If you are reading this blog you are probably already thinking about doing one of the best things you can do to reduce the cost of constructing your commercial building: You are building it with steel. Not only is steel durable and strong, but it is also one of the most cost effective building materials on the planet.To save costs even more, you can choose a pre-engineered steel building that only has to be put together on site. To significantly cut costs even further, you can implement the following tips:
Plan your budget realistically
In the very beginning stages of purchasing a metal building, you will want to take a good, hard look at your finances and see what you or your business can afford. You will want to have a good understanding of all the costs associated with erecting a metal building including materials, labor, a general contractor’s mark up, etc. This is the time to collect bids from general contractors and get an idea of the total cost. If you are comparing several contractors, make sure to ask each one for the same features and specs so you can accurately compare costs. Once you have chosen a general contractor, you can then work with him to find the most cost effective options for your building needs.
Find a reputable steel building company
Lucky for you, at Panhandle Steel Buildings, we are both a steel building company and a general contractor. We have been building and remodeling for over 60 years in the Texas Panhandle. You can rest assured that we have the competency and experience you need.
Choose a stock plan over custom built if you can
Hiring an architect, engineer, or a designer can add a lot to your building’s budget. If your needs are rather straightforward, you might consider purchasing a stock design rather than creating a custom design. This will dramatically reduce the overall cost.
Only splurge on what you can’t live without
If your business has certain needs that don’t fit in the mold of a stock plan, you should carefully consider what you will need. However, you should never spend so much on design features that you skimp on structural integrity and things that will actually make your building last a long time such as weather proofing and insulation.
Use standard steel lengths
Standard steel lengths require no additional cutting and no special measuring, thus making them lower in price. They also create no excess scrap. You should ask your steel building supplier about current market prices to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your money. Sometimes certain sizes are cheaper than others because of supply and demand.
Avoid change orders
A change order occurs when, during construction, someone decides to make a change to the design of the building. It could be due to previously unknown circumstances or it could be because the owner simply changed their mind. Either way, if a change order is not absolutely necessary, it’s best to avoid it or try to find the least expensive alternative. Nothing eats up a budget faster than a change order.
Make sure the job site is safe
It is the general contractor or job site manager’s job to ensure safety of a workplace. That being said, if you, as the owner of the building, see unsafe conditions, you have every right to say something to the general contractor. If someone gets hurt on your property and the general contractor doesn’t have proper worker’s compensation insurance (he should) you could be held liable. If you get sued, there goes your building.
Fireproof cost effectively
Fireproofing is necessary to pass building code inspections and it can save you a ton of money should your building ever catch on fire. There are three basic options: spray-applied, which requires little preparation, gypsum board, which is fairly inexpensive, and intumescent paint, which is usually painted onto exposed metal areas in order to make it match surrounding areas.
Insulate cost effectively
If you need to insulate your building (you do if it is going to be often occupied by people) there are ways to save money without cutting corners. First, you should know that insulation brings several benefits to the table: it can help you save on energy costs, it increases the lifespan of a building, it acts as a sound buffer, it prevents excess condensation and mold, and it prevents rust and corrosion. Batt and blanket insulation is the most inexpensive route to take while loose-fill insulation, rigid board insulation, and spray foam insulation can be more expensive but possibly more effective.