5 Ways To Evaluate Steel Building Quotes

Gray Steel Building with Yellow overhead doors

All Quotes Are Not The Same

If there was one article to read, it would be this one.

Properly discerning a quote is imperative to evaluating which company is truly presenting the best offer to you. Simply relying on information from commission salesmen is not wise. In the same token, all quotes and steel buildings are not the same.

Needless to say, if you have to pay for something additional after the initial purchase, then you may not have purchased the best offer initially. So take your time and meticulously review the features and specifications listed on your proposal. Though the majority of the steel building members are fabricated by similar means between companies, there are distinct quality differences between certified and non-certified companies. Not to mention what is considered a standard feature and what is an upcharge between sellers.

Here are some of the key items to focus on are…

1)    Compare the credentials of the fabrication facilities:

A steel building is initiating from an AISC (American Institute Of Steel Construction) certified plants or it is not. There are distinct differences between a certified and a non-certified plant. You may ask, “Doesn’t  it cost more to go with an AISC certified plant versus a non- certified plant?” The simple answer is ‘Yes’. However, more often than not, the cost savings from buying from an AISC plant in the long run is worth it.

AISC Certification confirms that fabrication facility has met a rigorous – as well as constantly evolving – set of industry standards regarding quality, efficiency, technology, administration, safety, training, and more.

This certification is not easy to get.  In order to qualify and maintain certification annually, companies have to not only invest in improving their manufacturing operation, they have to train their employees on AISC practices and procedures. These AISC high standards have many companies electing to skip getting certified entirely.

In a nutshell, if your building has been fabricated by an AISC certified facility, it has a much higher % chance of fabrication being done correctly and on time. You can easily spend double the construction time and cost on a structure that wasn’t correctly fabricated.

2)    Compared Sheeting profile:

“R” verses “PBR” Sheeting profile – A PBR profile has a larger overlap than R, thus, PBR is far less apt to leaking.

3)    Warranty on Color and Galvalume Finishes:

Some companies offer 40-year color warranty finish and some have only 10 or 20 year color finish warranties. There are 25 year galvalume plus finish warranties as well as 20-year galvalume warranties for roof finishes.

4)    Framed Opening Trim

Some sellers offer simple trim packages that don’t fully cover the red iron door jambs and some sellers offer standard Fully Flashed Framed Opening kits that cover the unattractive exposure of the red iron framed members.

5)    Ground Snow load versus Roof Snow Load

This may be one of the most overlooked and confusing aspect of a bid. In order to accurately compare quotes, one needs to have both sellers design to the same codes.

Though there are factors such as mph wind, wind exposure, seismic and governing code name and year that are code factors to be compared – for the sake of time – we will focus on Ground Load and Roof Snow Load.

The ground snow load of a building is different than roof snow load: Ground load refers to the amount of snow on the ground and equates to approximately 30% more than the Roof Snow Load. For example, a 43 lb. ground load would be equal to a 30 lb. roof snow load; therefore, if one company offers a 20 lb. Ground Load and the other company offers a 20 lb. Roof Load, this roof load quote is 30% stronger.

A word of advice, direct the dialogue between you and the seller towards objective topics such as the 5 points written in this article. Whatever  responses you receive, make sure you have the seller put them in writing.