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Why should I build my home in steel?
Steel frames are strong, durable, safe, lightweight, fire resistant and termite proof. Homes made of steel are also more economical in the long-term as steel doesn't shrink or twist, which can cause plasterboard, ceiling joints or cornices to crack.
Is a steel frame safe if it becomes exposed to a live electrical wire? What about lightning?
Yes, steel frames are safe because they are earthed. It is a requirement for new homes to be constructed with safety switches that automatically shut-off if they detect leaking currents caused by faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances. This also includes energy produced from a lightning strike, which is conducted to the ground and not within the steel frame.
Can I erect the steel frame myself?
If you have an approved building permit you can undertake the project yourself as a licensed owner-builder or by employing a registered builder. Our homes are supplied with a comprehensive installation manual and all panels are clearly labelled for assembly.
Can I make additions to my steel kit home in the future?
Yes, additions to kit homes can be made. Because the steel frames are designed with an easy bolt-together system, your home can be modified at any time to suit your requirements.
Can I build on a concrete slab or piers?
You can build on both. Steel framing can be fixed directly onto a concrete slab or to flooring systems on steel piers. We specialise in building on sloping sites, where it can be far more economical to use raised steel flooring systems rather than a concrete slab.
Are steel frames noisy?
Steel-framed dwellings do not produce any more noise than homes constructed with timber.
If I build with a steel frame, do I need termite protection?
A huge benefit of building your home with steel is that the framing is termite proof. This means there is no need for expensive chemical or physical termite barriers.
Will I be paying more for sub-contractors to install my steel frame?
Most sub-contractors do not charge more for working with steel compared to timber construction. In fact, with steel becoming a more commonly used building material, many subcontractors are affordably priced due to competition in the marketplace.
Are steel frames strong enough to build with?
NRB manufactures steel that has to comply with requirements set out by the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards.
If exposed steel is cut, scratched or drilled into, will it eventually rust and corrode?
To prevent the steel from corroding, we recommend 'cold cutting' coated steel products. This process allows the zinc coating to 'heal' the newly exposed edge. The thickness of the zinc coating affects the degree of protection on the steel products and is factored in when building standards are formulated.
Do I have design flexibility if I build with a steel frame?
There are virtually no design limitations when building with steel. In fact, it is possible to produce designs in steel that cannot be replicated in other materials such as timber. At NRB, we offer a budget and deluxe range of house designs that can be customised to suit your requirements. Our design team specialise in rural settings, sloping sites and small allotments.
Is steel framing a specialist trade?
No, most qualified framers are able to work with both steel and timber.
Is steel framing more expensive than timber?
Steel framing is very competitively priced when compared to timber. Our frames are designed in-house with 3D CAD modelling software, this allows us to manufacture steel with little or no wastage. Steel frames are also significantly lighter than timber, this means they can be erected quickly and you will be able to move into your home sooner.
Do I need to isolate lead flashing and copper pipes from a steel frame?
Yes, lead flashing and copper pipes need to be isolated to prevent corrosion of the protective metal coating on the steel frame. These two materials can be easily separated from the frame by using nylon grommets or face fixed to the studs using plastic clips.
Because steel expands and contracts as the temperature changes, will this be a problem?
Steel expands and contracts at a similar rate to most other building materials. However, unlike timber, steel won't shrink or twist causing cracks in cornices or ceiling joints.
I am worried about a steel frame rusting, is this a problem?
Steel frames are protected against rust and corrosion as the steel undergoes a hot-dip process, in which a protective coating of zinc/aluminium is applied. This process gives the steel exceptional durability and for that extra peace-of-mind, we offer an extensive warranty on all steel that we supply.
Do I need a building permit to build a kit home?
Yes, a building permit is required to build any kit home. At Northern Rivers Building, we will be able to assist you in obtaining the required NSW Development Application (DA) approval from your local council.