Five Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask When Considering a New Building
Featured in Undercar Digest
By Mike Lassner
As the economy improves, many business owners are considering expanding their operations and investing in a new retail store, warehouse, office , barn or shop. More and more, these business owners are selecting pre-engineered I-beam steel buildings for their business needs due to the flexibility, durability and value these structures offer.Before embarking on an investment of this magnitude, however, business owners should ask themselves the following five questions:
Does my community have any special zoning requirements or building codes that I must follow?
Each community has its own unique building codes, particularly in states with frequent seismic activity such as California and South Carolina , and local building codes can and do change frequently. While most pre-engineered buildings are designed to meet or exceed local zoning requirements, it is vital that your building manufacturer provide you with detailed and accurate blueprints in a timely manner so that you can avoid delays in gaining the necessary building permits. Ask the manufacturer how long it will take to receive your building’s blueprints and the steps they’re willing to take in the event that your local planning and zoning department requires changes to the design.
Do I need to hire an architect to develop the blueprints, or can the manufacturer handle this task for me?
The manufacturer should be able to provide you with the blueprints you will need to gain the necessary permits for a standard building. You can always take these blueprints to an architect if you wish to incorporate more complex design elements. By having the manufacturer perform the initial design work – rather than going to the architect first – you can save time and money.
Where do the materials for my building come from?
It is important that the parts of your building are manufactured in the same facility because the company that designs your building will have their own particular design style, technical verbiage and manufacturing specifications. Some companies use multiple manufacturing facilities, which can create problems during the construction phase when components don’t match or when delivery trucks carrying the needed components arrive at different times or days apart. In these cases, it’s difficult to know which factory to call for support and the construction delays can be costly.
How long will it take for me to get the building materials from the manufacturer?
Your building can be produced in four to six weeks – or four to six months – depending on the complexity of its design. It’s important that you plan your building project well in advance and be aware of the time required to gain the necessary permits. Your manufacturer can help you shorten the planning and permitting process by providing you with blueprints in a timely manner. You should also seek a manufacturer with a reputation for on-time delivery and on-call customer support. Remember that you need that building to begin making money for you as soon as possible and that delivery and construction delays can cost you a considerable amount of money in lost revenue, not to mention accrued mortgage interest.
What happens after the building materials are delivered?
While many building owners will hire a crew to erect their building, if you choose to erect the building yourself, make certain that you are working with a manufacturer who completely pre-engineers the building so that there is no cutting or welding in the field. Service after the sale is also important. Make sure your building provider has a strong customer service network, with field representatives and technicians who read blueprints and can walk you through the erection process if necessary.
Pre-engineered I-beam buildings offer tremendous value for business owners seeking to expand their operations and increase profits. Make sure that your new building is working as hard as possible for you from the moment you order the building.
Mike Lassner is president of Allied Steel Buildings, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of pre-engineered I-beam steel buildings. For more information, call 1-877-99-STEEL.