Since the middle of the 19th century, steel has been one of the most widely used construction materials. Iron lacked the strength to weight ratio. Brick and mortar had load limitations and couldn’t be built very high – but steel – WOW! Steel can be built to nearly infinite spans, it doesn’t need interior supports, and it can reach high above the clouds.
It doesn’t take an engineer to understand the cost effective, versatility of steel. And with today’s technology and finishes, a steel building doesn’t have to look like a Quonset hut or a boxy warehouse – churches, restaurants, even homes are now built from steel – and you’d be none the wiser. In fact, it’s likely that you pass several dozen steel structures on your way to work or shopping and don’t even realize it.
But other than cost and versatility, there are other reasons to build with steel.
Many communities are becoming more and more strict with codes. Some of these codes can be costly when you build with wood or even brick. Reputable steel building companies like Great Western use the highest quality materials – and are precision engineered. While wood can warp or even break under extreme conditions unless you use a whole lot of it – steel tends to maintain its integrity – it bends back to shape after a load has been removed and barring a manufacturing flaw it doesn’t warp or crack.
Based on your geography, the time of year, and even the whims of the market, the price of wood and brick can vary. Sometimes to great extremes. In November of this year the price for framing lumber jumped 25% in just 14 days! Steel on the other hand is a mature commodity. Since it can be produced in high quantities and recycled with ease, the price remains fairly consistent with inflation and market growth. This means that you don’t need to wait until the market cools to buy a steel building – you can get one today and know the price won’t change dramatically in 14 days.
When you think of recycled metal, chances are, you think of aluminum or even copper. While those metals are recycled in high quantities, you may be surprised to realize that the number one, most recycled material – not just metal – but material – is steel. In fact, nearly all current steel production uses a majority of recycled steel. Unlike many metals, steel doesn’t lose its strength during the recycling process. Does this mean it’s a ‘green’ material? Well, that’s up for debate – but what it does mean is that it’s cheaper to repurpose and easier on the environment than just about any other material except for, perhaps, stone.
A wood or brick and mortar building arrives at your jobsite in pieces that aren’t pre-engineered. This means that you need to have a skilled contractor who can make the pieces fit, on-site. This takes time – and in construction, time is money,
Steel buildings are pre-engineered and are manufactured at the factory to fit together on-site. Chances are, even with a rudimentary knowledge of construction, you can possibly even erect your metal building on your own or with minimal help from a contractor. And if you choose a quality steel building company, you won’t have any on-site surprises that will cost you time, money, and a lot of headache.
But perhaps most important in any building project is longevity. Brick and mortar might crack as the foundation settles. Wood is subject to mold, mildew, and pests like termites. Because steel is a dynamic product – which means it can move and adjust without cracking – and because steel isn’t tasty to termites, with minimal care, you can expect your steel building to stand, nearly maintenance free for many decades.
As you plan your garage, workshop, shed, barn, arena, even home, consider the wide range of finishes. Steel can be engineered to support brick or river rock facades. It can be designed with wainscot to add some variety. The interior can be sheet rocked and the interior walls can look as functional and attractive as traditional builds.
Roofing can be ceramic tile, shake shingles, even terra cotta. Add a cupola to make it really pop.
Ancient stone buildings have stood for centuries – but they were costly and took years to complete. You can expect your steel building to be around long after you are, for a fraction of the cost, and a fraction of the time.
Call Great Western now and speak to a building consultant about your options. Find out why so many people still want steel….and at the price, it’s almost a steal!