Your new building is a big investment, and safety and longevity is paramount. Selecting a reliable fabric structure manufacturer is essential for your business, storage needs, staff, and/or livestock. However, with many fabric structure manufacturers to choose from, it may not be easy to know the exact attributes to look for when picking one fabric structure company over another. Fortunately, there are several critical questions you can ask to better understand the level of quality and legitimacy from any given fabric structure company.
Critical Questions You Should Ask
1. Do you offer a turn-key service?
It’s desirable to install your structure with shorter production time and lesser cost if possible instead of working with several different contractors which can add time and money. The fabric structure company you choose should be able to offer a full-service building processes, seeing through all aspects of your project from design through to installation and post-service. These fabric structure companies are preferred since they will help you maximize savings, facilitate a successful building process, and offer additional components. Post-service is also of critical importance to ensure you have a team to check in on you and your new building, and fix minor repairs or re-cover should your structure become damaged.
2. Are you flexible enough to create custom structures?
Due to increasing business demands and varying environmental factors, you may need a fabric structure to configure a certain way that is completely custom to you. Not all fabric structure companies have the same highly-skilled designers, detailers, and engineers to develop a structure that can match your exact building requirements. Be sure to find out whether the fabric building company you’re interested in has the skill, expertise, and ingenuity you need to create a custom structure when no one else can.
3. Do you involve third-party engineers?
Many fabric structure companies have cut corners for the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to win your business. However, a legitimate fabric structure manufacturer is one that isn’t always the lowest priced and works with third-party engineers. The use of third-party engineers identifies issues and gives an unbiased review of the structure without being influenced by the company’s internal processes or demands so you are assured of legitimate, unbiased quality.
4. What material quality practices do you employ?
Some fabric building companies build their fabric structures using bent web trusses. While bent web trusses are quicker to install and sometimes more affordable to fabricate, bent web trusses don’t allow for proper coating of protective zinc or hot dip galvanization. Improper welding points mean that the access for the hot dip galvanizing liquid is unable to penetrate and coat the inside truss causing weak points in the truss and steel. Over time, bent web trusses in the fabric structure are more likely to buckle and weaken. Make sure the fabric structure company you choose not only uses hot dip galvanization, but uses open web trusses specifically aerating the corners of the welds so the protective zinc can fully penetrate the steel framework. This results in a stronger, longer-lasting, structure.
5. Do you carry out a site-specific review?
One of the only ways to ensure you receive the most efficient and reliable fabric structure possible is to have the site of your building location reviewed. A site-specific review looks at the unique wind speed, snow load, and seismic conditions specific to your building site. The building is then engineered accordingly. The fabric structure company you choose should work with you to obtain site photos marked with building orientation and location. This allows the fabric structure company to begin the process of the review to evaluate site conditions necessary to design and engineer a structure unique to you, that will last generations.
6. What long-term support and post-service options do you offer?
Repair and maintenance is inevitable, and there is no one better to do it than the original fabric building company who installed your structure. For the most outstanding customer service, opt for a fabric building company that is readily available to serve you, or even better, can be proactive in contacting you to do a quality check after the project has completed.
7. Are your fabric structures backed by warranty?
Every service provider promises excellent, long-lasting structures, and it would be improper to disregard all of them. But since you want to work with a company that is legitimate and credible, ask about the company’s warranty information. A reputable fabric structure company will gladly share the details of their warranty program, and have a reasonable program in place for you. This shows how dedicated they are to delivering exceptional quality and customer service.
8. How many years have you been in market?
Experience is a critical consideration when you are looking for the right engineers to design your project, and the right company to install it. Your choice supplier should have positive reviews and a track record of success in other similar projects. Don’t be afraid to ask about any awards or special accolades the company has received. Review any given testimonials the company might have. Better still, don’t be afraid to ask for the location of a nearby fabric structure that they have produced so you can check out the quality of their work in person yourself.
9. What is your average price per square foot?
Understandably, financial constraints may restrict you to work within a price range that matches your budget. However, be wary of fabric building companies who charge extremely low prices; the cheapest structures may not always be the best. Most reliable fabric structure companies invest a lot to ensure clients get the quality they deserve, so don’t be too hesitant to pay a slightly higher cost for better quality. After all, safety and longevity of the structure is paramount.