Hiring a contractor for any job isn’t a decision either you or your firm will want to make lightly. It’s vital to know the right questions to ask, especially for businesses, churches, and in the agricultural industry, particularly now that steel prices have climbed so high.
A little preparation can go a long way to protect your investment. So if you need to hire a steel contractor, how do you choose the right one? Here are a few facets to consider and perhaps inquire about in advance.
Ask the Right Questions
According to Fortune, steel prices are up 200% since March of 2020. Because of the increased cost for your building, you’ll want to take extra precautions when you bring on a steel contractor.
A few initial questions you’ll want to consider include:
- Where are you purchasing steel from?
- Are you fully and properly licensed?
- How long has your company been around?
- How many years of experience do your contractors have?
- Are each of your buildings up to local code and requirements?
- Do you provide and secure all the necessary permits for the project?
Check Their Past Work
Any professional steel contractor will have a portfolio of work for you to examine. It should include client testimonials and photographs, and list their standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Looking into their previous work will involve reading through online reviews. Client reviews can give you a truer picture about what other people’s experiences have been.
Try to find out how long the prospective firm has been in business. Learn about the quality of their customer service, how involved the client was with the progress of the project, if their pricing appeared fair to previous customers, and how the safety of the workers was addressed on site.
Get Multiple Estimates
Just because you’ve spoken to one contractor, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for that one. Try to get multiple estimates from various steel contractors.
Ask what’s included with the pricing, and request information about the cost of materials and building timelines.
Don’t be afraid to seek competitive bids from different contractors. They want your business and will know exactly what they can and cannot afford to do.
Don’t automatically hire the lowest bidder. There are, of course, several other aspects to weigh, and going too low ought to raise a question about whether this is a legitimate operation you would want to work with.
No matter what happens, make sure you keep a full record of everything along the way. This includes the names of employees you speak with, quotes you receive, dates, and timelines.
The more information you have to check later, the easier it will be when it’s time to compare each of the contractors against the others and make the right decision.
Make sure to select a steel company that offers long-term warranties. Capital Steel Industries, for example, offers a 50-year structural warranty that covers any defect that relates to the primary frame of the building.
This doesn’t encompass the other warranties they offer on different facets of the work in order to protect their clients, such as paint and roof warranties. Companies such as this are the type you can trust based on their longevity and confidence in their warranties.
Take Your Time
The last and most essential piece of advice when choosing a steel contractor for your job is to take your time. Don’t rush into making a decision.
Talk it over with someone whose opinion you care about. If you are a business owner, talk with some of your trusted colleagues. It’s a big investment and shouldn’t be made too quickly.