A metal building is a major project. It represents a capital investment in a product that is expected to last for decades. You need to know that you have the best supplier for your particular type of building; one who is responsive to your needs.
To find the best supplier and manufacturer for your project, here are some pieces of information that will help you research each candidate and prepare for your dealings. Plan on a tour of the facility, if possible. The environment within the company can help you decide if this is the right one for the job.
1. Who is the Supplier?
You can get your metal building from different entities. In each case, however, the same questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you do business with them.
This is the company that will actually create your building, customizing it to your specifications. The manufacturer takes the information about the size of the building you need, the design loads, the building code requirements, and uses them in fabricating your metal building system. The manufacturer also creates the drawings and delivers the building kit to your site.
A contractor can purchase a metal building from a manufacturer and resell it to a customer. The contractor also puts together the construction crew and is responsible for getting the building erected on your site.
A broker is someone who brings together the various entities who need to do business together. Essentially a middle-man, the broker purchases the building from the manufacturer and re-sells it to the customer who is then responsible for construction.
2. What Are the Manufacturer’s Credentials?
As a way of ensuring your building manufacturer follows best practices and provides a quality product, you will want to find out about their credentials and experience.
If you are working with a contractor or broker, ask them the name of the manufacturer. There is no reason they shouldn’t share that information. If they won’t, find someone else. With the name of the manufacturer you can research and confirm the next three items without having to depend on a middle-man. You can also look for reviews and existing projects to see how that manufacturer’s product holds up.
Ask if the manufacturer is AC472 accredited. AC472 contains the Accreditation Criteria For Inspection Programs For Manufacturers Of Metal Building Systems from the International Accreditation Service. This third party service provides guidelines for inspection of metal building manufacturers, ensuring they follow the appropriate practices concerning personnel, materials, manufacturing processes, and more. AC472 accreditation can help you identify a manufacturer that produces a quality building.
If a manufacturer is a member of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), it is in good company. This trade association and its members develop and promote improvement and quality workmanship within the metal building industry. MBMA is an excellent place to look for a manufacturer for your project.
Not every contractor has experience with metal buildings. You want to make sure the contractor you use can successfully complete your project with no surprises. So, even though the contractor knows foundations, local building codes, and HVAC systems, you want to be certain he has the chops to construct metal buildings.
3. Are You Prepared?
Don’t meet with a manufacturer without knowing exactly what you will need.
- What will the building be used for?
- What size is it?
- What will the exterior be?
- What is the environment?
- What building codes impact the structure’s form or function?
The manufacturer is not responsible for any of these things. You and/or your contractor need to iron out these details before approaching a company about customizing and delivering a metal building system.
Selecting the right manufacturer for the job gives you one less thing to worry about. If you get all these questions answered you will be a long way towards finding the right company.* Picture courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net