The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Steel Building Quote
When people ask me what I do for a living, I always have one answer to explain my job. I make people’s pre-engineered metal building dreams come true. No, I’m not a magician, or a genie, and I don’t have any supernatural powers. But I do have the ability to grant wishes. That requires a specific understanding of people and an urge to assist them at all times. I learn what you want, how you want it, and why you want it. It all starts with a simple connection. We’re talking about a steel building quote.
Let me explain. Our industry is a little different than other industries. While a big box store can advertise their prices out in the open, it’s just not possible for our industry. In fact, it’s a big red flag if a steel building supplier flaunts their prices out in the open. That’s something only a steel building broker would do. Brokers think they’re doing you a favor. As they see it, now you can comparison shop, as if you were buying a car or a TV. But how did they arrive at any number, especially without knowing what you want, how you want it, why you want it, and most important, where do you want it?
Armstrong Steel, like many other steel building providers, works with in-house estimators to determine your price per pound of steel that eventually becomes the frame, walls, and roof of your steel structure. We’ll call that your base building. How is this accomplished? The simple answer: Math.
Our professional estimators take many factors into account. They look at the dimensions of your building (that you provided), and it factors in the price of the finished steel as a commodity. The price of the individual metals, like steel, are determined by current and future supply and demand. They also take a look at your zip code.
Every area across the United States is subject to different weather patterns. That’s one of the reasons why you’re asked for your zip code. A steel building in Jacksonville, Florida will constantly have to deal with winds coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. This will affect the building’s wind loads, and the building will have to be engineered to withstand gale force winds that could result in a hurricane. By the same token, a steel building with the same dimensions in Lubbock, Texas won’t have to be engineered to resist an east coast storm. It’s the same for snow, and seismic activity. So which building do you think would have a cheaper quote? The more of the elements a building must endure, the more steel is required to “shore up” the building, and therefore, the price goes up.
That’s why we ask you to submit some of your information to receive a steel building quote from Armstrong Steel. That math that I spoke about earlier – the engineering and design process – is the most important part of a steel building purchase. Since those steel members are designed to carry a specific load, there is no way to give you an accurate price without knowing your unique needs and particulars. There really isn’t another way around it, unless you want to take your chances with a building that comes off an assembly line, and the only warranty you get is a pat on the back and a promise that the building will hold up in a weather event. A promise isn’t good enough.
After you speak with a building expert, you’ll want to lock in your price. It’s one of the secrets to getting the best deal on your steel building. I recommend locking in your price as soon as possible. With steel prices constantly rising, you want to secure your price, even if you’re not building for months. The price of steel is constantly increasing, and is more volatile than concrete prices, labor rates or labor services. Once you lock in your price, you guarantee that your price won’t change for a term of 90 days. Now you have some wiggle room on when you decide to finally build.
Your cost for accessories, like doors, windows, and insulation are usually NOT included in your steel building quote. If you choose to utilize the Direct Buy process, you’ll choose these add-ons directly from our project manager, or you can buy from a local company. Be sure to look at exactly what comes included on your quote. There will be a section on your quote which details EXACTLY what you’re getting.
One last thought: Your quote from Armstrong Steel might not be the cheapest out of all your quotes. Sometimes, it will be. But I want to warn you ahead of time not to shop based on price alone. For many people, buying a steel building is the culmination of a longtime dream come true. There is no reason for that dream to turn into a nightmare. It’s important to understand what you are getting with each quote. Trust me, there are tons of ways to save money on your steel building, but sacrificing design and engineering isn’t one of them. If your parts and components don’t fit together perfectly, you could experience costly on-site delays or problems down the road with labor costs. A steel building is an investment, and you want it to last – not just for years – but multiple decades.
A steel building purchase involves meticulous attention to detail. From the very beginning, even requesting a steel building quote, there is a plan in place to accurately assess your needs based on your geographic location, and the forces that will impact your structure. It’s not a guessing game, or a sales tactic. When it comes down to it, it’s just math.
If you have any more questions, I’ll be happy to answer them, or you can contact a building consultant to get started!