What is Your Role in a Steel Building Project?
In the Armstrong Steel Network, I’ve often said that the best, easiest and most cost-effective way to get a steel building is directly from the factory. But what makes the Direct Buy process so easy?
Your role in the steel building project!
Sure, you’re going to have to do some homework before hand, but that’s true in any purchase process. When you’re choosing a steel building provider, for instance, we recommend coming into the project with a little knowledge of the dimensions you want, a timeline of your project, your land and financing ready in hand, and of course (and this is a big one) your city or county building regulations. We always encourage every first time builder to find out his or her area’s zoning regulations and elevations. You can find out this information by placing a call to your local building authority. After that, you can give your specifics to your steel building provider, and they can generate a quote based off your individual requirements.
How do you know what steel building provider to select?
Steel building providers are broken up into two main categories: Steel building brokers and steel building manufacturers. A steel building broker is essentially a middleman between you, the potential builder, and a steel building manufacturer. A broker will shop your building design around and award it to the highest bidder, while paying little attention to quality. Many times, they’ll buy the cheapest building (regardless of who makes it), mark it up, and pass the engineering and design to others. Brokers are often times only in the business of outsourcing and finding the cheapest price to maximize their own profits.
When you decide to buy a steel building directly from the factory, you’ll get access to significant savings and you’ll have input on your project every step of the way. If you choose a steel building manufacturer, like Armstrong Steel, you’ll get to work with a project manager to design and customize your building to your exact specifications. A steel building manufacturer will also offer significant structural, roof, wall panel and paint warranties for its buildings. A broker may not offer a warranty, and if they do, it may be a minimal warranty because they aren’t selling their own buildings. Plus, steel building manufacturers have much more control over the entire manufacturing process of a steel building project, and can ultimately assist a customer from conception to completion. When you buy directly from a manufacturer, you also know in advance the quality of the product, and the qualifications and standards to which the supplier must adhere. You’ll get to select your own accessories and budget more accurately for your project.
What is my role?
At this point, once you’ve decided on a steel building manufacturer, you’re next task is to fill out a contact form or call and discuss your needs with a steel building consultant. Once you’re ready to begin your project, you’ll place an engineering and drawings payment down to lock in your price of steel. This protects you from the volatility of the steel market for a term of 90 days. You’ll obtain steel building drawings and begin working on your project with a dedicated project manager. Once you’ve locked in your price, our engineering team will officially begin working on your drawings.
Next, you’ll receive those approval drawings for your review in your email. Now it’s time for you to create your masterpiece! We suggest using a red pen or a computer program to make modifications or any desired changes. Now is the time to request accessories or add-ons like doors, windows or insulation. Accessories are considered extras to your building project, and if you plan on incorporating them into your building design, you should budget accordingly. Once you’ve reviewed your project and customized it to your liking, you’ll sign the appropriate paperwork and engineers will revise your drawings to your requests.
Keep an open line of communication with your project manager! If you have any questions about accessories, changes or modifications, feel free to ask! This is your project, and we want to help you get a steel building on time and on budget.
Once the approval process is complete, Armstrong will begin working on your permit drawings. Permit drawings are blueprints for you to take back to your city, county or local municipality for your appropriate permits, if required. Once this step is complete, you’ll submit your building for fabrication to the factory. Keep in mind; the permit process can be lengthy at times. It is in place to ensure a steel building is designed according to your municipality’s standards with regards to safety and approved zoning plans. However, there are several tasks you can accomplish while you wait, such as prepping your site or pouring your foundation.
Next, Armstrong will prepare your construction drawings, and you’ll begin preparing for delivery. Armstrong Steel buildings are all bolt together, pre-cut and pre-welded so there is little to no field fabrication necessary. Steel buildings are ready to be erected as soon as they arrive on your job site. Our logistics team will contact you, and depending on which delivery option you selected, you’ll schedule your delivery for your particular timeline. Be sure to rent a forklift or cherry picker to unload your building when it arrives, and pay the final C.O.D. amount.
All that’s left is to erect your building! If you have questions in the erection process, be sure to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.