If you are looking to hire a temporary building there are some basic pointers to take into account to ensure you get the right building for your needs. Given the nature of temporary buildings there is obviously flexibility to correct the situation should you make the wrong choice. But, no one needs the delay or additional expense of that, despite the fact it can be physically done with relative ease.
Any wrong decisions could therefore impact on business continuity and overall ongoing success. The right decision is derived from being an informed one, which is where these pointers could help
- Planning – Temporary buildings, like permanent buildings, probably will need planning permission if they are in use over 28 days. There are some exceptions to this rule, but its best to seek expert advice. A temporary building supplier who can offer this service, either directly or through a third party, is possibly the best choice to avoid any delays.
- Hire or purchase? – Even if your need is temporary, look at the commercial side of both options. There is ample flexibility with each, so you need to consider which is most financially viable for your business. And, don’t forget, if you choose to purchase you still have the building as an asset and could potentially sell it on at the end of use. Either back to the supplier, or another party.
- Structural safety – Check the temporary building you choose complies with British Standards for structural safety. You are looking for proof of adherence to BS 6399 which means the structure can withstand the UK’s maximum snow and wind loadings. To find this you need to ask your supplier for a copy of the structural calculations relevant to your building. Anything not meeting BS 6399 is not strong enough for long-term use and you are opening yourself up to a potential safety risk and also the risk of being asked to take it down by the local building control.
- Evidence and referrals – Although the cost is nothing like the outlay of a permanent building, a temporary building is still a significant purchase. Because of this you should be able to get the following from your chosen supplier: the opportunity to visit a fully operational building, case studies, written and verbal testimonials, photographs of previous jobs.
- Ground conditions – Ask about the suitability of your ground conditions in relation to what you are using the building for. Most temporary buildings can be installed directly onto existing hard standing. Unlevel ground can be accommodated by adapting the building legs. If, however, you wanted to use the building for a workshop or to accommodate heavy machinery and your surface is unlevel, you may want to level it out with a concrete pad. Your temporary buildings supplier should be able to tell you the right size and depth needed if this was the case.
- Avoid buyer’s remorse – ask if your chosen supplier has a service commitment document and something that will outline how the project will unfold once you’ve signed on the dotted line, with contacts and timeframes.
- Ongoing support – also ask if your temporary buildings supplier can offer either ad-hoc or individual maintenance programmes to ensure the longevity and safe use of your building. Most will, but it’s worth checking what their policy on this is.
And, as a very last point something that applies to any purchase although we probably don’t like to admit it. We all buy from people so you need to work with someone you feel comfortable with, you like and above all trust.