Five Mistakes To Avoid When Purchasing a Prefabricated Steel Building

When you take on a building project on your commercial or personal property, there are a lot of moving parts to consider – literally and figuratively! Whether you’re starting from scratch or adding to an existing structure, there are tons of mistakes to avoid. You’ll have permits to obtain, building specifications to decide on, engineering plans to draft, contractors to engage, and hundreds of other details that could eat up an enormous amount of time and quickly add up to big costs if you are not careful. For most first-time builders, taking on a building project can seem daunting, but there is a smart solution that thousands of commercial or property owners have discovered through the years: pre-engineered steel buildings.

A pre-engineered metal building is essentially a structure built with a steel framing system engineered to fit your specific project requirements. All of the components of the structure are created off-site and come ready to assemble, like a kit. When you work with a reputable steel building manufacturer like Pacific Building Systems (PBS), it takes an enormous amount of pressure off the planning and assembling process while saving time, energy, and money. We understand the challenges of taking on a building project and are here to make the process as seamless as possible. Here are some common mistakes that first-time buyers will want to avoid.

Mistake #1 – Failing to get the right permits in advance

Our team of steel building experts is here to work one-on-one with you to ensure your new building meets all of your business requirements and design specifications. However, it’s important to understand that the buyer is responsible for procuring the correct permits required to build a steel structure on your property. Check with your local building codes division or local government office before you begin the process to learn how you can avoid costly zoning and building mistakes. If you work with PBS, we will provide permit drawings as part of our service, but it is the customer’s responsibility to take them to their Local Building Department for approval.

Mistake #2 – Not providing enough information upfront

When it comes to building steel structures, a little knowledge goes a long way in helping you avoid common mistakes. Make educated, informed decisions by doing a little homework before meeting with our in-house team of designers and engineers. This research can be as simple as looking through our gallery of prefabricated steel building projects to get a better feel for what might suit your business or personal needs and familiarizing yourself with some of the basic terminologies.

Take notes on what you like or don’t like about our building options and whether or not it would realistically serve the primary purpose of your building. For example, you may like the features you see in our shop or steel building workspaces, but would that be the best design for your agricultural storage building? Note the variety of sizes, doors and windows, the different shapes, finishes, and layouts. If this is your first time taking on a building project, it’s wise to consult with and engage an architect who will help you clearly define and specify what your building needs.

Mistake #3 – Failing to get a realistic estimate & budget in place

The more you can avoid mistake #2, the more accurate your estimate will be, which will allow you to determine a realistic budget you can stick to. Our estimating department will always give advice or alternates to make the building more efficient to lower cost, sometimes with only minor changes.

Our customers who have done their homework will often send us the drawings and specs of a project so we can estimate the building more accurately as intended by you or the architect. This level of preparation enables us to guide our customers toward a more efficient approach that can provide the same function at a lower overall cost. When setting up your building budget, you will also want to factor in the cost of installing additional components like doors, windows, skylights, etc. Forgetting to budget for these and other expenses could add up quickly.

Mistake #4 – Hiring the wrong contractor

It’s important to mention that when you purchase from a pre-manufactured steel building company like ours, you benefit from unique design and fabrication methods that enable contractors to install your buildings faster, which minimizes field labor expenses and saves you time and money. However, if you make the mistake of hiring an unqualified or untrustworthy building contractor, these advantages could become inconsequential.

Our advice to thoroughly research and vet local contractors who are best suited to do the job.

Finding the right building contractor for your project depends on several variables like building size, complexity, equipment, crew size, and experience. Find out if they have any experience with steel building systems and ask to see samples of their work along with references. We’ll also be happy to provide recommendations or refer you to an experienced steel building contractor in your area.

Mistake #5 – Failing to properly to prepare your job site

With the right preparation and the right team in place, erecting your custom-engineered steel building can be done in as little as a few weeks or even days, but you must take steps to prepare your job site in advance. While we are manufacturing your steel building system in our onsite factory, this is the time for land grading and laying your foundation. If you are unsure of what kind of foundation your building will need, we offer pre-engineered plans for the foundations for our buildings with the following designs: monolithic, pier grade beam, grade beam and footing, and pier.

You will also need to assemble the right equipment for assembly. Most of our steel buildings only require a forklift and scissor lift, a cordless drill, bits, and a tape measure. Don’t forget to make sure your site is accessible for delivery trucks! Once your foundation is laid, correct permits are secured, and all of the proper paperwork is signed, your steel building system will arrive labeled and ready-to-assemble to your job site using our private fleet of trucks.

Working with an experienced and reputable company in the metal building industry is the first step in avoiding costly mistakes. We’ve been in the business since 1962, so we know what it takes to design and engineer a high-quality, affordable metal building that can be installed quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Our customers benefit from our attention to detail and experience with a wide variety of industries, including the industrial, commercial, agricultural, aviation, government, and community sectors. We’re always a phone call away and are happy to talk about our products or your specific project anytime.

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