Tag: budgeting

Adding it Up: The Real Cost of Partnering with a Fabrication Shop

Bringing an idea or project to fruition is not an easy process – and it can be long and arduous to complete a project which involves complex metal fabrication. If you’re looking to make it easier to complete your next project, you’ll definitely want to work with an experienced fabrication shop, like Engineered Mechanical Systems.

Partnering with a fabrication shop that has proven experience and can deliver great results is one of the best ways to make your project go smoothly, and it will make your life easier.

But what costs can you expect when partnering with a fabrication shop? In this article, we’ll help you understand what costs you’ll need to pay and give you more details about how to plan your project to ensure your success. Read on, and get all of the details.

How To Start A Partnership With A Fabrication Shop

The first step of this process is to make sure that you’re partnering with a fabrication shop that is local, reputable, and known for delivering great service. If you’re depending on a local team of structural steel fabricators for a project with a tight budget and urgent deadlines, you need to be able to trust them to deliver on their end of the bargain.

So, to make sure that you’re choosing the right partner, we recommend that you take a look at all of the fabricators working in your area, and inquire with each one about the work they’re capable of performing. You should also get examples of their work, such as photos and schematics, and ask for information about past clients so that you can contact them to learn more about the process of working with a prospective steel fabricator.

In addition, it’s helpful to look at online reviews and testimonials. The more good things you hear, the better – use your best judgment, and you’ll be sure to find a good fabrication shop with which you can partner.

We also usually recommend starting small when partnering with a fabrication shop. Starting with a small, less-important project will help you understand if your fabrication partner can deliver on its promises – and be trusted with more costly, time-sensitive tasks.

Understanding The Costs Of Fabrication – What To Expect

So, now that you know how to choose the right fabrication partner, it’s time to discuss the basic costs of fabrication, and what can affect the price of your project.


The costs of materials and equipment are usually included in the costs of partnering with a fabrication shop unless you’ve made a deal to supply them with your own materials. You’ll also usually be responsible for the price of shipping and moving materials to where they need to be.


Installation may sometimes be included in the cost of partnering with a fabrication shop if your project requires specialized installation. You’ll pay for the labor of a team of trained professionals who will install it, their safety equipment, the cost of transporting fabricated parts, and all necessary permits and licenses required by federal, state and municipal governments.

Custom Engineering

If you need a licensed engineer for a project such as a building, the price of this service may also affect the cost projections for a particular project. Your engineer will work with you and your fabrication partner to make sure that your project abides by all necessary city and state regulations.


The more complex a project is, the more man-hours will be necessary to pull it off. You can expect labor to be a big part of your costs, and to be included in your quote for your project.

What, How, and The Unexpected – Planning Your Project

Now that you know the costs that you can expect to pay throughout your project, let’s dive into the planning process for partnering with a fabrication shop in more detail. There are three major things you need to think about: The What, The How, and The Unexpected.

The What

After you’ve put your idea to paper, you need to determine which materials will be used in the project. What metal grade is necessary? What is the best type of metal for your project? What welding techniques will be necessary for fabrication?

This has a major impact on the cost of your project, so you should be partnering with a fabrication shop who can help you answer these questions, research the proper materials, and make the right recommendations for how to proceed with your project.

The How

How are all of the tools and materials you need going to get to the shop? Will you supply equipment and tools to the fabricator to save money? If so, it may be a good idea to find a fabrication shop with a distribution center that works alongside it, as you will get great rates on LTL (less-than-truckload) shipping and freight.

Once that’s worked out, you need to figure out how the work will be done. Which welders will be on the project? Do they have the experience and product knowledge to do a great job? Are they qualified for the task? Choosing the right welder can save you a lot of time and materials, so make sure to ask these questions to your prospective fabrication partner.

The Unexpected

Great fabrication shops know that the unexpected always happens as a project heads towards completion. Even if it’s something minor, like a material shipment being late or a MIG welder needing a replacement, your fabrication shop should be ready for these unexpected possibilities – and have a backup plan for when something goes wrong.

To find out if your shop can handle these kinds of issues, we recommend that you ask about past times when they’ve struggled with an unexpected obstacle – and how they overcame it, and have avoided similar problems in future projects. Always ask questions about contingency plans and backup plans – in an industry like metal fabrication, having a plan when something goes wrong is essential.

Ready to Learn More? Contact Us Now!

A common theme throughout this article has been communication – and the importance of partnering with a fabrication shop that is open, honest, and truthful about its capabilities and costs.

Need a partner like this? Engineered Mechanical Systems is here to help. We offer affordable, flexible, expert metal fabrication services, and can help you accomplish even the most difficult tasks and projects. Contact us now for more details.