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About Steel Framing

Steel - Why steel framing?

Let's first review the benefits of steel framing as identified by the National Association of Home Builders and/or the Light Gauge Steel Engineers Association.

  • Steel is a Superior Construction Material
  • Highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material
  • 100% recyclable
  • 68% industry recycling rate
  • Non-combustible - does not burn and will not contribute fuel to the spread of a fire
  • Inorganic - will not rot, warp, split, crack or creep
  • Dimensionally stable - does not expand or contract with moisture content
  • Consistent material quality - produced in strict accordance with national standards, no regional variations

Benefits of steel frame homes and buildings to the Consumer

  • High strength results in safer structures, less maintenance and slower aging of structure
  • Fire safety (lower insurance rates)
  • Not vulnerable to termites
  • Not vulnerable to any type of fungi or organism
  • Less probability of foundation problems - less weight results in less movement
  • Less probability of damage in an earthquake - lighter structure with stronger connections results
  • in less seismic force
  • Less probability of damage in high winds - stronger connections, screwed versus nailed

With all these advantages, why has the Industry not just jumped over to steel? Besides the resistance to change, there have been reasons such as cost, lack of experienced labor, different tools and a lack of general knowledge about steel. During the past few years, many of these concerns have been addressed and general knowledge in the industry has improved. If we look at the facts today, a typical steel frame home vs. wood frame home will cost 5 to 10% more than the architecturally equivalent wood frame home. For those with a strict budget, this could be a problem where price is the main concern. On the other hand, homes with large span roofs and floors are very competitive using steel. Companies out there claiming lower cost than wood are usually in the sales mode. Be critical of these claims and get real estimates for a finished home.

Residential and Commercial Steel Frame Homes, Buildings & Garages