Steel house frames have been becoming more popular in the Western Suburbs of Sydney (and indeed, throughout Australia) over the past few years. Despite this spike in popularity, though, there are still some homebuyers and even some building companies that are reluctant to use steel frames in their domestic projects. Certainly, steel is not the standard framing material used for homes. That title belongs to wood, and probably always will.
However, steel house frames provide considerable advantages for builders, designers, and homeowners alike. Furthermore, the so-called ‘drawbacks’ that are often cited to discourage the use of steel framing in homes are the products of false or incomplete reasoning.
Taking a Deeper Look at the ‘Drawbacks’ of Steel House Framing
At Top Steel Solutions, we design and manufacture steel house frames in Wetherill Park and nearby areas like Blacktown and Parramatta. Our steel framing is durable, termite proof, fire resistant, environmentally friendly, and architecturally friendly. In our view, it is superior to wood framing in every way. However, as we already mentioned, some builders and homebuyers are reluctant to try steel house framing, largely for two oft-repeated reasons.
The first supposed drawback to using steel house framing is that it is drastically more expensive than wood framing. While it is true that steel house framing in Blacktown or Wetherill Park will sometimes be more expensive than wood house framing, prices can sometimes tell an incomplete story.
First off, material costs can vary significantly from year to year and even from month to month. Steel does tend to be more expensive than wood, but lumber prices can spike as well—to the point where steel framing has been and can be cheaper than wood framing at times.
Secondly, simply looking at material cost comparisons fails to figure in the valuable benefits that steel framing can provide. For instance, homes with steel frames are often eligible for lower insurance premiums than homes with traditional wooden frames. The durability of steel framing also means that homes built with steel frames usually require less maintenance—from fixing nail pops to repairing cracks in the drywall—than homes built with wooden frames.
The other widely cited disadvantage of steel framed homes is that insulation is often poorer than in wooden framed homes. Homes with steel frames, therefore, are colder. There is truth behind this statement: steel conducts heat about 300 times faster than any wood. The faster conducting times means that homes with steel frames run the risk of having bigger problems with heat transfer than homes with wooden frames. However, with proper insulation techniques—including the use of rigid insulation on steel studs—it’s possible (and even simple) to avoid this issue entirely.
As you can see, the common arguments behind steel house framing aren’t entirely without merit, but they can often be overstated. Moreover, the benefits of building with steel frames usually far outstrip the drawbacks. If you are interested in learning more about Top Steel Solutions—or investing in a steel house frame in Parramatta, Blacktown, Wetherill Park or anywhere in the Western Suburbs of Sydney—call (02) 9756 4124 today.