Clearing Up Some Confusion About Steel-Framed Homes

When you're having a new home built, your builder or contractor may give you the option of a standard stick-built frame, a timber frame or a steel frame. Each of these materials is very durable, and each will have their own special advantages, but homeowners sometimes shy away from choosing a steel frame simply because they have some misconceptions about this material. Note some of those common misunderstandings here, so you might better understand why steel is a popular choice for residential home framing and so you can make an educated decision about your new home's framing material.

Steel is just for high rises

Steel is stronger and more durable than wood, so it can hold up excessive amounts of weight without bending, chipping or cracking. It also doesn't have the same risk of shifting and settling, which then allows cracks to form in ceilings, walls and interior floors. This is why steel is often chosen for framing high rises and large commercial structures.

However, this doesn't mean that steel is only meant for those structures; steel can easily be cut and riveted together in the smaller sections that are needed for residential home frames. This can then allow you to choose features for the home that would otherwise add too much weight to a wood frame, such as a slate roof, concrete floors, or a third story.

Steel is not eco-friendly

Iron ore does need to go through a smelting process in order to create steel, and this does require energy and creates some fumes and emissions. Note, though, that wood also needs to be cut, pressed, dried and treated before it can be used for a home's frame, so no choice you make for a framing material will be without a fabrication process. Also, steel is very easy to recycle, so discuss the option of using salvaged steel as much as possible in your home's framework, which will keep those pieces out of landfills and reduce the need for new materials to be harvested.

Steel holds heat and cold

A steel-framed home won't be any hotter or colder than any other home; this is because the exterior materials that are added over the frame, as well as the insulating materials you choose for the home's interior, are what affect the temperature inside the home. As long as you invest in a good insulation material and have that insulation updated when needed, your home should remain comfortable throughout the years, no matter the outside temperatures.