When contractors, architects, and their clients think about building houses, they often use heavy wood for much of the structural support. Residential steel fabrication, however, has become a popular way to address these needs.
Is this approach right for your project? Explore 5 reasons why it might be below.
The simplest argument for structural steel fabrication is to provide more support. Generally, steel is going to beat all the commonly available types of lumber for total load-bearing ability. Short of building with something truly unusual, like old-growth hardwoods from massive trees, you're just not going to find wooden beams that provide anything close to the structural value of steel.
Some regions are too thick with pests to rely on wood for structural support. Termites and wood-boring ants and bees are among the most common sources of trouble. If a region is notably bad for these sorts of infestations, the simplest solution may be to deprive the pests of their preferred diet of wood.
Long Support Systems
Fabricated steel is often the only choice if you want to create a physically long support system. It may be possible to use a concrete column or large wooden beams to support a lengthy section, but that adds a lot of work. Likewise, it poses additional engineering challenges because you'll need to confirm that the columns or beams can handle the load.
Steel is a time-tested solution. It is popular in the construction of massively public buildings with open spaces, such as convention centers and stadiums. Anyone who wants to have a large and unobstructed open area in a house should consider residential steel fabrication solutions.
Steel materials feed into the increasingly popular industrial aesthetic in houses. Many people like the appearance of exposed metal support beams in a house, especially one with high ceilings. It can add an extremely fashionable and modern look to a home. You can combine it with brick facings to produce an old-school industrial aesthetic, or you can focus on steel for something hypermodern.
The malleability of steel during the fabrication process makes it ideal for creating unusual shapes, especially since it maintains much of its load-bearing capacity once it cools. If you want to install a curved balcony on a house, for example, this is a good way to do it if the structure also needs to bear a significant load. Many less common architectural shapes are possible, so ask the fabricator about anything you might have in mind.