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The Secret to Getting the Best Steel Building at the Best Price: Purchase in the Winter

The Secret to Getting the Best Steel Building at the Best Price: Purchase in the Winter

It’s important to be prepared when you’re planning to buy a pre-engineered steel building and one of the best ways to guarantee a smooth project is to create a timeline. It’s true, the actual erection of a pre-engineered steel building can be done in as little as a few weeks with the proper conditions, but the erection process is only one step in the overall journey of your project. Before you’re able to erect your pre-engineered steel building, you must place your order, engineers and project managers need a little time to help you with designs and accessories, and you can’t forget about permits and delivery. Even with the most efficient steel building provider and client, this whole process requires some time. You’re dealing with an engineered structure, designed to last for more than 50 years! So, with this information, many customers begin to ask “When should I officially start looking for a pre-engineered steel building?” The secret to getting the best price is to purchase your steel building in the winter, and build in the summer.

First off, I’m sure you’re aware steel prices are on the rise. In fact, the prices of all individual metals are influenced by a variety of factors like supply and demand, globalization, and the manufacturing process. Experts forecast steel prices will constantly escalate over the next four years. What does that mean for your steel building project? The barn, workshop, or garage will be more expensive, no matter who you decide to buy from.

Secondly, It’s obviously easier to build in the summer. The simple process of purchasing, designing, engineering can be saved for the winter time. In an effort to save the customer money, steel building providers and contractors might offer sales or deals to accommodate builders and encourage summer building. It’s possible to erect a pre-engineered steel building in the winter, but you could end up spending more due to possible setbacks and challenges the winter season may present.

Frost Heaving and other concrete problems

If you pour cement for your foundation on frozen ground or frost, moisture may become trapped under your foundation. This moisture likely will freeze and cause your foundation to raise which could lead to cracks in your foundation, causing damage. If you erect a pre-engineered steel building on frozen land, your foundation may be uneven once the land thaws causing damage to the structural integrity of the building.

steel building projectOnce you lay concrete, it’s necessary for it to dry for at least 72 hours. This process is called ‘curing’. In the winter, there’s always the chance of your concrete freezing if you don’t take the proper precautions such as heating your concrete. If your concrete freezes within the first 24 hours, the curation process is stalled, and that means the chemicals in the concrete can’t react and bind with the water and the mixture together. If this happens, you could lose up to 50% of your foundation’s strength and could be forced to make costly repairs down the line once your building is erected.

Some blogs and articles suggest to add the aggregate calcium chloride to your foundation mix to accelerate the curing process, but before you do anything to your concrete, you should contact a proper foundation engineer. They’ll be able to assist you and answer all your foundation questions, as well as provide a separate quote for your steel building foundation.

Added costs to steel building construction

If you’re going to hire a contractor to erect your pre-engineered steel building, you may see longer projects and higher prices due to the winter weather. The cold weather doesn’t just affect concrete. Laborers will bundle up to stay warm too! If you couple a slower laborer with shorter days, you’re likely to see a longer project. This can put an extra dent in your wallet because we all know time is money. If you live in an area which traditionally receives an ample amount of snow, you may see even less work done since the laborers will need to shovel snow before they can resume their normal tasks. This assumes a contractor will even take on your project in the winter. In some parts of the country, contractors look for other work in the winter months because the demand to erect a pre-engineered building is so low.

The work site is also likely to need heaters to keep the laborers warm and lights to allow them to see once evening hits. This could increase the energy costs of your project, as contractors could factor this into your final bill. Electricity prices have risen in the past winters and will only cost you more money to heat a job site. According to the Boston Globe, electric rates jumped $20 last September in Beantown. That may not seem to be too much on its own, but if you’re responsible to heat yourself and your jobsite at the same time, it certainly can add up. If you must build in the winter, keep an eye on your local energy rates.


Pre-engineered steel buildings are very durable, but you must do your part to protect your building from moisture. Moisture can cause rust on your pre-engineered steel building and if your insulation becomes moist, you could be spending more on energy bills and replacement insulation once you’re pre-engineered steel building is finished. Why even expose your pre-engineered steel building erection process to the snow when you can build in the warm weather of summer?

We’re in the heart of winter and there really is no better time to begin your journey to owning a pre-engineered steel building. The secret is out! Start your planning now, and build during the warm months!

Photo courtesy: Rick Kimpel, TYFVMP