So you want to build a fabric structures? Where do you start? My suggestion? Do your research and find a company YOU are going to feel comfortable working with. I didn’t mention anything about money or schedule. Today, everyone will make promises and everyone will cut cost to get the job. However, there is a very common saying in the construction industry: “Companies don’t build structures, people do”. The fabric structures industry is full of “Mom and Pop” shops, century old companies, firms with flashy pictures and cool websites but the most important asset to see are its people. Visit their facilities, ask for resumes and bios, talk to as many people as possible from Sales to Engineering to Installers. Go see one of their projects with a person from the company. Understand the building process and the cost involved and hear it from the source. Some companies are based overseas with only sales and project managers available, others offer “one stop shopping” but subcontract all their services, some have legal or financial problems. Ask for current financial reports and check their bonding capacity. Lastly, go have lunch. That’s right, break bread. Get to know someone in the office you can count on when the going gets rough because, believe me, the going is always going to get rough. There is no better feeling when you can consider a business partner a friend when the dust clears and the project is done. Now, how about some lunch?
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Fabric Architecture: The Book