Here’s The Easiest Way To Save Money on a Steel Building

Jackie-Hoppes

You want the most for your money. That much is obvious. Now, I realize that nothing in life is free, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to save your hard-earned money every time you want to make a purchase. Have a coupon for a local restaurant? Use it. Get discounts by becoming a member of a company’s “frequent shopper” program. If you can shave off a few bucks on a purchase, that’s great! You can do the same thing when you go shopping for a steel building, but doesn’t require a fancy membership card, or take any extra effort on your part.

Buy from a steel building manufacturer.

Now, your next question may be, “Doesn’t every steel building supplier qualify as a manufacturer?” Nope. There is a huge difference between a steel building manufacturer and a steel building broker, and the difference could cost you.

steel buildingA manufacturer is a company with their own factory, where they fabricate steel that goes into a pre-engineered metal building. Since a manufacturer can produce steel buildings at their own pace, they can order steel in bulk, and not depend solely on other companies. Plus, they can pass those savings down directly to the customer. Still, the price of steel, like all commodities, can be subject to a very volatile market. Steel prices might be at an all time low at the end of 2015, but are expected to rise by the end of 2016. Manufacturers can offer several advantages to first time builders. A broker sometimes calls themselves a ‘contract manufacturer,’ but the truth is they don’t actually manufacture anything. After you speak with a broker, they’ll shop your dimensions around to other building manufacturers, possibly find the lowest bidder and pocket the difference. Purchasing a building system from a broker could mean that you would be subject to mark ups on accessories, sight unseen. You want the choice to pick out your own doors, windows and insulation. Don’t let someone make the choice for you!

So, choosing the right manufacturer is the first step to saving money on a steel building purchase. Now, let’s keep the trend going.

You might think that choosing the cheapest price is a great way to save on a steel building too. Think again. This is a project you might only do once, and you want to do it right. The prospect of saving a few thousand bucks upfront is insignificant when you have to pay twice that amount down the road on repairs, replacements, or another building altogether! Choose a quality product and don’t settle for less than a 50-year structural warranty on your building.

Next, you’ll want to put a small engineering payment down to lock in your steel price. This payment gets you started on the path to a steel building, and accomplishes several goals. First, it protects you from the volatile steel market for a period of 90 days. Once your steel price is secured, you won’t have to deal with price increases. Secondly, the payment secures your slot in engineering. In-house engineers now begin to work on your drawings. The benefit of locking in your price even extends to future work. If you decide you want to go bigger and change the dimensions, the extra steel comes at the same rate at which you lock in your price. Once the engineers finish with your drawings, you’ll be assigned to a dedicated project manager. Now you have the ability to work with someone and customize all the aspects of your steel building project.

Along with the ability to choose the accessories you want, purchasing from a manufacturer will grant you the ability to communicate with the people directly working on your building. Should you wish to make changes to your building, you can speak with your project manager or edit your drawings. This is a luxury you’re not always granted when you purchase a steel building through a broker because you don’t have a relationship with the manufacturer that your broker chose. This chosen manufacturer can be located anywhere in the world and while there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that, it does mean there could be obstacles and communication difficulties. Make those changes or additions to your building, and when you’re ready, sign off on your drawings.

steel buildingAs you continue the process of purchasing a building directly from the factory, you’ll receive three copies of permit drawings. These drawings are signed and sealed by a professional engineer, and sent to you. You can take these permit drawings to your county or local municipality. Once you give the OK to the manufacturer to begin fabricating your building, you’ll receive construction drawings and schedule your delivery.

The decision to work with a manufacturer could help you down the road, especially if, God forbid, there are any difficulties with the delivery process. If you ordered your building from a steel building broker, what do you think will happen if your building arrives and the parts don’t line up or you have missing pieces? Do you think they’ll be able to help? Can you call the factory?

Lastly, ensure your job site is ready for delivery. Make sure the site is accessible for the delivery truck and you have all your equipment on hand to unload the building. You’ll need to have a forklift or cherry picker on site capable of lifting about 3000 lbs. Now all you have to do is erect your building! Many first time builders, even ones with little to no construction experience, erect the building themselves – and save a ton in labor costs in the process.

It isn’t hard to cut costs on a steel building project, but you have a few choices that keep you ‘in the black’ without ever lifting a finger. Now it’s up to you to choose wisely.

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