(770) 925-2188

Physical address:
4230 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lilburn, ​Georgia.

5 Questions for Your Barndominium Steel Kit Supplier

Building a barndominium is now becoming easier than earlier because the number of kit suppliers has increased over the past few years.

It seems easy that someone will make building kits or the shouse steel for you and send to your address so that you can establish your barndo quickly.

Have you ever thought about what should you ask your steel supplier before confirming him?

The questions we are mentioning below are the critical queries from your side which will ensure that your steels will be supplied from the right party, within the best time and with the quality should be best possible.

And, most importantly these questions will help you to be on the upper side of the negotiation table.

What is the price and pricing term?

Buying steel products is the most confusing deal people ever face. Since you are going to buy this for the first time, this is reasonable that your supplier will try to communicate in tricky language to ensure his gain.

As per the trading economics, steel prices dropped more than 100% in May 2023, and October 2023 which is now almost double what it was.

source: trading economics’s steel price data

We brought up this example for to following reasons:

  • You should know when the price is likely to go down so that you can have a very good negotiation gain
  • You need to understand that the price is your supplier offering, should be flat, and should not be changed by other market variables such as foreign currency depreciation or overall international price hikes.

Secondly, try to understand what are the payment terms. Usually, payment terms include upfront payment percentage, schedule of future payments, lead time (time difference between the order date and delivery date), delivery mode, and other obligatory grounds.

Questions for barndominium steel supplier

Try to negotiate well to make the initial deposit as low as you can. Remember, the steel suppliers will always try to get an advance to cover their expenses at your cost.

We suggest you go through the payment terms carefully and double-check if everything is in your favor.

Do not make hurry or present yourself to be in urgency in front of them.

What are the timeline and deliverables?

You need to ask well about their deliverables and respective timelines. You may ask them to provide you with a grant chart or any document that clearly shows when will they provide what?

If there is a multiple delivery schedule, make sure to discuss with your building contractor first to know whether partial delivery is likely to hamper the building erection.

There might be some other components that would require multiple vendors. For example, a steel supplier may not provide you roofing solution or insulation material. Even if they do so, some will try to outsource from a third party and resale to you at a higher cost.

So what would you do?

Make a list of such materials and double-check which brands or qualities your steel vendor trying to deliver. Try some internet search to know if anyone else is offering the same at a lower cost.

Questions for barndominium steel supplier 2

Sometimes you need to match the delivery deadline with your permit date. Make sure that the delivery date provided by the steel vendor is not contradicted by the date you are planning to get the permits done.

Another tricky part could be the foundation plan.

There might be some civil works that are not covered by the terms of the steel provider. If the supplier takes the call, ask them to do the foundation or civil works ahead of their delivery. Or, you can contact another contractor for the foundation works. But, make sure to match the timetables of all of your deliverables. Remember, these will work like a flow chart where one problem would create another 5 new problems for you.

Rust protection provision

This is important as your metal supplier about their plan regarding rust protection and future warranty provisions against rust since it affects the durability of banrdo.

Normally, the steel vendor applies anti-rust coting before the metal frames are delivered. However, we noticed that some steel pieces are still exposed to rust even if they are quality passed from the suppliers’s side.

Know more about how rust grows in barndominium and how should you prevent metal corrosion using some simple techniques.

Ask for warranty

Even though steel is unlikely to get damaged, there is always the risk of rust unless the supplier provides you with good steel.

Since you are buying, you should always ask for the warranty period and the coverage. Just make sure to get the number of years (25 to 40) so that any damage in the prefab steel should be rectified by the vendor himself.

Who will offload the delivery?

Sometimes, steel vendors do not include offloading responsibility on their heads to gain extra profit. It would be problematic for you to offload the deliverables at your premises by a third party.

We suggest you to transfer such tasks on the suppliers’ side so even if it takes higher costs.

Ask for detailed dimension

Always keep in mind that steel sellers are playing the game with its weight, not the quality always.

Maybe you are taking quotes for a 3000 ft 2 storied barndominium but each offer will have a different weight of steel even if the total square feet are the same.

Steel suppliers buy in tons and sale it in square foot. This means, they will always try to optimize the weight of your structure to reduce costs from their side.

This is always better to perform due diligence between the barn dominium floor plan, steel suppliers’ dimensions, and detailed offers.

A structural engineer will help you to identify whether the load calculation and prefabricated steel pieces are going to be up to the mark.

Need a Barndominium Floor Plan?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

Pro tip – defer an installment

Always try to keep some percentage of money unsettled. Try to erect the barndominium as soon as possible by deferring one last payment installment to your steel provider.

It will give you a chance to see if everything is fine and as per the initial plan.

Pro Tip – Basement construction

If you are building a barndominium with a basement, make sure to ask your metal supplier the following questions:

  • What percentage of the total cost would be increased for the basement?
  • How many kilograms/tons of steel would be required additionally for the basement?
  • Will the basement provide extra structural strength?
  • What would be the ground clearance, especially for the walkway basement?

Creating a basement for a barndominium is nothing new. However, the basement would create an additional cost burden for you and you need to decide whether the benefit outweighs the cost that you are incurring.

Also, make sure you can build the barndominium with a basement plan with the contractor that you have chosen. In most cases, contractors may not be experienced enough to work with basement-added barndominiums, and in such cases you need the help of structural engineers.


Always remember, buying steel is the most crucial deal of everyone’s life. You should make your question checklist before you approach them and never settle down in a single negotiation.

Try to identify the tricky areas that the steel provider always kept hidden to win the negotiation.

Good luck

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

Articles: 44

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.