Warehouse Construction Cost: What You Need To Know (2023 Update)

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
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  • Building a warehouse is never cheap, but it’s important to consciously plan out the process, design and implement the project scope, and choose the right company for the build so you’ll be able to save money along the way.

    Warehouses are a great option for businesses because of their versatility.

    They can be advantageously used as a:

    • Storage facility
    • Shipping center
    • Machine shop
    • Or even an office!

    As you can imagine, the warehouse construction cost can vary by the material, design, and a wide variety of other factors. Let’s dive into how much warehouse construction costs in 2023.

    infographic analyzing warehouse construction costs

    Warehouse Construction Cost 101

    Unfortunately, we can’t give you an exact answer for how much it costs to build a warehouse every single time. That’s because the cost will ultimately depend on your location, the materials you use, the size of the warehouse, and the functionality inside.

    But, as we take a closer look at all these components, we’ll be able to provide you with a cost estimate that you can consider for your specific needs.

    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 warehouse frame constructed by apx

    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 multi-story 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.

    close up of cranes constructing warehouse structure

    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.

    Factors:

    • 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?

    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

    larger warehouse construction cost for huge storage facility

    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.

    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.

    Contact APX Construction Group Today!

    APX Construction Group is a premier 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.

    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 just like to talk through your options, we’d love to hear from you!

    FAQ

    How long does it take to build a warehouse?

    The warehouse building process can take as little as 48 hours for smaller, simple projects. It can take up to 3 weeks for larger more complex buildings with multiple units that may require special materials.

    How much is a 20,000 sq ft warehouse?

    a 20,000 st. ft. metal building typically costs anywhere from $240,000 – $380,000 depending on factors such as location, steel prices, building design, and inventory type.

    How Long Can A Metal Warehouse Last?

    With proper maintenance, you can expect your metal warehouse to have a life expectancy of 50-100 years.

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