About Metal-Building Contractors
If you're buying a metal building, find out if the price includes construction costs
By Richard Asmus
Prefabricated metal buildings cost less to construct than either modular buildings or those built from the ground up. Metal buildings have several advantages over modular buildings made of other materials: They will not warp or decay and are essentially maintenance-free. Metal buildings can have much larger interior spaces and higher ceilings than traditional wood-frame buildings. A contractor who specializes in metal buildings can provide the building, but may not be able to provide all the additional services you need such as a foundation, landscaping and finish carpentry.
Metal-building contractors sell prefabricated buildings that are delvered to your site unassembled. The company can help you decide which model is appropriate, or can design a custom building for your site. The company will give you the specifications for the foundation and have the building shipped to your site. The vendor may not have a department to help you prepare for the installation of your building, such as site preparation and pouring the foundation. You will likely have to hire a licensed general contractor to help you install your building.
In most cases, construction of a metal building requires a building permit from your city ot county building department. If your metal-building contractor cannot get the permits for you, take the plans for your proposed building, along with detailed information about your proposed site, to the building permit office. Because the metal-building contractor usually has no legal responsibility to do this, be sure you can obtain a permit before you order your building.
Your metal building site requires a foundation that conforms exactly to your building's specifications. If your metal-building contractor cannot help with the survey, site preparation and pouring of the foundation, hire a licensed contractor to do it for you. If your building needs electricity, gas, water and sewer lines, find out their availability and make arrangements to have the services installed. Be sure utilities are available before you order your building.
Although the metal building may not require special construction skills, it is usually not a do-it-yourself project. Installation of your metal building will require a range of licensed contractors, depending on how complex it is and what your intended use is. These trades could include electricial, HVAC, plumbing and finish carpentry. Plan your construction budget to account for all the trades you'll need.
A metal-building contractor may be able to provide all the services you need. But if that is not the case, you may need to work with a licensed general contractor. General contractors can assist with permit applications, site preparation, plumbing, electrical, interior finish work and installation of all the utilities. Some general contractors represent metal building manufacturers, and companies can refer you to a licensed general contractor in your area.
About the Author
Richard Asmus is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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