If you look at the human body or that of an animal, you will notice similarities in that they both have skeletons. Under all the skin, hide, and meat is a skeleton that holds everything together.
The same applies to a house where the frame serves as the skeleton. It can be a wooden frame or a steel frame home depending on your preferences. Both of these building options have their upsides and downsides, but they both provide a strong building frame for your house.
Timber frame homes are considered old fashioned while steel frame homes are stronger, long-lasting and termite-proof. Due to this, more builders are opting to use steel frames during construction.
Why Should You Choose a Steel Frame Home and Not a Wooden Frame Home?
Thanks to technological advancements and rise in use of framed construction, construction times have been shortened. More builders are opting to use framed construction as opposed to the typical brick homes.
The most popular framed construction is steel frame reason being:
1. High Resistance
Compared to wood frames, steel frames have a higher resistance to degradation. For example, if you compare a wooden floor and steel floor, you are likely to notice warping on the wooden floor as the floor dries.
The same applies to pests, such as termites. Pests can burrow into timber but not into steel. Since the termite infestations are highly unlikely on steel frames, the cost of treating the frames is significantly lower.
Also, in case a fire destroys your home, the steel frame will be left standing. However, the fire will destroy the wooden frames.
2. Environmentally Responsible
While steel is not the most environmentally-friendly building materials, it has qualities that make it environmentally responsible. For example, you can recycle steel which means it has a longer life cycle. In fact, steel is arguably the most recycled material worldwide.
Also, using steel frames means less deforestation since timber is harvested from forests. The less the need for timber, the less the need to destroy forests. Unlike wood frames, steel frames are manufactured with precision thus less wastage.
Wood, on the other hand, has natural imperfections which makes part of it unusable
In its natural state, wood is cheaper than steel, but the total cost after installation might be the same. This is because steel frames are fabricated offsite according to the set specifications. Pre-fabrication reduces wastage and improves efficiencies.
Also, steel frames last longer than wood frames, add value to your property, and the quality is impeccable. All these characteristics make it a cost-effective building solution. The cost of construction will vary depending on several factors as explained on Steel Buildings Zone.
In terms of construction costs, much of the saving will be in cost and labor benefits of reduced construction time. Other areas you will save include landfill fees and maintenance fees. Since steel is prefabricated, there is less wastage, and any of the waste can be recycled.
It’s resistance to degradation translates to little repair and maintenance fees. Lastly, advancement in manufacturing technology has lowered the cost of producing steel. The cost savings are transferred to you, the consumer.
If well maintained, steel frames have an extremely low life-cycle cost.
4. Faster Construction Time
As the adage goes, time is money. The faster you build, the less the cost of construction. Completing a construction project on time or ahead of schedule means you don’t have to contend with cost for the extra days. Every extra day the project is delayed will cost you money.
All of this can be avoided by using steel frames.
Fast-tracked projects are often a nightmare for both the construction crews and the architects. This is because they have to cut corners to deliver on the set date. Steel frames make it easy to meet set time frames without cutting corners.
For starters, steel is pre-engineered to the specific designs provided. The frames are then shipped to the construction site and erected. This will not only speed up construction time but also reduce labor costs.
5. Steel is Lighter
When you compare a steel frame vs. wood frame, you will be surprised to note the steel frame is lighter. This is attributed to the design of the frames. You see the design of a something like a steel l-beam makes it lighter than a similar wood beam design. The lighter weight comes in handy as it reduces shipping and building costs.
Advancements in technology have made it possible to come up with countless designs. This allows architects the freedom to play around with the design to create an aesthetically pleasing home.
In addition, steel is stronger than wood making it easier to create large open-plan designs that were previously not possible with wood frames. This is why steel-framed homes tend to be more distinctive and personalized.
7. Versatility and Customization
Unlike wood, steel can be molded into any shape, which makes it one of the most attractive materials in the construction industry. This ability to mold into any shape allows designers to actualize their wildest imagination. Its uses are limitless from airplane hangers, indoor arenas to skyscrapers such as the Burj Khalifa.
Although steel frames are prefabricated offsite to specification, they can be customized and personalized for better functionality. The frame is just the structure which leaves you with the rest of the building to customize to your needs. You can even use a steel frame structure and combine it with bricks.
Why a Steel Frame Home the Best Choice
Although steel frame homes have a few downsides such as poor insulation, they make up for these downsides by being stronger and more durable than wood. Poor insulation can be remedied by adding extra insulation. The short term costs of using steel frame vs. wood frame are almost the same.
However, the cost of using steel frames may vary depending on the extra supplies required. Long terms costs are lower since you only have to worry about insulation and rust. With wood, you have to bear with higher insurance fees, warping, rot, natural disaster damage, stud, and termite damage.
Steel frame homes are undeniably better and easier to alter the structure. Thus steel should be your top choice unless you live in coastal areas.
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