The GLW Engineering Blog

Structural Steel Fabrication

How To Choose The Right Structural Steelwork Company That Won't Let You Down!

How To Choose The Right Structural Steelwork Company That Won't Let You Down!.jpg

When you look for a steel fabricator for a commercial project, choosing the right one will make the difference between getting a good quality product on-time, or suffering through headaches and disappointment. There are a lot of fabrication companies out there, and they all want your business.

Here at GLW Engineering we have been working on custom steel engineering jobs for decades, so we understand how to set positive expectations with your fabricator to achieve clarity for all parties. The factors below will help you find a good fabricator, so that you don't have to deal with the misunderstandings and fallout coming from a bad decision.

Know Who They Are

The first thing you need to do, before you make any commitments, is dig into who you are dealing with. Many fabricators will outsource work that they can't do in-house, instead of turning work away. This isn’t always a bad thing, but choosing a fabricator that carries out most of the work in house is sensible for a couple of reasons: Steel objects tend to be on the heavy side, and anytime they are moved the costs go up. When you deal with a fabricator that can do most of the work in-house, you won't have to worry about transportation to and from their sub-contractor driving up the cost of your project. Working with a shop that can do most or all of the work themselves makes the whole job go faster, and you will never have to deal with a subcontractor creating delays. Also, the more links there are in a chain, the higher the prices will become for the end user. A 100% in-house operation is frequently cheaper than one that has to outsource certain functions.

Consider Location

Whenever possible, it is a good idea to work with a company with local reach. This doesn’t necessarily mean selecting a small, local business. However, when choosing a national supplier find out where their bases of operation are, relative to your construction site. A local fabricator won't have to deal with shipping the finished product half way across the UK when it is completed, and this saves time, money and reduces the risk of damage in-transit. It will also be easier to find examples of their previous work and arrange face-to-face meetings, which is often important for complex projects.

Learn The Process

Custom fabrication isn't always a fast process, especially if your project requires many bespoke operations to complete the work. Before you decide on a firm time-table for delivery, it is best to talk to an experienced shop who has done similar work. It is common to find companies who promise the Earth but then run into unexpected complications, so talking to a company that will give you an honest, conservative appraisal of the work involved will help set realistic expectations.

Ask For References

Any fabricator should be able to show you multiple samples of previous work. If you are considering hiring a company that can't demonstrate similar jobs to the one you need done, you may not have a positive experience with them. The temptation to choose a cheaper fabricator that says they can do a job is ever present, but when it comes time to deliver, you may not get what you had hoped for. At GLW Engineering, we won't take on work that we can't deliver on-time and at spec, and we are glad to provide you with numerous examples to substantiate our hard earned reputation.

We Are Here To Help

If you are in the planning phase of a project that will require custom steel fabrication, give us a call. We are located in March, Cambridgeshire, and we have lots of local projects to demonstrate our ability to deliver great products in our community. If you have any questions about how we can help you, please give us a call on 01945 464 647, or email us

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