Customers are looking for more. They have higher expectations. And, of course, they want it to be reasonably priced.
There was a time you built a post-frame building for its function, its efficiency. If it stood up to anything Mother Nature could throw at it, that’s what the customer needed — shade and shelter.
“Nowadays, I’d say about 25 percent of our customers want a fancier building,” says Bryan Wolford of WC Buildings LLC, an Accredited Post-Frame Builder in Newark, Ohio. “They don’t want it to look like grandpa’s ol’ pole barn.”
That usually requires more time for the builder and more cost for the customer, customers who will pay for what they want. Wolford says with the economy still working its way out of a funk, some customers have cut back on the eye-pleasing aesthetics to save money, but WC Buildings continues to offer options.
“Houses are fancier, so if their post-frame building is built close to the house, they want it to look good,” he says.
WC Buildings recently completed a commercial job that required rough-cut pine siding, inside and out. The bar and grill with a Key West theme also featured an octagon entrance and “post frame was the only way to do it, in our opinion,” Wolford says.
In the last five years, WC Buildings has constructed seven post-frame homes. Those, obviously, are projects that require a special aesthetic touch. “On most of them, we installing metal roofs, some are vinyl siding or stone. Some want Hardie Plank siding; it’s a little pricey, but it’s maintenance free for 10 years and that’s what everybody wants, maintenance free.”
McElroy Metal recently introduced a product called Stacked Stone, a 26-gauge Galvalume cost-effective method to add curb appeal. “I put it on the front of my post-frame house,” Wolford says. “The day they brought it in to show us, I took it home to show my wife and we ordered it that day. It was perfect, just what we were looking for. The colors matched what we were doing.”
While WC Buildings pursues commercial and residential jobs, there are plenty of agricultural buildings to go around as well. “We’ve always had ag,” Wolford says, noting many of his ag projects are constructed with trusses from Starwood Rafters of Independence, Wis.
“First of all, we sell them as 99.9 percent bird proof,” Wolford says. “They are cleaner looking and offer more airflow. The only drawback is the price of getting them shipped down here from Wisconsin.”
White Horse Construction in Parkers-burg, Pa., specializes in customized post-frame projects, working closely with the customer to design the function and look the customer desires. The company builds post-frame structures for dairy, commercial as well as agricultural uses. Many customers come to White Horse for renovations.
“We don’t build packages,” says Chris Stoltzfus of White Horse Construction. “I believe the building should reflect the character of the owner. There are so many different options now.”
Because of the wide ranges of taste among customers, Stoltzfus says he works with many suppliers to meet their needs. “People want longer roof overhangs,” he says. “Cupolas are popular and they don’t add a lot of cost. Skirt siding … skylights have been a hit in the industry.”
White Horse builds with trusses from Rigidply Rafters because they provide a unique look and are quality products. “Customers know they are getting what they pay for,” Stoltzfus says. “Rigidply makes us look good. They’re delivery trucks are always clean, they’re professional when they visit a jobsite. Customers like that.
“When I walk into a building, I can tell you it’s built with Rigidply trusses 10 years later. They make a better building.”
When it comes to purchasing any kind of lumber or trusses, Stoltzfus says White Horse Construction always buys No. 1 materials. “We’ve found we get less callbacks and there’s less waste. Plus, it’s a better product.”
Better products that look great, helping customers looking for a building that looks good and lasts for a long time. Post frame can deliver it all. FBN