When developers and investors decide to build a new strip mall, steel buildings are one of the most popular choices for their building materials. Since steel buildings offer many advantages over traditional building materials, it makes sense to choose them as their material for new strip malls. In this article, we will look at the reasons why steel buildings are the best choice for a new strip mall.
1. Steel Saves Money Now and Later
One of the top reasons that many choose to use steel to construct a new strip mall is because steel is much more affordable, both now and later. Steel buildings can cost up to 50 percent less to construct than traditional materials.
A steel strip mall can also be customized to be energy efficient, reducing energy costs by adding bigger windows and using insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs. Steel is highly durable, too, which means that most insurance companies offer a discount on steel buildings.
Another way that steel can save money is that it is a low-maintenance building material. This means that a building owner is going to have to spend less money caring for the building itself throughout the years. Most steel building companies offer a warranty on the paint finish of the building, so you will not have to worry about repainting to cover an old paint job. You also will not need to replace wooden planks or boards that rot or get old. Steel’s durability will also protect the structure from damage by termites, bugs, and rodents, protecting your structure.
2. Open a Strip Mall Faster with a Steel Building
Since metal buildings are prefabricated offsite, they arrive at the building site ready to assemble. This significantly speeds up the building process by up to 50 percent. The sooner the strip mall’s construction is completed, the sooner shops can get set up and open. The entire building process is simplified, allowing construction to begin and end significantly faster than it otherwise would.
3. Steel Lasts Decades
Steel is a highly durable and strong building material that is damage resistant. Steel buildings have survived earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and other weather events because of how strong and damage resistant it is. While it is never 100 percent guaranteed that a metal building will survive a weather event unscathed, it is much more likely than other buildings to remain standing.
In fact, many companies that offer prefabricated steel buildings offer a warranty of up to 50 years. They are that confident that your steel strip mall is going to stay standing and in excellent condition for decades.
4. Steel Building Interiors Are Easy to Customize
One of the best things about steel buildings is that they are highly customizable. You can design the layout of each unit in the strip mall so they are move-in ready, or you can have them finished off as you find tenants. If you have tenants for your units upfront, you can even work with them to design their units how they want them; your tenants might enjoy being able to customize their location.
Since steel is such a strong building material, it does not require support columns, so none of the stores in the strip mall will have valuable floor space taken up by columns. Your tenants will love having so much open space to design their shops and restaurants.
If you ever decide to expand your mall to allow additional tenants to move in, that is easily done with steel. You can simply attach additional units to the end of the existing structure. It is much faster, easier, and more affordable than it would be for a building made of traditional materials. All you need is the space on your lot to expand it.
Steel Doesn’t Mean an Industrial Look
One thing that makes people hesitant about using a steel building for a strip mall, home, or business is that a steel building is associated with a cold, industrial look. You want your strip mall to have a beautiful, attractive finish, and while you might not think that steel is the right material for the job, it is much more versatile than you might think. You can finish your steel strip mall’s exterior with paint, faux stone, faux brick, faux wood, stucco, and more to give it a different look than a plain, metal warehouse would have. A steel strip mall can look beautiful and inviting to potential customers; it just needs to be designed that way, inside and out.
To make your strip mall stand out, think about including an outdoor venue where you can have entertainment; this can help incorporate the strip mall into the community, allowing it to thrive. Incorporate places to sit down in the strip mall’s exterior design, along with some beautiful and inviting landscaping. You can even add an attractive water feature to make it stand out.
5. Steel is Eco-Friendly
While steel might not seem like the most eco-friendly material out there, it is actually the most eco-friendly building material you can use. Steel is 100 percent recyclable, and it does not lose any strength or durability when it is melted down and reused. This prevents any building materials from ending up in a landfill, and it saves raw materials.
Since a steel building is prefabricated offsite, there are no wasted cuts when putting together the materials for your strip mall. Plus, any cuts that end up wrong when they are putting together your prefabricated materials can just be recycled and used on another building later.
Things to Keep in Mind When Building a Strip Mall
Now that we’ve looked at why steel is the best choice for your strip mall, let’s take a quick look at some things to keep in mind.
- Visibility: Make sure each unit in the strip mall is visible to help entice people to visit it.
- Location: A strip mall must be in a good location, off a major road or intersection. If it is not in a good location, it can be hard to bring in business.
- Parking: Your strip mall needs to have lots of convenient parking so customers can easily visit the stores. Also, make sure your parking lot is well-lit for security purposes.
- Keep it One Story: Many developers decide to build a second floor to their strip mall, thinking they can increase business that way. However, it often ends up being one of the major pitfalls of a strip mall to do so. The stores are not quite as accessible as retailers and customers alike tend to expect them to be.
Steel is the optimal building material for a new strip mall because it is much cheaper to build, it builds faster, and it is highly customizable. Your building will be constructed faster, allowing you to fill it with tenants and customers faster than you otherwise would. With endless customization options, you can transform a steel strip mall into a work of art that people will want to spend time at. Plus, choosing the most sustainable building material is always a good idea, and it will save both you and your tenants’ costs on utilities.
Author – Auz Burger is a freelance writer and an expert in steel buildings. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade.