Frequently Asked Questions
Why build with steel?
Residential steel framing members are cost effective, light weight, easy to handle, and manufactured in conditions that allow strict quality control. When designed properly, the result is solid, non-combustible, and durable. Because steel can be pre-cut to desired lengths and is a stable material, you don't need to sod out defective pieces and can erect a frame faster. Also, steel scrap has value and can be recycled.

Will my home look different than the rest in my development?
No, only if you want it to. In fact, because of steel's properties your architect can design your home with larger open spaces. With steel framing, walls will remain straight and true, preventing call backs due to nail pops and shrinkage cracks. Finishes can be the same as you are accustomed to using.
What about the environmental impact of steel construction?
The overall recycling rate of the steel industry is 66%, the highest in the country, offering an environmentally sound home framing alternative. Steel framing scrap is a valuable commodity that should not end up in a landfill.

What about cost?
The price of steel has been relatively constant over the last decade. While the price of traditional framing materials has been erratic and growing at a rate much faster than inflation, steel prices have only experienced small quarterly adjustments. Builders interviewed nationwide have affirmed that framing with steel is less expensive than traditional framing.

Can my home be energy efficient?
Yes. Steel framing can be designed to meet or exceed governmental energy efficiency standards. In addition, by staying straight and true, the steel framing helps prevent cracks due to shrinkage or warping, thus preventing air leaks that result in a costly loss of energy.

Will steel frames interfere with portable radios, phones or TV reception?
No. Waves pass through the space between the studs, allowing the use of all radios, phones, and television sets in your home.

What about lightning?
The steel frame offers its occupants better protection than any other construction system. Scientists recommend seeking shelter in steel frame structures during lightning storms because the steel frame provides a path to the ground, reducing the likelihood of explosions, secondary fires, or personal injury.

Will my home rust?
The use of galvanised steel frame components protects your home from rust.

Will steel framing affect the indoor air quality?
No. Steel framing is recommended by the Healthy House Institute for chemically sensitive and environmentally conscious homeowners who seek good indoor air quality. Steel frames do not need to be treated for termites and are free of resin adhesive and chemicals normally present in other construction materials.

Will I be able to remodel my home?
Yes. Since steel framing allows for larger spans, a home can be designed without interior load-bearing partitions, making it easier for homeowners to complete alterations without effecting the structure.

How do I hang pictures in a steel frame home?
As in traditional homes, depending on the weight of the picture, you can hang it from the drywall with toggle bolts or hangers. Heavier objects can be hung from screws attached directly into the studs, which can easily be found with a magnet.

Will I have to pay higher insurance premiums for my homeowners insurance?
No. As a mater of fact, because of steel's excellent performance record in earthquakes, and because it is not effected by vermin and is non-combustible, homeowners may be able to save on insurance premiums.

Will I be able to sell my home?
Your home does not need to look any different than your neighbours, and should sell just as easily. Because of steels high strength and durability, your home should last and retain its value for a long time. In fact, if you take advantage of steel's strength and flexibility by designing wide open spaces, you will have additional selling features.

Can I find competent steel framers?
Yes. Steel framing has been used for many years in commercial and multi-family construction. Rapidwall have demonstrated their competence. In addition, precision engineering and new tools have simplified steel framing construction, making the transition easier.

Will the house need bigger footings and foundations?
No. Steel framing components weigh up to 60% less than wood framing components. The foundations and even the seismic design loads can be smaller.

Can I find plumbers and electricians to work on the house?
Plumbers and electricians have worked with steel framing in commercial construction for years and are very familiar with it. Steel studs have pre-punched holes that allow faster and easier installations of plumbing and electric work than in conventional homes.

Is steel readily available?
Steel is readily available throughout the country and can be purchased in stock lengths, pre-engineered, panelised systems, or custom cut. Because of the growing use of steel in residential constructions, local timber-yards and commercial building supply warehouses are adding steel framing components to their inventory. Builders can also purchase steel directly from the manufacturer.


Copyright © RapidWall 2005