How to Pick the Best Post-Frame Builder
Keys to Choosing the Best Pole Barn Builder
Many times, building companies focus their sales efforts on their low initial cost instead of the customers needs because they don’t believe that their prospects will understand the differences in quality or they think that the marketplace doesn’t care about quality as long as it is the cheapest. What we have found in serving our customers for nearly 60 years is that our customers are more intelligent than most companies give them credit for and given the right information, they find that the lowest price isn’t always the “best buy” for them because they don’t want to invest the time and money down the road with issues such as longevity of materials, enduring strength and personal/business flow constraints that can cripple your future efficiency”. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is true, especially when it comes to buildings.
Not all builders have control over the entire construction process; some of the most important aspects of the buildings integrity get overlooked, such as engineering, truss fabrication & in house construction crews. (Maybe because these are things that you don’t see when you are walking through your newly constructed building…but that doesn’t make them any less important) Do not leave these components to chance, it is critical that you use a builder that has the quality control of these aspects through direct employment and regular quality checks.
To select the best builder for your project, use these criteria to ensure a building that will last for the next generation.
- Consultative Approach
Look for a builder who takes a consultative approach from the beginning of the project. Take note of the builder that comes up with ideas to help you save money on not just your building, but your entire project and strives to make your future building usage more efficient. Many contractors don’t have this passion and even though their price looks lower in the beginning, it is far more expensive in the long run. Look for someone who will help give you answers to the questions you didn’t know you had yet. Working with someone who will leverage their experience on your behalf before you ever pay them is a good sign that they’ll continue to have your best interest as their priority.
Engineer’s Stamp On Construction Drawings
Be sure that your builder has a licensed professional engineer on staff that is an expert in local codes. It’s also important to receive quality checks and construction audits onsite to ensure your building is built to spec. Though many counties do not require an engineer’s stamp on the drawings, we have found that many of our customers like the additional structural components required to receive the design stamp and approval by a licensed engineer. This signifies you are not getting a building designed as “code exempt” (little engineering done and doesn’t hold up to any official regulations), but are receiving a quality building you and future generations can be proud of.
Ask around about your builder to see what kind of reputation they have in the community regarding quality of building materials, craftsmanship and service after the sale. Don’t just ask your builder, because they are going to just send you to the customers that they know are happy.
Ensure the builder you select has experience and history in the industry. Ask them to show you what innovations they have brought to the industry over the years; this will give you some insight to how that company views quality and if they are on the leading edge or lagging behind with outdated materials and construction practices. Look for a company that has a long history of success and that will continue to provide service to you long after the project is completed.
Emphasis on Safety
Make sure the company you select has a good safety record and a good training program for their crews and foremen. Your builder should be able to actually show you their safety plan and not just say; “we care about safety”. Find a builder that truly cares about their employees. You will benefit from safe, well-trained workers on your building project.
When a project changes hands from engineering, to design, to truss building, to material ordering, to construction, there’s the potential to lose quality at each touch point if your builder is not in control of each phase. It’s important that your builder doesn’t outsource any piece of your project to a third party. Look for a builder that gives you total project assurance from idea to construction.
Examine the builder’s written warranty and avoid a prorated warranty. You want a warranty where the items in the warranty are 100% covered throughout the entire term, not prorated based off the age of the items.
Proper Risk Management
Ask about the builder's process for managing risk. Do they have formal processes to keep your project safe? Take a look at their builder’s insurance, workmen’s compensation & bonding. What happens if one of their employees get hurt on your job? What if the building is vandalized or gets hit by a tornado during construction, whose responsibility is it? Make sure that you have a builder with the proper risk management in place.
Make sure the post frame builder you choose meets these requirements so that you get the building you paid for and one that will last to the next generation.
If you would like to know more about the approach to building quality pole barns FBi Buildings has been developing over nearly 60 years, download our free Structural Integrity Brochure. In this brochure is outlined the measures FBi Buildings takes on every project to give you a post frame building to be proud of.