5 Ways To Evaluate Steel Building Quotes

The more objectively you evaluate quotes, the better we will look!

All Quotes Are Not The Same

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

Properly discerning a quote is imperative when evaluating which company is truly presenting the best proposal for you. Simply relying on verbal 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 probably didn’t purchase the best offer initially. So take your time and meticulously review the features and specifications listed in 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 initiated from an IAS-certified plant 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 IAS-certified plant versus a non-certified plant?” The answer is ‘Not necessarily.’ In many cases, the certified plants have more advanced technology; therefore more efficient when it comes to design and fabrication. This enables them to price competitively to non -certified plants.  However, more often than not, the cost savings from buying from an IAS plant in the long run when you factor in construction efficiency. 

IAS Certification confirms that the 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 but also have to train their employees on IAS practices and procedures. These IAS high standards have many companies electing to skip getting certified entirely.

In a nutshell, if your building has been fabricated by an IAS-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)    Compare Sheeting profile:

“R” versus “PBR” Sheeting profile – A PBR profile has a larger overlap than R, thus, PBR is far less apt to leak. Some sellers will offer a PBR roof sheeting but the wall sheeting will be an “R” profile. Make sure the roof and wall sheeting are a “PBR” profile. Factory Steel Overstock offers a “PBR” sheeting profile as a standard feature.

3)    Warranty on Color and Galvalume Finishes:

Some companies offer a 40-year color warranty finish and some have only 10 or 20-year color finish warranties. There are 30-year galvalume plus finish warranties as well as 20-year galvalume warranties for roof finishes. Factory Steel Overstock delivers a 40 -year colored warranty and a 30 galvalume plus finish warranty.

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. Needless to say, there is a dramatic difference in appearance between the two. Factory Steel Overstock offers Fully Flashed framed openings for all its large door openings

5)    Accessories Included

All too often, customers believe they are equally comparing quotes, to find out later that one quote included all their desired accessories and one did not. This mistake occurs usually when one quote lists accessories, but they’re an added inclusion based on whether a check mark needs to be noted beside them. This can be confusing for a first-time buyer. Look closely at the quotes to make sure whether all desired accessories are identical in features, number, and inclusion. Buying accessories after a submitted order will always cost more!

6)    Ground Snow load versus Roof Snow Load

This may be one of the most important, overlooked, and confusing aspects of a bid. In order to accurately compare quotes, one needs to make sure both sellers are quoting the same building codes. 

Though there are factors such as mph wind, wind exposure, seismic and governing code name, and year that are 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 from roof snow load: Ground load refers to the amount of snow on the ground which 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 offer a 20 lb. Roof Load, this roof load quote is 30% stronger. Here is an example of a properly written code proposal:

  • 43 lb. Ground Load
  • 30 lb. roof load
  • 115 mph wind speed
  • Exposure  -C
  • Seismic  – D or a specific #
  • IBC (International Building Code) 2018

If you don’t see these specific codes written somewhere on your quote form, then don’t sign the papers! These codes need to match or exceed your local code requirements. A word of advice, direct the dialogue between you and the seller towards objective topics such as the 6 points written in this article. Whatever responses you receive, make sure you have the seller put them in writing. 

Ready to buy TODAY, fill out a BUILDING or INSULATION quote form for an exact price.

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Client Testimonials

“FSO and John have been wonderful to work with and his pricing has been excellent. All of the information is timely and he is very responsive. I will be purchasing all future buildings from FSO and I truly appreciate working with an excellent company.”

Paul P 7/10/2017

Everything went as scheduled down to the minute. I got a price on my metal building that could not be matched by anyone. I even had a salesman call me a liar when I told him what my quote was. Also, when they say there is going to be a delivery at 8 in the morning on a certain day, you better be ready at 8 in the morning. No fuss, no muss. Perfect. 

– THOMAS C – 11/20/2020

The building turned out great! Could not be happier with the quality! Me and my dad built it from the ground up just us. It’s finally done so time to load it full of projects! Thanks for the help and the quality building! 

Brandon Hillstead

– 40’x 60′ x 16′ 4/10/2020