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  • Bethany Lewis

Choosing a Self-Performing General Contractor for Your Metal Building Erection: Benefits, Risks, and the Design-Build Process

Remember that time your project went off-the-tracks? When nothing arrived on time or the crew was nowhere to be found. Or the erection subcontractor didn’t use temporary bracing during the metal building erection — now your building leans just a little more each year.

Choosing a general contractor for your steel building erection project isn’t easy. You need to be able to rely on their team, their judgment, and their subcontractor if they use them. What if you could take part of the guesswork out of choosing a construction company?

What if you found a general contractor near you with the ability to self-perform a metal building erection from beginning to end? PEMBs, short for Pre-engineered metal buildings, are easy to construct if you know how and can do so safely.

You need the right equipment, the right team, and the right knowledge. At Cedar Falls Building Systems, we worked in both industrial construction and commercial construction for more than 40 years.

We specialize in design-build construction with metal building systems, so we’d like to offer some insight into the process. We’re here to help you with a guide to the benefits of choosing a steel construction and PEMB company that self-performs most or all the work.

We’ll include:

  • How a project works when you subcontract metal building erection

  • The benefits of one company handling your construction project

  • Optimizing your project with Design-Build

When a General Contractor Chooses to Subcontract

We’ve all been there: you don’t think you can get a job done or maybe you don’t have the right tools. The same goes for construction companies.

Sometimes a company just isn’t confident in its ability to perform a job. Some of these larger buildings, like the ones you can see in our industrial construction portfolio here, require more than just a big hydraulic crane.

So, companies will subcontract because they don’t have the right equipment, knowledge, team, or enough time in their schedule. So, the company you originally met with, the people you trust, ask you to trust these other guys too.

There are a lot of amazing subcontractors out there. They work hard, own their own businesses, and are as reliable as the sun. But there are also bad ones and bad construction companies! We’re not here to tell you who is better, or which company to choose.

We’re just here to deliver some facts. When a company subcontracts a metal building erection several issues can arise because of:

  • Communication Issues

  • Quality Control

  • Safety Concerns

  • Schedule Delays

  • Additional Costs

The saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” comes to mind. Strategic planning and flawless follow-through are keys to making building projects successful and every set of hands you add to the job can also increase the chaos — especially when those hands don’t directly work for you.

Add in schedule delays and additional costs from unexpected fees or additional labor costs and you have a project that can easily slip from an inexperienced contractor's fingers.

Benefits of using a General Contractor that Self Performs Your Metal Building System Erection

Simpler is almost always better.

Choosing a general contractor like Cedar Falls Building Systems for your commercial construction or industrial metal building system project is the simplest way to avoid these issues.

What do you get from a metal building company that self-performs the work for your project? Benefits like

  • Single Point of Responsibility

  • Increased Accountability

  • Consistent Quality

  • Better Communication

  • Lower Costs

We keep it in-house so we hold the reigns, we steer the ship, and we answer when something goes wrong (and we can tell you what happened and how we intend to fix it). There’s no finger-pointing, no one only worried about their own reputation. We’re all on the same team.

Increased accountability also creates consistent quality. We know our supervisors, our project managers, and our team, and they know the high standards we demand on every project.

They follow tried-and-true communication and safety protocols. This keeps mistakes, accidents, and overall project liability as low as possible.

When we know who is completing tasks, we can also more accurately predict your project’s cost. Optimizing what you get from a metal building construction or erection project can take one final step — a Design-Build delivery process.

Design-Build Metal Building Construction

If you want a fully optimized construction project — the most efficient components, design, team, and schedule — your first call should be to a design-build construction company.

The design-build method utilizes all our hard-earned skills, all of our industry contacts and networks, and decades of professional knowledge to guide your building from a sketch on a napkin to a finished, working building.

We act in your best interests and seamlessly move from each construction phase. Our pre-construction team has established systems to move the project into action. They communicate with our building teams to limit project interruptions and stay ahead of issues they foresee.

And we do all of this with the goal of bringing you exactly the building you need — on time and on budget.

Choosing a General Contractor for a Metal Building Construction

Only you can ultimately decide what general contractor to team up with.

Will you choose a design-build project from the start? Are you ok with the increased risk of subcontractors for possible cost savings? You have to weigh the risks for your project.

If you’d like to discuss your options or need a consultation you can email us at or call 715-235-3541.

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