Are you considering building a steel home? A steel home or steel framed house can save you money, building time and energy costs, but you must know what to expect. Here are five of the most critical questions the experts say you need answered before you get started.
What is the main advantage of a steel home over a traditional home?
Actually, there are many advantages. The biggest is that a steel framed structure is stronger than a wood house. Steel structures for homes have been proven to withstand high destructive winds up to 150 miles per hour. Steel framed homes are more resistant to termites, mold and fire. That means termites will not eat steel, mold will not grow on steel (unless there are organic materials present) and fires will not spread through a steel framed house as rapidly as a wood framed structure. Also, galvanized steel will not rust or rot from flooding.
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2. Do steel homes look different from other homes?
No. Most likely you will never be able to tell the difference from the outside. You can choose from many different steel home frame kits or even order an entire house from reputable companies. The house plans are computerized which means each piece will be manufactured precisely. That eliminates wastes and will save you a great deal of money. Another reason is that your labor costs will be cut. You can check out models and pricing and you will probably be surprised at how beautiful a steel home can be.
However, that’s just for starters. The huge advantage is what you will be able to do with the inside. Steel framing eliminates the need for load bearing walls, which means you can create your interior space any way you want to. You will no longer have to worry about holding the house up, and you won’t have to keep a wall where you really don’t want it to be because it is load bearing. That releases your creativity and you can make your house exactly the way you want it to meet your individual needs. You can even add a fireplace or two. There is no limit to indoor decor.
3. Are steel framed houses safe?
As discussed in question 1, they are considered much safer by today’s modern standards. For example, if lightning should strike your steel home, you will be safer there than practically anywhere because the steel will conduct the electricity to the ground. A wood structure without steel will often catch on fire after being struck by lightning because wood doesn’t conduct electricity and the electricity has nowhere else to go. As a result, the electricity can explode, causing a fire.
This brings us to earthquake safety. Many are asking if a steel home can withstand an earthquake and the answer is they have a greater capacity for less damage during an earthquake than a traditional house. That’s because steel is much stronger. This does not mean you are guaranteed complete safety during an earthquake, the jury is still out on that issue, but your house will be able to resist the earthquake’s tremors much more efficiently.
4. How are steel frames erected?
Since many steel frames come in kit form, all you have to do is follow the plan and put the precise pieces together. All of the cutting, sizing, and thinking have already been done for you and your crew. Many kits come with a simple numbering system. This certainly saves on time and labor cost. In fact, a steel frame for a house can often go up in days or weeks, rather than months, depending upon the size of the house.
It’s the same work you would do on a wood system. It is like putting a puzzle together with directions, instead of having to create each individual piece as wood framing would require. Otherwise, construction is the same as a traditional house.
5. How energy efficient are steel homes?
Steel homes are loved by the green movement. Not only are they more energy efficient but they are made from steel, which is almost 100 percent recycled. They can be recycled again should they be torn down someday far in the future. That saves countless trees now as well as later and give you an environmentally friendly house or structure.
But the real question is how can have a steel residence cut down on your utilities and energy costs? Consider this: Kodiak Homes sells a steel house kit with reflective foil or radiant barrier insulation.
This system goes in the roof and the walls and literally acts as a shield from summer heat getting in and warmth during winter getting out. The implications of this are huge for your monthly heating and cooling bills. Regular insulation doesn’t come close to accomplishing this type of energy saving.
Building a new steel home or putting up a steel frame kit can save you time, money and energy costs. You will be getting a home that will be considered very safe by today’s guidelines and building codes and will be built similarly to a wood framed structure. But mainly, you will be building a home which will not only look like traditional homes but will be designed exactly to your needs and tastes.