Hire structural steel detailing freelancers for your project

We help companies find vetted structural steel detailing services for confidential help on demand

What is structural steel detailing?

The construction of any structure consists of several different phases that come together collectively. Before a crew can lay the foundation, hoist beams, or install drywall, designers and builders confront a series of stages. The first phase in any process is the ideation and design stage. 

For construction, this involves a group of architects, interior design services, general contractors, engineers, and others that work together. This team works to formulate any creative and practical solutions necessary for the structure in question. During this particular portion of the process, drafts will be made, and three-dimensional layouts are rendered in accordance with the guidelines of the project.

Once this is complete, the next phase can begin. Concerning large buildings, commercial real estate, warehouses, plants, factories, and municipal buildings, steel is often a major part of the structural integrity of the assembly. To bring steel to bear on the construction, however, detailers must craft comprehensive drawings and renderings. These detailed drafts and blueprints are sent to both shop workers and the construction crew itself on the site. However, each one of these drawings functions a little bit differently from the other.

Shop drawings (sometimes called detail drawings) contain the specifications for the precise requirements that steel fabricators will use. It is a fabricators job to form the particular steel beams needed (these beams are also called pieces). A full set of shop drawings extensively and exhaustively lays out each piece and how it should be fabricated and formed at the shop. Detailers specify everything. They indicate which materials must be used, how large each piece is along with its dimensions, and other essential attributes. If the fabricator will need to weld, bolt, paint, or apply specific surface preparations, that is designated in the structural steel details as well.

After the fabricators form the steel beams, the pieces travel to the construction site. Here, contractors and builders require a new set of details. These are typically referred to as erection drawings. At construction sites, erectors do the heavy lifting. They hoist and insert beams and other steel pieces into place for the structure and stability of the building. Erection drawings detail precisely how the erectors should go about this process.

Again, if any welding or bolting is needed, or if the beams and pieces require the installation of wedge anchors, erection drawings will point this out as well. Ultimately, these details outline anything that involves the installation of steel pieces at a construction site. Frames, sectionals, elevators, roofs, walls, stairs, you name it. If it has to do with steel and the structure of the building, it goes in the erection drawings.

Structural steel detailing, then, is a two-fold process. It entails the creation of complementary drawings, one detailed for fabricators in the shop, the other designated for the erectors on the construction site. Detailers have to comply fully with whatever design standards are in place in the industry as well as various procedural formalities. Both are equally important and vital to a safe, secure building with supportive design and structure. For reference, the American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Welding Society each have protocols that must be followed closely by structural steel detailers.

What does a freelance steel detailer do?

When crafting these drawings, whether for shop workers or erectors, detailers use a variety of methods. Previously, blueprints were completed largely with pencil and paper. Drafting services would make use of T-squares, triangles, shape templates, and drafting machines (not a computer, though it sounds like one) to bring forth detailed drawings. Technology has changed all this dramatically throughout the past few decades.

Now, drafting technicians and detailers utilize advanced computing power and industry standard applications to create their drawings. This is most often referred to as computer-aided drafting (or CAD). Autodesk has led this field for quite some time with its fleet of software packages. Its primary drafting application, AutoCAD, is used by countless designers, architectural design services, and engineers around the world. Detailers specifically make use of Autodesk’s Advance Steel program, as well as other companies’ applications in the drafting of structural steel details. SolidWorks and Tekla Structures are two other widely used packages for structural steel detailing.

Whether working in 2D or 3D, detailers must create careful and accurate renderings. These exist, as stated, to provide the drafts to shop and field workers. Detailers all have a working understanding of all major practical engineering concepts. In addition, they will know the methodology behind fabricating steel for structural and other purposes. Finally, they should have a thorough knowledge of computer-aided drafting using the software above.

Just as the construction of a building passes through multiple states, a detailer works through several stages with their drawings. In general, the drawings must go through multiple revisions. To begin, detailers work to draw as accurately as possible the steelwork necessary for the building. If more information is needed before continuing work, they may submit an RFI (request for information). These go to either the architect, the structural engineer, or the general contractor. Once this information is received, they move on, finally submitting a version for approval by the relevant parties. During this stage, the drawings are checked again by a second structural steel detailer (called a checker) to ensure completeness and accuracy throughout.

As soon as the structural steel details receive approval, detailers forward them to the shop fabricator for use in formation. Afterward, they will also be sent to the erector workers on the construction site for hoisting, moving, and installation. Detailers work with structural modeling, sheet and plate metal work, cold rolled steel, and other components of structural steel detailing. With this amount of work involved, each drawing undergoes rigorous oversight by a checker and others before any fabrication or construction can actually get underway.

Who needs a structural steel detailing company?

As alluded to above, countless fields and industries require the use of structural steel details. Architects, designers, general contractors, shop fabricators, and erector technicians must all utilize such drawings in their capacity as builders. Any construction that requires steel beams (pieces) in its structure will ultimately need structural steel details. High-rise apartment buildings, factories and warehouses, industrial plants, brewing facilities, automotive manufacturing plants, and many others need these detailed drawings. If steel is going into the building in any way, then structural steel detailers must be a part of the job.

Consider Buckner Heavylift Cranes or O’Brien Steel Erectors, Inc. These companies quite literally cannot do their jobs without the efforts of structural steel detailers’ work. They offer unique cranes that can lift just about anything for any job, whether in construction or otherwise. If they don’t have access to a complete and accurate set of erector drawings, their work cannot commence.

If your company deals with architecture, design, engineering, or construction with steel beams in any way, it goes without saying that your team needs a structural steel detailer. Making sure to hire a quality detailer can ultimately be the difference in costly revisions or getting a project completed on time and under budget. As such, it is difficult to conceive of a more valuable way to measure a project.

How Cad Crowd makes it all come together

Giving Cad Crowd an opportunity to be an integral part of your team gives you the ability to manage the needs of your business as you ordinarily would, without any extra headaches. What’s more, you get the additional peace of mind that can only come from having the very highest quality structural steel detailers around the world bringing your team’s vision to life for architecture, design, engineering, and other needs.

Furthermore, we make sure that only the absolute best structural steel detailers have the chance to work on your project. Our tight-knit group of freelancers have years of experience and are highly qualified in their area. They have worked hand-in-hand with companies and leaders in every field. Whatever your structural steel detailing needs may be, rest assured that the detailers with Cad Crowd will create exactly what you need for a successful project. We can come up with a structural steel detailing solution for every client, no matter how big or small their project may be.

Cad Crowd will help you by utilizing our huge network of established structural steel detailers. We only work with the best of the best. Each detailer and engineer uses the very latest technology, so everything will always be up to date and abide by industry standards. If there’s a particular software that you need us to use for your work, just let us know which one it is, and we’ll locate you the perfect structural steel detailer for your project.

Our structural steel detailers are always available to assist any organization with getting started from scratch or building upon previous work. Wherever you are in the process of construction or planning, we can help you get to exactly where you need to be to work intelligently and productively, while saving money along the way.

No other site around works with the same quality of designers and detailers that we do here at Cad Crowd. There is absolutely no other place where you will find the same level of excellence, expertise, and efficiency on which we pride ourselves with each and every contract. Get in touch with us for a free quote or to find out how it works.

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