A metal building is a substantial investment. You want to find the best supplier to safeguard your investment from the beginning. You will find several options for buying a steel building, so you need to find a way to build a short list of quality vendors and make your decision safe in the knowledge that you have done your homework.
Here are ten tips for finding the best steel buildings supplier.
1. Check the local building code
Your vendor should be knowledgeable about the local building code. If you plan to build the building yourself make sure you contact the local building official to get the latest information on building codes in your area. If you plan to use your general contractor then he will be responsible for making sure your new metal building complies with local building codes.
2. Plan carefully before buying
Make sure you know, in consultation with the building representative, exactly what you need before you make your purchase. While you can bring in a drawing on a napkin, the more details, you can give to the steel building manufacturer, the fewer problems you will incur.
- Know the dimensions and purpose of the building.
- Determine the roof pitch you need.
- Is this a single or multistory building?
- Identify the number of openings you need for windows and doors.
- Consider how much insulation you may need.
- Select your accessories such as gutters, downspouts, cool-roof options, and other details.
Plan well to get the building you need without expensive changes and delays.
3. Choose the building site
You need to know where the building will go before you buy it. The site will determine dimensions and whether it is properly zoned for your planned building. Easement restrictions and other issues may apply.
If you think you may expand in the future, you need to consider that before purchasing the land. Your distributor will need to know the location so your building will comply with local regulations.
4. Be wary of great deals
Don’t get scammed by a deal that is too good to be true. Aggressive sales tactics are another reason to walk away and find someone else.
It’s possible you could purchase a building from a project that was canceled, but it won't be the building you need. Cheap is as cheap does. You are making a significant investment in a building that should last decades. Don't start off with poor quality goods or a product that doesn’t match your needs.
An aggressive salesperson may try to overcharge you for extras that are necessary for your building to operate properly or be unloading old inventory. Either way, your needs will not be met.
5. Start with quality design engineering and materials
Your building is only as good as the material from which it is made. And no building can be high quality without experienced design engineers creating the plans for the final product.
Ask other building owners about the manufacturer of their metal buildings and do your research. Manufacturers can have expertise in particular industries or be good generalists. Decide which will work best for you.
6. Insist on good project management
Construction of any sort is a complicated undertaking. Someone needs to be driving the project to completion while ensuring each phase is performed to plan. Good project managers make realistic schedules, make deadlines, and take care of details such as zoning and permitting. Metal building manufacturers typically do not provide this service for the construction of the building. If you are not using a general contractor, then seek an independent construction manager to oversee the building.
Shoddy or absent project management results in numerous delays, rework, and illogical scheduling.
7. Perform inventory
As soon as your building kit arrives at the site, make sure inventory is performed to identify any missing or damaged parts. The best metal building suppliers will have few or no missing or damaged parts and are extremely responsive when there is a problem.
Contact the vendor immediately if you find anything wrong. You can’t afford delays once you have your building because you have workers coming to assemble it and potentially rented equipment.
Waiting for replacement parts can throw the schedule out the window. You need to know as soon as possible if you need to make a change.
8. Check business ratings and references
Once you have narrowed your list, check the Better Business Bureau, industry websites, and other avenues to determine if there are any complaints or issues with a particular vendor. With the internet, it is easier than ever for someone to make their complaints public.
Take care that you are getting information from a reputable site, though. You want to know the information you are reading is a true picture of the company and not someone’s sour grapes.
Ask the company for references and testimonials as well. Take the time to call or visit the references to see the kind of product this supplier provides and how easy it was to work with. Visit the most recently completed projects to get the best idea of how well the vendor is meeting the needs of recent customers.
9. Get the company history
Find out as much as you can about the company.
- How many years has it been in business?
- Has it always been owned and operated by the same person or group?
- Does it supply metal buildings in your area?
- How many buildings has the company supplied?
- What size projects has the company completed?
You need to know the level of expertise and years in the industry, especially if you need a specialty building such as a medical office or refrigerated warehouse.
10. Don’t forget about accessories
Your building consists of the basic frame and panels. There are more choices to make than dimensions. You need to decide on openings, windows and doors, gutters and downspouts, trim and other items to complete the structure.
A good supplier will guide you through the entire process, so you won't miss anything vital and can help you select the best option for your needs.
Follow these ten tips for finding the best metal building vendor, and you are well on your way to owning a steel building that matches your every requirement. It will be fabricated with high-quality steel that will last for decades and can easily be changed for a new venture or updated with new accessories.
Start with a quality supplier to obtain a quality end product.