Certified vs. Non-Certified Metal Buildings

Metal buildings can be certified or non-certified, however in both the case it’s almost impossible to find the visible difference between both. But there are many things which differentiate between them, to make the correct choice you should understand the difference between them.

In areas where a building permit is essential only certified metal buildings are eligible to be installed. A certified building is one that is engineered to handle specific levels of air pressure from high winds and a certain weight from snow loads during winter weather.

If a building permit is not required, a non-certified structure such as a metal building or a carport can use. If you live in an area where no building permits are necessary, the choice between a certified and a non-certified building is up to you. Moreover, one may purchase a non-certified building and then increase the installation strength by using more anchors, braces, and screws. For example, the kit may come with four anchor braces to be used in each corner and during the installation optional extra anchors can be placed down each of the sides for more stability.

Virtually all metal buildings including metal carports, garages, RV shelters, and barns can be certified. Moreover, an un-certified building can strengthen by adding extra components to the structure. To pass the building inspection, where building permits are required, a certified building must be installed on a proper concrete foundation or strongly anchored to the ground according to the specific engineering specifications shown in the metal-building plans. Additionally, the building inspector will look to see if the supports and anchors for the structure are installed properly according to the requirements of the plans.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the features and the differences between certified and non-certified metal buildings

  Certified Building Non-Certified Building
Galvanized Steel Thickness of Frame 14-gauge (30% thicker) 12-gauge
Minimum Wind Rating 80 mph Not Rated
Minimum Snow Load Capacity 20 lbs. per square foot Not Rated
Maximum Wind Rating 150 mph Not Rated
Maximum Snow Load Capacity 80 lbs. per square foot Not Rated
Meets Local Building Codes Yes No
Engineering Drawings Yes No
Stamped/raised-seal plans Yes (extra charge) Not available
Tighter Screw Pattern Yes (30% more screws) No
Certified by an Engineer Yes No
Built for specific wind and load capacity Yes No
Braces A Knee brace for all legs peak braces each bow Four Corner Braces

Channel Peak Brace

Extra Anchors Yes Optional
Meets Safety Standards Yes Not Required
Greater Durability Yes No
Better in Extreme Weather Yes No
Bigger Investment Yes No
Better Protection Yes No
Handles Light Wind and Snow Yes Yes

Certified Metal Buildings

Differences in Local Building Codes

Even though, local building codes differ, ordering a certified metal building for installation in a particular area means that the manufacturer will supply a building that meets or exceeds the local building codes.

Engineering Plans

A copy of the engineering plans will supplied upon request. Stamped or raised-seal plans are available at an extra charge if your building codes/inspection department requires them. This is not a guarantee nor is there a warranty on certified buildings. It simply means that the building is built to specifications and certified by a professional engineer much like a contractor builds a house to meet state and local requirements.

More Facts on Certified Buildings- Triple-wide and 40-feet wide buildings always come fully certified. Certified buildings have a tighter screw pattern (more screws) when compared to non-certified buildings. In some areas, on carports 8 feet tall and taller, certification includes extra bracing. Certified garages do not include the extra bracing. Depending on the surface type of where the building is to install, a certified structure may include mobile home anchors or extra concrete anchors.

Un-Certified Metal Buildings

Non-certified structures and non-certified carports are buildings that are not designed by professional engineers for specific characteristics. They simply built to industry standards. These buildings are built where engineered wind without loads standards. This type of structure is usually used when building permits are not required.

The investment required for this type of metal building is less. They are perfectly fine to use in areas that have no building codes with low winds and little snow.

More Facts on Non-Certified Buildings- Depending on the area, non-certified structures come with only four braces, one for each corner. It is highly recommended that customers who purchase a non-certified metal building for installation on the ground, to purchase additional mobile home anchors. This will increase the security of the installation.

Whether your needs require a certified or a non-certified metal building depends on the area where the building will installed, year-round weather conditions, and if building permits are required. Discuss these issues with the building manufacturer to determine the right type of building to meet your needs.