A Contractor's Guide to Selecting a Structural Steel Supplier

Finding the right structural steel supplier will require you to ask some questions. For example, what are the main types of construction projects they focus on, and what is their area of expertise? Answering these questions will help you find a supplier that's the right fit for you.

Some obvious construction projects might be new plants, buildings, and structures, or plant additions, such as new lines, platforms, safety enclosures, and pipe stands. Projects could also include refurbishing buildings, blast furnaces, coke plants, etc.

Asking yourself some questions to find the right steel supplier.

We’ve identified several types of construction projects. So, ask yourself who fits your needs the best. For example, there are industrial and commercial fields, with most projects in industrial—likewise, only a few are in residential.

When talking with a structural steel supplier, ask them for specific types of contractors they work with on projects. There are various contractors working in a variety of fields, for example, general contractors, subcontractors, excavation, roofing, electrical, mechanical, scaffolding, concrete, fencing, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, process pipe, highway, and bridge. It’s important to know the expertise and process of your steel supplier.

What do professionals working in the construction industry typically need?

There are several job-related professionals in the construction industry, some are superintendents, project managers, field buyers, ironworkers, pipefitters, boilermakers, carpenters, millwrights, estimators, and engineers. Based upon the contractor, some projects will be straight-forward while other might be complex. You want to select a structural steel supplier that can offer you experience and knowledge to ease your pain points when projects are complex or meet obstacles.

Many contractors use similar products, which are angle, beams, channels, flats, rounds, square and rectangular tubes, pipe-handrail, shims, wide tees, rebar, grating/stair treads, expanded metal, sheet, plate, and plate burnouts in plain carbon, galvanized steel, with some stainless and occasional aluminum.

What types of added-value services do contractors use?

Projects can vary in complexity, sometimes requiring structural steel suppliers to provide added value services. A supplier that is a good fit will offer saw cutting (especially for shims), splitting beams into wide tees, plasma cut plate and sheet to size, and oxyfuel plate to size.

Before placing your order with a new structural steel supplier, ask about deliveries.

To keep your projects on time, it’s important to ask them how they ship or deliver their materials. It may be to the job site, where they do all the work out in the field, or to the prefabrication shop, where most of the work is completed before going to the job site. You will want to know what to expect and if they have a record for delivering on time.

Finding the right structural steel supplier is essential.

The right structural steel supplier will keep your project timelines on track, help alleviate potential problems, and reduce stress. Therefore, finding a quality steel supplier with knowledgeable and experienced sales representatives is imperative to help you with all your construction projects.

Count on Steel Cities Steels for all your structural steel projects.

With over 70 years of quality, custom solutions, the experienced professionals at Steel Cities Steels can assist you. Whether you need to ask a question, get a quote, or want an onsite visit, we're here to help you.

Contact Us

Specializing in construction solutions contact Lori Harvey, Sales Representative, at 219-250-0145 or email lharvey@scsmetals.com.

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