Doing yourself a favour
Why build with steel? Why not just use wood? Do yourself a favour - read this.
It’s easier on your back!: Wood frames are heavy and working with them can be hard work. Steel’s less than half the weight of timber, which makes it much easier to lift and move around. Do your team a favour.
Time is money: Because they’re lighter you put them up faster – and time is money! They even come pre-punched for running your electrical cables. More time – and money - saved. Do the accountant a favour.
Light doesn’t mean weak: You still want a quality job, using trusted materials that are tough. Steel frames are so strong they have been proven in recent controlled testing to withstand earthquakes of up to nine of the Richter Scale. Do your client a favour.
No nasty chemicals – a healthier option: Wood is treated with heaps of nasty chemicals that you have to work with all day. Can’t be good for you. Steel, on the other hand, isn’t treated with anything. No nasty chemicals – it’s a much healthier option. So why risk it? Do your family a favour.
Straighter frames: Steel stays perfectly straight and isn’t affected by rain or too much sun. There’s no going back to fix up weather-related problems, there’s no hanging around waiting for things to dry, there’s no warping, twisting, shrinkage or cracking. Steel frames stay true over the life of the building, and they are dimensionally stable. Do everyone a favour.
Simple as: Steel frames generally arrive on site just like your timber pre-nail does. You can also get them flat packed for building sites you don’t have good access to, and assemble them on site. All components are labelled and each wall is strapped together as one packet with a plan showing you how it all assembles. Standing the frames is easy and much the same as timber walls, but instead of nailing them together you use TEX screws. We have a video section which shows you how to do most things, from standing frames, to fixing wall linings and finishing. Working with steel is really simple. So do yourself a favour.
You don’t need to build completely in steel - just use it where it make sense. You already use steel rondo battens to keep your ceilings flat; if you are doing a skillion roof, why not use one of our roof panels which are quick and effective and can achieve longer spans than the same size timber. So if part of your job is proving a bit tricky with timber, or just getting too expensive, give as a call. We might have a solution. Do us a favour!
More cost effective: From a design perspective, steel-framing allows you to widen your horizons – literally. With one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of all construction materials, steel delivers excellent spanning capability. This makes it perfect for creating wide, open spaces; as well as innovative building shapes and non-conventional roof lines. It’s also ideal for building on sloping or difficult sites.
A tough choice?
If two products are similar in cost, but one gives you heaps of extra value, which would you choose? The price of timber frames and steel frames for the average Kiwi house is very similar. But that’s where the similarities end.
Steel offers much greater strength, hugely improved durability, much better fire resistance and a healthier, chemical free environment. It also allows you to build ‘bigger’. Steel’s strength allows for a home with larger open areas and larger doors and windows to make the best of a view, or that make the indoor-outdoor flow seamless. It offers bigger spans at an affordable price so your customer doesn’t have to compromise on their dream home.
So, while the cost is similar, the advantages are massive. Which will you choose?
Check out our videos and photo gallery to see what you can achieve. If you have more questions, check out our FAQs and if you can’t find your answer there, give us call.
Does steel framing cost more than timber framing?
Depending on the design of the house the cost of steel framing is similar to timber. If the design of the house has large open plan living and is pushing the boundaries for timber framing then steel can work out more cost effective. There are other advantages when using steel like having a very structurally strong house, there are none of the chemicals used in timber and steel frames are a lot faster to erect. The final constructed cost will be the same or less for a house of comparable size and quality but have the extra benefits of steel at no extra cost.Steel framing is very competitive on price, particularly when you consider its quality.
Is steel framing a new idea?
Globally steel framing has been used successfully in housing since the early 1950sIn South Australia 30% of new homes are steel and all over Australia the percentage is 15%. In Hawaii it is 40% and Japan builds 150,000 steel homes every year. Today’s framing represents the results of years of research, testing and product improvement and is a thoroughly engineered product.
Why does steel needs a thermal break, while timber...
The reason steel needs a thermal break is because of its high heat conductivity. This high thermal conductivity is often portrayed as being a weakness with steel but is in fact one of its greatest strengths. With a thermal break all the steelwork on the inside of the thermal break remains above the temperature at which condensation from moisture in the wall cavity will occur. With timber studs, the outside of the stud will attract condensation during winter, which will result in an increase in moisture content. The increased moisture can create movement that damages wall linings and increase the risk of mold and fungus.