The Hidden Danger of the Cheapest Steel Building Price

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Picture this scenario with me. I was recently standing in line at a local supply store, just waiting to check out. That’s when I saw it, just sitting in a case near the front of the store. Like many local auto shops and general stores, several items lay in rows at the checkout area, just waiting for these types of ‘impulse-buy moments.’ For me, the item that caught my attention was a Smith & Wesson pocket knife. There were a ton of different options from which to pick. After checking out the prices and the quality, I made my selection. Did I pick the most expensive utility knife? Or the cheapest one? Does it really matter?

When you’re debating what kind of impulse-buy to make in a checkout line, there might not be a big difference between the most expensive knife and the least expensive one. Maybe a few bucks at most? Either way, whatever route you choose isn’t going to make a big impact on your day, or your wallet. There is no hazard associated with either choice. In fact, you might get a big kick out of selecting the cheapest option and saving money for the amount of time you’re actually going to use it.

If you think that you can apply your pocket knife logic to all your purchases, then you’re sorely mistaken. When it comes to steel buildings, the cheapest price can often be a trap.

We’re not talking in absolutes here. There will be times when the cheapest steel building price turns out to be the best. There will be times when the most expensive building turns out to be the worst option. I understand that. Nevertheless, if I were a betting man, I’d do my research, and realize there is a significant risk by choosing the cheapest option.

When I say ‘cheap,’ I’m obviously referring to price and quality. Most of the time, the cheapest price will result in the lowest quality. If you buy a low quality building, you might be saving on the initial cost of the steel, but you’re setting yourself up for failure down the road. When it comes to quality, the devil is in the details. Quite often, it’s the small details that can make or break a steel building project, or define if it’s of high quality, or low quality.

With cheaper buildings, you might find problems with the way it was designed. In order to save the manufacturer or broker money, the building was engineered as quickly as possible. I often hear from contractors who are sick and tired of erecting cheap buildings. They’re the ones on the job site, dealing with the consequences of poorly engineered structures. When holes don’t line up the way a drafter intended, or when pieces are missing, causing costly construction delays, the cheapest building ends up being the most expensive. The initial prospect of saving a few thousand bucks isn’t worth it when those savings vaporize thanks to labor and construction costs rising because you, or a contractor had to spend extra time on a job site to fix a problem that should have been prevented in the first place!

When it comes down to it, there are tons of ways to save money on your steel building project. You can erect the building yourself. That will save you on labor expenses. You can rent your forklift, cherry picker, or crane instead of buying one. You can talk to your project manager about more cost effective accessories. Do you want the thickest insulation possible? Can you select a more economical door or window? Maybe you can find a local builder with more inexpensive options. Sometimes, there are even discounts for simple designs.

Worst of all, cheap buildings might not be structurally sound. They have the potential to break or collapse. Now we’re talking about your safety, your family’s safety, or the general welfare of your business. You put a lot of stock into those parts of your life, and you shouldn’t trust it would function the way it’s supposed to because you got a deal, a handshake or a wink. I’m not saying that a quality project can’t be inexpensive; I’m just advising that you shouldn’t accept anything less than a 50-year structural warranty. Believe me when I say this – cutting corners for the sake of profit in construction is one of the most misguided approaches to an industry that hinges on the safety of its products and the overall concern for its customers.

The hidden danger of the cheapest steel building price isn’t a loss of money. It’s can be much worse.

Photo courtesy: darkday

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