a metal home costs an average of $157,000, ranging from $74,000 to $240,000. You can expect to pay $50 to $120 per square foot. This includes a kit price of $20,000 to $90,000, plus $25,000 to $50,000 for assembly and about $30,000 to $85,000 for additional services. If you choose not to use a metal home kit, you can expect to pay an average of $120 per square foot to build your metal home.
“Recent price spikes in dimensional lumber have made metal-framed construction an increasingly popular choice,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “It’s also lighter than wood, which makes the framing stage faster and more affordable.”
Metal homes are quite popular for their affordability and trendy look. If you’ve got a vacant lot and you want to build a house, this might save you money. Keep these cost factors in mind as you research.
2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging
Demand for building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 15% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.
|Average Cost||High Cost||Low Cost|
Many factors influence the cost to build a home yourself, ranging from plans to wiring up the electricals. The cost to build a metal house ranges from $73,400 to $240,000. This includes most materials and services you need to turn land you already own into a livable home.
|Factor||Cost Range (All-In)||Average Cost (All-In)|
|Kit||$20,000 – $90,000||$55,000|
|Clear land||$1,300 – $4,300||$2,800|
|Delivery||$5,000 – $15,000||$10,000|
|Assembly||$25,000 – $50,000||$37,500|
|Foundation||$4,000 – $12,500||$8,250|
|Insulation||$1,100 – $2,400||$1,750|
|Plumbing||$400 – $1,900||$1,150|
|Sewer/Septic||$2,000 – $9,500||$5,750|
|Electrical||$600 – $2,200||$1,400|
|HVAC||$2,600 – $13,500||$8,050|
|Siding||$6,000 – $16,000||$11,000|
|Roofing||$5,400 – $10,700||$8,050|
|Plans||$500 – $2,000||$1,250|
|Total||$73,900 – $230,000||$151,950|
While metal home kits range in cost from $20,000 to $90,000 the total cost typically depends on the size of the structure and what’s included in the kit. Basic models around 1,000 square feet are usually the least expensive.
“While you might see metal home kit prices as low as $5,000, it’s important to understand what is included in the kit before buying. Some lower-cost products provide only the outer shell, which is similar to what you’d get for a shed. Metal home kits are particularly popular for ‘accessory dwelling units’,” says Tschudi. “An ADU is built on the same lot as the primary dwelling, and can be used as an office or studio, a rental unit, or just an extra guest suite.”
Primary factors that you should consider as you’re looking for the right metal home kit for you include:
Square footage: Most options range from 1,000 to 2,000 sq. ft.
Design: Some models only include the outer shell, which costs less.
Delivery fees: About 5% to 10% percent on top of the kit price.
Customization: Features like an attached garage run up to $20,000 more.
The cost to buy metal home plans ranges from $500 to $2,000. This is more affordable than the $2,000 to $8,800 price to hire an architect because you’re not having a pro design a custom building for you. Keep in mind that most manufacturers won’t sell you a plan if you don’t intend to buy a kit.
The cost to clear land ranges from $1,300 to $5,300. If you’re working with an untouched lot, you’ll need to start here before you can do anything else. This cost will apply whether you choose a metal home kit or a custom build.
Delivery of the home kit and supplies ranges from $5,000 to $15,000. A contractor may wrap this into the installation fee or charge separately for the service based on whether you chose a custom build or purchased a metal home kit.
Assembling a metal home kit ranges from $25,000 to $50,000. This may include some interior and exterior finishes like drywall, flooring, or stairs. Costs for building a custom home will vary depending on the size and layout but your contractor should be able to provide a quote early in your home building process.
Whether you choose a home kit or a custom build, the cost to build a foundation is $4,000 to $13,500. If you want a basement under the house, you’ll pay on the higher end of the range.
The price to install batt and roll insulation ranges from $1,100 to $2,500. The type that works best depends on whether you’ve added extra framing and where you’re putting it.
Plumbing pipe installation costs $400 to $2,000 for an average home, whether custom-built or from a kit. This includes materials and installation for the building, but not connection to a sewer main or septic tank.
To get rid of water and waste in your home, you’ll need to pay to connect it to a sewer or septic system:
Cost to install a septic tank: $3,200–$10,700
Price to install a sewer line: $550–$2,300
Cost to install a water main: $700–$2,600
Cost to dig or drill a well: $1,500–$12,000
Installing new wiring costs $600 to $2,300 in an average-sized home. The total depends on the amount of wiring you need. If you need a panel with several circuits, plan to pay the most.
Putting in heating and cooling is important if you plan to live in your new home. Expect to cover:
Cost to install a new furnace: $2,800–$6,700
Price to install central air: $3,900–$7,900
Installing new siding costs $6,000 to $17,000. This wide range is mostly related to the total square footage. High-end materials like metal or cement fiber usually run the most with lower-cost siding options like vinyl costing less.
The cost to install a roof ranges from $5,700 to $12,200, depending on the material. Most metal home kits come with a roof, but you may want to add something more durable or stylish. If you’re building a custom metal home, you’ll need to consider your roofing options as you plan.
|Type of Metal Home||Price Range per Square Foot||Average Price per Square Foot|
|Quonset||$13 – $15||$14|
|Rigid Frame||$13 – $18||$15.50|
|A-Frame||$13 – $125||$69|
|Barndominium||$20 – $85||$52.50|
Metal building homes cost $20 to $70 per square foot when you use a home kit. If you choose a custom build, you can expect to pay around $120 per square foot. This estimate assumes that you have already prepared the land, poured a foundation, and arranged for the installation of utilities. If you still need to do these things, you’ll pay $50 to $120 per square foot for a home kit and $150 to $170 per square foot for a custom home.
There are several styles of metal homes, from simple Quonset huts to more complex A-frame or barndominium homes. Each requires different materials and different difficulty levels and time; therefore, costs vary significantly. While more expensive than the price of a pole barn house, metal homes are generally cheaper than timber frame houses.
Quonset huts cost between $13 and $15 per square foot, or an average of $14 per square foot. These are the simplest metal home structures—essentially sheets of steel anchored by an arched roof. Sometimes, the side walls and roof are a single huge piece of molded steel, with either end being metal or wood cut to size. This means you'll be able to forego the cost of a metal roof, as the Quonset hut kit includes it.
For a rigid frame house, expect to pay between $13 and $18 per square foot, or around $15.50 per square foot. Rigid frame homes use heavy-duty pinning to make them more stable than other options. Additionally, rigid frames are popular because they are single-span buildings, meaning they are completely open plan inside, with no columns, supporting walls, or other structures to get in the way.
A-frame houses have an average price of $69 per square foot, with homeowners paying anywhere from $13 to $125 per square foot. The large price range is because some A-frame kits are available for those with a tight budget and, at the other end of the scale, high-end materials and finishing products quickly escalate the cost.
Building an A-frame house is comparatively simple and inexpensive than building a more traditional home. A-frame properties, as the name implies, are triangular-shaped homes, so are exceptionally strong and a popular choice in areas prone to storms.
Barndominiums cost $20 to $85 per square foot, with an average price of $52.50 per square foot. While these can be converted barns, many barndominiums are entirely new constructions. They're essentially large, usually metal, buildings with lots of open plan space, particularly in the kitchen, dining, and living areas. They also combine a workspace or shop and living space within the same structure. Some people even incorporate stables into their barndominium structure.
While there are plenty of advantages to metal homes, there are a few drawbacks, too, meaning they're not the best choice for everyone.
Easily upgradable and extendable;
Metal homes have lower insurance costs;
New metal homes generally have a minimum of a 20-year warranty
Lengthy planning permission and construction timeline;
Budget-friendly metal homes don't have the same look as more traditional homes;
Kits afford less customization
As many as half of metal homebuyers do the installation themselves, but it’s not always a good idea. This is an extremely complicated project with a high degree of risk for damage and injury. Most people find it easier to hire a professional to do the job. Before you start contacting general contractors near you, be sure to:
Determine the size and features you want in the home.
Set a timeline for when you want construction completed.
Read ratings and reviews.
Generally, using a metal home kit costs less than electing to build a custom metal home. Additional costs associated with building a custom home include material sourcing, hiring an architect to create plans, and accounting for fluctuations in the cost of supplies. Building your own custom house gives you greater flexibility, but will likely cost you more.
Metal building kits are a type of prefabricated or modular house. Modular homes cost $100 to $200 per square foot, which is higher because it includes assembly and other services like a foundation or HVAC. A metal home kit gives you everything you need to build the basic structure of your home on-site, but it doesn't include the finishing touches.
With proper installation, metal building homes are often safer than houses with a wood frame. They are less likely to burn in a fire which will help bring down insurance costs. Additionally, some, like rigid frame houses, are built to withstand weight and weather in at least one direction. Dome-like Quonset huts and angular A-frame houses resist wind, storm, and potentially seismic damage. You can also get some of the safety benefits, such as impact resistance, on an existing property by adding metal siding, which costs $1 to $35 per square foot.
At $74,000 to $240,000, a metal house is more affordable than the $165,000 to $480,000 you’ll pay to build a wood-frame home. The cost depends heavily on the type and size of house you plan to build, the quality of the materials and the finish you choose, and your location. Additionally, tackling some of the jobs yourself, such as hanging drywall, painting, and other finishing jobs can help bring down the costs of building your own house, whether it's from wood, metal, or brick.
Building a shipping container house can cost as little as $30,000, depending on the services you want. Because shipping containers are designed to be transported on a cargo ship and also on traditional roads, they are very narrow (under 8 feet), so homeowners need to combine containers or be creative with the layout of the living space.