5 steel building traps.(1) [Video Transcript]

Speaker 1:It’s been a few days since we shot a video. This morning, we’re in Gilbert. This is Century Builders, and we’re out this morning talking with Chet about five things to avoid when purchasing a steel building. Chet, what are those five things?

Chet:The first one is the deal. Don’t do the deal right up front. If you call around, online somewhere or something, you’re going to typically find a steel building company that the salesman will tell you that got some kind of special deal for you, that if you lock in the steel price today or give them a deposit to lock it in, that they’re going to have a special thing for you.

The problem with that is that you just called them out of the blue. All of a sudden, they got some special deal. You’re not any more special than any other customer. What they’re trying to do is push you into something, and so just use your common sense. Don’t let somebody push you into something too fast, and the special part of that deal is probably the commission that that salesman is going to make if he locks you into that price today.

The next is code compliance. The fact that you own a property in the United States, especially in Arizona where we are, doesn’t always mean that you can build exactly what you want to on your property. The building department, the regulatory agencies, flood control, environmental services, they all have a part in that, and they want to determine what you can build and what you can’t.

The first thing that I would do is take an eight and a half by eleven piece of paper. Just put on there … Draw out your property. Sketch your property. Put the house on it. Put your shop on it that you want to build or your building that you want to build. If you got a swimming pool, other sheds or something, put that on an eight and a half by eleven piece of paper. You can hand draw it, just as simple as that can be. Take it down to the building department, and find out which building department you are first. Take it down to them. Sit down with somebody down there, and see if there’s anything that they’re going to throw up roadblocks to you getting your building done.

Be prepared. Before you put any kind of a deposit on a building or sign on the dotted line, one of the most important things is for you to decide exactly what you want in your building. How tall do you want it to be? How deep do you need it to be? What size the door opening needs to be for your RV or for your truck to come into. How many walk doors you want. How many windows you want. Those things, if you can decide those in advance and have those ready before you start talking to somebody about a building, it will help you get the best price for your building, and lock it in at the best rate you can.

Things you might want to consider is what height of your fifth wheel trailer or your motor home, if you want to part something like that inside. How deep do you need it to be? We had a guy one time that wanted to use his shop for an archery range, and so he needed a 65 foot long building to fit that archery range in. How many windows? How are you going to ventilate, if you’re going to cool the building or heat it. Whether you want insulation in it, and how thick and heavy that needs to be. Whether you’re going to insulate your doors, those kind of things.

The next point that you need to think about is what’s included and what’s not. A typical steel building package will include the steel structure and the engineering for that steel structure. It will probably, also, include the door openings, like the big door opening, roll up door openings.

What it doesn’t include typically is the concrete engineering. You may have to have that done locally. It may not include the windows. It may not include the actual doors themselves or the openings may be there, but not the doors. It may not include the unloading of the steel. If you buy a steel package online, you may have to have a forklift there to unload it when the truck arrives.

If you can list those, you can get those in writing from your salesman before you ever sign on the dotted line, so you know exactly what’s included and what’s not, then you’re in a much better position to bargain with your salesman before you sign on the dotted line than you are afterwards.

Speaker 3:[inaudible 00:04:09]

Chet:The last of these five points is to not overpay upfront. Some steel building companies will require a sizable deposit before you order the building, and maybe even another deposit after the building is put into production before it’s delivered. You need to make sure that the initial deposit that you pay is no more than 25% of the building price. That’s about the high end of the industry average for professionals.

If you pay more than that, what this steel building company is doing is they’re front loading that contract, which means they’ve got their profit. They’ve got most of their commissions, and their incentive to perform to make sure that you get what you want is gone, and so you become yesterday’s deal, and they’re more focused on today’s deal and the next deal that they do than on serving you as a customer.

If you disregard the first four points of this, please don’t let this fifth one get by you, because this may be the most important. Don’t overpay upfront. Don’t pay for things before they’re delivered. Make sure that the work is done before you get it paid for. You’ll be happy that you did. Remember to always research the company and make sure they’re reputable like http://www.futurebuildings.com/.

This has been Chet Wilkins with Century Builders doing a video in a building in Gilbert, Arizona for Diane. It’s a beautiful building. It’s a 35 by 35 foot building. It has fourteen foot eaves. It’s got a 3/12 pitch on the roof, and we’re just about done with this. We’re doing some awnings on the outside of it, but it’s been a really nice project for Diane.


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