What To Look For When Hiring A Metal Building Contractor
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Hiring A Metal Building Contractor - What To Look For

When embarking on a metal building project, the selection of your contractor is as crucial as the materials you choose. The right contractor ensures your project runs smoothly, is cost-effective, and results in a structure that stands the test of time. This guide is designed to help you navigate the process of hiring a metal building contractor with confidence.

Getting Community Recommendations

One of the most reliable ways to find a reputable metal building contractor is to tap into the wisdom of the community. Reach out to local business owners, friends, or family members who have completed similar construction projects. They can provide firsthand accounts of their experiences with contractors and may recommend professionals who delivered exceptional work.

Vetting Your Contractor

While recommendations can steer you in the right direction, a thorough vetting process is essential for ensuring that your contractor is the right fit for your metal building project. In addition to the previously mentioned questions, consider adding the following to your vetting checklist:

  • Insurance and Bonding: Do you carry insurance and are you bonded? This is crucial as it protects you from liability in the event of accidents or damage during the project.
  • Warranties and Service Guarantees: What kind of warranties or guarantees do you offer on your workmanship and the materials used?

  • Timeline and Availability: What is your estimated timeline for a project of this scope, and how soon can you start?

  • Subcontractors and Team: Will you use subcontractors, and if so, how do you vet them? Who will be the project manager, and what is their experience?

  • Past Client Referrals: Can you provide references from recent projects that are similar to mine?

  • Financial Stability: Can you provide proof of financial stability to ensure the project will not be interrupted due to financial issues?

  • Communication Protocol: How will communication be handled throughout the project? What is the protocol for regular updates and addressing any concerns that may arise?

  • Change Order Process: How do you manage changes to the project once it’s underway?

  • Safety and Compliance: What safety measures do you implement on-site, and how do you ensure compliance with OSHA regulations?

Asking these questions gives you a fuller picture of the contractor's business practices, ethics, and reliability. It also helps set clear expectations for the project’s execution and outcome.

Research and Due Diligence

Your own research can reveal a lot about a contractor's reputation and work ethic. Look up their ratings on BBB, Angie’s List, and other review sites. Competitive bids are also essential; they allow you to gauge the market and understand the average cost of your project.

Comparing Quotes

When it's time to compare quotes, deeper analysis is required. A low bid might seem attractive, but it’s important to consider the following:

  • Scope of Work: Confirm that each contractor is quoting for the same work.

  • Line-Item Breakdown: A detailed quote gives you insight into what you are actually paying for.

  • Total Cost: The lowest quote may not always equate to the best value. A reputable contractor might charge more but also deliver higher quality work.

  • Material Quality: Assess the quality of the materials specified in the quote. Higher quality materials may cost more upfront but can save money in the long run due to their durability and lower maintenance requirements.

  • Project Duration: Evaluate the estimated project timelines. A quicker project might save on labor costs, but rushing could lead to mistakes or lower quality work.

  • Payment Schedule: Look at the proposed payment schedule to ensure it is fair and corresponds with project milestones.

  • Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that the contractor’s quote includes compliance with all relevant building codes and regulations, which can prevent costly legal issues later on.

  • Energy Efficiency: Consider if the contractor includes energy-efficient options that could reduce costs over time, even if the initial investment is higher.

  • Warranty and Post-Construction Support: Check if the quote includes warranties or guarantees for the work performed and materials used, as well as post-construction support services.

  • Contractor’s Track Record: Weigh the contractor’s track record of completing projects on time and within budget, as a history of overruns might indicate potential hidden costs not reflected in the quote.

  • Environmental Considerations: Take into account any environmental impact assessments or sustainable building practices included in the contractor's quote.

  • Customization Options: If your project requires specific customizations, ensure that the quotes include these unique aspects and consider the associated costs.

Lowball Bids

Lowball bids are often too good to be true. They might indicate a contractor is using substandard materials or isn't accounting for all necessary work. To prevent any surprises, ensure the estimate is comprehensive and includes a transparent breakdown of costs.

Understanding Engineering Plans in Metal Building Purchases

When you buy a metal building, the purchase generally includes only the engineering plans for the Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) itself. It's important to know that this does not cover the entire construction project. Additional engineering and planning may be required to ensure your project fully complies with local building codes and addresses all necessary structural and environmental factors.

Building Code Compliance for Metal Buildings

Online Purchases and Local Codes: A metal building bought online may not meet your area's specific building code requirements, such as snow loads, wind loads, and seismic considerations.

Safety and Legality: Ensure the building is designed for your location's conditions. Consult with your contractor to verify compliance and avoid safety or legal issues.

Making The Final Decision

Weighing the gathered information, consider the following before making your final choice:

  • Reputation and references

  • Experience and expertise in metal buildings

  • Quality of communication and collaboration

  • Cost, budget alignment, and value

  • Safety records and legal considerations

The contract should reflect all project details, timelines, and terms discussed.


Choosing the right metal building contractor is a meticulous process. It requires thorough vetting, comprehensive research, and careful comparison of bids. Remember, the lowest bid might not always offer the best value once all factors are considered.

If you're planning a metal building project, consider JB Steel Construction. Our award-winning service and dedication to quality set us apart. Contact us to learn how we can bring your vision to reality with expertise and integrity.

Metallic Builder of the Year Award

The Builder of the Year Award is presented annually to an Authorized Metallic Builder to recognize their consistent contributions to the pre-engineered metal building construction industry and their local community, and the builder’s innovative use of metal building materials. JB STEEL® has previously earned Metallic excellence and merit awards and a spot in the Metallic M-Team (top 25 builders in the nation) on numerous occasions.

View our Awards
American Concrete Institute

JB STEEL® is a proud member of the American Concrete Institute.

Associated General Contractors

JB STEEL® is a proud member of Associated General Contractors of America in the Columbia chapter. We have been a member since 1970.