What is Downgrade?
Downgrade steel is often given a bad name for a variety of reasons, in truth it may be of near perfect quality but been classified as downgrade simply because it is of unusual lengths. Other reasons downgrade may be classed as such is due to weathering, dents or simply a different wall thickness to what meets Australian standards.
Why should you buy it?
It is usually heavily discounted and can be of just as high quality as first grade material. Projects like veggie gardens, edging and other similar non-structural purposes are perfect for downgrade. Downgrade generally comes in high volume; as such completing a job with downgrade can save you a lot of money and there isn’t a need to wait to order in stock.
Are there downsides?
There can be. Sometimes it looks ugly, might be bent or rusted. If you are doing a project where a quality finish is important then downgrade might not be for you. If you only need a small amount of product then it might be hard to get downgrade supplied, some merchants may only sell it by the full length.
Just how cheap is it?
This will vary on the supplier and the quality of the product being offered. In some cases you can expect to save up to 50% on first grade material and perhaps even more if it is being purchased by the bundle. It is always best to check with your supplier if downgrade will suit your job before committing to buying it.