What to Consider When Choosing a Professional Steel Detailer

What to Consider When Choosing a Professional Steel Detailer

By Christian Kilburn

Steel detailing is considered as part architecture and part engineering. The appearance and design are considered in the architecture perspective. The engineering perspective, on the other hand, carefully defines the calculations, ensuring that the future structure will be safe, strong and accurate.

It is important to create drawings with precise and accurate dimensions for every detail and part of the framework. This can be done when both the engineering and architecture perspectives are used in steel detailing. Precise measurements are crucial because these are what the builders and welders will use. It goes without saying that it is essential to consider metal fabricators with excellent steel detailing skills.

Below are some of the factors you have to consider when choosing a professional steel detailer.

Equipment and Technology

Capability

When choosing a steel detailer, you have to make sure that their team has the capability to analyse complex design issues. Good metal fabricators can also provide solutions that can significantly and positively impact their projects. To be able to do this, the steel detailing company should have knowledge, skills and experience across a range of domains, including civil engineering, electrical engineering, structural engineering, architecture and plumbing/mechanical design. Excellent metal fabricators also have enough knowledge on a wide range of construction materials, including steel and concrete.

Equipment and Technology

These past few years, steel detailing has been revolutionised by several software advancements. Nowadays, it has become faster and easier to accurately produce 3D drawings. In order to get results done accurately and in a timely manner, you should choose a steel detailer who uses 3D drawings for erection plans, shop drawings as well as on full-scale templates of complex layouts.

With this kind of technology, steel detailers can easily plan each component and comprehend what their role will be in the future structure. At the same time, potential problems will be easily identified. When a project deals with complex connections like column splices, 3D isometric drawings can be very useful. They can also help in quickly and easily responding to Requests for Information (RFIs).

Reasonable Turnaround Time

Steel Detailing Standards

It is important for you to choose a company that complies with the steel detailing standards laid out by the Australian Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). It is the engineer’s responsibility to ensure the strength, design and integrity of the steel structure. On the other hand, the architect is responsible for complying with the building codes and major dimensions. Finally, the detailer’s job is to make sure that prior to the fabrication process, the drawings are approved by the structural engineer and architect.

The steel detailer should be able to follow all the guidelines of construction as well as the state and city requirements. So, you have to ask them if they keep up with the common practices and updates from the AISC. Whether your project is small or big, it will still require accurate measurements that only a skilled, experienced and government standard-compliant detailing company can provide.

Steel Detailing Standards

Reasonable Turnaround Time

Consider metal fabricators who are reliable enough to deliver your project in a timely manner. It would not hurt if you ask them what their usual turnaround time is. Do not forget to ask them about their production capacity. While some detailing firms produce excellent results, they may not have the capacity to handle several projects.

You can also do your own research and look for reviews posted on online metal fabrication forums. Search for references where you will learn about the steel detailer’s past projects. If you have the time and resources, try reaching out to their past clients and ask them for feedback.

Keep in mind that when it comes to choosing a professional steel detailer, you have to consider a company that will place customer satisfaction on top of their priorities. In this way, you can make sure that they will deal with your project responsibly and accurately.

Author: Christian Kilburn, kilburnchristian@gmail.com

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