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Pros & Cons of Steel Frame Homes

Updated November 22, 2016

A steel frame house is one of the newest options available to you if you are looking at building or buying a new home. While these homes are relative newcomers to the market, they have quickly gained a following, so much so that a third of the homes built in Hawaii are now built with steel frames, according to Jobsite-us.com. While there are some advantages, there are also disadvantages that you must take into consideration.

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The durability and longevity that can be achieved with steel are definite pros of steel frame houses. Unlike wood, there is no rotting or warping, meaning that walls stay perfectly straight, and there is generally never a reason to replace any of the home's understructure. If you plan to stay in your home a long time, this will mean tremendous savings.

Bug Resistant

Though steel frame homes can have some of the same bug problems as other types of home, there are still some advantages. Bugs that bore into or eat wood, such as termites, will not find a home with a steel frame. Therefore, the major structural damage that insects do to wood will not be seen in a steel frame home.


Another pro of steel frame houses is that they can resist the most severe weather, as long as they are built to standards. Steel homes can be built both to hurricane standards and earthquake standards, so that your home remains standing and safe even in some of the most adverse circumstances.


One of the disadvantages of steel frame houses is the cost. While the cost of most steel frame materials have become increasingly competitive, to the point where they are almost equal to traditional materials, costs of construction are another matter. It takes more time to use screws than it does to use nails. In addition, screws cost more.


Another drawback to steel is in energy efficiency. Steel frame homes need additional insulation because steel itself is not a good insulator, especially when compared to lumber. Therefore, this is another area where your costs will increase. If insulation is not carefully considered, energy costs for your home will be higher, and your home will be less comfortable.


Very few home builders are skilled at constructing homes with steel frames. Finding one in your area could be a challenge, especially if you live in a rural location.

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About the Author

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.

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