Building You the Best Series: NFBA’s Revised Building Design Manual

Need help with post-frame building system concepts?  You have updated information available now!  The National Frame Building Association (NFBA) has just released one of eight newly revised chapters in its Post-Frame Building Design Manual.  Building regulations, load and deflection criteria, structural design are just a few of the topics covered in the Manual.  The revisions to the fifteen year old manual include answers to many frequently asked questions from building engineers and architects, in addition to providing more design options.



Specifically, the recently released chapter, Chapter 1, entitled “Introduction to Post-Frame Buildings” include updates on the following: standard post-frame terminology and general building terminology, explanations of how post-frame differs from other building types, a history of post-frame buildings, many color images, post-frame applications and building diagrams.  And designers, architects, and sales & marketing people will especially be interested in two new sections in Chapter 1 about the advantages of post-frame building and ideal structural applications. 

For more information, including how to order the Post-Frame Building Design Manual, go to

As always, don’t forget to give us a call at 866-551-3454 and let our specialists help design a storage structure to meet your needs.  And stay tuned for more blog posts on buildings in our “Building You the Best” series.

Making Nonfarm Connections at the U of I

Obviously, seeing college students around the Champaign-Urbana area is not unusual.  What IS unusual, however, is seeing them one of the local farms surrounding the University of Illinois (U of I) campus.  It is hoped though, by the U of I’s College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, that this sight will become more and more common.  This is thanks to a new pilot program at the U of I, First Link!



Through First Link, the U of I is anticipating that more students studying farm and food policy will be able to take intensive day-and-a-half tours of local farms so as to experience first-hand what actually goes into owning and/or operating a farm.  Thanks to their farmer hosts, the students will understand the practical realities and applications of what they study in the classroom.  It is hoped that this experience will help fill a knowledge gap of nonfarm students studying farm and food policy and then later, setting farm and food policy. 

Called “First Link” because of its focus on the first link in the supply chain, the first pilot program students visited a grain farm and a beef operation, in addition to a grain elevator, an agriculture supply company, and an implement dealership.  While students expressed an appreciation for what they learned, farmers around Champaign-Urbana understand that it is also good for them as well – the more farmers get their stories out to consumers, including future policy makers, the better.

“Building You the Best” Series: Storage Buildings

With Spring here and warm weather just around the corner, many will be considering new storage options for the upcoming season.  With our partner, Walter Buildings, we are here to help provide you the superior quality storage buildings that you need and expect.  This article, part of our “Building You the Best” series, is an overview of storage building considerations and how, with Walter Buildings, you are investing in “more than steel and wood.”

With Walters Buildings’ more than 50 years of experience, you can count on their unparalleled reputation of quality craftsmanship.  Based on years of research and investment in current technologies, FS Construction Services is proud to offer our customers the following Walters Buildings’ services and options for your storage needs:

  • Computer design programs incorporate your thoughts and ideas, resulting in your personalized storage facility with no surprises
  • Outstanding warranties on all engineering, manufacturing and construction standards, processes and products
  • Highly trained, full service representatives will guide you through the entire building process to ensure the best storage option for your needs
  • High quality, well trained craftsmen will construct your building with the same goal as you: on time, on budget, and exceeding your expectations
  • Wide variety of design options make almost endless combinations, including trim, insulation, doors, fascia siding and cupolas, just to name a few

Whatever your storage needs, you can count on FS Construction services to deliver a storage structure that will be visually appealing, within budget, and built with the highest quality engineering specifications. 


Storage Building

Give us a call at 866-551-3454 and let our specialists help design a storage structure to meet your needs.  And stay tuned for more blog posts on buildings in our “Building You the Best” series.

Getting Ready for Spring: Winter’s Toll

There has been a lot of recent news coverage about all of the snow in the East.  Although we haven’t had the tens of feet of snow that they have had, the winter weather can still take a toll here locally.  Take a look at your sheds, roofs, siding and windows.  Even though you may not see any outwardly visible signs of rust, rust can still be destroying your metal. 

Rust forms on buildings from oxygen, a mixture of air and water together. Rust can be misleading because you might not see the red, flaking and peeling indications of damage being done, but rest assured that rust is there, destroying your metal.  For example, if you take a white topcoat with no primer and apply it to the side or roof of your building, within 3 to 6 month you will see spots of rust appearing. This is why you always must apply primer before painting, regardless of what anyone else tells you.  It is not uncommon to have buildings, bins, house roofs and sides have rust peeling paint that were painted less than a year ago.

If you are thinking about having some painting done, here are some pointers of questions to ask your painter to avoid having rust on your buildings anytime soon: 

  1. Is the primer rust inhibitive?
  2. Does the primer cover in one coat or does it take multiple coats?
  3. Is your primer comparable to your topcoat?
  4. If I follow your primer steps, will you stand behind your product?
  5. Is the product flexible with the building?
  6. Will it take two coats?
  7. Is the topcoat a hard enamel?
  8. If the topcoat is hard, will it pop when the building moves?
  9. Does your topcoat have mildew protection?
  10. If I color the topcoat, how long will it work and hold the color?

Finally, be careful of any painter telling you that primer isn’t needed. If you have painting to be done, please call Brian Garleb at 618.972.9516 or email at .

Agriculture Education in Crisis

Although our local school districts enjoy strong Ag education programs, a critical shortage of college graduates with agriculture education degrees looms in the not-too-distant future, according to the Illinois Committee of Agricultural Education (ICAE).  Meeting with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) earlier this month, the ICAE discussed several ideas to hopefully address this pending crisis. 

Top on the agenda of this discussion was obtaining the IBSE’s support for state funding of agriculture education, which Governor Rauner’s proposed budget has eliminated.  Another issue is the increasing requirement for high school agriculture teachers to teach middle school agriculture classes, creating licensing issues.  The ICAE hopes that agriculture teaching licenses could be changed to teach more grade levels, such as licenses for teaching music, art and physical education.  Finally, the ICAE and ISBE talked about designating agriculture education as a high-need Illinois field, thus providing federal incentives for college students to obtain agriculture education degrees.


The Illinois agriculture education programs are currently strong, earning praise from state officials and some even earning national recognition.  We are fortunate to have strong Ag education programs in our own backyard.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

Indoor Winter Projects: Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it’s cold out, it’s a good time to try to take care of any indoor projects you may have.  A relatively small and not very time consuming task that can be done with very little cost is to paint your kitchen cabinets and replace its hardware.  This will give your kitchen an updated, “brand-new” look.  Here are the basic steps:

First of all, gather the necessary materials:  painter’s tape, surface cleaner, tack cloths, tools to remove the hardware, putty or filler, putty knife, fine or medium sandpaper, primer, paint, rollers and brushes, and drop cloths.  Next, you’re going to take everything out of your cabinets and cover your counters and floor with drop cloths, masking the areas where the walls and cabinets meet.  Then carefully remove the cabinet doors and drawers, labelling if necessary.  The next step is the most crucial:  clean the cabinets with soapy, surface cleaner water, taking extra care to remove all of the grime and grease.  Then fill and sand any nicks or scratches.  Once the fill is hardened, sand down any bumps or nicks on all surfaces.  After that, wipe everything down with tack cloth to get off all the dust and dirt.

Indoor Painting Services in Red Bud, IL


Priming is the next step.  Spraying will give your cabinets the best finish but a dense foam roller works nicely too.  Use long strokes so they aren’t so visible when done.  Let the primer dry, then for a final coat, use latex, it’s easy to use and dries quickly.  Apply at least two coats with ample drying time in between.  When you are finished and satisfied, reattach the cabinets and drawers and install your new hardware.  Voila, your kitchen now has a fresh new look.

For more details see “The Paint Corner” in the February/March 2015 Gateway News or contact Brian Garleb at 618-972-9516 or .

“Building You the Best” Series: Steel Color Paint Choices

Superior building performance includes superior paint.  Our customers depend on us to provide quality buildings, so along with our partner Walters Buildings, we work to ensure we are also providing the highest quality of steel color paint.  This article, part of our “Building You the Best” series, takes a closer look at paint choices and how we ensure your building has received top-notch quality attention time after time.

Metal Building Color Options - Walters Buildings


We are proud to provide our customers superior paint choices that are of the highest reliability and environmentally friendly through our partnership with Walters Buildings.  We understand that paint is of utmost importance due to our buildings being exposed to a wide variety of climates and applications.  So, our superior paint systems include:

  • Zinc phosphate pre-treatment enhances adhesion and corrosion performance and compliments the EnviroClean Paint System
  • DuPont Teflon surface protection helps to protect the steel paint from long-term dirt build-up
  • Ceramic cool pigmentation that meets Energy Star approval criteria for solar reflectance requirements
  • Proprietary, modified silicone polyester paint system that provides maximum color retention and fading resistance

Also, our paint choices include 14 vibrant colors and bare Galvalume®, in addition to wide variety of complimentary trim.

Whether your needs are agricultural, commercial or suburban, you can count on FS Construction services to deliver a structure that will be visually appealing, within budget, and built with the highest quality engineering specifications.  Including high quality paint choices for your high quality steel building.

Give us a call at 866-551-3454 and let our specialists help design a structure to meet your needs.  And stay tuned for more blog posts on buildings in our “Building You the Best” series.


Celebrating National FFA Week

For 80 years now, past and present members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) come together during FFA Week to celebrate their organization’s traditions and contributions.  Today, although the letters “FFA” stand for Future Farmers of America, the FFA welcomes all students interested in pursuing careers in engineering, chemistry, business, biology, medicine and more, in addition to agriculture.  In 1947 the FFA Board of Directors designated the first National FFA Week and set the annual dates to encompass George Washington’s birthday, in honor of his contributions as an agriculturalist and farmer.  This year, more than half a million FFA members will participate in National FFA Week activities nationwide, February 21-28.



More than 29,000 Illinois high school students will be joining in activities during FFA Week, including several local FFA chapters.  These activities include not only entertainment for its members, but also learning opportunities, fundraisers, and community awareness events.  The primary goal of the FFA is to make each of its members a better individual, providing them opportunities for success in leadership, personal growth and career success.  Let’s hope that, for at least then next 80 years, this national celebration tradition continues.

For more information, go to .

“Building You the Best Series” Part 2: Foundations

All quality buildings start with a quality foundation. Our customers depend on us to provide quality storage buildings, so along with our partner, Walters Buildings, we make providing quality foundations a top priority and have been doing so for over 50 years.

This article, part of our “Building You the Best” series, takes a closer look at foundations and how we ensure top-notch quality time after time. We are proud to provide our customers with secure, performance-tested foundations through our partnership with Walters Buildings. We ensure superior foundations through a high quality process, including:

  • Firm level foundation base established with 4 ft. deep holes and a 45# layer of dry concrete mix
  • Maximum column bearing resistance and uplift resistance allowed by #4×9” long reinforcement bar inserted through the column and embedded in the footing
  • Solid design strength for download and upload ensured with an additional 45# of dry cement placed around the base and rod
Strong Foundation

Also, we can construct your building’s foundation using regular concrete or Sakrete®, a ready-to-use mixture that meets ASTM Spec. C-387-56T and yields an impressive compressive strength of 3,500 psi.

Whether your needs are agricultural, commercial or suburban, FS Construction Services will work with you to deliver a structure that will be visually appealing, within budget, and built with the highest quality engineering specifications. What that means for you is a strong structure that is built to last.

Call us today at 866-551-3454 and let our specialists help design a unique structure to meet your needs. And keep a lookout for our next blog post in our “Building You the Best” series.


FS Logo Celebrates 60th Anniversary


For Gateway FS, 2015 is much more than just a new year, but a celebration…a celebration of excellence, success, quality and customers. Our honored FS logo turns 60 this year and we’re more than excited to announce our company’s branding accomplishments and the 60 years of hard work and dedication along the way.

To celebrate this major milestone, FS will kick off the celebration this month and throughout the year look back on the early efforts that built the meaning of our brand. Not only does this call for a celebration throughout the company, but it also raises a wonderful opportunity to refresh and prominently display the FS logos on facilities and rolling stock.

For a little more background, it all began on July 18, 1955. As the directors, managers and the salesmen attended meetings in Springfield and Decatur, IL, the logo was officially unveiled and was an instant success. After the logo was launched, the August 1955 edition of Pacemaker ran a feature story predicting “FS will be recognized from the end of the state to the other.”

The founders proudly stated what they wanted their valued logo to stand for, “the bright heritage that is ours – a history of success, service, integrity, high quality products – everything that has earned the respect and support of Illinois Farmers, everything that has come to mean “us,” as an organization and as individuals serving farm people.”

As of today, the FS brand has expanded much farther than Illinois and while it continues to focus and serve farmers and agriculture, it has also expanded into residential, commercial and industrial markets. From day one and continues today, FS will and always will be known for its service, integrity and quality. For 60 years now, FS has revealed new techniques to help customers optimize operations and ensure they are fully equipped and prepared for what’s next and that is definitely worth celebrating!