The Number 1 thing first-time shoppers tell us is that they have quotes for a building, including installation, for less than us. If you are currently in the market for a Steel Building, and it is your first time exploring your options, the process can be quite overwhelming. A quick Google search will yield thousands of replies, which on the surface, look mostly comparable. The reality is, when the sheeting is on, the doors are closed, and you are looking at the building from a half-mile away, most Steel Buildings look alike.
The Number 1 thing first-time shoppers tell us is that they have quotes for a building, including installation, for less than us. As consumers ourselves, we understand the excitement this brings us, we all want a good deal. That said, when something is too good to be true, it always us, and all too often, consumers are finding out the way too late.
Over the past several years, there has been an explosive amount of carports being sold as Steel Buildings and that is what you are experiencing when you get these quotes. Low-density square tubing is not adequate to support for a steel building and will fail during wind and snow events.
The question then becomes how do you protect yourself and ensure you buy the right building for your project.
When quoting your Steel Building, make sure you ask the following questions to your suppliers and don’t settle for incomplete side stepped answered:
What is the framework of my Steel Building made of?
If the answer is anything but a Solid Steel Red Iron I-Beam we have a problem.
What is the secondary structure of my Steel Building?
The I-Beams provide the strength, but the Girts and Purlins provide the integrity to your building. You want to ensure that these are “Z” members, not the commonly substituted “C” channels that are used to cut costs and compromise your building.
What type of sheeting will be used to skin my Steel Building?
There are several red flags that we commonly see when it comes to sheeting, Profile, Thickness, and Strength. You will want to ensure your supplier is using a PBR panel profile and not the commonly substituted R panels which are infamous for leaking and wind penetration. Next, ensure that your panels are a minimum of 26 gauge. There is no geographic region where 29 gauge is sufficient as an exterior panel. Lately, not all PBR is equal, we often see very low strength panels being offered which will result in a mangled wall with the slightest bit of a wind event. You want to ensure an 80,000 psi rating on all exterior panels.
What type of bracing will be used to secure my Steel Building?
There are several types of bracing systems making there way into the marketplace. You want to ensure your building utilizes a Rod Bracing System. The largest red flag to look out for is Panel Shear. This means the external sheeting is bracing your building. As described above, there is no geographic region in which this is a sufficient design. Another common cost-cutter is Cable Bracing. Infamous for stretching over time, this design is often seen failing in high wind and snow events.
Understanding these core components of your Steel Building will put you well on the way to a quality structure. We understand the appeal of a low-cost structure but if you value your equipment, your animals, your employees, your business, we urge you to invest in a quality structure that will serve you for generations.