I celebrated my 35th year in the pole building industry in January. I’ve learned a lot and forgotten probably even more in this time. One of the things I have learned is, when quoting any particular post frame building, no one is ever $100 less.
They are always $3000 or $5000 less and it is always for the exact same building.
Back in the early days of this blog, I wrote about the profit margins of lumber yards: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/pole-building-prices-beware-when-you-compare/
Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Mark recently quoted a pole building kit package to a builder in Ohio, at just over $20,000 which included four insulated overhead doors (two each 12’x12’ and 9’x7’).
The builder emailed back to Mark:
“Thanks for the estimate.
I can get this same building from 84 Lumber for 13,000.00 plus 2,200.00 for the garage doors. total 15,200.00
Thanks for your time”
Sounds like the $5,000 rule. Since we don’t make $5,000 of profit (or close to it) on a package such as this, I am thinking we should just close down our operations (where we buy at wholesale) and let 84® Lumber do all of the work!
The reality is – there is no way on the planet this is an apples-to-apples comparison.
For those of my loyal readers who are unfamiliar with 84® Lumber, or just enjoy a fascinating story, here is what Forbes magazine had to say about 84® Lumber in a February 9, 2015 article by Dan Alexander: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2015/01/21/daughter-knows-best-inside-the-84-lumber-saga/
Just out of curiosity I looked at the price of the four overhead doors – our price nearly $4200. Probably one of two things – we need to order our overhead doors from 84 Lumber, or maybe there is only one of each door size instead of two!
Now we know more than just a little bit about 84 Lumber’s pole buildings. Back about seven or eight years ago, we were set up in a program with them to provide pole building kit packages for 84® Lumber western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
At the time, 84 Lumber was fine if customers ordered one of their dozen or so standard pole building kits, but anything custom had a delay of several weeks or longer for pricing. And if the building needed to have plans sealed by an engineer – they had no way to service the client. The standard plans they did have – relied upon the customer having to excavate out below grade, in order to pour a concrete slab!
And assembly instructions? Nada!
Appearing on the 84 Lumber website (https://84homes.84lumber.com/Pole%20barn%20prices.pdf) today was a “ballpark” price on a 40’x64’x12’ pole building featuring a 15’9” sliding door on an end and a 15’ sliding door on a side. With colored steel roofing and siding $19,952. For sake of convenience, I made both the doors 16’ in width and assumed them to be split (bi-parting) sliding doors. I also included powder coated screws and made the sliding doors all steel frame (instead of the wood components of the 84® Lumber pole building). Our price delivered – $13,868!!
Maybe this one price was a misprint…so I compared the 30’x40’x12’ with a 10’ sliding door on an end. 84® Lumber $11,913, Hansen Pole Buildings $7944.
Even adding 12 inch enclosed overhangs to all four sides, reflective roof insulation and a commercial steel insulated entry door factory finish painted with painted jambs we were still $2000 LESS!!
Oh….and we will include full sized 24” x 36” blue prints specific to exactly what is being built, showing where every piece is installed AND our 500+ page Construction Manual complete with hundreds of color photos!
Am thinking 84® Lumber might want to go back to having us provide their pole building kits!
We’ve asked the builder above to furnish us a copy of the quote from 84® Lumber…..am certain it will be fascinating!! If we get it – I will be sure to follow this blog with “the rest of the story….”