We’re proud of our product and craftsmanship and encourage potential home owners or builders to learn more about our leading-edge building methods. Read through our list of the most common questions and answers about light-steel-frame homes to decide whether a light-steel-frame home is the right solution for your specific needs.

How does a steel-frame home compare to a traditional brick home?

Fire resistance
Walls are classified type FR – non combustible. External and internal walls are assessed as having a 30-minute fire resistance rating.

Thermal performance
While the thermal performance without insulated ceilings will be inferior to that of a standard brick and mortar house, our homes are fitted with 75mm isotherm ceiling insulation and therefore perform better than standard brick homes.

While the energy required to heat a light steel frame house without ceiling insulation may be up to 1.5 times that required to heat a standard brick house, heating requirements can drop to about half of that needed to heat a standard brick house when fitted with 75mm isotherm.

When uninsulated ceilings are fitted, condensation performance will be similar to that of a standard brick house. However, when 75mm isotherm insulation is fitted above the ceilings, performance will be superior to that of a standard brick house.

How does a steel-framed home compare to a wood-frame house?

This is easily the most commonly asked question. First of all, wood is an organic material and will start to decompose once cut. During the drying process, wood may also warp or twist, affecting the structural integrity of your home.

Steel, on the other hand, is a mineral – its strength and dimensions are absolutely consistent. Steel will stay where you put it for as long as you leave it there. Since steel is lighter, stronger and consistent, your home will last for generations.

Furthermore, wood-frame homes are not engineered to withstand earthquakes of Seismic Zone 4, as are steel-frame homes. Wood-frame homes also do not feature 8-inch exterior walls or R-30 insulation. Simply put, a steel-frame structure is substantially more durable than a wooden one.

Does the steel frame transfer heat and cold?

Yes – energy efficiency tests performed on steel framing reveal that when a steel-frame home is insulated properly, the transfer can be reduced or even completely eliminated. One of the important differences between light-steel-frame systems and prescriptive steel framing, that replaces the wooden studs with steel studs, is that light-steel homes have 8-inch thick walls and can use 9-inch, R-30 insulation.

Also, because the Tri-Steel steel framing system uses 4-foot and 8-foot centres rather than the 16-inch to 24-inch centres of prescriptive steel framing, thermal transfer is not a problem for us. Additionally, we recommend using house wrap to enhance the building envelope even further. In short, your light-steel-frame home will not have a problem with heat or cold transfer.

Is steel energy efficient?

Yes – light steel home owners experience significant reductions in their heating and air conditioning bills. Many find that once their homes are heated or cooled, it takes much less energy to maintain the desired temperature.

Does the steel interfere with radio and TV reception?

No, the electronic properties of radio and TV waves enable them to pass through steel-frame structures without being hindered in any way.

Do steel-frame homes attract lightening?

No – steel-frame homes are actually safer in a lightning storm that wood-frame homes. Wood is a poor conductor of electricity, offering so much resistance that a part of the current from a lightening strike may flash out and strike any nearby object.

Since wood cannot conduct electricity efficiently, it tends to heat the moisture inside the frame, which may then result in an explosion or fire. That is why it is not safe to stand beneath a tree in a thunder storm.
In contrast, steel-frame homes are grounded and provide a perfect path for lighting to pass to the ground.

The Lightning Protection Institute, which assesses the risk of lightening striking a building, concludes that a steel-frame structure that is electrically continuous from roof to frame ‘is highly unlikely to suffer lightening damage, while a wood-frame house with a wooden roof would be at greatest risk’.

Will my home look different to the other homes in my development?

Not at all! In fact, because of steel’s superior structural strength, you can design your home using long spans, resulting in larger open spaces. With a steel frame, the walls will remain straight and true and can be finished with the same materials as any other home.

What about cost?

The price of steel has been relatively constant over the last decade. While the cost of traditional materials has been erratic and grown at a rate much faster than inflation, steel prices have only experienced small quarterly adjustments.

Builders interviewed nationwide have confirmed that framing with steel is typically less expensive than framing with traditional materials.

Will my home rust?

No. Because we use Red Oxide painted and galvanised steel components, your home will be protected from rust. Mittle, our metal supplier, also provides a 50-year warranty provided that your house is 500 meters or more from the ocean.

Will I be able to remodel my home?

Yes, since the steel framing allows for large spans, a home can be designed without interior load-bearing partitions, making it easier for home owners to complete alterations without having to make structural changes.

How do I hang pictures?

It is very easy to hang pictures and artwork in your light-steel-frame home. The most common approach is to use mollies and screws and it is quite easy to locate the studs using a magnet.

How do I put up moulding and trim?

Moulding and trim is easily attached to the wall with screws or adhesive.

Will I be able to sell my home?

Your home does not need to look any different to your neighbour’s home and should sell just as easily. Because of steel’s high strength and durability, your home should last and retain its value for years to come. 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 invest in a light-steel house?

Light Steel Frame Houses is a growing company with many different investment opportunities. If you have a serious investment interest, please contact us.

More questions?

If your question has not been answered above, please contact us and we’d be more than happy to provide the information you require!

We’re proud of our product and craftsmanship!

Not sure where to start?  We offer a full turnkey solution.  We have our own professionals including architects, structural engineers and accredited plumbers, electricians and building contractors and will always work with a Health & Safety Plan onsite.

Call us now on 084 818 2413 or click here to find out more!