More and more steel homes are popping up on every street. With recent advancements to the exterior and interior design you may not even recognize that the house built next door to you is made from steel. Steel homes are great for first-time homeowners or large families. Steel is evening being used for apartment complexes and group housing.
Steel was introduced as a building material in the mid-1880s in Chicago as the Home Insurance Building was constructed. For the first time, architects decided to opt for a steel structure over the traditional stone based structure. The city of Chicago was skeptical and a special team was bought in to investigate the strength and stability of the structure, but upon completing the inspection it was found that steel was drastically more durable than any other material on the market. Since 1880 steel has popped up in an increasing number of structures, making its way from skyscrapers to commercial buildings to personal residences and more and more people are experiencing first hand the benefits to building with steel and the highly competitive nature of steel building prices.
Why Choose a Steel Home?
So why are more and more homeowners opting for these steel dwellings? There are numerous benefits to owning a steel home, one of the forefront reasons being the cost. Nine times out of ten when someone considers buying a home the very first thought that crosses that person’s mind is money. How much home can I afford? For this reason, steel buildings are becoming most buyers first choice right up front. Not only are steel buildings quicker and more convenient to build, but they are also cheaper and easier to maintain.
On average a steel home costs between $50 and $65 per square foot, this is on average 30 percent cheaper than a traditional home. Unlike other homes, steel is most often thought of as a one-time cost. Steel is highly durable even under the most extreme circumstances and rarely need any repairs or maintenance making the cost of keeping a steel home almost non-existent. This durability is often the second reason homeowners have discovered steel buildings are among the best options. Steel is impervious to many extreme weather conditions and is designed to survive for decades to come. Many scientists have studied steel structures and put the buildings to the test, here are some of the safety factors these researchers have discovered:
- Properly constructed steel buildings can withstand wind forces of up to 150 miles per hour without incurring any damage to the exterior of the building or the foundation.
- Steel is uninhabitable by most animals and provides extra protection from household pests, such as termites and rats; and is also moisture resistant safe from mold and mildew.
- Steel buildings can remain standing even in Seismic Zone 4, the highest classification of Seismic zones meaning areas most prone to seismic waves and shifting ground.
- The outer steel shell itself is flame retardant ad made from 100 percent recycled materials, making it free from hazardous materials and eco-friendly.
How Steel Homes are Made
Now that you understand some of the benefits to choosing steel for your next home it may be helpful to understand how steel buildings are made. One of the benefits of steel buildings is that they can easily be designed and adjusted to meet all your needs. Just ask celebrity family The Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar rose to reality TV stardom when they joined a reality show featuring their family of 16 children. Over the years this number has risen to 20 and the family needed a home that was large enough to fit everyone and was both beautiful and green as they are very environmentally conscious. Not only was the building applauded for its tornado safety but its custom design and highly adaptable nature made it easy to take a standard steel home and adapt it for this large family.
The design process begins with 3D modeling video to plan out building supports and weight distribution as well as the structural integrity of the building. Once the design has been approved by the builder and any safety committees the home is sent to production and pieces are cut from sheets of premium grade steel. These steel pieces along with all structural supports and additional accessories is what will arrive at your building site where the construction process will take place. On average it take two to three hours to unload a steel building from its delivery truck and then construction can begin. Another benefit to purchasing a steel home is the ease of construction. Homes can oftentimes be assembled by the homeowners themselves and a few contractors, but for the inexperienced builders, there are also many highly skilled building teams out there who have years of experience in putting together steel buildings. Once the building is assembled final accessories are added and in the matter of a few weeks, you have yourself a brand new home.
Housing Options to Consider
When beginning to plan out your new steel home there are several items you should begin to mull over before you meet with your builder:
Steel buildings can be soundly placed on a variety of different foundation types so you can choose the best option for you with peace of mind. If you’re not interested in extra storage space or are looking to save a few pennies you may want to consider laying a concrete slab as the foundation for your building, to which your building can be attached by anchor bolts. If you would like more living or storage space consider building a basement or underground crawl space. Steel buildings can easily be built over such structures using floor joists and anchors. While these options are slightly more expensive they can dramatically increase the square footage in your home and have no impact on the stability of your building.
For those looking for even more storage space or looking for shelter for their cars consider attaching garage space to your home. Garages and other storage buildings can be added on after your home is built, but incorporating them into your original design adds more stability for both buildings.
When planning the dimensions of your rooms and house be sure to incorporate insulation into the measurements. While insulation usually does not take up too much room if you live in a colder climate or need to block out a lot of exterior noise your insulation can get up to 1 foot thick. When choosing the right insulation for your building consider purchasing insulation that will provide some noise control. Outside sounds and weather may sound louder when reverberating off of steel walls and roofing panels so look into insulation with noise canceling effects.
- The Foundation
- Garage and Other Add-ons
- Insulation and Noise Control
Author: Conrad Mackie