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DustyJ (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jun 08 13:29
I know this changes weekly, but I'm trying to get a good idea of what to use for a cost estimate based on $/lb of fabricated structural steel. Anyone have any recent data on this? I mainly deal with North America. Thanks.
MechEng2005 (Mechanical)
18 Jun 08 13:53
I'm not sure I follow exactly what you mean by "fabricated structural steel"...

However, I looked up our recent (past month) cost for the following two items:

Wide flange, 4" X 13 lb/ft
Channel, 3" X 4.1 lb/ft

In both cases the cost was about 60 cents per pound. Obviously, these are the smallest common sizes of both wide flange beam and channel, so it might vary a little based on shape and size. Two items is nothing to live and die by for sure. However, for a rough approximation, without more info, that's what I can give you.

If by "fabricated" you mean steel that has been machined, that would depend greatly on the design. A 3 pound piece with 10 hours of machining required will be way more expensive than a 40 pound beam with a few drilled holes.

DustyJ (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jun 08 14:10
Thanks, MechEng2005.  What I meant by "fabricated structural steel" is a broad estimate for beams (drilled for bolted connections), plate (ditto), and structural bracing (angle).  We have traditionally used between $1.50-$2/lb for fabricated and painted fabricated steel over the last couple years.  We have little time to break down our custom structures for quick quotes, but we've found that where we fall short on some items we make up by being high in other areas.  I hear steel costs have almost doubled this year (?).
Helpful Member!  civilperson (Structural)
18 Jun 08 14:19
On a project with 27 tons of structural steel in March 2008, $1.47/lb complete and erected with paint.
namanges (Structural)
18 Jun 08 14:45
This also depends on if you are ordering from a mill or a service center.  I don't know exact numbers, but it seems to me that one of our recent projects was $1.75/lb from the mill and almost $2.50/lb from the service center.  We deal mainly stainless steels and I don't remember if those prices were for stainless material or CS.  The point being-the price is dependant on whether you order from the mill or from a service center.


rulljs (Structural)
18 Jun 08 14:59
Lately prices for our steel orders which include fabrication and galvanizing have been coming in at right around $3/lb, some a little under some a little above, this is for orders around 6 tons.
Helpful Member!  TTUengr51 (Structural)
18 Jun 08 19:04
On a recent budget analysis for a project in Knovxille, TN, I was quoted approximately $2500/ton for erection and fabrication for a steel frame.  I have another project coming up in New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia and was advised in the northeast this number is closer to $3000/ton.
lkjh345 (Structural)
19 Jun 08 8:01
Looking through a contractor's recently completed estimate for a building with a mid-point of construction of next summer: they are showing $4,250/ton for 725 tons of steel.

Building is in Nebraska.

Steel prices and delivery times are extremely volitile right now. As you noted, these numbers change frequently. Almost by the day.
hokie66 (Structural)
19 Jun 08 8:14
A wide range, for sure.  But that has always been the case.  Depends a lot on the competition at the time of fabrication.  Light sections cost more per ton than heavy.  Complex connections cost more than simple.  Complicated framing systems cost more.  The name of a given architect or engineer on the plans can attract a premium.  There are a lot of variables.  Estimating is best left to the people who do it all the time and keep the necessary databases up to date.

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