If you’re new to temporary buildings and thinking seriously about hiring or buying one there are some key aspects that need to be understood. And then avoided! What are these issues then and why are they key to a successful and sustainable temporary building project?
As with any industry there are suppliers who will sail close to the wind when it comes to moral and ethical values; caring only for their short-term profit over repeat or happy customers. When it comes to temporary buildings though the commercial and safety risks of this can be serious. We are after all dealing with the supply and construction of a building and not the installation of a new printer!
Although the investment of a temporary building doesn’t come anywhere near that of a traditional building, a new building of any type is probably one of the biggest investments a company will make. The commercial risks to your business if you’re miss-sold have the potential to cause anything from headache and stress to long-term business damage.
As for the safety aspect, this needs to be nothing other than 100% on the money. In terms of the whole package as well – design, manufacture, supply, build and ongoing maintenance. Anything else just isn’t acceptable as it will put goods, machinery and even people at risk.
So, here are our top 5 tips to avoid these commercial and safety issues and enjoy safe, fast, fruitful and sustainable value from your temporary building.
1. Rogue rental companies
Avoid – Rental companies who supply second hand buildings made of refurbished parts, ex-hire stock, with expired warranties and mismatched components; all of which will potentially weaken the structure.
How – If you buy from a true manufacturer you should have a factory direct building built specifically for your site, with all genuine factory supplied parts plus full warranties on the frame, components and building works.
2. Hidden costs
Avoid – Contracts that don’t cover all costs and hit you with unforeseen charges post installation.
How – You need all delivery, installation, plant hire and dismantle charges (if hiring) included in the contract.
3. Misleading rental charges
Avoid – Companies that charge any rental extension as a new contract and not on a sliding scale.
How – This and all other rental charges must be clear before you sign. If it’s not clear or not mentioned on the contract, ask the question and get it written into the contract. It’s often impossible to predict if a hire contract will need extending; projects invariably run over or an alternative use is found for the building, sometimes on a different site. Clarifying the additional run-on costs for these possibilities is important.
Avoid – Companies that don’t mention anything about planning applications, either verbally or in the paperwork.
How – If your preferred supplier doesn’t cover the subject there is good reason to be suspicious. Some companies simply won’t mention it until they have a signed contract. The customer will then have to factor in extra costs down the line, not to mention possible project delays while applications go through. Not all temporary buildings require planning, either way though this needs to be understood at the beginning and factored in. Some providers, including HTS, offer a planning service and will be able to let you know at the beginning of the project if planning is needed.
5. Generic site calculations
Avoid – Companies who cannot supply site specific structural engineering for snow and wind loadings. Some companies only provide “generic” structural calculations which do not consider the orientation of the building, anchoring method, altitude etc. which have an effect on the structural integrity of the building. Failure in not supplying site specific structural calculations could leave you exposed with safety and insurance claims in the event of damaged stock or worse.
How – Ideally your building needs to be structurally engineered to meet the specific requirements of your site and region – in particular snow and wind loadings. Your preferred supplier should either offer or insist on this. If they don’t you can request it. If they are still unable to provide it, go elsewhere.
Avoid – A marquee masquerading as an industrial building!
How – Ask to see the structural calculations of the building being offered. If they state no snow loading then a marquee frame is being used with hard walling; which is not strong enough for long-term industrial use.
Despite these pitfalls buying or hiring a temporary building is actually a very simple and straightforward process. Just the same as any other investment though, if the product or service is new to you there is a bit of research and learning to do before taking the plunge.
Once you have a temporary building partner on board who can provide evidence and assurance for the points above, the whole process is a fast, easy, non-disruptive and hassle free affair that creates economical and flexible on-site space for as long as needed.
Visit our hire section for more information on hiring a temporary building and other financial options.