Jul 04, 2012 2:31 pm
I'm looking at building a new home near a canal and the builder is proposing to use a steel frame.
There are a lot of termites around this area and he recommended to use steel because of this.
Another builder said that when tradies cut holes through the steel frame, little bits of steel will be left on the frame, which can inturn rust and best to go with timber.
I like the idea of no more termite worries but don't like the idea of the frame rusting and also hard to hang pictures i guess.
Has anyone had any experience with steel frames?
Re: Steel Framed Houses2
Jul 04, 2012 4:59 pm
Once the wall is around a steel frame any rust will be negligable.
If you are only hanging pictures you can fix directly to the plasterboard, It only needs to be to the frame for shelves.
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Steel Framed Houses3
Jul 04, 2012 5:37 pm
We have a steel frame and the frame was in the rain for a good few weeks before the roof and bricks went up. I didn't see any evidence of corrosion. The frame is galvanized and the only area where non-galvanized steel is exposed is where holes were drilled, (about 1mm thick). This area may develop some surface corrosion, but the galvanizing will stop it spreading. The swarf that is left will also rust and the frame manufacturers recommend that this is cleaned up, but again the galvanizing will stop the corrosion from spreading to the frame.
It may be that your other builder is more comfortable with timber than steel and that is why he is trying to steer you in that direction. If you search Google you can find lots of information and videos from Bluescope Steel on steel framing, how to work with it and it's advantages.
Our builder did get us to get a termite treatment under the slab before it was poured as an added protection - although termites can't eat a steel frame, he pointed out that they can eat the paper on the plasterboard, so some protection is worthwhile (of course replacing plasterboard is easier than dealing with structural damage).
Another advantage of steel frames I have found is that it is easy to locate a stud or noggin before drilling with the use of a strong magnet. I use self-drilling tek screws if I need to fix something like a shelf or TV to the frame.
One issue we did have was with the steel roof trusses. Our particular design has quite a few cross bracing members and we found when we got quotes that we couldn't fit a large AC unit in the roof. In the end we went with ducted gas as we are pro cold climate and heating is the main concern.
The other issue with the roof trusses is that they are quite thin compared to timber so I had the builder install walkways in the ceiling so that it is easier to move around up there without missing a truss and falling through the ceiling!
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