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What determines steel price?

3 Factors 

Once upon a time, steel buildings were more or less basic metal boxes primarily built for industrial use. Through the years, advances in technology have transformed prefabricated metal or steel buildings into completely customizable structures that can be designed and built to accommodate practically any application or use.

Anyone that has ever priced prefabricated building suppliers has likely noticed price fluctuations from one to the next. This is because there is no standard steel building pricing list. Actual cost is largely dependent on the structure’s size, intended use, and location. Other factors such as supply and demand or the supplier you choose will also affect a building’s price.

Here are three factors that significantly impact the total cost of a metal or steel building.

Location & Design

Two big determinators of the price of a steel building are its location and design/build.

For example, a metal or steel building built along the coast must be engineered to withstand more than 90 mph of straight-line winds since hurricanes are always a threat. This is an example of location mattering. Arsenal Steel Buildings only builds buildings with 115 mph windload, no exceptions. No one else follows this high standard.

Open wall steel buildings – also known as roof-only steel structures – must also be built to withstand high winds since no other walls are there to deflect high gusts. If winds are high enough, the roof could be torn completely off the structure without the right wind load capacity. This is an example of design mattering.

Similarly, a building built for a region with a lot of snow – let’s say the mountains of Colorado – will need to be built with a roof capable of withstanding a heavy snow load. However, someone getting an estimate for a steel building in Los Angeles isn’t worried about its snow load but they’ll need it to withstand extreme seismic conditions. California has stricter regulations pertaining to seismic design since earthquakes there, are more prevalent and destructive. 

Naturally, these reinforcements require the use of more steel, which will increase costs. These factors, along with design components like the building’s width, height, and roof pitch, all play a role in determining how much steel is needed and the overall cost of building a steel structure.

Supply & Demand

Steel is a global marketplace commodity not unlike oil. Its price is therefore determined by supply and demand throughout the world. Steel prices are lower if supply is high but demand is low. Prices go up when supply is down and the demand is higher. Economic booms and downturns, the state of the construction industry, and natural disasters requiring large-scale rebuilds are other contributors to fluctuations in steel supply, demand, and pricing.

Where Your Steel Comes From

If you’re ordering a prefabricated building from a company that imports its steel from overseas, prices may be lower but there’s a tradeoff when it comes to quality. You ideally want to work with a supplier that uses only the highest-quality American-made steel. Arsenal Steel Buildings uses only American made steel.

Additionally, a large supplier of a product or commodity with established relationships within their given industry levies considerable buying power. This purchasing power can be used to pass savings onto their customers. The best deals often come from a supplier that goes a step beyond just designing and delivering a prefabricated metal or steel building. Those offering complete steel building construction services typically have the most buying power to negotiate the best pricing. 

In short, construction spending went through the roof after the election. More demand, same supply. More construction means steel prices go UP!

CNBC Report on 2016-2017 Construction Contracts <click>

Lock Your Steel Price Now 

​​When we talk about locking a price in, we are referring to an advantage Arsenal Steel Buildings offers to potential buyers. Upon signing a contract to buy one of our steel building packages, Arsenal Steel will lock the price of your contracted amount of steel. Regardless of the market conditions, locking your price allows you to avoid the big swings in steel pricing and a surprising price tag on delivery day. Arsenal Steel Buildings has the stability and the substantial buying power to offer the highest quality product at a price you can afford. We buy more steel than you do, so we can absorb all of the risk associated with a large commodities contract. For allowing you to leverage our substantial credit, we make a little money (pennies per pound,) and just like that, capitalism is born! Weather you use Arsenal Steel Buildings or not, while we sure hope you do, going into 2017, you must lock your steel cost ASAP. 

P.S. Many Americans have been struggling for many years. But, increased American manufacturing and construction can only mean good things for our friends and families. While yes, steel and everything associated with steel will be increasing in in cost, we all pray that this is a long term indicator of a resurgence for our great country and our great people.    



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