Ten Reasons to Build - Steel Frame Buildings

Modern steel frame school building

Over the past century, steel frame buildings have become a frontrunner in the construction industry. Since its first appearance in the late 1700s, many have recognized the advantages to using steel over other traditional construction materials. Truly, the more steel frame buildings we erect, the more we understand its characteristics, limitations and importance to an ever-changing industry.

However, it seems that most of that knowledge is limited to those who work in the industry. There are many facts and statistics about steel framed buildings that are unknown to consumers, but might influence their future purchases. With this in mind, here are the top 10 interesting facts you may not have known about steel buildings.

Looking Back

The first building to use an iron frame was the Ditherington Flax Mill, erected in 1796 in Shrewsbury, England. These early experiments with iron were implemented as a result of the frequent fires in British cotton mills. Nearly 100 years later, in 1889, the Rand McNally Building in Chicago became the first sky scraper with all-steel framing. In the 1920s and '30s, several steel building companies were formed and started producing their products in mass quantities. These new designs, later known as Quonset huts, played an important role in World War II, serving as aircraft hangers and storage facilities.

New Technology Means New Designs

Gone are the days of simple designs and limited structures. Today, steel buildings are as diverse as the functions they serve. True, steel is still widely used for commercial purposes, but more people are discovering the advantages to building with steel. From steel barns to RV garages, steel frame kit buildings and even steel-framed houses, the possibilities with steel construction are nearly limitless.

Fast Construction Times

Although steel buildings are changing in design, what's not changing is their ease of assembly. This is because the parts are assembled in a factory before being shipped (thus the term pre-engineered or pre-fabricated buildings). With the right experience and a little help, assembling a steel building can be a hassle-free project.

Save More Money

Building with steel means choosing cost-effectiveness. While the price of lumber frequently fluctuates, steel building prices have remained relatively low for years. As well, the pre-engineered parts means less construction time, and because of their durability and high life expectancy, insurance costs are much lower when compared to wood-framed housing.

Demonstrated Durability

Steel frame buildings have been proven to last much longer than traditional wood-framed housing. Steel vs wood frame building - here are a few reasons to choose steel: Unlike wood, steel is impervious to rotting, molding or shrinking, and is not susceptible to ants or termites. Because it's a manufactured product, steel studs have no knots, splits or other defects that can come with wooden studs. Furthermore, steel structures are effective against fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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Single-Source Assurance

Gone are the days of finger pointing and running in circles to have a problem fixed. When you build with steel-frame buildings, all of your supplies and maintenance come from one source, meaning less hassle for you. If there's a problem with your steel building, one phone call is all it takes.

Guarantees and Warranties

Steelframe buildings are built to last. Different suppliers offer different warranties, but most are so confident in their steel building kits that a 20 year limited lifetime warranty is usually offered. Check with your supplier to find out what kind of guarantee or warranty they can offer you.

Easily Expandable

Looking to expand on your already existing steel building? Not a problem. Steel buildings are amongst the easiest of structures to modify. No matter the shape or size (or how old your building may be), removing end walls, adding additional panels and building new framework are easy tasks, with short construction times and minimal costs.

Tax Breaks

We've already discussed that building with steel saves you money, but did you know it can earn you money too? The next time you build or repair your roof, consider metal. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill that altered the energy efficiency tax credits. The tax credit has been raised from 10% up to 30%, and the maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500. That's because politicians and construction workers alike are.

Looking Forward

These days, everyone is looking to be a little greener. Steel is a green choice, not only because prefab steel frame buildings are thermal and energy efficient, but also because steel is North America's number one most recycled product. Steel scrap is an essential ingredient in making new steel, and while the average 2,000 square foot home consumes 50 trees, a steel-framed home uses the equivalent of six scrapped cars. Rest assured, when you build with steel, you're building green.

Author: Conrad Mackie