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How Can You Prepare for the Steel Building Erection Process?

How Can You Prepare for the Steel Building Erection Process?

Preparation is a key component in most, if not all, aspects of life. Before you took any major test in your life like the ACT, SAT or your driver’s test, you had to study and prepare. Buying your first custom metal building can also be a major step in your life and you should be prepared to take that step.

Your first step in the steel building erection process is to verify your build site is level and the builders (or you!) know the exact boundaries of the plot. This can be done by hiring a professional surveyor. A reputable surveyor can usually be found in your local yellow pages and many municipal governments have a list of licensed surveyors. These days, of course, you can also go online to find the best surveyor.

Once your site has been surveyed, you may begin grading the land. Grading is leveling the build site to the height and form of the surveyor’s stakes. This process is done to ensure the build site is level and will help make sure you don’t have any structural shifts that could cause your custom metal building to lean in either direction.

steel building erection processOnce your land is level, excavation for your foundation can begin. Your steel building supplier will be able to tell you what type of excavation you might need, but most custom metal buildings usually only require minor excavation work. Minor excavation work should usually only require hand tools such as a pickaxe or shovel. A more complex steel building may require a Bobcat or a backhoe. Don’t forget – it’s important to save some of the excavated land for filling purposes after your building has been erected if necessary.

The most important process in preparing for a steel building erection process is laying a foundation. If you don’t lay your foundation properly, you could suffer from unsettled or shifting walls, and structural damage. Due to the importance of the integrity of your foundation, it is usually best to opt to go with a professional concrete engineer. 

Pro tip: Don’t ever lay your foundation before you receive your final building plans.

If you try to get ahead and lay your foundation early, you may end up costing yourself money down the road if your foundation doesn’t fit your steel building. Remember, foundations are a separate expense a first time builder must account for when they calculate the total cost of a steel building project.

The proper site access is crucial and could help expedite the steel building erection process. You should be sure to remove all obstructions to your job site and find a pathway that avoids overhead wires. A large enough work area to unload and store the steel parts is also necessary. Since pre-engineered steel buildings are designed with exact specifications for each job, it is necessary to communicate steps and design drawings to anybody erecting the building. This should reduce the chances of an unnecessary risk. But don’t worry – each steel building comes with its own set of easy-to-understand construction drawings.

Preparing your job site is an important process and if not taken seriously, can undermine the hard work you and the engineers did in the design process. If you think that is too much pressure, you always have the option to hire a general contractor with steel building experience to take over the erection process for you. Regardless of who’s in charge, be sure to make all of the necessary preparation to make the steel building erection process a success.

Photo courtesy: Hugo Chisholm, Nuclear Regulatory Commission