When quoting out HVAC projects, managers must determine how to order quality custom ductwork. They should ask which fabricators can give them the best price for quality ductwork that is efficiently designed, easy to install, and can be fabricated quickly.
In our last post, we discussed how to find the best fabricators for welded sheet metal. It is equally important to consider which fabricators produce the best fittings and custom ductwork.
Some “one-stop shops” produce fittings, straight duct, prefab ductwork and spiral. However, rarely can any shop master the production of both mass produced duct and quality customized fittings. Therefore, it is well worth considering whether or not a “one-stop” supplier is the right partner. Rather than automatically going to the same place for your spiral and your customized fittings, project managers should consider quoting out jobs to specialty shops like Madon Sheet metal. A shop that specializes in welding, custom duct, and roof equipment is likely to be a much better partner because they can provide a superior product for a better price with a faster turnaround.
Before going to a “one-stop” shop, consider these benefits of working with a specialized shop:
1) Quality custom ductwork is more energy efficient.
For some small residential projects, prefab ductwork can be a useful tool. However, mass produced ductwork will frequently have significant air leaks. Leaky ductwork will lead to higher bills. Working with industry experts to custom order your ductwork can also improve energy efficiency by ensuring that the ducts take the most direct path and that airflow is consistent.
2) Specialized custom ductwork shops have better quality control.
Smaller specialty shops that focus specifically on custom ductwork can manage their quality control much better than large “one-stop” shops. In specialty shops, every piece is inspected by hand and must meet shop standards before it goes out the door. Specialized shops will also work with purchasers and installers if there are any problems with any pieces in ways that large “one-stop” shops cannot.
3) Expert fabrication can actually be LESS expensive
Although many project managers know that specialized shops fabricate higher quality ductwork, many wrongly assume that “one-stop” shops are less expensive. However, specialized shops can often actually charge less than these larger shops. The next time you have a project that requires multiple custom fittings, quote at least one specialized shop before going to a “one-stop” fabricator.
4) Well fabricated custom ductwork is easier to install
Expertly fabricated duct will not only save you money by being more energy efficient and more cost effective, but it will also save you money because it will be easier to install. If you have worked in the field, you know how time consuming it can be to fight with poorly fabricated fittings. Felid installers also feel more respected and effective when project managers prioritize the quality of the material. Fabricators at custom shops like Madon Sheet Metal will work directly with your field installers to ensure that every custom piece is perfectly designed so that no adjustments are needed in the installation process. Talk to your field installers about which fabricators produce fittings that can be easily installed.
5) Specialty shops will always use quality material
It can sometimes be difficult to determine what kind of galvanization process has been used for the metal in prefabricated ductwork. Shops like Madon Sheet Metal that focus on quality control will only use G90 galvanized metal. G90 is a coating thickness designation. The steel is able to withstand bending without any damage to the coating. This material is necessary for a uniform, reliable product. If you are not sure about the standards that your fabricator uses, ask them about their shop standards.