Tips for buying a Portable Classroom
I enjoy helping public and private schools across the nation make smart decisions and save money renting or buying portable classrooms. So whenever I get a new phone call or email with a question about using a portable classroom I usually write a post and share my advice with as many readers as possible.
My latest call came from a private school owner who was trying to find a portable classroom big enough to accommodate two classrooms each for twenty students. During the call we discovered some cost saving ideas – here are the questions, answers and my comments from the conversation:
Q: Do you need all of this classroom space under one roof or can you utilize two portables?
A: Actually, we prefer under one roof but the area we have to install the portable is an odd shape.
COMMENTS: Sometimes using two smaller portables makes more sense particularly if the amount of space available for installation is not compatible with the outline of the portable. For example an “L” shaped lot compared to a perfectly square lot would require two units with a connecting ramp and deck.
Q: How long do you want to rent the portable classrooms or do you want to buy a used model?
A: We need this space for at least two or three years so we prefer renting and returning the portable after our new building is completed.
COMMENTS: Always get a purchase price and a rental price from local suppliers and then compare the two by calculating the total of the monthly rent. Sometimes the cost to rent exceeds the cost to purchase a used portable building. If you elect to purchase the portable you can easily relocate it, sell or donate it when the space is no longer needed.
Q: Do you have permits from your local building and safety department?
A: We met with the building department and discussed our ideas. They said that using a modular building will be no problem as long as it meets the proper building codes, has the proper life safety features and access for disabled students.
COMMENTS: If you want to get a supplier to give you their best price to rent or buy a portable be prepared. Knowing that you can get a permit is a key negotiating tool – otherwise the supplier will figure that you still have a lot of homework to do before you can sign a contract.
So, if you have read my comments you should be ready to contact your local portable classroom and modular building suppliers for prices and help choosing the best portable for your school, church or daycare program.
This post was approved by the Senior Editor of www.imodular.com,