Wood vs Steel – House Framing Materials
So, you’ve finally made the decision to build your own home – now the excitement levels are rising. But given the lasting impact of your building decisions, it’s critical not to rush them – spend ample time and effort making careful selections. Some of the earliest choices you’ll be faced with are the materials to build with. The fact of the matter is that most choose to use wooden framework without seriously exploring the alternative. By ignoring the other option, people neglect the unique benefits provided by steel framing.
Strength and Durability
Although we tend to think of wood as a reliable and strong material, it’s likely to bow, bend, warp or be damaged by insects or the elements. Considering its cost and availability, steel is one of the strongest and most durable building materials available. Warpage or bowing commonly occurs in wood over time, as it’s likely that water will seep into the structure over the course of the building’s lifetime. Steel presents no risk when it comes to water damage – it’s unable to rot and can be protected from rust by galvanisation.
Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to deal with a termite infestation knows how severe and expensive the consequences are. Termite damage is hidden and occurs without any warning. That is until significant damage has already taken place. Steel on the other hand is impervious to termite infestation – and it doesn’t need to be treated with harmful chemicals to achieve this.
The threat of house fire is made all the more concerning by the increasingly severe bushfire seasons taking place in Australia. Wooden frames are vulnerable to encroaching flames, and fire can and will quickly climb inside wall cavities. While other things in the house will likely burn, the primary structure is the most important element when it comes to keeping you safe. Treated wooden frames also release gases when burning, which can cause suffocation in a house fire. Steel’s resistance to fire can buy you precious time to escape whilst also not releasing poisonous gases.
Steel is the eco-friendly framing material choice because it can be continuously recycled. Although wood can also be recycled, it can only be done so when it is not treated with certain chemicals – and it usually is. Wood can also only be down recycled, meaning after having been used as a primary frame structure, it will never do so again. Steel doesn’t have this problem and can be recycled infinitely.
Although pound for pound steel can cost more upfront than wooden framework, there are several considerations which can make it the smarter financial choice. Steel framing ends up being far lighter than the alternative – this can reduce building and transport costs which become particularly significant if the construction takes place in a remote location. Steel framed houses are often cheaper to insure because they are far less vulnerable to insect infestation and weather damage. This can save you money on your policy for years to come.
After researching the use of framing material options in construction, few can argue against the advantages of steel. As people become more conscientious of environmental impact and issues like fire resistance, they become more likely to choose steel framing. For more information on the benefits of steel materials in construction, get in touch with the team at Steel Supplies Charters Towers.