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    Default The steel building industry: What is their deal?

    A time or two in recent years, I have submitted quote requests online to a number of steel building manufacturers, hoping to get prices to use in grant applications for a new fire station.

    What ensued from every firm I looked at was an endless string of emails trying to sell me a slightly different size that they just happened to have already available.

    What is with these people? And does anyone know a reputable outfit somewhere near my part of the world that will give you a price for the building YOU want without sending you 40-eleven-dozen emails for things you don't want???
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Eastky, I feel your pain. When the constructions grants were out I tried as well. Our Chairman even is a project manager for many years and it was still difficult.

    My suggestions from my dealings is do not deal with the company that makes the buildings. Find a reputable construction company. The company we used when we built our new station has closed due to the owner retiring so I really do not know where to go from there.

    I will ask around at work. We deal with a lot of construction companies so they may know someone. Of course our construction is quite a bit larger than just a building but I am sure we can come up with something.

    Can you give me any specifics on the building you are looking to construct.

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    We have a weird configuration to our property. It's very long and tapers narrower at the northern end.

    The booger of it is that there is a 20' easement for a drain tile that shoots at an angle through the wider end.

    My image is of a roughly 32x40 finished space south of the easement, attached by a breezeway to a 40x100 or 40x120 apparatus section on the north side of the easement.
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    Attachment 22486

    Somethin' like this.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    like bsfd said --- keep it local , there are a lot of small fabricators
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    What ensued from every firm I looked at was an endless string of emails trying to sell me a slightly different size that they just happened to have already available.
    While I hear where you're coming from, look at it from their point of view, too. They sell shoes in even and half sizes. You're asking for an 11 3/4. While it's possible to make the shoe you want/need, isn't it possible you can just wear a 12?

    A local contractor may be willing to make the alterations you desire, but I'll bet he starts with something resembling one of the manufacturer's standard building "kits."

    On the other hand, is there any consistency to what the various manufacturers are offering? Is it possible that you could, indeed, use one of those "standard" sizes? Odds are you're going to save some money if you do.

    And, while you want a steel building, consider other options. Cinder block, those styrofoam blocks/forms, etc, might offer you the flexibility you need.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Eastky,

    To echo what a couple of other people have said, you may be better off talking to a local contractor who does design build type work rather than directly with a manufacturer. Steel buildings can be very cost effective, but you may be very limited on what modifications you can make. Like tree said, these things are pretty much cookie cutter type structures and many manufacturers are not real willing to deviate from their standard practices becuase it isn't cost effective for them.

    You might want to look at the website for the Design Build Institute of America www.dbia.org. This is an organization that promotes the design build concept in construction and has good resources for owners on how to develop proposals. I believe they also have lists of contractors who do design build work in most areas. This concept is becoming more common in commercial construction and might fit your needs better than going out and hiring an architect or trying to get through all of this stuff yourself.
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    We have a local fabricator, I am under the impression he does work nationwide though. White Industries, http://www.whiteindustries.net/ Tell them I sent you. Been very happy with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    While I hear where you're coming from, look at it from their point of view, too. They sell shoes in even and half sizes. You're asking for an 11 3/4. While it's possible to make the shoe you want/need, isn't it possible you can just wear a 12?
    A 40x100 seems normal enough. The problem is that I'm filling in quote requests for a 40x100 and then these goobers start calling me wanting to sell me a 32x68 or a 14x220 or some ridiculous size that's nothing like what I asked for.
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    And let me throw in a "nega-tisement" for Morton Buildings.

    I called them and a guy came down, dragged a tape measure all over our lot, stuck little flags up everywhere, said he'd get us a price, and then he apparently was warped into a parallel dimension. I never heard a word from him.

    A year later, I call the contact number and find out that the original guy quit, so his replacement and the supervisor came down the second time. More tape dragging, lots of sketching, profuse apologies for the other goober... and then nothing. Ever. I'm not calling them again.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    And I will throw in a little part to the nega-tisement. It appears companies such as Morton see that fire service = government organization = $$$$$$$.

    A good project manager, be it you or someone else, need to squash that real quick on the money hounds.

    When you get a quote from them be sure you get a list of building materials they will be using. Do a little research from third party people too see what they are actually charging you for the material and what they are actually charging you for labor. (i.e. 8x12 red iron, they are charging $20 a foot and you can buy it for $12 a foot which probably means they are buying it for less they you can buy it for but charging a huge markup)

    Also do a request for proposal. You have to anyway under KY law for anything over $20,000. Let them know they have competitors but not who the competitors are. You are not locked into doing anything other than assurance you will look at the RFP. You don't even have to do the project.

    Just put a detail description together of what you want and put the add in two or three papers. That is the only out of pocket costs at that point. Plus you can get many different ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSFD9302 View Post
    And I will throw in a little part to the nega-tisement. It appears companies such as Morton see that fire service = government organization = $$$$$$$.


    Tee-hee! They'll find out in a hurry that ain't the case with us!

    The rest of that stuff is good advice too. Since we are an incorporation and not a district, we could technically forgo the bidding, but we aren't stupid.

    Thanks!
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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