Structural Steel Fabrication: Three Critical Factors Affecting Your Project Estimates

2 January 2018
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Cost estimation is an important process to consider when planning for a major structural steel fabrication project. In general, an undertaking involving this type of large-scale custom manufacturing will be expensive. If you are not prepared for the financial implications, you might have to deal with unexpected costs. Consequently, your budget will be depleted prematurely. In addition, when you understand the potential project expenses, you will be more equipped to negotiate discounts. If you are carrying out a structural steel fabrication project for the first time, you should consider these cost factors for accurate estimates.

Specific Steel Type

You should inquire about the material options available for your structural steel project. This aspect of the project will have a significant impact on the final custom fabrication results. In general, there are different grades of steel, and these are classified depending on the type of alloy elements included and the percentages of the alloyants. Each of the steel grades will have a different price, matching their performance and durability. For example, simple carbon steel will be much cheaper than alternative grades which contain alloying materials like chromium and nickel. Also, you should note that the chosen material determines the ease of fabrication, and consequently, the labour costs. For instance, mild steel is malleable and easy to machine in comparison to high carbon steel.

Complexity of the Design

The intricacy of your structural steel fabrication will influence the cost of your custom manufacturing project. Therefore, if you are already concerned about your budget, you should think about reviewing your design. Simplifying your blueprints could help you cut your expenses significantly. In general, if your design is complicated, the fabricators will require special software to translate the design and create the desired items. The technological resources and the expertise required will influence the price. Also, special fabrication equipment might be required for the manufacturing work. Simply speaking, if the design has delicate bends and cuts, the project will require specialty equipment, increasing the costs.

Steel Finishing

The finishing of the structural steel fabrications will influence the project estimates and total project costs. Therefore, you should decide whether you would like your manufactured items to be enhanced through finishing procedures such as painting, powder coating, polishing and plating. If you intend to expose the steel members as part of your architecture, you should think about improving the surfaces for optimal appeal. If the steel structures will be concealed, you should consider saving money by leaving the surfaces unfinished.