If you’ve read our article on the true cost of building a prefabricated metal structure, you already know how competitive the cost per square foot can be. But one of the most important factors in keeping your costs low is choosing the right metal building contractors. Where do you start searching, and how do you get to find the right team for your needs?
Just as you would with making any other hiring decision, you should have a checklist to cover your basic needs right off the bat. The right contractor for your prefabricated metal project will, of course, be licensed and background checked. Three to five years in the business should be enough to provide you with a nice portfolio of work and peace of mind for the project. But be sure those are years under the same ownership. A company that was recently sold may have also changed their quality of service. Finally, you’ll want to make sure you choose a contractor who is familiar with local permits and regulations.
Where do I start looking for metal building contractors?
With that checklist in mind, you are free to start browsing through local metal building contractors. First and foremost, we recommend checking the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association, or MBCEA. Their website is a great resource to find erectors who specialize in prefabricated metal buildings. Each of their members has been carefully vetted to ensure that you only hire the highest standard in the metal building industry. Click here to find a contractor!
As you can imagine, holding membership within this standard of excellence is rare. But just because a contractor is not a current member of the MBCEA doesn’t mean they won’t provide the highest level of care. You can find contractors in your area on popular websites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List. With reviews from other business owners in your area, it will be easy to find their most recent projects and get a thorough understanding of what it’s like to work with their team.
How do I choose the right contractor for my project?
When navigating MBCEA, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List, you can use your basic checklist to start narrowing down your options. Once you have a few in mind that fit your most basic criteria, it’s time to dig a little deeper. These days, it’s entirely too easy to fake reviews and projects on the internet. Just because you can see a portfolio of work doesn’t mean that you know everything about a contractor’s past projects. If the contractor lists specific businesses they’ve worked with in the past, don’t be afraid to check those references. The contractor may boast working with a big local name business, but a quick phone call may reveal that the feeling wasn’t mutual.
You can also ask to see past projects directly from the source. metal building contractors may be willing to provide deeper case studies and step by step details of past project completions to give you a better idea of their process. Pay close attention to their project timelines so you’ll have a good understanding of how long your assembly should take.
Of course, you should always check to make sure that your contractor or erector is insured and licensed. You may not always be able to trust what you see on websites. For added peace of mind, check with local regulators to ensure that your contractor is up to date on all necessary licenses.
How much will it cost for my contractor to assemble my prefabricated metal building?
There are a variety of factors to take into consideration, but one of the most important factors when it comes to your contractor is whether or not you’re looking for a turnkey solution. Most commercial real estate will require interior finishes as well as electrical and plumbing. If you’re looking for a turnkey solution that will allow you to get your business up and running as soon as possible, it will raise your contractor costs.
Other factors will affect your final construction costs, including concrete and insulation.
- Concrete: A prefabricated steel structure will need to be anchored to a slab. Pouring a concrete pad can cost $7-13 per square foot.
- Foundation Engineering: Expect to pay $1,100-$2,900 for stamped concrete drawings. This is different from the included stamped building drawings you received with your purchase of a steel building kit.
- Insulation: Choosing the right insulation is key to maintaining your lowest possible maintenance costs throughout the life of your building. Combined with the strength and durability of steel, proper insulation will substantially lower your heating and cooling costs when compared to other building materials. Once more, your insulation should last as long as your building, pending a destructive incident.