Riverside Ice Rink at Doty Park This is an outdoor ice rink that is open 8 months a year.  The rink offers hockey leagues, broomball leagues, skating lessons and open skating. The facility features and splash pad for summer fun and a regulation size ice rink for winter fun.  It also has a concession building and a parking garage for a zamboni.         20151125_161456 20151031_071918 20151013_150339 20151025_173807_003

Featured Project – United Lutheran Church in Rockford, IL


DESCRIPTION:  Renovation of the existing church building.  Added skylights and modernized the look of the sanctuary, installation of glass partition wall system.

APPROXIMATE COST:  $450,000 – $600,000

TIMELINE:  6 months

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL:  “When we chose Rockford Structures to renovate our church building, little did we know that we would get more than a contractor.  It has been our great honor and joy to work with such a fine local company.”  – Pastor Krista Zimmerman, Don Long, Council President and Gary Anderson, Renovation Committee Chair


Can a pre-engineered metal building have a basement?

Yes it can. We just recently took on a project in the Fall of 2013. It was is Design/Build project with a tight budget. We used the cost efficiencies of a pre-engineered building and had a plan developed that allowed the natural use of the properties geography for an exposed basement on the south side of the building. We used 12” concrete floor planks to handle the long span which also allowed for the basement to be column free for future use.


Can Rockford Structures build year-round?

YES we can! Here’s a quick overview of a recent project we worked on through the recent winter.


Rockford Structures Construction Company took on the winter of 2014 in Brodhead, Wisconsin this year.  One of our repeat customers came to us on their 10th project with us. They  needed a Pre-engineered Design/Build building project delivered for the Spring of 2014. To meet that tight schedule we had no other choice but to take on the winter of 2013 and 2014. To beat the winter, we had a team working 24 hours 7 days a week to prep the building pad and prep the area to accept concrete foundations. You can see pics and a short video of the project below.

How long will it take to build my building?

How long will it take to build my building? Rockford StructuresWhen some is looking to have a new building constructed, one of the most common questions we get asked is “how long will it take to build my building?” So in this post, will discuss some factors that influence how long it will take to building your building once you are ready to being.


The best answer to this question is “it depends”. There are different factors that affect how long it construction will take. Here are there big ones:

  1. What building materials will you be using?
  2. How long will it take to get the materials delivered?
  3. Is it possible to do construction work in your local climate year round?


With that as a starting point though, we can give some time-tested numbers for most projects. For example, most commercial buildings that are more than 10,000 square feet will take somewhere between 4-6 months to build. When you get up into more complex office buildings and larger industrial buildings, say 50,000 square feet or more, they can take from six to eight months. Year-long projects are usually projects that have a dollar value of five million dollars or more.

Most people don’t know the answers to the questions of time and materials. But you’re not expected to. That’s where a quality builder comes in.

A quality builder should handle all research and help you get clear on the best materials for you and your budget. They should understand the supply chain and know how long it will take to get materials to the job site. Finally, they must know how to handle the challenges of building in various climates and in various conditions.

At Rockford Structures, we’ve been guiding clients through the construction process for over 40 years. Please ask for our free advice by scheduling a free consultation with one of construction experts.

What needs to be taken care of before you can begin constructing a building?

Rockford Construction Rockford, IllinoisWhile constructing a building can be a very exciting process, it’s important to dot your i’s and cross your t’s before getting started to avoid unpleasant “surprises” during the construction phase.

In this post we’ll share 4 pre-construction items you need to consider before you can begin constructing your building


It’s important to say up front that every building project is unique. No two projects are exactly the same. However, on virtually every project there are some very important items you need to take care of during the pre-construction phase.

Here at Rockford Structures, we call this phase of the building process “Pre-construction Due Diligence”.  We include these items in our design and build process because if we don’t take care of these issues upfront, you can have your building process halted or stopped.


  1. DOES YOUR BUIDLING SITE HAVE SET BACKS OR EASEMENTS? Before you submit your drawings for a building permit, make sure to look at building setbacks and ensure there are no easements on the property.
  2.  DID YOU SUBMIT DRAWINGS FOR BUILDING PERMITS? Everyone knows you have to have a set of drawings for constructing your building, but not everyone knows that you need to turn those drawings into the local municipal authority and receive a building permit. A building permit grants legal permission to start the construction or alteration of a building in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Permits basically ensure any building project meets the codes of your local area and prevents you from being subject to legal action.
  3.  DOES YOUR BUILDING FIT YOUR PROPERTY DESIGNATION? If your building or the planned use of your building doesn’t fit the property designation, you may have to go through a zoning process to get the building approved. Make sure your building fits the property designation or make sure you know how to work with your zoning department to get your building approved.
  4. DO YOU HAVE ALL THE PERMITS YOUR NEED TO GET STARTED? Be aware of the miscellaneous permits. In many areas, there are additional permits you need in place before starting construction. For example, additional permits can include a state EPA permit for storm water pollution prevention. Sometimes the permitting processes can take at least 30 days to complete. So be prepared and aware of any additional permits you might need to keep your project moving forward


While the pre-construction process isn’t necessarily complicated, it does take time. In our opinion, it’s the most important part of the construction process because it sets the tone for the rest of the project. We know navigating this process can be confusing and overwhelming so we walk all of our clients through this process step-by-step.

Our entire process is designed help you keep the on track to meeting your building goals. We won’t move forward with any part of the construction process until the first things are taken care of. In other words, we won’t complete a full set of construction architectural drawings without knowing that we’re meeting the setbacks and we’re meeting the criteria of zoning. We take the necessary steps in a very methodical and strategic way so the entire construction process is as seamless and worry-free as can be.


At Rockford Structures, we’ve been guiding clients through the pre-constrcution and construction process for almost 50 years. Please ask for our free advice by scheduling a free consultation with one of construction experts.


Featured Project – Beef-a-Roo in Roscoe, IL


DESCRIPTION:  The building is a replica based off a historical train depot in French Lick Indiana.  A railroad themed restaurant with wood frame and masonry exterior.  Interior is exposed timber framed trusses in a train depot theme.

APPROXIMATE COST:  $750,000 – $1.2 million

TIMELINE:  5 months

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL:  “They (Rockford Structures) don’t just give you a key and walk away.  This company stands behind their own work, subcontractor’s work and materials.”  Jean Vitale, Owner and Partner And Nick DeBruler, New Construction Coordinator for Beef-a-Roo Restaurants.



The Most Important Building Questions To Ask Your Builder: How long will it take to build my building?

Hiring a company to building your building can be a challenging task. Knowing what questions to ask builders can be even more daunting.


Every building is a little different depending on what type of materials you’re using, how long it takes to get the materials, along with certainly in the north country here whether we’re building in winter or summer. But, as a basis to use, most commercial buildings more than 10,000 square feet will take somewhere around four to six months. When you get up into more complex office buildings and larger industrial buildings, say 50,000 square feet or more, they can take from six to eight months. Year-long projects are usually projects that have a dollar value of five million dollars or more.

That gives you a basis of how long it should take to build your building. Certainly, winter and materials play a big part, that’s one of the things we help research, and go through, and get nailed down before we even start construction.


Can RSCC build my building?

rockstructureThe short answer is yes we can.

There are several different types of construction available today.  The first and most basic separation in type of construction is use.  Most builders separate this at residential or commercial construction. For the purpose of this discussion, we will be dealing with commercial construction and various types of buildings available within it.

There are three main types of commercial construction that we specialize in;


1)      Conventional (sometimes called stick- built) construction. This is typically what you think of as steel or wood stud framing with stud wall infill. Flat roof designs typically have bar joist and deck to support snow loads and mechanicals placed on roofs.  This tends to be the most expensive type of construction of the three mentioned here.  The benefit of this type of construction is that if you can dream it, we can build it. You have a lot of design freedom to meet specific needs or desires.  There are many types of construction choices available within conventional construction, steel or wood studs, flat or pitched roofs, brick and block. See examples of RSCC buildings that utilize this type of construction here.


2)      Pre- Engineered Construction/ steel building. Steel buildings are gaining in popularity with customers due to the many different types of designs available today. Many of these structures look just like conventional buildings and are being used for new churches, medical facilities, offices buildings and in schools. They are generally less expensive than traditional construction; steel framing is very strong and allows for long spans of wide open spaces under one roof. This type of construction can save time during the construction process and you can be “up and running” quickly and affordably. See examples of RSCC buildings that utilize this type of construction here. RSCC uses STAR buildings, read and see more about Star here.



3)      Tilt-up Concrete construction. This is generally the fastest type of construction. With proper design and fabrication, this building can be constructed in a fraction of the time of conventional construction. This is a very affordable and fast way to erect your building. This is excellent for warehouse or industrial use. Many “box stores” use this type of construction. It can be used for almost any building, small to very large. See examples of RSCC buildings that utilize this type of construction here.

The responsibility of an outstanding general contractor is to marry your building needs with the proper type of construction based on size, time and price. That’s what Rockford Structures can and will do for you.

What are the Advantages of a Pre-engineered Building?

blog photoWorking with Rockford Structures Construction Company and a Star Pre-engineered building system is easy. That’s because RSCC is there from start to finish. Below are some of the advantages of building with RSCC and a Star Pre-engineered Metal Building:

Faster Construction
A Pre-engineered building system can cut weeks off of your building construction time, saving time and money.

Lower Life-Cycle Costs
Resulting in greater return on investment

Design Flexibility
A pre-engineered building can be designed to meet your individual needs and requirements. It can be designed to be expanded to fit your needs as your business grows and can easily and affordably provide you with a clear, column-free interior space. This allows complete flexibility in the design of the interior layout of your building.  No other material provides such flexibility.

Strength and Durability
Metal buildings are more likely to survive harsh weather conditions than other types of construction. They are designed to withstand the long-term effects of the elements and pests such as termites.

Low Maintenance
Today’s long-life finishes provide years of care-free beauty. A Star metal building will require less maintenance than similar structures made from other types of materials.  You will be proud of your new facility for years to come.

Energy Efficiency
All structures are easily insulated with fiberglass or rigid board.  An insulated Star building can dramatically decrease heating and cooling expenses. Star insulated panel systems, low profile roof options and cool roof colors can also significantly reduce energy costs.

Star Buildings are produced using only high-grade metal and premium components. You can be sure that your investment will be built to last and will serve you well for years to come.

Environmentally Friendly and Manufactured locally.
Star metal buildings are produced with materials that are 99% recyclable. Many of the mainframes and components are manufactured in Monticello, Iowa. The insulated metal panels are manufactured in Central Illinois.

Cost Savings 
All these features make the partnership of RSCC and Star Building Systems easy on your budget. With fast construction, unmatched durability, carefree maintenance and affordable customization, it is easy to see why RSCC and Star Building will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

How much does restaurant design and construction cost?


Restaurant Design and Construction Budgets – Usually one of the first questions we’re asked by those embarking on restaurant projects relates to budget.  How much does it cost?  Well, budgets can swing dramatically from project to project, but here are some rules of thumb.  Generally, restaurants are built between $25 – $300 a square foot (some mega projects or ultra-high-end projects have gone for a few thousand a square foot), but this also depends on whether we are doing a renovation, or new construction. l_89beefaroo015 The cost for “restaurant design” and planning is often around 5-10% of the construction budget (considering strictly the design phases of the project, not larger concept development issues involved in large scale development projects).  The type of restaurant you are building is certainly a factor – you’ll spend more per square foot for a fine dining restaurant than a fast-casual concept, generally speaking.  Also, you should expect an entirely different financial model in approaching the creation of a new restaurant concept you plan to roll-out nationwide versus a single one-off concept.  The former requires much more planning and development.  An average Red Lobster is believed to cost around $120 per square foot and an average Starbucks around $85 per square foot.  However, these companies have spent millions and millions in design, branding and purchasing planning/efficiencies, so a start-up shouldn’t expect to be anywhere near these ranges in creating a new concept from scratch.  It is amazing how often someone thinks they will be the nextStarbucks within a 10 year period and with a $500,000 investment.  Starbucks has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to perfect what we see today in their latest restaurant prototype.  It’s more than just wishful thinking to think it can be duplicated as a growth concept within the cost of what they can today build a single unit they’ve spent so much perfecting.  Mega chains can afford seven-figure per year Executive Vice President’s and teams of hundreds working on a new concept.  It’s believed well over $10M (“soft” costs) is spent developing just the prototype plans some projects.  So can a new prototype be created for less than $10m?  Of course.  By all means.

l_90beefaroo030It’s less likely though that the next billion dollar brand can be conceived within less than the cost of opening a single unit though.  At a minimum, you can expect to spend a lot more in the years to come correcting the mistakes of the under-funded prototype.  There’s a saying, “Measure twice and cut once”.