Overseeing the building of a structure from the ground up can be one of the crowning achievements of anyone's life, but before you can enjoy the accomplishment, you need to be aware of the process. Structural steel is a vital material in commercial building projects, but there are aspects of it that you need to be sure you understand before the process gets underway.
Below, you'll find a guide to some questions you should be sure to ask your structural steel contractor to maximize your understanding of the industry and the process. Keeping this information in mind will guarantee that you can be engaged through every step of construction and that you'll feel confident that you've put in the work necessary to enjoy the spoils.
Ask About Component Tolerances
One important thing to keep in mind is that not all parts of a steel structure are made of the same material. Steel of different gauges and tolerances are used in different spots, depending on the rigidity and strength necessary for a given application.
By understanding where the key structural spots are in your building, you can learn about where and how the various tolerances of steel are used in the construction. This information can be vital for future maintenance tasks and in considering proper habitation and loading.
Ask About Custom Components
Steel fabrication contains elements of both art and science. While most major components come in standard sizes and are readily stocked by your steel contractor, your project might call for some custom fabrication that you can work through with your supplier.
Your steel fabricator will be able to develop a reliable estimate for lead times that should allow you to thoroughly plot out the progress and schedule for your construction. They'll also be able to explain any special precautions that need to be taken to guarantee the performance of a custom piece that may come with some specific usage restrictions.
Ask About Lifespan
For many people, steel is a symbol of permanence. Strong and seemingly unyielding, it's natural to want your steel structure to last forever. However, environmental and usage factors can weaken it over time unless you take the proper precautions for reinforcement. By asking your steel contractor about the expected lifespan of your components, you can develop an idea of how long the gap is likely to be between refurbishments, and you can use that information to chart potential usage for years to come.
For more information, contact local professionals like Corsetti Structural Steel Inc.