At Great Living Homes we choose Steel as our primary material for construction. This not only has structural benefits but also economical and time benefits, especially in the current environment. Where other builders are constrained by building delays due to a shortage in timber, we can keep our jobs running smoothly and on time using Steel. So, what are the differences between timber and steel, and why do we at Great Living Homes choose to build with steel?
Did you know that when wet; timber will tend to grow fungi, move and then twist as it dries. This can cause many issues after the day your house is handed over.
When wall frames and roof frames are made with steel they are engineered and fabricated to be straight and honest. There is no bend or warp when it gets hot on site and there is no swelling when it gets wet (like timber). This also minimises the chance of future problems like cracking cornices and sticking windows, problems which occur in both two-storey and single-storey homes Perth and Australia wide.
You may or may not have had a pest service at your house before, and generally they will try and sell you the termite protection, which is not cheap. Well with steel frames, your house is 100% termite and borer proof. This also means there are no chemicals used to try and protect your steel house from pests as well.
The advantage of a steel framed house is it creates a healthier home because chemical treatments are not used or necessary. The coatings of steel are also of incredible quality and can be used in severe marine environments. The coatings have self-healing properties, and these properties continue to work for even thin gauge steel such as roof sheeting. Blue scope even guarantees their steel and its coatings for 36 years.
Another alarming structural problem with timber is the pull-out force of the fixings. Timber is fixed together with nails, and quite often you can pull a nail out with even a hammer. This is a problem because under certain weather conditions timber moves (Racking), and as a vertical piece of timber moves up and down against a horizontal piece of timber (e.g. in severe winds or earthquakes) , the nail gets worked out of the timber, the timber simply grips the nail and pulls it out.
When comparing this to steel you will find that when steel is fabricated it is done so in a way that makes it dead straight. It is machined with precision to within 0.5mm.
When it comes to fixings, steel can be both screwed and/or welded. Majority of the time the preference is screws because welds, if not managed properly, can eventually rust. The beauty of the screw is that it is such a tight fit that the torque of tightening brings the two surfaces together, so it is as if it is moulded the steel together when the screw goes in. If we then talk about severe weather again and racking occurs during earthquake or wind, the screw cannot be worked out; they get tighter. But they still allow the steel to flex. The flex helps because it can move in severe weather but then springs back, whereas timber does not spring back, it breaks.
An Additional great advantage is the strength of steel. The strength and durability which comes with a steel framed house can be found in no other product. It is designed to withstand all kinds of environmental conditions. Steel also allows for a new way of building, ‘Lift-up’. This method of construction is currently being done by Great Living homes for their two-storey homes.
Steel also allows for design flexibility. You can achieve so much with steel; by playing around with the attributes of the steel you can really get those design features you were hoping for. It is worth chatting with Great Living Homes about building your home with steel and what can be done in terms of design. There are so many advantages to steel that are yet to really be seen. So, whether it is a one story or TWO-STORY HOUSE DESIGN you are interested in, ask your local builder Great Living Homes about steel framing. You can find more information on our website at www.greatlivinghomes.com.au