Let me ask you a question. Would you send your kids to a daycare facility without asking around town about the operator? Would you drop them off there if you had never seen the inside? Would you trust your child's well being to someone you never met before? Yeah, I doubt it.
How about a caterer for your Christmas party? Would you just assume their food was awesome and mouth watering or would you want some evidence? Are you going to trust your guests health and satisfaction to someone you found in the yellow pages? No, i didn't think so.
Then why, oh God, why do so many people hire contractors with out any due diligence on their part? I have seen unsuspecting people hire fly by night contractors with out a second thought. Projects that are permanent structures costing hundreds of thousands of dollars! No questions, no credentials, no project history, no insurance, no idea. What disasters I have seen in my time building metal buildings. Steel buildings aren't the most complicated systems in the world. I have heard that sand castle building is slightly more complicated. Just like everything else in life though, it takes a caring touch and some attention to detail to make a metal building turn out great.
Sure the local concrete contractor, Rockhead Construction, can tell you he is a metal building builder. Sure he can buy steel buildings from, insert latest manufacturer advertising on the radio. He can probably even unload the building when it shows up. I ask you though, do they know the difference between a red and green tin snips? Do they know how to properly cut a steel panel so it doesn't dip rust water down you doors? Do they know how to stretch a roof panel? Can they square up a building so your window will operate properly? I am going to guess that in most cases they can't.
If most of that last paragraph made you scratch your head don't worry. That is why I am here. I don't use the term 'metal building expert' lightly. I can do all of those things myself. What is more, all of my field guys can too. They are trained to care about square, straight, and proper. It doesn't take much more effort to do it right, and what little more it does cost I am happy to pay for. It really does matter to the end product.
I guess my point is this; Ask for references! Walk around a couple of metal buildings the contractor in question has built in the past. If they don't have any that is a BAD sign. Ask about the building line they carry. If you haven't heard of it before, chances are that is a BAD sign. Ask to talk to their last 3 clients. (Not the 3 clients they accidentally did a good job for in the last 10 years). If they aren't willing to give you the names and numbers, walk away!! You aren't dealing with a reputable builder.
I am here to help. Rob Schulte, metal building expert with Kaleden Construction. Look around my website - www.kaledenconstruction.com - for some of my past steel building projects. I will gladly give you the name and numbers of the clients. I will take you on a tour if you would like. I can tell you which of my competitors do good work. I can also tell which ones don't. That is priceless information.