When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect Part I

When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect (and the sky falls)

not perfectThe key to any successful construction project is not necessarily how everything went perfect, but instead it is how the things which did not go perfect were resolved. When one considers the average post frame building kit package materials have been touched by in excess of FOUR THOUSAND pairs of hands, it is truly amazing anything ever gets built!

Here is a true recent true story:

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  I read many posts in your blog prior to purchasing a kit. I have contemplated hiring the erection of my building to a local contractor. When I requested information on suggested contractors, I found there is only one in my state. He is approximately 400 miles from my location. Here is my question: Where in the heck do you get your range of costs for constructing a building? You blog suggests up to $5 / square foot. I have multiple quotes and they are in excess of $16 per square foot. I have had nothing but problems with this purchase. Materials were not delivered per the plan. Every delivery I was told that I had to accept the materials in less than 24 hours from notification. I never knew ahead of time if I needed to have a forklift to offload the materials, so I had to make arrangements each time to be sure that the offloading could occur. The lumber substitutions from 4×6 to 6×6 complicates the build because the dimensions don’t agree with the plans. I will have to purchase additional 2 x 8 material because the full dimension 6×6 posts need to be straddled by two 2x12s and have a web between them. The plans call for a 2×6, but I don’t dare have a ½” to ¾” gap in the setup. There is no one I can talk to within Hansen. The material scheduler merely sends out the same form letter each time. The salesman has forgotten who I am. These issues are not mentioned in your blog.

DEAR CLIENT: Thank you for your investment in a new Hansen Pole Building. I will endeavor to answer your questions as thoroughly and completely as possible. To begin with, our business is the success it is because we both value input from our clients and we take it to heart. We endeavor to have only satisfied clients, and for the most part have been very successful with it.

I appreciate your having read many of my blog articles. I strive to be both entertaining and informative.

Where in the heck do I get my range of costs for constructing a building? In a not too distant past life, I was a post frame building contractor, with as many as 35 crews constructing buildings in six states. The general rule of thumb is the cost of labor should run no more than 50-60% of the price paid for the materials package. This was developed from my years as a general contractor, where we took our materials cost and doubled it, with us getting 25% for being great and wonderful contractors and the construction crew getting the other 25%. The cost of materials for your building was roughly $18,444 – from experience a knowledgeable crew of installers should spend no more than 154 person hours to complete this building. 50% of your purchase price of $18,444 would be $9,222 divided by 154 person hours pays each installer roughly $60 per hour – not bad wages. (for more reading on this subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/03/contractor-costs/)

At $16 per square foot, my guess is your quotes are coming from general contractors (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/11/builders/)  who are going to have subcontract labor do the assembly. 1600 square feet at $16 would be over $25,000 and I sincerely doubt any installer would be worth over $160 per hour. At those wages, I would consider strapping on my nail apron, getting out my screw gun and going back to physically doing construction.

So how do you go about finding an actual technician who can construct your building? If you do need a contractor, I recommend placing an ad on Craigslist under “labor gigs” such as:

Contractor needed to assemble pole building kit package on my clear level site in X County. 40’x40’x9′ fully enclosed “monitor style” barn with prefabricated 4/12 roof slope roof trusses in the 16′ width raised center. (1) 12’x14′ and (2) 8’x7′ sectional steel overhead doors and (1) prehung steel entry door. I will provide all materials except for nail gun nails. Willing to pay around $9000-9500 depending upon experience and references.

I’ve used this approach personally to find the actual “nail pounders” in all parts of the country, with great success.

Come back tomorrow folks, to hear…”the rest of the story”.

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