Frequently Asked Questions
Why Steel Framing?
Very simply, a steel frame is a high quality product. It represents value for money and brings peace of mind. A steel frame is light and strong, it will not burn, it is termite, borer, and fungus-proof, and it will not shrink or warp. It is environmentally responsible, low on life cycle energy usage, recyclable and saves valuable timber resources.
Is Steel Framing Expensive?
No. Steel framing is very competitive on price, particularly when you consider its quality. A steel frame gives value for money. It is a premium quality product that sets the benchmark. The fact is that discerning buyers are increasingly demanding steel frames. A Steel Frame Solutions frame remains straight and true, even if exposed to the weather for an extended time.
Why Won't A Steel Frame Rust?
Steel frames are made of steel protected against corrosion by a hot-dipped metallic coating of a zinc-aluminium alloy. These coatings conform to the appropriate Australian standards or their equivalent. In external applications such as roofing these products are exposed to the elements and have excellent durability, so in less exposed applications such as inside the building envelope they weather more slowly. Where there are cut edges the galvanic action, or sacrificial protection, of the coatings protects the exposed steel edge against corrosion.
Will A Steel Frame Perform In Any Climate?
Yes. Not surprisingly steel is the preferred framing material in the extreme climate of North West Western Australia, for example, where temperatures can vary more than 40 degrees Celsius in a single day. Our frames are also able to be engineered for cyclone ratings without the need for cyclone rods or bracing ply.
Will My Builder Charge More For Building A Steel Frame?
Competitive pricing is generally available from progressive builders for standard house designs. Progressive builders are aware that steel frames are the way of the future, and are generally prepared to quote competitively. A premium product at a competitive price.
Does Lightning Strike Impact A Steel Framed Home?
No. Because steel creates a positive earth the lightning has less effect. The energy is conducted straight to the ground and is not released destructively within the frame as in conventional framing or cladding.
Have Steel Framed Buildings Been Proven Over Time?
Yes. In Australia steel framing has been used successfully in housing since the early 1950s. The Australian steel framing industry has a well-earned reputation for being highly innovative. Today’s framing represents the results of years of research, testing and product improvement. It is a thoroughly engineered product. In responding to the needs of the Australian customer, the steel framing industry in Australia leads the world with its technology. Don’t forget that steel frames have been used in commercial buildings for many years because of their superior attributes.
Is A Steel Frame Safe When Exposed To A Live Electric Wire?
Yes. Steel frames are safe because they are earthed. It is a requirement that all new housing be fitted with circuit breaking safety devices, so there is little chance of you touching anything live. A broken or pierced wire in a timber frame can remain live and leaking current can cause troublesome faults and pose afire risk.
What Underlies The Quality Of A Steel Frame?
The TRUECORE® steel in a Castle Evolution frame is produced by BlueScope Steel, a quality-accredited producer to appropriate National Standard Specifications. The components are precision manufactured and assembled to very tight tolerances using the latest technology in Cold Formed Steel manufacturing. Computer-aided design, computer-controlled manufacture, and advanced engineering, ensure the home buyer gets the design he or she wants, and that installation is quick and easy. Strength and performance are engineered into the frame.
Is Steel Framing Termite Resistant?
Fabricated steel frames are by nature termite, borer and fungus proof and do not need to be treated with insecticides. Steel frames satisfy the requirements of the National Construction Code for termite resistant materials. As per the building code and applicable areas, other additional termite barriers may need to be installed to protect other building materials on the project.
Can A House Frame Be Erected By The Customer?
Our system can be installed by the customer. Panels are easily handled and are clearly identified for assembly, with pre-punched electrical and plumbing service holes. Roof trusses are easily identified and easily secured to support the walls. Ceiling and roof battens are easily fixed to the trusses.
How Does A Steel Frame Perform in A Fire?
Smoke and heated air and/or asphyxiating gases are responsible for about 75% of fatalities in house fires. A steel frame will not burn. It will not therefore contribute to the fire or its spreading, and will not release smoke and carbon dioxide. Electrical faults cause many fires in wall cavities. An electrical fault cannot ignite a steel frame. If fire gets into the ceiling and ignites timber trusses it can spread very rapidly to the rest of the house. In a bushfire the point of ignition is often the roof cavity when burning embers are blown in under the eaves or tiles. House fires have been known to break through ceilings into the roof cavity. A steel roof truss cannot be ignited in either of these ways.
Can I Extend Or Renovate At A Later Date?
Yes. Additions are relatively simple and pose no problems. Furthermore the existing steel structure will remain straight and true regardless of its age, making the job of lining up the extension easy.
Does A Steel Frame Interfere With Radio Or Television Reception?
No. Electro-magnetic waves can diffract around steel as easily as timber. Waves pass through the spaces between the studs, allowing the use of all household appliances without any interference.
How Much Flexibility Do I Have With Design?
Freedom of floor plan and architectural style is practically unlimited. Castle Evolution can produce almost any one, two or three-storey home designs seen in the Australian market today. Furthermore, it is possible to produce designs in steel that are difficult with other materials. By taking advantage of this feature the owner can often build with less expense than by using more conventional materials.
Do Homes With Steel Frames Look Different?
Yes, they look better. Walls, ceilings and roofs do not have ripples or bumps in them and there are no “nail pops” in the plasterboard linings. Roofs of steel-framed homes do not sag over time, even under concrete tiles, so the finished job keeps looking good. In fact because of steel’s strength you can design your home with larger open spaces whilst the exterior looks like any normal home.
Steel Expands And/Or Contracts With Temperature Changes. Is This A Problem?
In a properly constructed and insulated home thermally induced movement is not an issue. Steel framing expands and contracts at rates not too dissimilar from the other materials used in building, which means it is unlikely that there will be noise or cornice cracking problems.
I Am A Builder. Why Should I Build In Steel?
Steel frames represent the future of house framing. Continual product improvements and consumer awareness means that demand for steel-framed homes will keep increasing. People are more conscious than ever of the ever-increasing threat from termites. You can build the major termite management into the building, rather than add it on. A steel-framed house is a quality product that delivers to the customer long-term peace of mind and cost savings. Call backs are reduced and your reputation can be enhanced. Although steel frames require slightly different techniques they are quick and easy to erect. Because steel has consistent strength and complies with strict standards and tight tolerances, every stud is a good stud. Steel frames are lightweight and easy to handle, time is not lost sorting to select suitable pieces, there is no need to straighten framework on-site, and wastage of material is reduced.
What Is The Warranty On TRUECORE® Steel?
TRUECORE® steel used in Castle Evolution’s wall frames and trusses come with a 50 year warranty* from BlueScope Steel. A great reassurance in anyone’s book! For more information on the 50 year warranty, including the terms and conditions, visit BlueScope Steel’s warranty website.