Tag Archives: building materials list

Local Building Supply is Wrong Choice

With an advent of internet providers such as Amazon (www.amazon.com ) there has been more pressure to “buy local”. Sometimes buying local can be a blessing, but when it comes to a new post-frame (pole barn) building – even an attempt to buy local can prove to be an experience (and not a pleasant one).

Reader MAGNUS in HUDSON writes:

“I’m looking for a quote on a 36’x60’ pole barn. I’m pretty motivated to get this going – I’d like to start raising walls in mid-June. I’ve been trying to work with my local building supply (small town, stay local if possible) but they’re just letting me down on timing, and at this point I’m looking for solid alternatives. I’m pretty impressed with all the info on your site (in fact, I spent a bunch of time there over the past few months getting educated, and almost went with you without even checking with the locals.)

I’ve got cash in hand for this, so at this point it’s just trying to get plans in hand so I can get my permit and get some ground prep started. I’m leaving the country for about 2 weeks from the end of May to mid-June. My goal has been to get the earthwork done (some grading and fill + gravel pad) before I leave so I can begin erecting as soon as I get back. That’s feeling pretty tight now, though I thought I had plenty of time a month ago when I started with the locals.

I know I’ve forgotten a few important details as I put this drawing and notes together tonight. I’m available by phone most of the day Monday and Tuesday for any clarification questions. I’ll try to get the few items from your checklist that I don’t know filled in on Monday.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

Your local building supply probably is staffed by very nice people. They probably know most people in town by first name. They are not post-frame (pole barn) experts. In fact, if they are above novice level you would be doing well!

There is a chance there is someone on their staff who can actually sort of do a material’s list for a pole barn. Keep in mind, there is not a “plan” they are working from, so no one is checking for adequacy of structural design. This list of pieces may, or may not, even be enough pieces to sort of put a building together. My experience is a list such as this will be inaccurate for quantities, will leave things out, add in a few unnecessary pieces and result in waste, confusion and a less than satisfactory end resultant.

Some local building supplies have gone as far as investing in computer software, supposedly capable of putting together a list of materials. I have yet to see one of these programs able to do an accurate list on anything beyond a basic box – and they cannot supply engineering. Again, it is nothing better than a guess list!

Even if your local building supply somehow had a relationship with an engineer, who could provide sealed plans for your new post frame building – they are not specialists. At Hansen Pole Buildings we have buying power to get post frame building specific products in massive quantities at wholesale prices. Some of these are items we have manufactured specifically for us, when we found commercially available products were lacking in quality or features.

Let’s say your local building supply was somehow able to provide engineer sealed plans specific to your building, do an accurate material takeoff, get product to your building site – they are not going to have detailed assembly instructions to guide you through to completion. Chances are no one there has ever constructed an engineered post frame building, so when you or your builder get stuck, or make an error, it is up to you to solve it!

If you, or anyone, believes there is another post frame building kit supplier offering a better value to their clients, let us know what they are doing Hansen Pole Buildings isn’t. Frankly, we do not believe it to be possible.

Ready for “The Ultimate Post Frame Building Experience”™? Dial 1 (866) 200-9657 and speak to a Building Designer today!

Why a Materials List is Usually Not a Good Thing

One thing we have always done at Hansen Buildings, is to guarantee we have the best price, every day on any complete building kit package with equal or better features. We don’t sell materials; we provide complete buildings – all the pieces necessary to construct the building, per our plans, unless otherwise noted. Pretty straight forward.

As such, we’ve done comparisons against hundreds of other suppliers. In doing so, we’ve seen a fair number of the infamous materials list. I say “infamous”, as they are for the most part totally misleading the consumer.

Where does a materials list come from to begin with?

A prospective building owner will walk into his local lumber dealer, or big box store, and ask for a price on pole building kit. In the instances where someone at the store has a rudimentary knowledge of how pole buildings go together, they will most often provide a materials list of what they believe the materials will be, to construct the size building requested.

Great, right? As a consumer, if you have one of these lists, you can now go shop it around to whoever will give you the best price!

However….at least two major lumber yard chains, who regularly supply pole building kits, have disclaimers on the bottom of their materials list. In layman’s terms, they do not guarantee the materials listed on the quote will meet any building code requirements, or do they guarantee the list is adequate to construct any intended building!

Read the last paragraph twice, didn’t you? Chew on it a bit…..you will not have to search very long on the ‘net to find a post from a customer who spent $28,000 on a “pole barn package” from a large supplier, because “the prices were great”. In the end, it cost them $34,500 total, for the materials which were not on the list, but were needed to construct the building!

Eric (one of the Hansen Buildings owners) and I reviewed a materials list in the not too distant past, for a horse barn. Of course the client claimed his materials list quote was $5,000 less than our quote (the difference is never $100, by the way, it’s always some huge amount). The building was to be 10’ eave height. However the list had treated posts only 12’ long. Maybe they were planning to only have the posts be two feet in the ground? If so, I would not want to be near the building in a wind storm.

Right away what was glaring was that all of the doors we had included, were absent from the list! Over $3,000 right there. As we counted the pieces of steel roofing and siding, it became apparent the person doing the list, left off ½ of the roof, as well as one side and one end.

In this particular case, the client was absolutely certain the list he had was going to exactly construct the building we had quoted. He refused to be convinced otherwise, so we wished him the best.

One thing we will do absolutely free for any client is to compare any building quote they get from our competitors, to our quotes, and show them the differences.  Nine times out of ten when we offer this to the client claiming huge dollar differences, we never see the quote (or hear from the customer) again.  Sometimes you can lead a horse to water….