What’s The Difference: Weld-Up vs. Bolt-Up Metal Buildings

Feb. 28, 2022

By Kaitlyn Timmons, Prime Metal Buildings & Components

Prime Metal Buildings & Components offers two types of building solutions to fit your needs: pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMBs), which are bolt-together building kits, and metal building components for field fabricated weld-up buildings.

Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings (Bolt-Up)

PEMBs or bolt-up buildings are metal components that are pre-engineered into metal building kits. PEMB building components are fabricated at Prime and come with pre-drilled holes so the pieces line up and bolt-together perfectly. The building kit is then shipped to the customer’s job site and assembled according to the erection manual or instructions.

PEMBs come with an engineer’s stamp since these building systems have been reviewed by an engineer before being fabricated in our shop. Once a building design has been approved by the customer, the project is then sent to an engineer who confirms the design meets all building codes based on the project’s location. For example, a building sitting over a fault line in California will have different requirements than one that receives heavy snow loads in Colorado.  Prime designs your building to your location.

Bolt-together buildings can be used in a wide variety of applications such as industrial/commercial, agricultural, aviation, dairy, equestrian, etc.

Field-Fabricated Metal Buildings (Weld-Up)

Field fabricated weld-up buildings are metal building systems that are fabricated at the job site, much like a wood-framed home. The customer or contractor orders and receives industry-standard material that is needed for their job.  Once the components arrive, each piece is measured, cut, and welded onsite.

Field fabricated weld-up building systems can only be erected where building codes allow and where an engineer’s stamp is not required.

Unlike bolt-up buildings, the customer or contractor is responsible for the design of the building. Weld-up buildings do not come with a list of instructions or a manual, so erection time (depending on the size of the erection crew) can take longer than a bolt-up building of the same size. However, the ordering and delivery process of weld-up buildings is quicker than a bolt-up building. A contractor can usually pick up an order for a weld-up building within 24 hours, but since a bolt-up building must be designed, engineered, and fabricated before delivery, the process is a bit longer.

In terms of price, weld-up buildings are typically more economical than pre-engineered buildings, since no engineer stamp is provided from the manufacturer with a weld-up building.

When deciding between a pre-engineered building or a weld-up building, the choice is really determined by your structural needs. Both building types offer customization and flexibility for the customer.

For additional information about PEMB vs Weld-Up Buildings, please contact one of our friendly sales associates at 254-445-4462.