5 Questions To Ask a Structural Steel Fabricator

January 20, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A structural steel fabricator can create the custom pieces you will need to complete your construction project. Since you’re approaching a steel fabricator, that likely means you’re seeking special pieces. Working with a reputable professional is a must in that scenario because your project may suffer otherwise.

While going through the process of choosing a steel fabricator, you should take the time to interview your candidates. Sitting down for an interview with each of your candidates is necessary if you want to find the right person for the job. Asking the questions below will also help you make the right choice.

1. What Are Your Credentials?

First off, you should ask your candidates about their credentials. You’re specifically looking for two credentials here.

Certification from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) indicates that the fabricator’s works have met the highest industry standards. Fabricators certified by the American Welding Society have demonstrated exceptional welding prowess. They can present you with a Certified Welding Inspector certificate if that organization has credentialed them.

2. What Is Your Area of Expertise?

After confirming that the steel fabricator you’re interviewing has the right credentials, you can start to gauge the type of work they do. To do that, you should ask about their specific area of expertise.

Steel fabrication projects can be remarkably varied. Factors like the type of steel used, the steel grade, the design of the fabricated piece, and how it will be utilized all affect the complexity of a particular project.

The key is to find a structural steel fabricator who understands the fundamental aspects of your request. Confirm that they are familiar with the kind of piece you want to get made so you can be confident that they can produce the final piece properly.

3. Are You Comfortable With Both Manual and Machine Fabrication?

Next on the list of steel fabrication questions you must pose is one that touches on the processes that your candidate uses. Steel fabrication can be carried out through manual or machine processing.

Manual processing is great when conducted by an expert craftsman. However, fabricators relying solely on manual processing may need a lot of time to finish their work. If you need your pieces completed in a hurry, you may prefer a fabricator familiar with machine processing.

Ideally, your candidates are familiar with both processes.

4. Will You Use Subcontractors?

Some fabricators will hire subcontractors to handle the simpler tasks involved in a particular project. A fabricator relying on a subcontractor is not necessarily bad, but you may not want that if your pieces are especially complex.

It’s better to get clarification regarding that matter during the interview, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

5. Can I Get Some References?

Finally, don’t forget to request references during the interview. Check with those references and ask about their working experiences with your candidates. You’ll better understand how a specific candidate will handle your project after speaking to their references.

Fabricating structural steel components is a highly specialized and complex job. You must entrust it only to the top fabricators in your area. Find out who they are by conducting interviews and asking the questions we detailed here.

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