Metal has always been used in construction but, until recently, it was mainly used in industrial applications. However, many builders and people who want to complete self-build projects, have realized that metal is more than just a viable option.
It’s actually a really good alternative to traditional building materials.
Many elements of a home, such as fly screen doors, windows, and even your fitted kitchen, are relatively fixed in cost terms. Shopping around will help you to find the best deal but you’re not talking about a significant difference in price, especially if you want the best. However, the same is not true for your actual build. A steel frame home can be as much as 50% cheaper than a traditional build. Part of the reason is the fact that steel panels can be pre-fabricated through the process of structural steel fabrication. This means they’re produced at the factory to your individual specifications. Or, you can choose to purchase the standard sizes.
The panels are tested and created to exacting standards, this is possible because they’re made inside. After completion, the panels are shipped to you and you can create the frame of your home in a matter of hours. That’s not just a cost-saving on the production of the panels, it also saves you a lot of labor time. Of course, you’ll still need to prepare the foundations and the rest of the site before the panels are delivered. This means you’re saving on production costs and on build costs, that’s how savings as high as 50% are possible.
It’s not all about the cost savings, there are some other excellent reasons to build with steel rather than the traditional wood. Steel is much stronger than wood, which means it will stand up better to harsh weather. It is also more resilient. You don’t need to worry about treating it every year in order to stop it rotting or to keep pests out. Of course, steel is also fireproof, which s a real blessing if an accident happens or you’re in the middle of a bush fire.
But, perhaps most important of all, is the fact that a steel home can look stunning. It’s no longer a case of building an industrial warehouse. Steel panels are now fabricated in a variety of colors and styles. Your home can be made of steel but look like it’s made of wood or even brick.
However, just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s the right answer for you. It’s important to be aware that it’s generally harder to get planning permission and you’ll struggle to go above one storey. This is because metal is heavy, you’ll need a lot of strengthening to raise the building over several levels and this will dramatically increase the cost.
You also need to remember that steel is not a good insulator, it attracts the heat and removes it from your home, and you’ll need to budget for plenty of insulation to counter-act this.