Cold Hard Facts about Steel Building Shopping
Let’s face it, when you set out to make a big purchase of any kind, it can be scary or frustrating. How do you know where to start? Are you paying too much? Have you comparison shopped enough? Are you really getting a deal, just because the company says you are? It can be such a nerve-wracking process! Basically, you want to accomplish two goals: get the best value for your money and have a stress-free experience.
Shopping for a steel building is no different. The trick is to be an empowered and knowledgeable consumer. So I have a few cold, hard facts to offer when you start shopping for your dream building.
A flashy website doesn’t always equal a good company
These days, anyone can buy a domain name with a couple bucks and slap a logo and a phone number on a web page. Forrester Research estimates that the U.S. online retail industry will be worth 279 billion dollars at the end of 2015. That’s because just over 80% of Americans have ever bought something online. Look over each steel building provider’s website, and make sure they offer reviews and testimonials, or ratings from organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
Don’t shop based on price alone
Being frugal is different than being cheap. Some people think that they are saving money by getting the cheapest steel building, but it can backfire. If you’re being frugal, you’re looking at getting more for your money. But if you buy cheap, you’re most likely getting a steel building that will need fixing or extreme maintenance down the road. One of the biggest benefits to a steel building is that, if it’s of quality construction, it will need little to no maintenance over the course of its lifetime. Unlike traditional construction methods, a steel building will last multiple decades. Armstrong backs that claim up by offering a 50-year structural warranty, 40-year Wall Panel and Paint Warranty, and a 35-year Roof panel warranty.
Project Managers should NOT be an extra cost
Most companies will not include a project manager when you make a steel building purchase. If they do, often times it’s an extra cost. Project Managers are focused strictly on your budget and your requirements, and they don’t care about profit. As a matter of fact, most of the time they are looking to save you money on your steel building. It’s imperative to choose a steel building supplier that provides you with a dedicated project manager. If they can’t, they are most likely a broker, or the same sales rep that originally sold you the building in the first place. With a broker, you don’t have a professional on your side, and you might not have any control on the design or engineering of the building.
An in-house engineering department makes all the difference
Why is it important to look for a steel building company with an in-house engineering department? Some companies farm the engineering and detailing duties out to other organizations that are halfway around the world. There’s nothing wrong with that, but wouldn’t you want to be able to talk to your engineer or detailer if you had any issues, or wanted to make any changes? When brokers work back and forth with contract dealers overseas, it opens up the risk for more accuracy errors, and quality control isn’t as closely monitored. The following scenario happens in our office frequently. A customer just like you will call or email us, ask a question, change the color of their building, add and subtract a few feet from the length of the building, inquire about an extra door or window, or have a hundred different requests pertaining to the process. You get the idea! So, instead of calling a different country and getting the ‘run-around’, our project managers stand up, walk out of their office, and step right up to our others engineers and estimators. The line of communication is open between departments, ensuring the precision of each request and order.
A steel building supplier with a manufacturing facility has a big advantage over those that don’t
Steel building suppliers that own and operate their own manufacturing facilities have a big benefit: control. They can focus on superior design, shipping, and plant efficiency. Companies that don’t have a manufacturing facility are subject to other factories or facilities making their product for them. As the demand for pre-engineered metal buildings continues to rise, suppliers with a manufacturing facility will be about to control the quality and direction of their product, manage their own costs, and adequately meet consumer demand.
You don’t deserve to be pressured into buying
From the moment you speak to a steel building supplier, you are going to be on their radar. After reading the Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Steel Building Quote, you understand why you are asked for your information and location. You don’t want to be constantly pressured to buy once you provide that information. Still, Armstrong Steel will continue to send you helpful resources in order for you to make an informed decision. We even provide a checklist on your steel building quote, and invite you to compare our characteristics to others. Even after you get a quote, there is no obligation beyond that. Yes, this is a business, but Armstrong Steel is in the business of people, not pre-engineered metal buildings. We’re here to help you realize your dreams.
Once you’ve completed your research, you’ll know what type of steel building you want. When you want to continue that journey, we’re here to help.Photo courtesy: Barta IV