As builders, we've built for just about every barn manufacturer there is. Today, a lot of those manufacturers are gone, and many of the ones left today are operating on shaky finances, or are operating under new, unproven ownership. This means that the dealers for these manufacturers are more concerned with selling a barn and moving on to the next customer than they are with looking after their customer base.
We understand that a transaction does not end as soon as the contract is signed; it takes a lot of follow through on our behalf to make sure that our customers are truly satisfied with the end product. This is why we have such a healthy relationship with our customers and can provide referrals to new customers whereas others cannot. Since our business' inception in 1996, we haven't just built barns; we've built a strong business with a sound reputation. We own our equipment and employ the right people to get the job done correctly the first time.
Year after year we're here to provide the services of maintenance, repairs, additions, retrofitting, barn moving-- you name it!-- to meet the changing needs of our customers. With even the slightest bit of research on many of our competitors, you will soon see why working with us will be the best choice you can make when creating a home for your horses!
Things to Look For as a Consumer
We urge anyone that is interested in buying a barn to look first at the technical specifications of the building to see if the product is structurally sound. Is this building designed to meet or exceed the building requirements in your area? Is the product built to withstand the conditions unique to a horse barn? Does the manufacturer have a Fabricator’s License? Is there a current ICC-ES report for their product? A barn system based on the current building code (2009 IBC in California) can often help to save some time during the permitting process over barn systems that use legacy building codes.
Next, take a look at what the salesperson is willing to do for you. Does your salesperson seem like someone you can trust to look after your needs? Do they take the time to understand your needs and provide insight on your project-- no matter the size-- or do they seem to be too busy handling other, larger projects? Have they offered to visit your site in person, or do they seem far more willing to design your project in an office that is miles away from your home? Are they willing to take you on a free site tour of some of their past projects (where you can see how their product holds up outside of a display lot), or do they offer to do this only for a fee?
Look next at the financial stability of the manufacturer, such as through Dunn & Bradstreet or an equivalent source. Does the manufacturer have a good rating? You will find that FCP Barns and Buildings and Noble Panels are two manufacturers whose products are as sound as their finances.
Then, check to be sure that your contractor is licensed, insured, carries Workers' Compensation, and always ask for referrals. You can check their California Contractor License Number here. Verify that their name matches the name of the license holder and that they are not impersonating a general contractor by advertising a license that does not legally belong to them. Does the contractor carry liability insurance? Does the contractor carry Workers' Compensation for their employees? Are they bonded? These are a few things to look for that should raise a red flag when researching a potential builder. Without these things, you (the homeowner) may be held responsible if an employee is injured on the job site or the contractor performing your work is not licensed. A reliable builder should be able to provide certificates of liability insurance and Workers' Compensation to the customer upon request.
If you're looking at doing an owner/builder project please take the time to look at some of the risks that are involved (direct from the Contractors State License Board): The Risks of Being an Owner/Builder