What are the Responsibilities of Steel Building Erectors?

A steel building erector is an individual who is responsible for the efficient and successful construction of prefabricated steel buildings. These individuals must be highly hands-on with what they have been entrusted to do. Individuals who work in this position will have to know metal building erection inside out.

As they will work with many other people to complete the project successfully, they will have to work well in a team environment. It is also imperative that steel building erectors are physically strong since they have to exert a lot of physical energy. The minimum educational requirement for becoming a steel building erector is a high school diploma or GED. Experience in a similar role, or an apprenticeship, is considered an advantage.

Steel building erectors have several essential duties, including:

  • Determine the type of support required by reading and interpreting building designs and schematics
  • Identify the materials and labor needed for the project, and make arrangements to acquire both
  • Provide effective communications with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of supplies and equipment
  • Prepare materials and calibrate machinery before undertaking building erection tasks
  • Install metal parts by hoisting and positioning them in place with cranes and telehandlers
  • Install fiberglass insulation and standing seam roofs
  • Rig and hoist metal objects within the work area to ensure accurate positioning
  • Following set instructions, move and guide metal loads into position
  • Bolt and weld metalworks together and ensure that all sections are leveled correctly
  • Conduct demolition work to renovate or pull down steel structures
  • Cut, melt, and weld metal sections and rods using metal shears, torches, and welding equipment
  • Using crowbars, jacks, and other tools, force metal structural components into place
  • Install sealing strips, wiring, insulation materials, along with reinforcement bars
  • Make sure that metal structures are aligned horizontally and vertically by using plumb bobs and laser equipment
  • Erection of precast concrete components for metal structures such as buildings and bridges
  • Assemble hoisting equipment or rigging, including cables, pulleys, and hooks, to ensure easy and secure motion

The job of a steel building erector is no easy task. How do you know where to start when it comes to choosing the best metal building erector for your needs?

How Do I Pick a Metal Building Erector?

Although some people are comfortable building their pre-engineered steel building themselves, others prefer to hire a professional steel building erector to construct their project.

The success of a prefabricated steel construction project often relies on an experienced steel building erector. The structural integrity of PEMBs is compromised with incorrect assembly. Also, shoddy framing leads to further problems later on and causes issues with waterproofing. The project will run smoothly and on schedule if you hire an experienced steel building erector. This is why you must put in some work to find the best steel building erector for the job.

You can find metal building erectors online, but it’s always a good idea to ask the company where you bought your steel building for a list of recommended steel building installers. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions like the following when you interview potential steel building erectors:

  • When did they start working in steel building erection?
  • Are they specialists in prefabricated steel building assembly?
  • How many crew members will be available for your project?
  • How experienced is the crew?
  • Did the company previously erect buildings from the metal building company that you are now using?
  • How many projects do they have on the go?
  • What equipment will they be able to provide?
  • Is the erector physically present at the construction site during construction? If not, will the erector check on the building’s progress regularly? Who provides supervision during the absence of the erector?
  • Will all of the work be handled by the erector, or will part of it be subcontracted out?
  • How will the erector keep in communication with you?

Make sure that every erector you contact is aware of the specifics of your project. The erector must know the building’s essential details like its size, the number of doors and windows, and exterior finishing materials to provide an accurate bid. Make sure to include any features that require installation, such as skylights, gutters, roof vents, insulation, and other features.

Make sure you tell potential erectors of any time-saving features in the steel framing kit you will be purchasing. Some steel buildings come with self-drilling screws, pre-welded clips, die-formed door trim, and formed-base trim. Don’t be fooled by a bid that is much lower than all the others. A low bid may be a sign that this person is a rookie framer. It is better not to risk hiring an amateur framer to save some cash. It will ultimately cost you more in mistakes and delays.

Always make sure to ask potential steel building erectors for multiple references and licensing information. Reputable erectors or contractors should be able to provide a list of references. Ask for references from previous projects and jobs that are more recent. Many areas require licensing and/or certification for construction workers, including steel erectors. If needed in your area, request copies of their current license and/or certification.

Always check Google and other sites to see what reviews the company has online. Confirm to see if the bidders are licensed and certified through your local building department. Make sure you connect with every reference that you are provided. If possible, visit projects and observe the craftsmanship, including previous jobs.

Speak directly with the building owner. Do they believe the erector provided quality workmanship? Is the building performing well? Would they use the same erector in the future? Whenever possible, visit an ongoing job site. Are the framing crews organized? Are they handling the building materials with care? Are they taking the proper safety precautions?

Read the erector’s contract carefully. Are there any services that are not included in the bid? Whenever possible, avoid vague references like “extraneous services.” Make sure everything is spelled out. It should be clear to the erector that they cannot make any design changes in the field. They should know to contact you immediately if any issues occur during construction.

When working on a large or complex project, it may be beneficial to hire a general contractor to oversee the entire construction project, including framing assembly.

Who Provides the Engineered Concrete Foundation?

If you purchase a prefabricated metal building package, you will receive all the metal building components necessary to erect your building, the standard components supplied by the manufacturer, as well as any customizable features that you ultimately decide to include. It will also have stamped and certified metal building plans (detail drawings of your architectural design) and anchor bolt plans (instructions on how anchor bolts are connected to the steel on the foundation).

However, your metal building will not come with a foundation plan. Since your foundation design will depend on site-specific (grade, soil type, etc.) and location-specific (climate, prevailing winds, etc.) conditions, it is ideal to have a local concrete engineer plan your foundation. They are likely to be most knowledgeable about local codes and foundation design best practices in your region.

An engineer will typically design and construct your foundation in coordination with your general contractor. When you are serving as your general contractor, you will need to coordinate the construction of your foundation before the building’s arrival to allow immediate erection of that structure.

Who is Responsible for Safety on Site when Erecting the Pre-engineered Steel Building?

The metal building industry involves working with heavy steel beams, industrial machinery, and sometimes even great heights. When workplace safety is not prioritized, this combination of factors can be dangerous and even fatal. Safe job sites are critical. Construction crews and contractors must take all necessary steps to create a safe work environment.

Safety in the workplace is of utmost importance for all building erectors, the metal building contractors they work with, and clients. An emphasis on safety demonstrates the protection provided to employees and contractors and reflects professionalism and responsibility.

All-steel building companies must follow the guidelines set forth by local health and safety legislation (like OSHA in Ontario). As a customer, do not assume that all contractors follow these guidelines. Always ask your potential steel building provider who will be playing key safety roles on your job site or which training your erectors have completed. It may even be a good idea to request copies of course certifications from prospective steel building erectors, especially if you suspect a company’s legitimacy or safety record.

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