Looking for guest posters

Posted on : January 2, 2015

To all of the shed industry experts out there.

I am looking for people that have a passion for the industry to write unique and original articles, no marketing, real content.  I am happy to provide credit and contact details or you can remain anonymous if you like.

Drop me a line at russ@shedeye.com.au

 

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IN2 SHEDS – Geelong – Another Shed Ripoff

Posted on : December 28, 2014
in 2 sheds rip off

In 2 Sheds

Check out the article here and here

Another one is added to the list and has been liquidated.

  • Debt of approximately $600,000
  • 62 people have lost deposits of $300,000

This is outrageous, something has to be done to stop this as the count of people that have lost deposits on sheds is getting very high.  I wonder how many more people need to lose their money before one of the so-called regulators does something to protect consumers.

in2sheds liquidation notice

Liquidation

It has been a while, and I am committed to adding new articles and research over the 2015 year.  I am adding some new features to the site and will start active development again.

I will be adding a paid advertising directory and will be offering some of the tools that have been developed by Shedeye to shed companies to help them with their sales process.  Stay tuned.

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Steelx has acquired The Shed Company Group

Posted on : August 25, 2014

Here is the official release.

PUBLIC STATEMENT / PRESS RELEASE

The privately owned Australian business of THE Shed Company Group has recently been acquired by another privately owned Australian business Steelx Group. In acquiring the business and brands of THE Shed Company the Steelx Group seeks to strengthen its product offerings to the Steel Fabricated building industry and to strengthen its design, programming and marketing reach.

The Group which now comprises 6 brands is ably supported by industry experienced management and staff of both groups and will achieve some useful synergies in respect of the placement of various market outlets for is major brands which are now:-

Wide Span Sheds
Sheds n Homes
THE Shed Company
Steel Buildings Australia
ShedsDirect
DIY Kit Homes

Released on the authority of the Directors of Steelx Pty Ltd and THE Shed Company Pty Ltd

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Bankruptcy Proceedings – West Coast Sheds in Western Australia and The Shed King in South Australia

Posted on : May 16, 2013

 

 

 

 

westcoast sheds

 

This starting to become a large issue.  The number of shed companies that are going down is continuing to increase.  The rumor on this one is that there are a number of consumers that have been taken down in the process.  This is a growing problem and one that needs to be resolved.  More on this later…

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Shed Manufacturers and Insurance

Posted on : April 11, 2013

The Shed rumor mill is on overdrive at the moment with what is speculated as an inevitable collapse of a big shed player (although a similar rumor has been incorrect before).  Irrespective if this eventuates, it happened a number of times before and will happen again.  The consumer is the last one in line and they lose their money without receiving any goods.  There must be a way to protect the shed buyer in this case.

Should the parent shed companies mandate home warranty insurance as a condition of reselling their product – specifically protecting against liquidation?

This is the only way to protect consumers against liquidation (even though some providers of the insurance only cover 20% in that event).  The problem is that a great number of sheds are not covered as the mandatory home warranty insurance threshold is $20,000.  This is due to the cost of obtaining the insurance, as the shed price is significantly impacted.  The real problem is that the home warranty insurance should have far smaller premiums (as it is very rarely claimed) and the threshold should be revised downwards.

There is a three prong strategy required here.

  • Lobby the insurance companies and work harder and get more competition in this low risk insurance area to significantly reduce the premiums.
  • Lobby the government to reduce the mandatory threshold.
  • Ensure that 100% of the shed buyers outlay is covered in the case of liquidation.
  • Ensure that the mandated insurance does not impact the shed price too much.

The market is tight, and this is when poor process or high risk is punished.

 

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Shed Companies score well in Survey

Posted on : April 8, 2013

The results were interesting to say the least.  The sample was not large enough, with only 90 respondents, but enough to draw some interesting conclusions that require some more research.

One of the questions that we asked was around the satisfaction of the end result of the shed that was purchased.  There were only three possible answers ; Excellent, Satisfied, Not Satisfied.  It was great to see that most people are happy with the end result, however of concern was one large player that scored only in the Not Satisfied and Satisfied  categories.

satisfaction_with_shed

So how did Shedeye get rated by its users.  Not too bad, but definitely room for improvement.  I am happy to announce that a major revamp of this site is being worked on to take it to the next level.

 

Shedeye_Assistance

 

Here is a happy customer from the survey.

happy_customer_shed

 

A testimonial from this customer for The Shed Company in Gladstone

The Shed Company did an awesome job, I haven’t been able to fault it. The job was held up due to weather but they kept me updated with an expected completion date and got it finished promptly as soon as it dried out.

There were some glowing testimonials, however I will leave this for another article.

There were also many additional insights about how Shedeye can be improved to ensure that the general public get the best service possible.  Thankyou to all of the site users that took the time to fill out the survey, we expected at least 10-100 times this amount given the number of registered users, however it is understandable given peoples heavy emails loads.

 

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Metal Rollforming Expo in Australia

Posted on : April 7, 2013

The link here gives the details http://metalrollformingexpo.com.au

The Venue :  Goldcoast Convention Centre

Goldcoast_Convention_Centre_1_Web 

The Dates :  September just after the elections.

A big venue and some big names have already signed up.  It is going to be interesting to see how much international presence will make it to this event.

Very exciting news for the industry, Shedeye will be getting a booth, so see you all there.

More details to follow….

 

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Capital Steel Buildings Statement

Posted on : March 7, 2013

This statement was received from CSB Australia

 

Capital Steel Buildings, felt the need to voluntarily liquidate one of the companies associated with the shed business. It had nothing to do with debt to any suppliers. No money is owed to anyone in the industry.

Capital Steel Buildings is still running and a growing business. There is no risk to any of our distributors, software users or suppliers. CSB has a leading engineering software used by many people in the industry, which is not affected by this structural change.

I would also like to point out that CSB distributors and software users, have their own accounts with the suppliers, or are suppliers themselves, so there was never any risk to anyone in the industry, or their customers.

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Shed Industry Struggling

Posted on : February 21, 2013

There are more and more concrete examples that the shed industry and the broader steel industry are struggling.

  • On the 01/03/2012 RimShaw Enterprises Pty Ltd, Trading as BuyaShed was placed into Liquidation.
  • Capital Steel Buildings was placed in Voluntary Administration, with the first meeting of creditors held on 6th of February 2013.
  • The fate of Capital Steel Buildings will be decided before the 9th of March
  • Who will be next over the next 6 months?

Senior Analyst from IBISWorld, Craig Shulman has said it is likely that that CSB has been hit with lowering demand levels and rising costs in the steel industry.

“Over the past five years structural steel fabrication in Australia has declined at an annual rate of just under 1%… This has been influenced by the weak domestic demand related to the construction industry, volatility in steel prices which have raised costs and the introduction of the carbon tax” he says.

Shulman says the declining growth rate of the steel fabrication industry in Australia is likely to continue, signifying the potential administration of more steel companies.

This is a concern indeed and this raises the risk to the consumer of more Shed Warehouse type scenarios.  In addition this is tragic for the  the distributors who are also struggling to make a living,  without worrying about  a potential liquidation.  CSB currently has 17 distributors and we hope they are doing ok.

It is not over for CSB yet, as it should be noted that just because a company is in Voluntary Administration does not mean that the company is bankrupt (in liquidation).

Voluntary Liquidation

 

Given that the company had the first meeting of creditors was on the 6th of Feb, this  indicates that an Administrator will have been appointed at the latest of the 29th of Jan and the Meeting to to decide the company’s future will be before the 9th of March.  The three outcomes are that the Creditors return the company back to the control of the directors, the creditors accept a deed of company arrangement or the worse fate being liquidation.

We will follow the outcome of this very closely.

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Shed Cannibalism

Posted on : February 3, 2013

Shedeye has been a keen observer of the Shed industry for a number of years and there are a number of very successful Business Models that have been employed.  A guaranteed model for failure is the Cannibalism model and there is some very compelling evidence that one of the larger players is about to attempt this business model soon.

The cannibalism model is where the Wholesaler uses a distributor network to sell its product, and effectively competes against them within the distributor regions through another brand.

It has come to our attention that one of the larger players is allegedly embarking on this model as we speak.

The alleged company is Sidach.  Sidach has a distributor network through Tasmania and Victoria, and has been losing dominance  over the last couple of years.  The Directors are launching a new brand called www.vipsheds.com.au and according to the website

VIPSheds_Intro

 

Shedeye has confirmed that the site is owned and operated  by one of the founding directors of Sidach (and still remains a director).  Shedeye has also talked to a few of Sidach’s distributors and they have not been told about this new site and hence it is alleged by these distributors that Sidach is  about to become the shed equivalent of Cannibals.  It is all alleged of course, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.

Taking a look at the Sidach site below you will see they are still actively seeking distributors (re-sellers / dealerships).

Sidach_Website

Will this business model work?  We are convinced if this model is employed by any Shed Wholesaler with an existing distributor network, that they will lose their distributor network, as shed wholesalers are continually trying to poach their competitors distributors (very actively).  If you take out the distributor network, this has the potential to take down a wholesaler.  The internet space is extremely competitive, and it makes entry into the online space challenging, meaning that it will take quite a while and expense to build a successful internet sales channel.

So what models does Shed industry employ.

Vertical integration

Vertical integration involves the  Roll Formers buying the wholesale distribution chains.

  • Roll Formers are the companies that take cold rolled steel coils and bend it into the required components for sheds, such as the C-Section or colorbond(TM) Sheeting.
  • Wholesale distribution chains are the well recognised brands that usually have many distributions that sell sheds under their brand.  The Wholesale distribution company provides the software to design the sheds, the engineering for the shed and holds the contracts with the Roll Formers and other component providers, such as the PA and Roller doors.

The major Roll Formers in Australia that have vertically integrated are

  • Ranbuild was purchased by Lysaght (Bluescope) in 2004
  • Fairdinkum Sheds, trading as AG&S Building Systems Pty Ltd was purchased by Stramit in August 2007
  • Garage World / Shedboss is owned by the same company as Fairdinkum Sheds.  Stramit, also known as Fletcher Building Group acquired the Morinda group (who owns both the ShedBoss and Garage World brands) in May 2008.
  • Titan Garages & Sheds is a privately owned family business that has been around since 1991.  The key difference is that Titan does their own Roll Forming and built this capability to support its distribution network.

 

Distribution Networks

  1. No Distributor Network.  This is usually pure internet plays and is common for garden sheds as the building of  Garden sheds is not complex.
  2. Affiliated Agent Network.  This is when the internet is used to generate the sales and much of the sales process and design is handled by the wholesaler.  The agent network is required to manage the building / site inspection .
  3. Non-Affiliated Agent Network.  This is for commodity based sheds like garden sheds and shed components.  This is when the product is supplied to many distributors across multiple manufacturers.
  4. Distributor Network.  This is where the distributor has a physical presence and usually a display.  The distributor deals with the sales process and the building process.  This is the most common model for custom sheds.  In this case the Wholesaler will provide any internet leads to the distributor for them to handle

There primary networks for custom sheds (C-Section) are

  • 4.  Distributor Network
  • 2.  Affiliated Agent Network and 4.  Distributor Network

The key for Wholesalers is that they derive their profits through volume, fees they put on top of each shed, margins on the components and rebates from the Roll Formers based on volume targets.  In this scenario the successful companies in Australia maximize either their margins per shed or the volume of   sheds sold.  Due to the rebates (more steel sold the better) volume is often a primary driver.   So it is a big risk for a Wholesaler to take on an Internet only approach as the building process requires local attention and they also risk not generating as many sales as using 4 and 2 as these capture more sales than an internet only channel.

As discussed the cannibalism model is when a Wholesaler tries to employ

  • 1.  No Distributor Network and 4.  Distributor Network / 2.  Affiliated Agent Network

There primary networks for garden and predefined sizes (not custom)

  • 3.  Non-Affiliated Agent Network
  • 1.  No Distributor Network

There primary networks for custom large sheds (structural steel)

  • 1.  No Distributor Network

Shedeye hopes that it has it wrong as this is not good for distributors trying to make a living in a very tough market.  Shedeye predicts that any company adopting the Cannibalism model will last 6 months and then bankruptcy will ensure or the company will be forced into a reversal of the model. Time will tell…

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Shed – eye for detail.

Posted on : October 14, 2012

Sheds come in different types

The majority of sheds sold today in Australia are of the portal frame design and the components are what is called cold rollformed. But there are two other important types of shed construction that is becoming more popular, the structural steel frame and the stud frame sheds. This is a quick rundown on the three different types:

 

1. Cold rollformed portal frame shed.

This is the most common type of shed and is normally supplied pre-engineered and in a kit form. The main structure (called the portal frame) consists of rolled purlins, girts, batton, top hat and brackets. The cladding and flashings are common to all types.

 

Portal frame showing apex and knee brackets

Portal frame showing apex and knee brackets

As you can see the basic prinicple is that all the purlins (both rafters and colums) consist of cold rolled C section joined by fabricated brackets that bolt each assembly together. The roof and wall members are added once all the portal frames have been stood. This is a very efficient system that can be transported easily and assembled on site with minimal tools. 

 

2. Structural fabricated steel shed.

 Nearly the same engineering prinicple as number 1 – except all the colums and rafters are from hot rolled section such as H section, I beam, or C channels with welded cleats and joiners on all ends. All other components are normally the same. The advantage of this type of design is for larger spans especially used in large warehouse constructions and normally over 18 meter width.
Structural steel is a bolt together design with heavy structural steel

The structural steel is heavy to transport but does allow faster erection and extremely high strength joining system. All the other components are very similar.

 

3. Steel stud framed sheds.

 Now this is completely different to the above two. It is identical to the steel stud framing used in housing and results in a very strong overall construction. The walls and trusses are all prefabicated in sections and simply stood on site and then clad. The advantage of this system is the ease of which you finish the sheeting internally and is the reason it is gaining popularity. 

Steel stud frame shed

As you can see there are no colums protruding into the interior and all window and door penetrations are done at fabrication stage. While slightly more to transport – the erection time is greatly reduced and the finish (interior) allows much cheaper cladding solutions. It can be treated in the same way as a normal house frame. 

 

Not all sheds are the same, and to ensure you obtain one that suits your purpose contact Shedeye.

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Shed for Rent!

Posted on : August 9, 2012

London Shed for Rent!

A SAVVY homeowner is making a bit of extra Olympics cash — by renting out her SHED to Games guests.

Grandmother-of-four Tricia Jones has transformed the hut at the bottom of her garden into a mini sports stadium, and is offering it out to tourists over the coming weeks.

The unique getaway in Leytonstone, East London, is just two miles from the stadium, and comes complete with a bed, heater and mini fridge.

Tricia has also gone the extra mile, kitting out the shed with a mini running track and a full-sized winners’ podium, along with a host of Union Flags and Olympic memorabilia.

And with hotel prices in the capital up 69 per cent during the Games according to TripAdvisor, Tricia’s quirky alternative is a snip at £40 a night.

The 64-year-old said: “I just wanted to be part of the Olympics in some way, it’s going to be a very exciting few weeks.

“I didn’t have any rooms spare to let out, but I heard that people were camping in gardens and I got a bit carried away with my Olympic shed.

£40 a Night

 Go straight to this article in The Sun , as it is very entertaining – the comments are even better!

  1. The flag is the wrong way up also!
  2. Flower pots are not toilets!
  3. And many more classic comments!
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Sheds & Guns!

Posted on : July 26, 2012

Shed has more history than the Museum!

The newly restored shed at DownsSteam Railway and Museum is for the use of volunteers to work on the LOCO 106 “Pride of Toowoomba” which hopefully will be finished in 2015 for the locos 100th birthday!

William Boden and Tom Redwood are two of many volunteers who have helped get the new restoration shed at DownsSteam Railway and Museum up and ready for the opening on Saturday. Photo Dave Noonan

The full article concerning the shed and train museum is in the Toowoomba Chronicle on 19th July 2012. From the article the shed had many uses prior to its current use – and the original shed was purchased for use as an aircraft hanger at Oakey in Queensland (not far from Toowoomba)! The shed is not that special – except it was made in America in 1942 and shipped to Australia for use in the war period. The history of the shed is amazing – it was fabricated by Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania in 1942 nearly 70 years ago and with a huge effort of a design drawn up by USQ School of Engineering students, the shed was able to be reconstructed after many years lying at the old Bridge St quarry!

Now for the history the steel of this shed shares:  Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania was America’s second largest company that started in 1857 and finally filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and all assets sold. During the 1940’s it employed some 300,000 workers with 180,000 alone in the steel ship building sector. Coincidence is that Bethlehem Steel produced this railway gun and also the shed in Toowoomba that houses a railway museum. This particular gun is now in a museum in Brazil:

“Bethlehem 177” railway gun on display at Museum Militar Conde de Linhares

Along with this spectacular piece – Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania was producing one naval vessel per day – which totalled 1,121 ships which was more than any other builder in the war period.

6″, 10″, 12″, and 14″ naval guns being assembled at a Bethlehem Steel facility

So this company that made the Toowoomba shed also produce huge numbers of naval and army guns at the same time, How did it manage to fit in such a small (by comparison) order for an aircraft hanger at Oakey in Queensland. Well it will be an interesting tour of the Downs Steam Railway and Museum not only looking at the 100 year old “Pride of Toowoomba” locomotive, but seeing the 70 year old steel fabricated at the same time as thousands of guns, ships and icons in America. One like this one – that Bethlehem Steel supplied most of the steel for the cable cars and tracks – always it comes back to TRAINS!

Steel for the “San Francisco Municipal Railway” system came from Bethlehem Steel!

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Shed of the Year 2012 UK

Posted on : July 13, 2012

The winner of shed of the year 2012 – is the pub shed “Woodhenge” owned by John Plumridge

This shed would probably also win the Australian Shed of the year – especially with the common PUB theme. Here is an extract from the article:

It was a such great example of the passion that the sheddies have and it’s amazing that John just started with a pagoda in this garden and has built his shed up from nothing into a great space for friends and family – John mainly used recycled wood from a shut down garden centre to make the majority of the shed. Its a brilliant use of space and shows that with some time and lots of effort you can create the prefect escape down the bottom of the garden. I loved how he has turned the walls inside into a feature showing off all the empty beer bottles that he and the many visitors to Woodhenge have consumed over the past four years. John tells me he’s not finished yet – so I look forward to seeing the additions and no idea what he’s going to to with his other sheds (yes he has lots)

And just a few of the photos of the winning shed!

Shed of The Year

Inside view of the PUB Shed

Another inside view

Seems so big inside!

See more details at Shedblog UKAlso a very interesting 2nd prize winner – The Water Shed!

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Men in Sydney do anything for a Shed!

Posted on : May 14, 2012

Sheds are a must for Sydney Men!

This article is on the new growing trend for men in Sydney to buy strata titled sheds in complexs complete with power, phones and even windows in some. The article is by Bronwen Gora From: The Sunday Telegraph  April 29, 2012 12:00AM called

“Sydney Men Go Crazy for Big Storage Sheds”

This is Mick Tsolakis and Garry Constanti, inside their huge shed at Alexandria this week, say they are delighted to have the extra room. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: The Sunday Telegraph. Its a great alternative when you haven’t got room in the backyard – and also a good investment! But it’s not the same as walking into the backyard to your own steel shed!

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Stratco to close NZ shed base!

Posted on : March 24, 2012

Stratco is shutting their NZ manufacturing base in Auckland?

Auckland Manufacturing & Administration 
Block 4, 22 Harris Road
EAST TAMAKI
NZ
 Telephone(09) 274 6487
Fax:(09) 274 5140
 
Details of their other NZ sites are HERE.

After 20 years in Auckland – Stratco apparantly closed the doors to their factory last week!

Stratco Manufacturing Auckland

 

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Another Shed Company bites the Dust

Posted on : March 7, 2012

Shed Companies are dropping like flies in these difficult trading conditions and with an extremely competitive industry this is no surprise.


Unfortunately as of 01/03/2012
RimShaw Enterprises Pty Ltd, Trading as BuyaShed
has been placed in Liquidation.

For all enquiries please Contact:
Worrells – Solvency Accountants
Phone:             07 3280 6206
Email: ipswich@worrells.net.au 

The Big question is who is next?  I have personally fielded 10 calls today with people speculating as to who is next, and if the industry is  right then it is a big player indeed.

As with all rumors their accuracy is dubious, irrespective there is a very good chance for a significant shake up in the industry and there is usually a period of consolidation during difficult times.

I really hope that no consumers are taken down in this mess, as happened with The Shed Warehouse,  that shed company has  seriously damaged many peoples lives.

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Shed Cyclonic Regulations

Posted on : January 31, 2012

Shedeye Investigator – The Australian Story

Introduction

This discussion is broken into two points regarding LHL testing. The first is with a rollforming perspective, and the second from a shed manufacturing perspective.

The main aim is to generate discussion to educate and learn from the current regulations concerning LHL Standard Cyclic Test Method for Cyclonic Areas. It was officially phased in on the 30th April 2009 to meet the Building Code of Australia Specification B1.2.

Interpretation of Low-High-Low Cyclic (LHL) Testing

 Basically it is simulated wind conditions (cyclonic) method using low, the high, then low pressure sequence to test the wind loads on metal roof cladding in cyclonic conditions. This LHL test is considered better to represent typical cyclic regime on metal roof assemblies than the DABM test method that was in the Northern Territory and the Australian Standard AS4040.3:1999 test method previously used in Queensland and Western Australia. The test involves includes the roof assembly including the roof sheets, fasteners and the battens and their support fasteners.

From April 2009 all cladding and batten manufacturers need to demonstrate that their metal roofing assemblies specified for cyclonic areas of Australia have been tested using the LHL test method. More details are available in Technical Alert No 08/1 at www.eng.jcu.edu.au/cts .

Rollforming Manufacturer Perspective

So to understand the basic test of the roof assembly – each manufacturer must get their roof sheeting (all profiles specified for cyclonic regions) tested under LHL. There are numerous testing stations in Australia and the one chosen here for example only is the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station. Also in this discussion the roof cladding type is corrugated – produced by all of the rollforming companies in Australia and also used in cyclonic regions in Australia. The LHL stipulates that for a company to sell corrugated roof sheets in cyclonic areas – it must undergo LHL cyclic testing. The BRAND corrugated roofing is sold by some of the big multinational rollformers throughout Australia. The Company here is Company ZZZ, and to comply it sends it corrugated roof sheeting to the cyclone testing centre to meet compliance to the LHL test. This sample is rollformed on one machine that converts the coil (flat sheet) to corrugated roof sheets. This is assembled with battens and fasteners then tested under LHL. Once the LHL tests have successfully completed Company ZZZ can then supply corrugated roof sheeting to all cyclone areas in Australia. Company ZZZ has numerous corrugated rollformers as well as the one that supplied the sheets for LHL testing and yet all the corrugated roof sheets are compliant to LHL.

By stipulating that the company brand of corrugated has to be LHL tested, they are accepting that all the corrugated rollformers held by that company are identical. For another company to provide corrugated roof sheets to cyclonic areas – they too have to complete LHL testing. This assumes that the profile and rollform machines are different from company to company. Those in the rollform industry know that this is not the case, and apart from some minor variations between machines it is the profile of corrugated (along with the feed coil properties) that determine the strength and its ability to undergo LHL test compliance. Yet Company XXX has to undergo LHL testing even though all its machines are identical to Company ZZZ machines. This is the only industry where identical products are testing not the manufacturing process.  The LHL testing should in fact be the responsibility of the rollform machine provider – and most of these (especially Australian and New Zealand machines) would all supply compliant corrugated roofing sheets. There should be compliance for these rollform machines to be registered to conform to LHL testing. Yet Company ZZZ who has gained LHL compliance for its rollform machines can buy a new corrugated rollformer from China that may not meet the standards previously obtained from its original sample material. It is the machine that makes the corrugated roof sheet and so testing of one machine from a multinational company will allow inferior product by the company utilising untested machines.

Shed Manufacturers Perspective

From a roll former’s point of view, if it can be demonstrated that structural roll formed products with the same girth and BMT thickness such as roof sheeting and top span that is identical in profile, and manufactured from the same coils of origin that have undergone the LHL testing criteria, what is the real purpose of having the product tested while there remains a question regarding the safety of the total structure? For example, the manufacturer of roll forming materials may argue that while the LHL testing applies only to the roof cladding and “immediate members” that support the roof cladding, failure to include the importance of the connections at the apex, knee, and tie downs, begs the question; how does the manufactured product miraculously become only when the supplier has had the immediate members tested in a wind tunnel that simulates cyclonic conditions?

It is in the real world where actual wind tunnels exist, moreover, regardless of whether the product has been endorsed by shedsafe, structures will continue to fail even before completion.  So concerned are the self appointed gatekeepers to the shed industry, they have aligned themselves with the BSA and other bodies in conducting seminars across the country, advising erectors how to construct sheds so as to avoid the structure  collapsing during construction.  Shed erectors are playing roulette at the hands of shedsafe’s smoking mirrors illusion, hence, the shed erector will be potentially at fault if it can be shown there was a failure on the erector’s part in failing to use his skills in making sure that the whole shed was acting as a diaphragm in order to hold it together in the event of a storm or freak wind that often collapses the frame during construction. In other words, wherever there is an accident on site during construction resulting in person(s) injured or killed, the shed erector, rather than those who endorsed the shedsafe product, will be liable.

Now for a comedic look at the situation.

 A recent inspection of a 3x3m garden shed is an example of the hypocrisy within the industry.

A Building inspector was recently surprised to notice that a garden shed structure was actually made from a .75 mm stud frame with 12mm tie downs at each stud, along with two extra 12mm tie down’s at each corner. He was further surprised to notice bracing on each wall and three 64mm top spans on the roof fastened with 12x 14×20 tek screws with 0.42BMT cladding properly secured to the top span, yet while he was surprised at the extent of the structure, given that most 3x3m garden sheds don’t have a frame at all, he nevertheless failed the inspection because the shed manufacturer had not stated on the plan that the cladding had a reference to the LHL testing.

When the customer advised the supplier, who in turn asked the building inspector to explain the problem, the building inspector advised the supplier to read the literature provided by the ASI’s shedsafe endorsement.  Interestingly, the booklet showed a reference to the LHL endorsement, but no reference to the safety of the entire structure.

Getting back to the manufacturer’s point of view, there is clear evidence that the only guarantee and endorsement of ShedSafe may offer is the customer will have no idea of the origin of the actual material used to manufacture the product or if the product has been tested.

Therefore if the structure is endorsed by an incompetent engineer who has compromised his or her ethical standards, nevertheless signs a FORM 15, there will be no recourse unless the company that has hired the engineer replaces the product. The replacement is usually conditional that the incident be kept confidential.

Besides this, as already pointed out, if one single LHL endorsement can be used as a blanket cover for an entire corporation regardless of the corporation’s many separate roll forming outlets with differing profiles, or whether the origin of the coil is Australian or Imported, how does the building inspector know the difference without authentic documentation? Does the material in question have a specific test certificate stating the origin of the material along with an endorsement from the testing facility given that what he is inspecting explicitly refers to the cladding and top span required on the approved plan, or does he really care about the weightier issues that he may be forced to confront?

Summary

The main reason of this viewpoint by two very different members of the shed industry supply chain is to generate discussion that will enable shed purchasers to be confident that all the factors & PROMISES made by the industry groups are capable of being produced in the supply & erection of their shed.

 To finalise, there is an instance of a well known shed supplier who sold (supply) only to a customer that collapsed during construction. This occurrence was exploited by others in the shed industry to their advantage by giving this as an example of a non-compliant shed industry member. Very far from the truth, the particular shed supplier warned the shed erector constantly regarding construction techniques – all advice was ignored. Subsequent investigations resulted in the shed manufacturer being involved – but of all the parties involved – the shed manufacturer supplied and erected the shed for no charge. This is the type of example of pride in this industry we need. The investigating bodies had no idea of what had occurred – only guesses.

Many thanks to the contributions of the rollformer and the shed manufacturer for this valuable insight into only two areas of the industry. Hopefully more to come from these two gurus of the industry!

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New shed at Wacol raises questions!

Posted on : January 25, 2012

Queensland steel industry feels the heat from cheap Chinese suppliers

This the heading from the Brisbane Times Article on January 23rd 2012. Basically a local Queensland company has won the contract to build the new Hitachi Headquarters at Wacol. The uproar is about the source of the steel, of which Southern Queensland Steel (next door to new building) failed to win the contract to supply the builder Spaceframe with the steel!

Here’s a picture of the new site for Hitachi and the Spaceframe building sign out the front.

 

Hitachi Machinery New Wacol Headquarters Site

 

 Here’s what Mr. Ian Cairns of the ASI stated in the article:

The Australian company that lost the contract, Southern Queensland Steel, confirmed the situation but directed questions to the Australian Steel Institute, of which it is a member.

The Australian Steel Institute blames Chinese government subsidies and the undervalued yuan for creating an unfair advantage for Chinese suppliers over local companies and increasing pressure on an industry that employs about 100,000 people nationwide. 

So what is the answer to this? Here are some of the questions raised by this deal between an Australian builder and the chinese steel supplier:

  1. Spaceframe is a Queensland company with many projects under its belt, both here in Australia and in Asia and the Pacific. It also has offices in China (see their website above) and is a very progressive company (family owned & run). Why is that Spaceframe can obtain prices from China for pre cut steel and yet the giants of the Australian Steel Suppliers are unable to do this?
  2. Southern Queensland Steel has both local and imported products – if builders want quotes on large quantities of precut steel – then they should be able to offer the same imported Chinese steel supply! BlueScope imports steel, One Steel imports steel, Orrcon imports steel along with just about all major steel manufacturers.
  3. Why is the ASI (a part of BlueScope) suddenly blaming the Chinese government for all this. Surely among some of the ASI’s vast membership – one would think the buying power from China would be greater than that of Spaceframe?

Ian cairns of the ASI went on regarding subsidies and the value of the Yuan versus the dollar!

‘‘We’ve got an undervalued currency from a major competitor, and of course we have a resources boom that is fuelling our currency as well, to the detriment of manufacturers,’’ he said.

‘‘So we’ve got a double whammy, where you could almost argue that the dollar is overpriced by 30 per cent and the yuan is underpriced by 30 per cent.’’

‘‘So before we even start [competing] we are 60 per cent off the mark.’’

But Ian, surely your members would be better off taking advantage of this to supply steel rather than pay more for Australian steel and not sell it? The members of the ASI could definately buy at a better rate from China than Spaceframe.

Also the engineering and design for many of these projects are now being sourced from overseas and having multiply specifications that allow steel to be supplied globally. When local builders can source direct from China and it’s hugh number of suppliers, why can’t the steel suppliers also do this. Much of the material used in manufacture of the local domestic shed industry is imported. Maybe the steel suppliers of Australia will have to open up offices in China to combat these cheaper prices.

 

 

 

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Innovation Award Submission 2

Posted on : October 28, 2011

Corrugated – a New Revolution

Shed Roofing Profile Innovation Submission 2

This entry to the Shedeye Innovation Award is slightly different to the others entries regarding new products in many ways. This product involves the cladding of sheds, residential & commercial roofing and also is an innovation in the rollforming industry. This is not the site to explain the importance of this new release of a profile sheet and its implications to the roofing, heritage, architectural and other areas of the steel roofing and cladding industry. Almost a reinvention of an iconic corrugated iron from as early as 1829 to the present, this product actually provides a new release of an old product but with superior spanning capabilities being produced on a uniquely designed current rollforming line based in South Australia. The technology utilised and patented by Revolution Roofing will return the “common” corrugated iron roof sheeting back to a rounder, fuller, shapely and deeper profile based on the original 19th century Walker “Gospel Oak” profile.

Once again the supplier and innovator of this product has had a difficult time in choosing which of the three new TRUE OAK designs to enter in the Shedeye Innovation Awards?  Their choice was between three of these revolutionary new profiles, True Oak Mid, True Oak Deep and True Oak ‘5’ and details available on their website REVOLUTION ROOFING.

True Oak Corrugated

But of the three – True Oak Deep was selected because of its ability to be used in sheds as a 0.35BMT product as roofing as it is the only roofing rollformer that has span tables (not cyclonic) for this gauge of roofing.  With the same cover as everyone else, and still  at a cover of 762mm – it offers a product for the shed industry without change to the sheeting layout in regard to the cladding and roofing. The only adjustment will that have to be made is flashings (only minimal), as the depth of the rib is 21mm which is the very reason for the increased strength.  The features of True Oak Deep are 40% deeper and 40% stronger than standard corrugated with the ability to go down to 3 degree pitch in roof. The profile is much stronger underfoot than standard corrugated and less susceptible to denting by foot traffic.

Here are the Span Tables for True Oak Deep:

True Oak Deep Span Tables

The best explanation as to the details of this profile is best explained in the diagram below with the comparison of True Oak Deep and Standard Corrugated.

Comparison

That’s the technical stuff in brief – but a photo paints a thousand ribs or less and deeper!

To top this new innovation off, Revolution Roofing is offering a True Oak 20 Year Watertight Installation Guarantee. This back to back material, corrosion warranty is only available when the product is installed by a Revolution Roofing Licensed Contractor. Not only will this benefit shed suppliers, but also shed erectors once they become an approved Revolution Roofing Licensed Contractor and supplier. New roof photo of church here in SA.

 

True Oak being installed

 

Of all the aspects of this exciting design re-invention is probably the foresight of the founder (Mr. J. Easling) to undertake LCA of this product which is a first in the rollforming industry. This is now the only roofing profile to be under review for the GREEN TAG certification (by Ecospecifier) and will be available to all architects and engineers.  

The details for information from Revolution Roofing on this submission is available at www.revolutionroofing.com.au  

 

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