100% Termite Proof
In terms of on-going home maintenance, steel also offers some significant advantages over conventional alternatives. It does not rot and is 100 percent termite proof. This is particularly relevant since the ban on organochloride chemical treatments.
Steel framing provides complete peace of mind for the homeowner as hidden structural elements cannot be attacked by termites. The same cannot be said for timber.
Timber frames and trusses can suffer termite damage without the homeowner knowing. Once a frame or truss suffers termite damage, repair costs are extremely expensive because of the inaccessibility of the framing or truss members behind walls and ceiling linings. And while there are alternative chemical treatments to organochlorides, these substitute treatments need regular re-application. And health concerns remain an issue.
Steel framing complies with the Building Code of Australia as a termite resistant material. In short, if you build with a steel frame you do not have to install physical or chemical barriers, according to the BCA.
The practical advantages of steel framing over timber are derived from the inherent strength and trueness of steel. Manufactured to strict quality criteria, steel frames and trusses are computer-designed and engineered to ensure consistent and uniform strength and quality. Steel framing is dimensionally stable over time. There is no shrinking or warping.
Steel frames can be produced in any size and shape, thus offering complete design freedom to architects and builders.
Prefabricated in controlled factory conditions
Typically, wall frames and trusses are prefabricated in the factory for ease of transport and site handling.
This also makes for speedy erection on site as each frame section fits together according to the plan.
The light weight of steel frame and truss sections is a big bonus for builders. Talk to anyone who has worked with steel frames and they will tell you there's a huge difference between handling and lifting steel and timber sections.
Typically, today's steel framing sections weigh around 1/3 of their timber equavelents and can be easily picked up and carried by one person. Working with steel makes for a less tiring day's work. It may also reduce the risk of back and other occupational health injuries.
No Twisting, Warping or Shrinking
Another major benefit for builders, as well as homeowners, is the quality of the finish of a steel-framed home. Because steel framing does not warp, twist or shrink, there is less incidence of popping nails, cracking plaster or jamming doors and windows.
Steel trusses ensure cornice and tile lines also stay uniformly straight, cutting out another cause for customer dissatisfaction or complaints.
For the builder, that means no expensive call-backs. For the homeowner, less inconvenience.