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Steel Building Buyer’s Guide

Top 5 things to know before purchasing your steel building:

1) Deal only with companies that work with manufacturers who are certified by the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) and are members of the MBMA (Metal Building Manufacturers Association).

Verifying these credentials is a quick yet crucial action. All steel manufacturers with which SteelCo works are highly reputable firms, AISC-certified and members of the MBMA.

If a steel-building company displays the AISC and MBMA signs, you are working with a qualified, respected firm that produces quality products. If not, don’t accept excuses—and don’t do business with them.

2) Watch out for “In Stock” gimmicks.

You have specific–maybe even unique–purposes and requirements for your steel building, so it is extremely unlikely that a company could have the perfect one just waiting there for you. More likely, the salesman will try to double-talk you into buying a building that he says is perfect–if you are willing to alter or completely ignore features you want or need.

Also keep in mind that building codes vary from state to state, which would make it virtually impossible for even the best equipped steel building company to have a building in stock that will not only precisely meets all your requirements, but also meets all your state’s requirements.

3) Check your quote for hidden costs.

Some steel building companies are more expert at sneaking extra charges into their quotes than at steel building design and construction, and uncovering these charges can be harder than solving a “Where’s Waldo?”

These charges are usually disguised as “Options,” or possibly “Alternates” on your quote. But whatever the name, if you didn’t ask for them, you probably don’t need them, and you shouldn’t have to pay for them.

Before you accept and pay a steel building quote, make sure all accessories are included in the total price, along with freight and applicable sales tax. Hiding charges under other names may be technically legal, but we at SteelCo don’t think it is very ethical, and it is not how we do business.

4) Here are the ABC’s of a quality steel building:

A. Lifetime fasteners instead of regular screws
It is essential to use lifetime fasteners on the roof and walls of your building, but most steel building companies don’t. Instead, they use cheap regular screws, which rust, and the rust can bleed and contaminate the steel panels. SteelCo uses fasteners guaranteed not to rust for the life of the building.

B.PBR (Purlin Bearing Rib) Panels instead of outdated R-panels
PBR Panels are made with a unique overlapping metal lip that bends down along the inside wall of the adjacent panel for more solid metal support and a tighter, stronger seal against water.
R-Panels have less metal and a looser fit, which can allow water to seep in and compromise the panel. And during R-Panel installation, the screw often bends and pushes the short metal lip away from the overlapped panel rather than “grabbing” it for a tight, secure seal.
PBR Panels provide more metal, more strength, better overlap, a tighter fit and a more secure water seal. That, in short, is why SteelCo uses them as a standard feature of our steel buildings.

C. Formed Base Trim instead of Base Angle Trim
Many steel building companies will try to sell you an inferior alternative to Formed Base Trim called simply “Base Angle Trim.” The names may sound similar, but don’t be fooled; you would learn—and regret—the difference.
Base Angle Trim requires pouring a perfect notch around your building’s concrete slab, which of course means additional material and labor costs. It also requires the wall panels to rest directly on the concrete, with no buffer against moisture, which can seep (or flow) into your building and wreak havoc with the slab, the panels, and pretty much everything else in the structure.

Formed Base Trim, in well-designed contrast, lets you pour the slab to the exact dimensions of your building, which saves money on material and labor costs. It attaches directly to the slab, where it first bends down flush against the outside angle, and then out to form a ledge of approximately two inches, on which the wall panels rest rather than on the concrete, creating that crucial buffer zone that keeps moisture outside your building, where it belongs.The difference between Base Angle Trim and Formed Base Trim—and the superiority of Formed Base Trim—is so evident that Formed Base Trim is a standard feature of every SteelCo building. We trim the cost of our structures, but never the quality.

D. WMP-VR Insulation instead of regular insulation
The insulation typically used in steel buildings may do the job, but has a fragile hold on life. If it suffers a rip, even a minor one, during installation, it can tear all the way to the floor, rendering it useless to the point where it must be thrown away.
WMP-VR insulation, however, is ingeniously equipped with a thread that runs through the vinyl backing, which ensures that in the unlikely event if the material is torn, the tear stops in its place, where it can be easily mended with patch tape, with no loss of effectiveness, materials or money.
WMP-VR insulation also has another distinct advantage over normal insulation. When insulation is driven to a building site, often packed in tight over long distances, it gets flattened down. Other insulations often take their sweet time “recovering,” or fluffing back up to their full, most effective thickness—and sometimes never fully recovers, either of which can delay construction and cost extra money. WMP-VR, however, has the fastest, fullest recovery rate of any type of insulation, and is ready to be installed very soon after it arrives—another very good reason it is standard issue in SteelCo buildings.

5) Insist on excellent, professional, responsive service!!!

When you first make contact with a steel building company, perhaps the most important thing you can do is evaluate its level of service. How did your salesperson respond to you? Did he seem genuinely interested in your needs or more interested in making a sale? Did he know the company’s products and services, or hesitate and have to refer to someone else? Did he answer your questions completely and informatively, or seem to dance around some of the issues? Did he want to do the most he could do to meet your needs, or seem as though he just wanted to have you sign a contract, pay and get the heck out of there? Did you feel as though you made the right purchase and got the most for your money, or as though you were somehow sold short? Did he answer all your questions regarding services after the sale, or refer you to “Customer Service”? Service may be the most crucial difference between SteelCo and our competition. It is certainly one of the most obvious.

When you do business with SteelCo, you work with an expert in the field of steel building design and construction, and the first expert you work with is the same expert you will work with throughout the duration of your project, and beyond. Your SteelCo certified sales consultant will answer your questions, address your issues and concerns, and follow through on every aspect of your project and account. He will be available when you need him, and you will never get handed over to someone who doesn’t know you or your project. Neither will you ever be relegated to the whims of the infamous “Customer Service Department,” because we do not have a Customer Service Department at SteelCo. Your sales consultant provides all your service, all the time.

Most critically, your SteelCo sales consultant will take all possible measures to ensure that you get the building you want, with the features you want, delivered directly to your site (or even built by us if you live within the state of Georgia), at a very fair, affordable price, and that you will receive the same high, exacting level of service before, during and after the sale. That is a steel-clad promise from SteelCo to you.

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