(7) TIPS FOR CONTROLLING STEEL BUILDING CONSTRUCTION COSTS
Are you considering starting a metal building project? We have prepared (7) steps to consider that will help you save money- and future headaches, while you undertake the steel building construction process.
By even considering the purchase of a metal building kit for your construction project, you are already in the process of eliminating over-priced labor and the unreliability of stick building construction.
Metal building prices are able to be minimized through the value engineering process. Steel buildings are engineered to meet the local wind codes, therefore, they do not have to be over engineered, which would increase the amount of steel and therefore price. In addition, the quick erection process easily cuts the construction time by a third. When a metal building kit is delivered, it is completely ready to assemble. You don’t have to worry about making space on your property for fabricators to cut and weld.
In addition, the strength of steel, means less columns and more space for windows, overhead doors, and/or open spaces.
Things to consider:
First and foremost, set a budget.
For example, the wise question to ask yourself is not, “How much will it cost for a steel building?” More so, you should ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on the entire metal building project. It is important to keep in mind that the pre-engineered building itself is only 30%-50% of the total cost of the project.
You must consider that your costs will be associated with every phase of construction from the site to complete erection. A few metal construction expenses to consider for your prefabricated building project are:
- Cost of Land
- Cost of Building permits and fees
- If required Engineering Fees (Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, etc)
- Soils Report (if required)
- Insurance (Builder’s risk)
- Utility and sewer hookups
- Required Dirt work and excavation
- Concrete Foundation Contractors
- Steel building package with shipping
- Building erection crew (Cheaper if you erect yourself) Prices range from $2.50-$5.00 per s.f.
- Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC installation
- If desired, Exterior faced for the building (Stone, Brick, etc).
- If you will have the interior built out, consider the interior costs
- Final grading and landscaping
- If desired, Driveway, Parking Lot, walk ways or even Asphalt Paving
- If required, parking lot striping
When you take the time to right down all of the details in the construction process that you are considering project managing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
Set back, take a deep breath. It is easier than you might thank. And remember, thousands of people of complete their own DIY metal building project before you.
The best method is to take one step at a time and to stay organized. Keep to the budget you set out and leave a 10-15% margin for things you might have overlooked. If you get through the process with out overlooking anything, well you just paid yourself a bonus for completing your own DIY steel building kit.
This is where staying on top of details and your budget is very important.
Within the project management software, you should be able to develop a punch list, a list of things to complete. As you complete each item, make sure to mark it as completed so that you always know where you are in the project. Also, it is very import to note any questions, problems, and notices as soon as they occur. Make sure to address all problems as soon as possible.
Is saving money on this project important to you?
Of course it is, then take this advice. Ask you metal building provider if there are any modifications that could be made that would make a difference in the pricing. You would be surprised how much you could save by removing 100 square foot of building - this would also effect concrete paving square footage and dirt work. Another possibility would be make each bay larger, minimizing the need for additional steel columns and rafters.
In addition, if you have building experience, it may be wise to erect the building yourself. After-all it is like putting together a large playhouse made of steel. It can be tedious, but it will save you money.
For successful steel building construction completion, excellent communication is essential. With today’s technology, there really is not a good excuse not to stay in contact with you subcontractors
A good example would be to call, text, email or meet face-to-face periodically, if not daily. This will ensure that you are keeping your building department, steel building company, concrete contractor, building inspectors, erection crew, and subcontractors in the loop until the project is completed.
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Keep you eye on the overall cost, make sure to document all unplanned expenses. Especially if the metal building kits was missing screws or others materials you had to purchase at a local hardware store.
Believe me, if you ignore your budget, your will pay BIG! It is not unusual for the budget to increase up to 20%. That is one reason we say to budget for a cushion. The good news is that if you budget carefully and closely during the planning stage, you can eliminate shocking increases. A few costly mistakes to avoid are:
- Scope Creep: The more excited you become about your metal building project the more design ideas you may be adding; this equals additional cost. During this process, you are still in the honeymoon phase with your building project and may try and justify the additional spending. Believe me, it adds up fast and could leave you request and additional bank loan. For this reason, make all designs during the project planning stage and stick to the initial design.
- Building Change Orders: This is your worst budget nightmare. Once a building has been reached production, making any little change can be very costly. Make sure that you do not release the plans for production until you are 100% satisfied with the building details. Once option is to have a 3d designer design exactly what your building will look like. This will help you see exactly what to expect.
- Building Item Voucher: Once your metal building kit arrives, it comes with a complete set of plans and item check list. Make sure you go through every item delivered and make sure it is undamaged and accounted for with your own eyes. Finding out that you are missing items during erection can be a HUGE and costly mistake!
- Erection Crew: Hiring the right erection crew is essential when constructing a steel building. If you hire a contractor, make sure they are not sub contracting out the project. This will save you money. It is not unusual for an erection company to sub out the erection and make 30-50% markup.
- Equipment: Consider equipment cost when hiring sub contractors. Will it save you money if you rent the required equipment yourself. For instance, when it comes the the steel building, you will need an off-road forklift to unload the building, and a scissor lift to install the panels and roof.
- Safety: All building contractors are required to follow OSHA steel erection regulations, but that doesn’t mean that they do. Make sure that while people are on your property they abide by the regulations and wear appropriate PPE.
- Security: Construction job sites are a big attraction for thieves and vandalism. If you are unable, hire a security guard to watch the site during non construction hours. Believe me, things disappear quick.
You should know from the very beginning, things don’t always go according to plan, especially in construction. The weather is one of your biggest obstacles when sticking to a project timeline. It is uncontrollable, and unless the roof is already on the building, there is not much that can be done.
Unfortunately, when weather delays your project, it may delay other projects as well for your sub contractors. Getting back on track is not always as easy as having a clear day.
When delays occur, you may see hits to your budget. When this happens, stay calm and adjust your budget when necessary. You already know, that unforeseen delays are bound to occur. (Murphy’s Law).
Remember, be excited, you are building your own steel building! Moreover, remember to plan carefully, and set aside a cushion for your budget. Stay on top of things and consider the (7) steps and you will find yourself with a new steel building while sticking as close to budget as possible. Last but not least, you always have the option of hiring a turnkey metal building contractor.