The 5 Most Effective Habits of Successful Steel Building Projects
Starting a steel building project shouldn’t be hard. This is your dream steel building, the one you’ll own for 50 years and may even pass along to your family. Still, a pre-engineered steel building project is a bit more complicated than a Tuff Shed or lumber package like the one you’re accustomed to seeing at Home Depot or your local hardware store. There are snow, wind, seismic and collateral loads to consider, not to mention you’re investing in a pre-engineered building kit, designed to your unique specifications.
Have you ever read online testimonials and reviews on different websites, where customers just gush about their experience, and you think, ‘That’s exactly the kind of experience I want!’ Generally, those people practiced several habits, and I’ve tried to compile them here to help you execute a successful steel building project.
I’ll be honest. Designing, engineering and fabricating a quality pre-engineered steel building takes some time. If you want a building quickly, you can certainly have one. But you don’t want to risk it being hastily fabricated, which may cause your steel building project to suffer mistakes down the road. For example, one likely reason you chose to purchase a pre-engineered steel building is because erection time is relatively quick when compared to other building materials, like wood or brick. As I mentioned before, pre-engineered steel buildings are designed according to your specific dimensions and bolt together seamlessly. It’s like a giant, grown up erector set.
Steel building providers will work just as fast as you can to get your building designed, engineered and fabricated, but some parts of the process, like permitting, just can’t be rushed. And you wouldn’t want it to be rushed! What good is a building kit on on your property if it can’t be approved by your county or homeowner’s association? This may result in your dream building turning into a pile of wasted money, time and opportunity. Have the patience to give your steel building provider or contractor time to get your building designed right the first time and you’ll be happy for decades to come.
Don’t Chase the Cheapest Price
Time isn’t the only investment you’ll need to make if you want a quality pre-engineered steel building. Yes, I’m talking about money. If I’m grocery shopping, I’m looking for the best deal I can find. I might buy an off-brand can of green beans or generic bag of flour so I can save some money or maybe there’s a meat sale and I can stock steak in my freezer. That’s one thing. You don’t want to pick your steel building provider JUST because they have the cheapest prices. Sometimes the cheapest price is also the best quality, but that’s not usually the case. To provide the highest quality steel buildings, a manufacturer has to employ the best staff, use the best products, and hold the best designs the highest standards. And they have to actually make the product themselves. Beware a company who outsources design or manufacturing. A cheaper price usually means a lower quality steel and expensive problems in the future. The hidden danger of the cheapest price isn’t a loss of money. If the building isn’t structurally sound, rusts easily, or is poorly designed, it’s not safe for you or your family.
Prepared Job Site
Erecting your pre-engineered steel building can be done in as little as a few weeks, but it requires you to do some work while you wait for your pre-engineered steel building to arrive. Before you can erect your building, you need to prepare your job site. That usually starts with a foundation. The best time to lay your foundation is during the summer. You can lay a foundation during the winter, but your risk of making a mistake increases. Your cement could freeze before the curing process is finished, which could crack your foundation due to frost heaving. Your foundation is what you’re pre-engineered steel building rests on, and if your foundation is compromised, your pre-engineered steel building won’t stand much of a chance.
Did you get the proper permits? If you didn’t, you might not be able to erect your building on the site you planned. It might not be possible to change locations for your pre-engineered steel building because it’s designed specifically for your specific area. Elements like wind and snow are taken into consideration when designing your building and you may not meet the proper requirements to erect on a different site.
Once your foundation is laid and you have all of the proper paperwork, be sure you have all of the required tools to properly erect your pre-engineered steel building. Generally, you’ll only need a basic tool box to erect your pre-engineered steel building, but you could always ask your project manager just exactly what you need. A set of directions will come with your pre-engineered steel building and they’re vital to a successful steel building project. Don’t forget about site planning, survey, land grading, and making sure your site is accessible for large delivery trucks.
Before you begin the erection process, inspect your order to be sure you received everything. It’s tough to erect a pre-engineered steel if you’re missing pieces and if you don’t take inventory, you won’t know if you’re missing anything until it’s too late. When your building arrives, you receive an inventory list and instructions via email with the above information. Go through each part of your inventory item by item, checking all bundles, bulk packages, concealed containers and special products. Each component will be labeled with your job number. Be sure to open the boxes and crates and look for parts that may be bundled together with straps. You should complete this step as soon as possible, regardless of when you are erecting the building. Taking inventory will save you time, keep you organized and prevent future problems.
In life, change and the unforeseen is inevitable. I drop my keys on my way to my car multiple times a week. It’s annoying and extremely frustrating. Remember, this is a construction project. They can be frustrating too. Multiple staff members are working in concert with you to ensure nothing goes wrong, but if issues arise, you’re only a phone call away. A “can do” attitude is necessary to keep little setbacks from ruining your day and make your steel building project a success. You’ll see the attitude on the other side of the phone as well. We’re here to help.
Calling out to all construction professionals! How have you been able to ensure your customers have the best experience? Share them below! We’re all in this together!