Following the stoppage of virtually all construction during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous projects came off the drawing boards and back to fruition simultaneously. This resulted in unleashing a pent-up demand for building materials—particularly steel—that led to astronomical increases in prices.
Some projects witnessed more than 60 percent price increases for steel and other building materials in just a year. This forced some projects to go back on hold, while others experienced delays and cost increases as suppliers struggled to meet the demand for materials.
As a leader in self-storage construction for more than 30 years, Mako Steel developed a solution to help clients contend with these unpredictable and sometimes exorbitant price fluctuations.
Mako Steel enhanced their in-house engineering department to investigate and create cost-effective efficiencies within projects as well as offer “engineering-only contracts,” so developers could progress their building projects without being subjected to current pricing volatility. This way, clients can better align their building budgets and schedules with materials pricing for economy and efficiency.
When prices become better balanced at a point in the future, projects can proceed on a more predictable schedule.
“We do not control the fluctuations in commodity pricing, but we can look for ways to minimize the impact,” says Mako COO John Cross. “Our customers can also trust that we command excellent pricing and support from all of our trusted vendors.”
By starting a project with the assistance of Mako Engineering Services, efficiencies can be built in at the beginning of the process rather than trying to construct from plans that might need to be altered to reflect self-storage realities such as load factors, spacing, and unit mix. If a client approaches Mako with previously permitted drawings that upon reflection may not be cost efficient, the client then has the tough decision between going forward with construction or going back to redraw the plans.
“The guidelines we follow from the survey to the final certificate of occupancy help the entire project run smoothly,” says Jaisy Valley, director of engineering. “These factors are the main reasons why a majority of our customers return for their next projects.”
Mako engineering designs reduce construction time, save time and money, and allow operators to start renting sooner.
Each self-storage project is unique with its own set of nuances and particulars typically discovered in the initial qualifying stage and then advised on by the engineering department, which consists of drafting, detailing, and engineering that all play crucial roles in the success of the project.
Collaborating with in-house team members ensures that the project particulars are not missed. Inevitably, this leads to the in-house engineering team building efficiencies in the plans, which not only can reduce costs but also streamline the building permit process. Mako engineers are familiar with local design loads, zoning, and building codes, which helps expedite construction and avoid delays.
Engineers work on all components of the building to determine the forces that could act upon a structure and make sure all materials used in construction have the strength to withstand all the forces applied to the building.
These trusted custom engineering specialists will assist with structural drawings, permitting, and civil and architectural analysis to ensure the longevity of any project.
Leader In Self-Storage Construction
It is important that your self-storage facility be designed by industry professionals who understand the self-storage business. With over 30 years in the business and millions of square feet of self-storage built, Mako knows what it takes to be successful in the self-storage business. That experience is translated directly into your facility design.
Whether you are planning to expand or upgrade your current storage facility, convert an existing building, build a new single-story or multi-story operation, or want to add boat and RV storage, the Mako Steel team of engineers, designers, and installers will guide you through every step of the planning and construction process.
From initial concept through completed construction, Mako will design and build your self-storage project quickly, at the lowest possible cost, with an eye on maximizing income potential.
Keeping customers in the loop is a top priority. “One of the key factors in completing a project with the most accuracy is the communication between the engineering design department and the customers,” says Valley. “Value engineering is possible when the functions of the engineering, drafting, and detailing come together and work as a unit.”
“We often act as a conduit for the various stakeholders on a project and always make ourselves available to answer questions and offer potential solutions,” Cross adds.
Largest Self-Storage Building Supplier
In this time of volatility in the steel market, it’s never been more important to work from the beginning with a company that’s on the front lines of supply, delivery, and construction of this vital building material.
“Mako Steel has acquired Rabco Enterprises to bolster an already powerful brand in the self-storage construction sector,” says Marketing Manager Sarah Swingler. “Our companies’ combined size enables buying power within the steel industry and our established relationships have positioned us to gain the best pricing available on the market. Considering we are the nation’s largest building supplier for the self-storage industry, we are able to lower our price per unit by leveraging the developed relationships and pass the savings to our clients.”
In addition to Mako’s buying power, the company offers engineering-only contracts where the company works closely with the client and municipality to obtain permitting. Once the permit is pulled, the job may be re-priced, and any increase or decrease is passed on to the customer. This protects the customer by allowing them to build when the budget is feasible and ensure that the contractor is not exposed to turbulent market fluctuations.
“Taking this approach also allows us to be very honest and up-front to our clients about pricing,” adds Swingler.
Another way Mako builds economically is by educating clients on the option of using versatile light gauge steel as decorative elements on the building’s exterior. Utilizing high-quality decorative steel materials avoids more expensive choices like concrete masonry bricks, EIFS exterior wall cladding systems, and stucco.
“There are various high-quality steel product lines that have an architectural visual effect that provides continuous insulation that can also help save energy,” Valley says. “Additionally, using these steel product lines help to save money throughout the lifespan of the self-storage building and is also a cost-effective method when it comes to labor.”
For beauty, functionality, and economy, more self-storage developers rely on light gauge steel to construct their facilities. Mako Steel is the leader in self-storage construction and will continue to guide their clients in building successful businesses.