How Much Does It Cost To Build A Warehouse?

August 4, 2023 | Warehouse

Warehouses are essential for many businesses in a variety of industries. They’re used to store and transport goods or provide a space for production. They can also be used as office spaces and for other purposes. If you’re thinking about building a warehouse for your business, it’s essential to know the cost associated with doing so to determine if it’s feasible. In the following guide, we’ll cover the design considerations, construction materials, and other factors affecting the cost of a warehouse.

Steps Involved In Building A Warehouse 

There are two ways to build a warehouse: you can construct the warehouse from the ground up or assemble a warehouse using pre-manufactured components. Whichever you decide to do, building a warehouse requires a lot of steps to do it right. The following are the most common steps involved in building a warehouse:


Before you can start building a warehouse, you need to have a plan. This includes creating a budget and identifying your needs for the warehouse, such as size, type of goods you’ll be storing, the type of building materials you want to use, and the features you want to have in the warehouse. After this planning phase, you can create a more detailed design and plan for the construction of your warehouse. You should also decide on a location and obtain the necessary permits or permissions from the local government.

Site Preparation

Once you’ve chosen a location and obtained the required permits, you can begin preparing your site for construction. First, you’ll need to clear the area by removing trees, brush, and any other obstructions. You’ll also need to ensure the ground is level so that the foundation for your warehouse can be laid. The site may also need to be graded and have drainage systems installed before you can start building.


The foundation is essential to building a warehouse, as it will provide stability for your structure. One of the common types of foundation is the concrete slab. However, while a concrete slab is acceptable for the foundation of a house, it won’t be suitable for a warehouse. To create a foundation that can support a large warehouse, you’ll need to create a foundation with steel-reinforced concrete or structural steel.

Walls And Roofing

Once your foundation is finished, you can start constructing the walls and roof of your warehouse. The type of building material you choose will depend on the kind of warehouse you’re building, your budget, and our area’s climate. Prefabricated metal warehouse buildings are a popular option, as they’re strong, durable, and easier to install than walls and roofs made from other materials on site, whether wood, concrete, stone, or brick, to name a few.

Electric And Plumbing

Once the structure is complete, you’ll have to install any necessary electric and plumbing systems. This includes wiring for lighting, installing HVAC systems, and connecting water, sewage, and gas lines. Again, it’s essential to have these systems installed by a professional familiar with your area’s codes and regulations.

Interior Finishes

The last step in building a warehouse is to add the necessary interior finishes. These may include insulation, flooring, paint or wallpaper, and other finishes.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Building A Warehouse

It’s almost impossible to calculate the average cost of building a warehouse, even if you go by cost per square foot. This is because there are so many factors that contribute to the cost. For example, two entirely different warehouses will likely cost a different amount to build. However, there are also cases where two warehouses that are the same size may cost a completely different amount. As such, the following are the key factors affecting  the cost of building a warehouse:


The location where you plan to construct your warehouse is one of the most significant factors in determining cost. Urban areas are more expensive due to higher land costs, while rural areas may have lower land costs. Additionally, some areas may have specific regulations or requirements that could affect the cost of building a warehouse. For example, the average cost of building a warehouse per square foot in Las Vegas is $85. In contrast, in San Francisco, it’s $202.50. Essentially, you could build the same warehouse in two different locations, and one could cost more than twice the amount to build than the other.

Size And Design

The size of your warehouse is probably the biggest factor that affects the cost of building it. The larger a structure, the more materials, and labor will be needed to build it, thus increasing the cost. Additionally, more complex designs may require more materials and labor, which will increase the construction cost.

Labor Costs

Finally, labor costs can play a significant role in the cost of building a warehouse. If you’re hiring a builder or contractor to help with construction, you must factor in their labor costs. The bigger and more involved your warehouse design is, the more time it will take to construct. Additionally, depending on your location, the labor cost can vary greatly. As a result, different companies may charge different rates.

Permitting And Inspection Fees

You’ll also need to factor in any permitting and inspection fees. These fees can vary greatly based on your city and state, so it’s important to check with your local building department. Additionally, these fees can add up quickly and increase the cost of building a warehouse substantially.


The cost of materials can also affect the cost of building a warehouse. Different types of materials will have different costs. For example, if you’re using high-quality materials, it will cost more than if you were using lower-grade materials. Additionally, the type of materials used for construction can increase the cost of building a warehouse. For example, steel is usually more expensive than wood or concrete. However, you’ll want to weigh the initial cost versus the benefits of using higher-grade materials, as they could save you money in the long term.

Choosing The Best Materials For Your Warehouse

Deciding what materials to use for your warehouse can be an overwhelming task. There are several things to consider to pick the right material. The following are the different factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your warehouse materials:

  • Cost: The cost of materials can significantly affect the overall budget for your warehouse. Finding the most cost-effective option that is still of good quality is crucial.
  • Durability: If you settle for the cheapest material available, your warehouse will be more likely to experience damage and require repairs over time. High-quality materials are built to last and are more likely to withstand damage. For example, steel can not only withstand the elements, but it’s also resistant to termites, mold, mildew, rot, and fire damage.
  • Availability: Depending on your location, you may have limited access to certain materials. Make sure the material you select is available in your area and can be easily obtained. If not, you might have to pay extra for shipping or wait longer for it to arrive, which can cause delays.
  • Environmental Impact: Some materials are more sustainable than others. Steel, for example, is an excellent option because it’s 100% recyclable and does not contribute to deforestation. Additionally, it’s a long-lasting material that will help reduce landfill waste over time.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Warehouse?

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to the timeline of a warehouse construction process. For example, the pre-construction and procurement stages can sometimes take longer than expected. 

The pre-construction stage is when the needs are determined, the building codes and regulations are identified, the warehouse is designed, and the paperwork is prepared. The procurement stage is when materials are purchased, contractors are hired, and plans are finalized. Naturally, the bigger the project, the longer these stages can take.

Once these two steps are completed, it’s time to start building the warehouse. The timeline for this step can vary greatly depending on how big the warehouse is, the materials being used, and any unforeseen delays. For example, if you’re using a wide range of materials sourced from different suppliers from all over the world, there’s more of a risk of a delay in the delivery of materials that can push your timeline.

That said, if you’re assembling a pre-engineered warehouse that’s a small to moderate-sized building, it can take as little as a couple of days to erect. However, if you’re building a larger warehouse from the ground up that’s more complex and requires more materials sourced from different suppliers, it can take up to three weeks, sometimes longer, to complete.

Is It Better To Build Your Own Or Buy A Pre-Engineered Warehouse?

When deciding whether to build your warehouse or buy a prefabricated building, there are several things you’ll need to consider. Constructing your warehouse can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and it may require more materials than buying a prefabricated building. A prefabricated metal building is a building that is manufactured offsite and then assembled on-site, typically with prefabricated walls and panels. As a result, you don’t have to source materials from different suppliers, and it’s generally much less expensive than building from scratch since it won’t require nearly as much labor.

Why Consider A Pre-Engineered Steel Warehouse? 

Besides saving on labor costs and materials, there are several other benefits to choosing a pre-engineered steel warehouse over building from scratch.

  • Easy to maintain: Pre-engineered steel buildings are very low maintenance compared to other building materials. Steel is the most durable material available and is highly resistant to fire, wind, rot, and pests. Steel is also easier to keep clean and requires less frequent repair and replacement of parts.
  • Easily adaptable: Pre-engineered steel buildings are also easily adaptable over time, so you can modify and expand the structure as your needs change. It’s much more difficult to expand on a warehouse built from the ground up using other materials, like wood or concrete.
  • Easy to configure: Pre-engineered steel buildings can be configured to meet your exact needs despite being prefabricated. You can customize your warehouse’s size, shape, and layout to maximize your space and improve its efficiency. Not to mention that prefab steel buildings are often available with a wide variety of customization options, including the addition of different types of doors and windows or the installation of an insulated wall system.

Why Choose Sunward Steel For Prefabricated Warehouse Kits

If you plan to build a warehouse, then you must pick the right material. You’ll want to ensure that your warehouse will provide protection against the elements and be long-lasting and cost-efficient. Here at Sunward Steel Buildings, we are a leading provider of prefabricated metal building kits that use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. The following are the reasons you should work with Sunward Steel for your warehouse building project.


Our experienced designers, engineers, and fabricators specialize in customizing prefabricated steel buildings to fit your exact needs and specifications. We are a single-source manufacturer with factories in North Dakota and South Carolina. In addition to manufacturing all parts of the building, we offer a wide range of design and engineering services to help you get exactly what you need. We can help draft your building plans, value engineer your building, collaborate with your architects, and provide certified engineering plans.


Dealing with an experienced provider of prefabricated steel buildings is key to ensuring that your building project goes smoothly. At Sunward Steel, we have over 50 years of experience in the metal building industry, providing us with unparalleled expertise and knowledge. We’ve worked with many customers on various projects, from simple garages to large industrial warehouses, so you can trust that our team has the experience and know-how to help you get your building project done right.


No business can last as long as we have without a good reputation. Our reputation is a critical aspect of our business, and we take great pride in providing top-notch service. Our dedicated customer service professionals are available to answer any of your questions or address any of your concerns throughout your project. You’ll find that our dedication to customer service and the quality of our work have contributed to our stellar reputation.

You Can Get Great Deals For A Warehouse That Meets Your Needs 

When it comes to building a warehouse, pre-engineered steel buildings are the ideal choice. Not only are they strong, durable, and cost-efficient, but they are also easily adaptable and easy to assemble. Here at Sunward Steel Buildings, we specialize in providing top-of-the-line prefabricated steel building kits that allow our customers to customize the design of their warehouse to meet their exact needs.

Explore our superior steel warehouse buildings and get started on your project today.

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