Initial Estimates

Based on sq ft averages only

Free Light Gauge Steel Framing rough estimates are approximated from numbers and averages from the final cost figures from previous projects, and use of our estimate software from Customer’s ACAD drawings. Estimates for construction materials are given based on standard and generic materials used in past projects. Estimates for unique and infrequently used items that require research are given from architect’s take-offs. Estimate from prints require fees.

Professional Services A

Light gauge steel frame engineering and shop drawings

Provided by our engineer(s). Architects final ACAD drawings are required before commencement of work. Best results are obtained by mutual cooperation between customer’s architect, customer construction engineer and our LGS engineer. Unnecessary use of unneeded steel can be eliminated by minor revisions on the architectural drawings without compromising the architectural design. LGS engineer will provide the loads and calculations for the steel framing system. Customer’s local engineer will provide the concrete engineering and attachment details of other materials for the construction process.

Professional Services B

LGS framing package material list

Light Gauge Steel Framing Package consists of products from 4 to 6 different plants of the same network of plants or from different manufacturers, depending on the specifications of the LGS framing engineer. Light Gauge steel members and components: about 80-85% of the shipment. Special bracings, sub floor pans if light weight concrete is used and steel mesh: 7 to 10% of the shipment. Clips, tie-downs, clips and anchors: 3-5% of the shipment. Special fasteners such as steel to concrete, steel to steel, wood to steel, cement panel to steel fasteners and special adhesives and seals.

Professional Services C

Decking and sheathing

Based on LGS engineer specs and local code requirements and architect’s input, these materials may vary in kind and in cost. Decking/sub-flooring can be OSB panels (which is most frequently used and the least expensive) or it can be fiber cement panels which are a higher cost but can meet all additional codes. Sheathing can be OSB panels or fiber cement panels. In some low cost projects exterior siding may also do the job of the sheathing. Special take offs are prepared by the steel frame trainer/installation supervisor, or the project architect.

Professional Services D

List of other construction materials

Materials take-off (construction materials list) include components such as roofing package, siding package, exterior and interiors doors package, windows package, interior panels and trim package, flooring package, and painting package. This list is provided by the project architect or project contractor. ASFH will offer research, negotiation and purchasing services for this group of items. Customer is to provide a commitment of purchase and guarantee for future purchases before such service is put into action. Fees are best negotiated cost plus a service charge to cover expenses.

Professional Services E

Specialty items

Kitchens, baths, fixtures and rare items.Some customers may wish to purchase specialty items and associated materials packages that require home owner’s or architect’s personal taste and selection. ASFH will provide kitchen and bath design assistance, but final brand selections and quantities have to be provided by the buyer’s architect or contractor.


Planning and logistics

Shipping, when organized with knowledge and understanding of all the phases can be a big money saver. If planned poorly, it can add to the bottom-line-cost in enormous amounts. Some of the critical phases and decisions the customer must make in the advance are:

  • A: Ordering full or less than container quantities?

  • B: Do we ship directly from manufacturers’ plants or from a consolidation warehouse? 20 ft containers or 40 ft containers?

  • C: Do we buy the shipping containers or do we rent them?

  • D: Do we use SGS inspectors or not?

  • E: Do we insure the container contents or not?

  • F: Which freight forwarder and transportation company do we use?

  • G: Direct shipment or transfer shipment?

  • H: How do we deal with local tariffs?

  • I: What preparation does buyer make before the arrival of the containers at the job site?

  • J: How do we handle storage and warehousing, security and daily materials delivery to the project site?

  • K: What situations could delay shipments?

Shipping A

Container full of the same item from a manufacturer or consolidated container shipments?

Orders that are large enough to fill a container (20 ft or 40 ft) can be loaded, processed and shipped directly from the manufacturer’s docks. This means applicable charges will be limited to the cost of the goods, documentation, palletizing, loading and shipping. Small orders which are received from different manufacturers have to be forwarded to a consolidation warehouse. These orders have to wait at the consolidation warehouses until all small orders arrive. They are then loaded by a special team who will pack and fill the container(s) according to the best use of container space. These shipments will incur the following additional costs: inland shipping to receive, warehousing, consolidation and value packing fees. Model homes usually have to be shipped from consolidated warehouses.

Shipping B

Do we ship directly from manufacturers’ plants or from a consolidation warehouse? 20 ft containers or 40 ft containers?

In case of orders of 5 homes or less, we can order all the steel frame package items from our manufacturing warehouses. However, all other items have to first be received at the consolidation warehouses and be consalidated before loading in 20 ft or 40 ft containers. Some small islands and developing countries, due to road conditions, do not allow 40 ft containers to be driven on their roads. Buyer must inform his architect, his engineer and his manufacturing plant manager if only 20 ft containers are allowed for this shipment. No piece larger than 19.5 ft can be loaded into a 20 ft container.

Shipping C

Do we buy the shipping containers or do we rent them?

All merchandise full containers must be unloaded and containers must be returned to the container yards after their delivery to the job site. If buyer delays the releasing of the containers back to the container company, heavy charges will apply. General reasons why containers released late and costs incur are:

  1. Slow unloading process due to lack of adequate workforce and/or equipment.
  2. Poor warehousing and storage plans by the buyer.
  3. Delays caused by the authorities at the docks.

One of the suggested solutions for this is to temporarily purchase the containers and resell them with profit after the completion of the project. Another solution is to purchase or build temporary warehousing before the arrival of the containers.

Shipping D

Do we use SGS inspectors or not?

SGS INTERNATIONAL INSPECTION SERVICES: SGS has a network for container inspectors all over the world. A typical inspection might involve visual inspection and/or measurements to establish compliance with pre-defined specifications or international standards and regulations. Services include: Pre-shipment inspection at supplier’s premises and ports during loading and unloading, Supervision of container loading. Fees for such services vary from $600-$1,600 per container.

Shipping E

Do we insure the container contents or not?

Export insurance is a very complex industry. While we recommend insuring the contents of your container, we have to tell you that certain situations are not covered. Examples are: fire on the ship, if ship sinks, if your conatiner falls over during a storm, if your conatiner falls from the loading crane’s hooks and contents get damaged. Review typical policy for coverage.

Direct shipment or transfer shipment?

Some shipping lines transport containers to a hub located at a large port, later to be placed in smaller ships to be taken to the final port of destination. These companies charge less but the transport time is longer. Some shipping companies ship it directly to the port of destination. These companies are faster however will cost the customer a bit more. To some locations, direct shipments are not available.

Shipping F

Which freight forwarder and transportation company do we use?

Once customer decides if he will ship direct or transfer, we will search for the best prices. This we will do for every shipment, every time. Companies change prices based on the high traffic seasons, fuel costs, competition and availability of services at the port of destination. We will always find the best and the most cost efficient service for every shipment we manage.

Shipping G

How do we deal with local tariffs?

Every country has its own unique customs fee chart. Some countries will charge a lot less for a container full of construction materials if the description on the documents says “house kit” but charge per item and a lot more as a total if description says “construction materials” Such sensitive details will have to be researched and results offered to our company before we finalize the shipping documents to reduce the custom charges.

Shipping H

What unloading preparations does buyer have to make before the arrival of the containers at the job site?

Buyer must remember that trucks and containers at the job site are not allowed to stay and wait to be unloaded for an extended period of time. As soon as containers arrive at the job site, unless the buyer owns the containers, the truck has to leave before the end of the day. If the buyer purchased the containers, you will need to transport the containers from the port to the job site with a truck that has a crane or have a crane waiting at the site. If containers do not belong to the buyer, a fork lift and workers have to be waiting and ready at the job site to un load the containers.

Shipping I

How do we handle storage, warehousing, security and delivery of daily needed materials  at the project site?

Small orders can be left in builder owned containers placed next to the job site. Large projects receiving large shipments will have to have storage facilities in advance ready for the arrival of the goods. Some developers construct large shells as a warehouse and later turn them into public service buildings; maintenance buildings, town meeting buildings, gyms, clinics or schools.  Some purchase large removable warehouses and move them from project to project. Some of these structures work not only as warehouses but also as temporary office spaces for the project supervisors and trainers. Some can also be used as sleeping place for inexpensive labor.

Shipping J

What situations could delay shipments?

Some unavoidable events such as storms, earthquakes, riots and accidents will delay the shipments. Buyer’s last minute changes such as additions or deletions may cause delays thus miss ship departure dates. Poorly documented shipments will delay the release of the containers from the customs authorities. Delays are costly happenings but can be avoided with good planning.

Job site surprises

What happens if buyer orders less materials than what job needed?

ASFH is responsible from delivering to the customer the agreed amount of steel. If an error is made, ASFH will ship the missing steel frame components at its own cost. Frequently untrained erectors use the wrong steel at the wrong place, and, as a result, end up with an extra steel of one type and not enough of the other. This will be corrected by the buyer. All other missing materials are the responsibility of the buyer’s take-off staff.

Jod site labor saving suggestions

Bathrooms, job site eating hall, first-aid hut, water What situations could delay shipments?

Bathrooms will save labor time. No bathrooms will push people to leave right on time even if they are at a spot that is better to finish. It will mess up the environment and create health hazards. Lunch breaks and eating lunches away from the job site will waste valuable time. An eating place with daily food service close to the project will speed up the projects. Every job site will require a professional first aid kit if more than 100 people at the site a first aid technician should be present at all times. Hot climate conditions will require water drinking facilities to avoid dehydration. Very cold climate conditions can be tolerated by a hot drink source at the site.



The duration of the job site training may be as short as 15 work days and may be as long as 100 work days or longer depending on the program designed in cooperation with the customer. We will send two or more trainers to the country of the project site. Specialists will train the local contractors and workers while constructing the building packages purchased by the contractor. Specialty tools and equipment required for site training program will be purchased by the customer in advance and will be made available on the job site for the trainers and the trainees. To see the list of tools recommended, visit our web site. Trainees will learn how to save time and labor with certain tools, how to read shop drawings, how to identify different components and gauges, how to select fasteners for different connections, different fastening and panelizing techniques, etc. Trainers and trainees will have their breakfasts and lunches provided by the client. Dinners will be planned for question-answer discussions if necessary. At the end of the hands-on job site training program, trainees will be given a certificate of completion.