Butler Manufacturing was founded in 1901 and they’re still a leader in steel building manufacturing. Today they operate six North American manufacturing plants and have regional offices in 12 states. However, their products are sold throughout North America through their approved local contractor offices.
Butler specializes in government, corporate, and local residential buildings with their steel building systems. They also have a specific system for mezzanines and provide complete roofing and wall systems.
Butler Manufacturing Services
Broadly speaking, Butler Manufacturing specializes in self-assembly steel building kits, or systems. Their standard system products include the Tier I Classic™ Building System, Tier II Classic™ Building System, Landmark™ 2000 Structural System, Self-Storage Building Systems, and the Widespan™ Structural System.
They also have kits specifically for mezzanines, hybrid structures, and customization for more complex structures.
Tier I and Tier II Classic™ Building Systems
The Tier I and Tier II Classic™ systems are the most basic of Butler Manufacturing’s products. This doesn’t mean they’re “cheap” or not customizable. They’re simply the most universal of their products; they can be used for almost any building function, including agricultural and light industrial buildings.
The Tier I system includes:
- 10’-30’ eve height
- Butlerib II roof
- 30’-750’ length
- 20’-250’ width (maximum 120’ clear span)
- Bays to 32’
The Tier II system has similar features, but with more customization options. These buildings can be designed with the following features:
- Skirt walls
- Adjacent units
- Below eave canopies at end walls and sidewalls
- Insulated metal panels
Landmark™ 2000 Structural System
This standard system is best for aviation hangars, retail centers, manufacturing plants, and warehouse/distribution facilities. Each system provides:
- Butler’s MR-24® roof system
- Metal or hard-wall outer panels
- Open floorplan options
- Truss PurlinXT (open-web secondary structural members)
- Bays to 60’ (in 6” increments)
- Straight and/or tapered columns
- Acrylic-coated galvanized trusses
- Integration with conventional wall products (masonry, nonmetal curtain walls, etc.)
The Landmark 2000’s combination of solid-web primary frames and open-web secondary structural members is a Butler Manufacturing-exclusive system.
Self-Storage Building System
Designed specifically with self-storage in mind, Butler offers a metal building system that provides:
- climate-control options
- MR-24® roof system option
- Multistory options
- Exterior finish options
- Wind-rated doors (a Butler-exclusive feature)
The exterior finishes come in everything from metal to brick and will meet local building codes and covenants.
The doors in Butler’s self-storage systems are the only ones on the market that are wind-rated.
Widespan™ Structural System
The Butler Manufacturing website calls their Widespan™ system their “most basic and versatile” structural system. They recommend it for truck terminals, retail centers, manufacturing plants, office complexes, and indoor athletic facilities.
The system features:
- Support for metal, nonmetal load bearing, or nonmetal curtain wall perimeter walls
- Easy facilitation of future expansions or extensions
- Accommodation for most eave heights and roof slopes from ¼”:12” or greater
- Acrylic-coated galvanized C/Z structural members
- Straight or tapered column options
- Open floor plan options
Butler Express Mezz™ System
Butler’s mezzanine systems are so unique in the industry that they’ve trademark the “Mezz” system name. These systems do not require welding and they can be finished with Butler primer paint or a G30 galvanized finish.
Their freestanding design allows Butler’s mezzanine systems to be added to an existing structure or be included on a brand-new building.
Butler Express Mezz™ System includes the following features:
- Standard sizes: 8’x8’ up to 28’x28’ in 4-foot increments
- Two standard heights of 9’ and 10’ (clearance from underside of perimeter beams)
- Six floor surface options
The floor options include a 4” cast-in-place concrete option and a ¾” board option, as well as pallet jack ratings for up to 2,800 pounds.
Hybrid Building Designs
Butler offers designs that integrate conventional steel and pre-engineered steel for more cost-effective buildings. Each solution includes three types of primary structural steel: mill beam, truss girders or hybrid combinations, and three plate members).
These are then integrated with secondary structural members: Zee purlins, truss purlins, or bar joists. Finally, the Butler structural systems can be integrated with any wall material, from concrete to EIFS, to create the final look the client wants.
Butler’s metal roof systems can also be integrated into a hybrid design.
Complex structures need more design and support than simpler, conventional buildings. Butler Manufacturing combines their pre-engineered metal systems with more structural design.
Their Heavy Structure services broadly fall into the following categories:
- Heavy industrial complexes (steel mills, heavy manufacturing plants, etc.)
- Large clear span structures (sports facilities, aircraft hangars)
- Highly architectural structures (entertainment venues)
Butler offers nine different metal roof systems that are all customizable for your projects. Some the features in the individual packages include but aren’t limited to:
- Rigid insulation board
- Steel liner
- Factory-cut and punched panels
- Factory-slotted holes
- abuse-resistant liners
Like their roofs, Butler Manufacturing’s walls come in a number of different systems that can be used with other Butler systems or conventional wall materials.
The six main systems offered are:
- Butlerib II™ systems
- Thermawall™ systems
- eStylWall™ Flat Wall systems
- Shadowall™ systems
- SylWall™ systems
- TextureWall™ Panel Wall system
Within each of those categories, Butler Manufacturing offers up to three different styles, such as fluted or flat wall systems.
The Butler Manufacturing website gives very little information about pricing. They recommend customers call a local representative to discuss the specifics of their project before giving any general estimates of their pricing.
They do claim that their MR-24® roof system can reduce maintenance costs by up to 90% compared to conventional materials, They also use color finishes that can lower energy use to cool buildings by up to 30%, which saves you money in the long run.
There’s no information on whether or not Butler Manufacturing provides financing options for their clients. Other companies may work with third-party lenders instead of offering internal financing, but Butler doesn’t provide information on either.
Butler Manufacturing Reviews & Rating
The website for Butler Manufacturing includes several in-depth testimonials from their customers. The featured stories give details about the specific projects, but here are the short and sweet reviews directly from the customers:
David Comeaux, Butler Manufacturing testimonial – “The building is so beautiful … We don’t want the building to overpower the furniture that we sell, so I think the furniture that we have and the building really complement each other. The Butler building that we use and painting the beams help us to keep construction costs down.”
Chuck Aungst, Butler Manufacturing testimonial – “Once we understood the budget constraints, we immediately turned to a pre-engineered solution by Butler to help us save money and to achieve our schedule. The architect felt satisfied that his design was not compromised in any way.”
- Innovative and unique designs – Many of the features Butler systems offer are exclusive to the Butler brand. They’re the only steel building manufacturer that has wind-rated doors, they’ve eliminated the need for drilling on their systems, and their gable trims require 85% fewer fasteners than their competitors.
- Extensive warranties – The Butler-Cote® roof and wall panel warranty is a full 25 years with no prorating. It protects against peeling, cracking, chipping, or blistering of the paint finish under normal use.
- Extensive package options – The sheer number of different systems Butler Manufacturing provides puts them above their competitors. Along with the customization of each system, if you can’t find what you’re looking for with Butler, you may never find it.
- No direct contact with Butler Manufacturing – While the Butler Manufacturing website is aimed at clients looking to build, it seems the company does not actually deal with customers directly. Instead, they provide a list of “Butler Builders,” which are local contractors approved by Butler to sell and install their products. It’s not quite a third-party system, but the customer service is not as direct as it is with Butler’s competitors.
- No pricing information – Not only does Butler Manufacturing not offer any pricing information on their website, they also don’t provide direct quotes. Instead, all designing, building, and pricing is handled through their approved Butler Builder contacts, which vary by your location. Some customers may feel like they’re dealing with a middleman, which feels less ideal than working with one company directly.
- Difficult to know the product quality – Since all of Butler’s dealings are through local contractors, any issues customers have with their products are likely to be expressed through a review of those contractors, not Butler directly. Therefore, it can be difficult to get an idea of how satisfied customers are with their Butler buildings.