With minor exceptions, the sheet metal industry is the only construction industry segment that consistently takes raw material and fabricates that raw product into a finished or semi-finished form within the shop environment. The investment in the sheet metal shop and equipment is a substantial investment that many times is questioned by customers when reviewing “shop burden fees.”
In its simplest terms, shop burden can be thought of as the fee sheet metal contractors charge for operating their facility and equipment. The SMACNA “Guide to Determining Shop Burden,” first edition, is based on a study of SMACNA Contractors and is designed to provide the industry with a better understanding of shop burden costs in sheet metal and HVAC operations. The book explains the uniqueness of the market and provides examples of shop burden costs, including lists of what should be considered as part of this expense. The publication also includes basic formulas used in the industry for recovering shop burden costs.
The “Guide to Determining Shop Burden” is available to SMACNA members for $16 and to non-members for $75. Purchases may be made online at www.smacna.org by selecting “publications” or by calling the SMACNA Publications Department at (703) 803-2989.