Warehouse Construction Cost 101

Jamie Jacobs
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  • Building a warehouse is never cheap, but when you choose the right company to work with and help you design and build the space, you’ll be able to save money along the way. At APX Construction Group, we’re proud of the ways that our processes can save money. Reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more.

    Warehouses are a great option for businesses because of their versatility to be used as a storage facility, shipping center, machine shop, or even an office! As you can imagine, the costs involved in construction can vary by the material, design, and a wide variety of other factors. Let’s dive into, how much warehouse construction costs in 2021.

    Best Materials for Building a Warehouse

    Steel buildings are durable, long-lasting, and much cheaper than some other materials that are often considered for commercial construction. Nonetheless, some other materials can be used for the construction of your warehouse. One of the first steps in understanding your future warehouse construction cost is knowing what type of materials you’d like to use.

    There are some benefits to the different materials that can be used for building a warehouse. For example, insulated concrete lasts forever (or at least a long time) and offers insulation.

    Here are some of the options you can choose from and the rough average cost per square foot.

    Stud Frames cost around $20-$40 per square foot.

    Tilt-Up construction methods cost around $25-$40 per square foot.

    Steel Frames cost around $10-$20 per square foot.

    Steel Frame Construction cost

    Now, each of these methods offers different benefits. The tilt-up concrete walls are going to be pre-insulated, as we mentioned earlier. Steel frames offer a huge time saver. This makes them some of the fastest buildings to install and get up.

    Another advantage to steel frames is that they can be recycled and moved from one location to another without much time or trouble. Additionally, you can easily expand them and make them bigger. With tilt-up construction, you won’t be able to move the warehouses, and you’ll likely not be able to expand at any point unless you want to undergo another large-scale construction project.

    These costs do not include multi-story warehouses as they have completely different structures and will cost more simply because of the size. But, don’t let that scare you away from choosing a multistory warehouse.

    The advantages of doubling your space will often far outweigh the costs. Because you’ll be able to reduce the amount of land you’ll need for the building’s footprint, multi-story warehouses offer a great solution despite being expensive to build.

    warehouse construction cost

    Determining the Size and Needs

    After choosing what type of material you want to use for your warehouse, you can determine the size and functions you’ll need your warehouse to perform. Depending on what you’ll be using the building for, this can change the cost dramatically.

    You’ll also want to plan for a surplus of space or at least the ability to expand at some point if your business does grow. For some, this means changing buildings, but for others, it may mean expanding their current warehouse.

    Here are some different items to consider when it comes to determining the size of your warehouse.

    • What’s the current and projected volume of goods that moves in and out of your warehouse?
    • Does your inventory contain perishable items or items that will need special care?
    • How do you want to scale your warehouse for future operations and inventory?
    • What are your distribution needs, and how can you prioritize them?
    • Is the warehouse design and location accessible for staff members, and does it fulfill their needs?
    people deciding on the building size to determine warehouse construction cost

    Climate and Environmental Control

    Some warehouses may just be built with a standard heating and cooling system installed, while others may need more extensive climate control options. For those warehouses that need cold storage, humidity control, or anything of that nature, you’ll need to communicate it early in the building process. Climate and environmental control can impact the types of materials you’ll be able to use to build the warehouse and will impact the cost of construction.

    Total Cost to Build a Warehouse

    We’ve gone through all of the differentiators and different factors that play into the cost per square foot for your warehouse building, so here is the average total cost for warehouse construction. A small warehouse building ranging from 30×40 or 1200 sq ft will cost around $25,000, while a 50,000 – 60,000 square foot distribution center can cost $750,000 – $1M depending on features and materials used.

    For more information and a cost calculator, click here! This calculator can help you understand more of the variables behind the cost of the warehouse.

    commercial construction financing options and costs

    How to Limit Cost

    You can limit the cost of your warehouse construction by working with a company that can both design and build the warehouse for you. Whether you choose tilt-up concrete construction or steel framing, a design-build construction company should handle every aspect of the project.

    APX Construction Group is a premier design-build commercial construction company that offers the best of both worlds to our customers. If you want to work with a company that has extensive design experience to build your next project, choose APX. Because APX can design the project, pull the permits, and construct the building for you, there’s no need to waste time with third-party companies.

    Soft costs like design fees and permits can grow to slow down construction projects and hurt your wallet. If you’re interested in learning more about APX Construction and the benefits that we offer to our customers, reach out to us. Even if you’re not ready to start your project and you’d like to talk through your options, we’d love to hear from you! At APX, we always ensure that you’re taken care of from concept to construction.

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