When constructing a steel shed for commercial use, you need to work with a manufacturer for steel fabrication services. Since most of the structure will be made from steel, the process of fabricating the materials can be costly. Therefore, it's advisable to find ways to reduce the overall cost of manufacturing the material. However, this doesn't mean you cut corners or build an inferior-quality structure. Below are some ways you can cut down the cost of steel fabrication but still end up with a high-quality, durable shed.
Engage the Manufacturer in the Design Process
When fabricating structural steel, most people present a design that the fabricator has to follow during the manufacturing process. If one wishes to make any changes to this design, it could lead to material wastage and increased costs. Thus, to save money, it's crucial to engage the fabricator in the design process. The manufacturer can provide valuable input towards the design process and even suggest ways to save costs. Since they are also experienced in fabricating structural steel, they can also help come up with a perfect product to reduce costly alterations mid-fabrication.
Shop Around for a Common Gauge of Structural Steel
Structural steel is available in various gauges. The higher and lighter the steel is, the cheaper the cost per pound will be. In a steel structure, you need the material for the roof, exterior walls, cladding, and other areas. You can save costs by using a higher and cheaper gauge of steel in areas such as the cladding. Also, instead of using a rare gauge, which may be costly, consider shopping around for a standard and locally available one. This can go a long way in reducing the direct and indirect costs of fabrication.
Consider Automated Fabrication Techniques
Both manual and automated techniques are used in steel metal fabrication. However, the cost of manual processes tends to be high due to the following:
- The high cost of billable hours for the fabricators
- Increased material costs due to wastage resulting from human error
- Manual processes are slower than automated ones, and this translates to increased project time
If possible, opt for automated techniques for your fabrication job. Automate tasks such as metal cutting and machining, punching, drilling, rolling, and bending. Laser cutters are also available for fabrication projects. These save time, reduce material wastage, increase precision, and reduce the overall cost of the process.
Choose Off-Site Fabrication
Finally, opt for off-site steel fabrication of steel for your shed. Off-site fabrication allows for the use of automation, and this reduces material wastage. What's more, the process is less labor-intensive. On the other hand, on-site fabrication of steel parts can increase material wastage, lead to downtime, and increase labor hours. However, you can work with a local fabricator to reduce transport and mileage costs.
These techniques can reduce the cost of fabrication and, consequently, lower the overall cost of constructing a steel shed.