Feb 03, 2006 12:12 pm
Hi to you all,
We have purchased a somewhat steep block here in the Adelaide Hills. We plan to build a Steel framed house clad in Hebel with MiniOrb feature panels and I am curious whether anyone out there has experience with a company called Steeltek Designer Homes based here in Adelaide. Good or Bad I' d like to hear it all.
Also we plan to use a flooring system called Quikafloor and I would love to know other peoples opinion on this flooring system ie. is it noisy? does it feel solid? are there other better options? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Re: Building with Steel, Quikafloor,Steeltek2
Feb 13, 2006 11:30 pm
Just put up a steel floor from Stramit Industries. This utilises "C" section joist that sits inside a "C" section bearer.
This floor is not that easy to erect for first time builders being unweildy. What I mean is that the bearers will bend unless fully braced along its length, the centre of gravity is off centre. Dependant on your type of bracket fixing it may be neccessary to drill before bolting, very time comsuming and hard work. The joists are fixed using Tek screws on the bottom but using the flooring screws on the top, i.e. you don't fix them until the flooring is laid. There's much more but I would avoid this floor in future.
Quikafloor is, I believe, a joist ON bearer system from Lysaght, which makes a lot more sense if DIY but make sure you only need to use TEK screws to fix it. Also make sure you don't need to rebate the flooring to avoid bumps happening over screws or brackets. If you are advised to concrete steel piers into the footings think very carefully, there are major logistical issues with this methodology and engineers don't like it very much.
DO get a consulting engineer. Steep blocks require careful consideration with steel piers (I assume you will be using) as they only work to around 3000mm, any taller and they will require bracing. In fact it may be a good idea to brace anyway as steel floors on steel piers tend to feel a little wobbly with heavy movement creating vibrations. This will, of course depend on your design, number of piers, wind area etc. Best to get a consulting engineer.
If you're thinking of DIY and buying a kit or similar check out my page at http://www.spin.net.au/~shamash
Re: Building with Steel, Quikafloor,Steeltek3
Nov 30, 2007 4:21 pm
Yes. I have had experience with the company you are considering. My experience with them was a mixture of pros and cons ... as you will find with most builders ... since they are first and foremost a business (that for the most part does not rely on repeat custom) and in these days of 'building boom' they do not need to go looking for work, work finds them.
On the positive side ....
Construction was completed very close to the specified completion date despite several weeks where no/little work was possible due to poor weather or 'lost' tradespeople.
The budget blowout was minimal.
On the not so positive side ....
Poor estimate of initial earthworks.
Lack of attention to detail.
Sloppy workmanship in some areas.
Acceptable standards are set too low.
Resistance to rectify problems
In my experience the builder was nearly always readily contactable, however took a long time to act on the problems that were brought to his attention, and was reluctant to accept responsibility for the problems, passing the buck to the subcontractors, who may not have had the problems in the first place had they been properly supervised by the builder.
Things to watch out for ...
Budget blowout in excavation cost. Emphasize the need for an accurate quote and preferably fix price in contract.
Keep a very close eye on the site and pick up any errors quickly (this is supposed to be the job of the site supervisor but I wouldn't rely on him to spot the mistakes, no-one knows your new house as well as you do, you have probably scoured the plans more times than your builder)
Do not let the builder know how much money you have!
Make your final defects list very comprehensive.
In my opinion the biggest problem is that ** workmanship can only be seen once it has been completed and once completed the builder is reluctant to redo the work. And if he does redo the work you will end up paying for it one way or the other.
He will tell you that it is above the acceptable standard. His standard!
With regard to the building itself...
The steel framing does seem to cause the building to get hotter quicker than a timber frame dwelling. It also makes the usual sounds associated with expanding steel, however it is not what I would call 'noisy'. The floor system feels reasonably solid for an above ground system with no springiness, however it is not a concrete slab, and does transmit noise much like a timber floor.
"Most builders know that they will never have to deal with you again, so, much like a fish and chip shop at a beachside holiday town they hope that you will accept the greasy fish and half cooked chips and say to yourself ... next time I'm having a burger.
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