Who Should You Talk To First? A Contractor or Steel Building Supplier?
Once you’ve decided to build a steel building, you have a couple of options. You can hire a contractor to purchase, design, and erect a steel building for you, or you can purchasing a steel building from a steel building provider. The important part to note – its good to have options. Every person is different, and might have a different set of goals. It’s essential, first and foremost, you make the correct choice for you and your budget.
If you hire a contractor to build a steel building, you also may have to pay for an architect to design it. A contractor is a builder, not a designer. Makes sense, right? You can absolutely go this route, but it will almost certainly cost you. Think of it this way – there are many architects who are capable of designing intricate masterpieces to simple buildings. But lines, no matter how beautiful on a page, can be pricey. Every time you want to make a change, those little lines translate to an increase in price. A quality steel building supplier, like Armstrong Steel, has an in-house engineering and design team. No costly architects needed. When buying through a contractor, you may lose the customization that buying through a steel building supplier allows. Your contractor may not be able to give you updates on the design process, but a steel building supplier can set you up with a project manager, whose responsibility is to keep your project on time and on budget. You might not even need a contractor, as many people decide to build a steel building themselves! When it comes to speed, a steel building is able to be easily erected in days or weeks, compared to months like other traditional construction methods.
When push comes to shove, you might want to look into a steel building manufacturer because of two simple words: purchasing power. Contractors typically can’t afford to purchase steel in bulk. It’s possible they might mark up a steel building when they eventually buy it directly from the manufacturer or broker. But you can skip the middleman, and skip the expense of a middleman. You have the opportunity to buy straight from the manufacturer. Builders who don’t mind managing some of the finer aspects of their project can take advantage of huge savings via the Direct Buy process. Why would you want to settle for anything less than factory direct on a steel building?
I’m sure you realize steel prices are constantly rising, right? Supply and demand, oil and gas prices, global production and other factors all impact the price of a steel building system. In order to protect consumers against a volatile market, some steel building suppliers will lock in your price to ensure the price per pound of a pre-engineered steel building won’t rise. If you add more steel to your project, you won’t be subject to market price increases. Contractors might not be able to offer the same guarantee.
Speaking of price, do you know exactly what you are getting? When you buy from a steel building supplier, you’re picking out exactly what you want. You understand the quality of each piece of steel and connection, plus with the Direct Buy process, you have the ability to pick out your accessories as well. What are you buying from a contractor? Contractors can hide mark ups in the design process because they get to pick what goes into your project. You’ll never know the difference, because they take care of everything for you, possibly at a price that fits them best. It sounds like a great service when you build a steel building, but you lose the ability to customize and choose your own components. A steel building supplier will provide you with an itemized list of costs, so you’ll never be subject to unseen overages, or disappointment in your project.
When making this decision, it’s wise to do your research. Ask for references from contractors and steel building suppliers alike. Get multiple quotes to compare prices. Look at online reviews and see what type of resources are offered. You’re going to have to put some work into this process to make an educated decision when it comes time to build a steel building. Keep in mind, contractors are not the bad guys here. They perform a great service, and many have extensive experience erecting steel buildings. In fact, if you need help erecting your pre-engineered steel building, you should know how to hire a knowledgeable contractor in 4 easy steps. If you want the safety of locking in your steel price, and the ability to select your own components at direct pricing, we can help you take the first step to pre-engineered steel building ownership.
Whatever decision you make, you’ll still be making the right decision of investing in a pre-engineered steel building, and you’ll enjoy the long-term savings for decades to come.
Photo courtesy: Lindsey G