7.2 million tons of structural steel were used in the U.S. in 2015, providing 160,000 American jobs. Steel frame construction is a staple of reliable, sustainable, and affordable infrastructure. A foundation built with steel is one of confidence and importance.
A steel structure building isn’t just for commercial or industrial uses, either. All of the economic and material benefits from steel translate well into residential spaces, as well. Many homebuilders and contractors prefer a nice mix of materials, with steel there to provide a reliable backbone.
For more reasons why steel beams for residential construction are a superior choice, here’s a list of advantages.
Steel frame construction is a quick and precise process. It can be manufactured with custom measurements in a timely fashion. Steel frames can be erected in just a few days, thanks to pre-assembly of pieces. When you think about wood beams and framework, there is a bit of fabricating to get everything to fit exactly.
Steel needs less land excavation, tooling, and so forth once it arrives as specified. This makes construction move faster and more efficiently, reducing costs and improving return on investment.
Adaptability of Steel Frame Construction
Steel is seen as permanent, unmodifiable material. The truth is, a steel structure can be changed in various capacities to meet new demands. A steel frame structure can be reinforced, repurposed, and added onto.
You can add plates, additional frames, and even reassign loads to various points of the framework. Steel frame constructions make for easier accessibility to electrical wirings, plumbing, and high-speed networking. This is great for those wanting to improve older buildings and save money on electricity.
Less Support Needed
Steel framework needs very minimal weight-bearing support columns. You can get over 150 feet of uninterrupted steel beam spacing. This extra space allows for more room for creativity and planning. It also makes for easier compartmentalizing and renovating spaces later on.
Just think about the average cost of renovations on multiple rooms in a home: over $40,000. A steel frame construction allows for the ability to knock out entire walls with less effort. Filling new walls is also easier, thanks to a strong framework.
Nothing is Wasted
At the end of your residential property’s life, the steel components won’t be trashed. Steel is 100% recyclable, forever, without loss of any structural integrity. Recycled steel saves energy on mining more resources and reduces our carbon footprint.
At least one-third of all new steel fabrications are recycled steel.
A Stronger Home
Steel-made homes and buildings have an inherent resistance to fire. Structures that are made with a steel framework are protected at their foundation from fire. Steel buildings are better protected, overall, from catastrophic fires due to the way they are insulated.
In fact, less fire insulation is needed throughout the home, because of the physical roadblocks that prevent fire from feeding off of the foundation. You can attend metal workshops to get a deeper understand of how steel frames protect your home from fire.
Weather and Natural Disasters
Besides housefires, a steel structure building will stand strong against other extreme weather events. Hurricanes, in particular, do the most damage when a crack in the foundation breaks. The constant outside pressure from a strong weather system can cause the whole building to crumble.
With a strong steel frame structure, you are less likely to lose everything keeping you safe. It can mean the difference between being crushed by your own home or living to rebuild it.
Earthquakes are another often overlooked natural disaster than can decimate non-steel buildings. Wood trusses crack, break, and splinter off. Steel buildings have room to flex and take extreme levels of pressure. The likelihood of a steel frame building falling from a typical earthquake is never.
Creativity and Luxury
Steel beams for residential construction can be made slim, curved, or to bear weight at different angles. This opens the door for home designers to explore a much wider array of possibilities. Rooms can be shaped differently, vertical spaces can be divided, and more.
A stronger framework also allows for luxury home designs without needing to be multi-millionaire.
More Space, Less Material
While many new homebuilders may see the initial cost of going with steel over wood frame construction, it isn’t a fair comparison. Steel beams are made half the width of a wood beam. This allows for thinner walls, more square-footage.
The savings won’t directly translate on paper, but it is worth considering when looking at initial investment costs.
Lightweight Steel Structures
When we’re talking about add-on structures, the advantages of steel are further amplified. Steel sheds are much lighter than a permanent concrete structure, for example.
Steel sheds can actually be relocated without destroying foundations or investments. The smaller, lighter steel frames can be transported much easier and faster, saving money on fuel and labor.
Steel roofing by itself offers the advantage of keeping a home cooler during hot summers. At the same time, a steel roof is strong and resilient, unlike traditional shingles. It compliments well with solar panels, radiating heat away from the panels and maximizing efficiency.
Plan Your Dream Home
Now that you know more about steel frame construction, you’ll start seeing more possibilities. Remember, though, not all contractors are experienced with building steel frame homes. This is typically a job more common with businesses and multi-story buildings.
Insulation of steel frame buildings is important because it’s a poor insulator of heat. This means during cold winters, the steel turns into proverbial ice blocks without thick insulation to retain heat throughout.
Just do thorough interviewing and research with builders. The same goes for renovation projects in steel framed homes. You can find more of these types of consumer guides on our blog. From electronics to auto, banking, and health tips, there’s a wealth of information to help you build the best life around you.