Why Structural Steel Is a Good Idea for Residential Building Projects
Commercial construction, particularly skyscrapers and warehouses, have used steel for decades because buildings can be larger and withstand the elements better when built with a steel frame. Residential builders, however, continued to build with traditional materials for many more years—likely because they were traditional, meaning everyone else was doing it. Mansions and mega-mansions used steel in their construction, but average homes were still framed with timber and given a brick or wood façade.
While timber, concrete, and brick have traditionally been used for housing construction, many builders are increasingly turning to structural steel. The reasons are plenty, not the least of which is the inherent strength of steel. Here are more reasons builders are using more structural steel in their residential building projects.
That strength we mentioned earlier is the reason that steel can bear more weight than the same length and width of timber. This means that less steel is needed to provide the same support as wood.
When less material is needed, the cost of your build goes down. Shipping doesn’t cost as much, and you won’t need as long to build, so labor costs also go down. Using fewer materials may also simplify the architectural and engineering designs, which may result in lower prices, too.
Because steel frames are fabricated off-site, builders can enjoy shorter build times, too. This results in fewer workers and fewer accidents, which adds up to lower build costs. The shorter build times have additional financial benefits, including lower financing costs and fewer interest payments.
Steel Lasts Longer
A home built with steel will withstand the elements better than homes built with traditional timber, concrete, and brick. Steel won’t split or crack over the years the way any of the traditional materials might. While steel can lose its integrity and strength in a fire, it’s not as likely to burn as timber-built structures. It’s also not susceptible to water damage, though it could rust and eventually corrode if exposed. Fire-resistant and water-resistant coating can be applied to avoid later issues.
Versatile Without Losing Integrity
Architects love designing with steel in mind because of its versatility. Fabricators can create various shapes and designs with steel without worrying that it will lose its strength. This means structures can be beautiful and also structurally sound.
Builders have long used steel in skyscrapers and other large buildings, creating beautiful designs that push the boundaries of style because they know the steel they use will support the structure. Now, residential builders are making similar design choices due to the steel supports and decorative elements used. Homes can now also push the boundaries of traditional styles without fear of structural failure.
Steel Is Safe
We’ve already covered steel’s ability to withstand fire and water damage, particularly when treated with resistant coatings. This strength and integrity ensures that steel will provide safer homes when faced with natural disasters. Floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires are no match for steel.
The very structural steel that builders need for these residential buildings is always in stock at Texas Iron and Metal. And if we don’t have what you need in stock, we’ll get it for you right away. Reach out now to tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll get your order ready for pickup or delivery.