Steel House kits

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Dec 5, 2003
Arlington, Washington
Pros and cons to constructing a steel house? I live in Washington State. I would probably want a Rambler type of house. Although that is not set in stone......

Not ready to do anything now, more for in the future. Seems like they have some advantages. My Cousin said they have bouncy floors as a negative. Rust would be another one.

I like the Kodiak steel home site. I see the Rhino site that mentions that you can't buy house kits for certain states, of which my State happens to be one.....

Any comments are appreciated, especially by those who have built or do build these steel houses.

Thanks in advance!
First... Can we get a picture?

You wouldn't really have to worry about rust because most automobile rust happens from the salt on the roads in the winter and not the climate around the house... It will rust, but it will take a very long time IMO.

My dad built a steel shed using some thick gauge steel similar to that to be used in a steel house when we lived where I grew up and when we left the shed was 22 years old and looked brand new!
This is abit off base but might help...

When we went looking for a retirement place about 9 years ago we looked at a group of houses built with steel framing. The interior walls were springy and seemed to transmit noise worse than conventional construction.

If the outer walls are steel construction, you need some insulation that breaks the heat conduction path through the wall.

A metal stud or other member that is in contact with both the inner and outer walls conducts heat way worse than a wooden stud. It would also be noisier.

I like the basic idea of steel houses but they need to take care of potential noise and heat conduction paths.

Also, a outer steel sheathing won't suppress sounds like stucco, brick or wood siding.
Good points guys..........

Just saw this, mentions lower insurance cost and better resale:

For brickwork, clip-on brick ties are available, which is a great time saver. Termite management is simplified. Termites cannot destroy the steel frame. The builder is thus far less likely to be involved later in any disputes resulting from extensive termite damage. The builder also does not have to handle a chemically treated product. Householders particularly appreciate the termite-proof nature of steel as these days they are much more aware of termites and the widespread damage they inflict.

They also appreciate an immediate environment that is as free of chemicals as possible. Home owners are becoming more discerning. There are compelling reasons why interest in steel framing is on the increase. For example they are termite-proof and will not burn.

Steel is 100% recyclable. Many insurance companies offer the builder and owner-builder more favourable rates during the building process, and will offer the householder cheaper insurance on the house and contents. Resale values are often higher.
My earlier post sounded more negative than I really am about steel houses but did have some things to consider.

You wouldn't need to wear a tinfoil hat while you were in your house either.
You would have to worry about cellphone reception though... But on the plus side the Government wouldn't be able to read your thoughts so you would save a ton on Aluminum-foil!
Originally Posted By: XS650
My earlier post sounded more negative than I really am about steel houses but did have some things to consider.

I want a converted Quonset hut. Build an upper level. Have space galore!
Steel 2x4's are very popular for partition walls in offices around here. One down side is the sheetrock seems to move around a bit more with steel walls. Every time I lean on the wall at work, it make some noise. It also happens when the wind blows. Kinda in between a click/pop/creek.
steel framing is good to resist termites. I once thought it was a great idea, but I keep coming back to timber. We jsut moved to a new, old hardwood framed house, at least 70 years old... has a great warm feel to it.

Insulation would be a really big factor... that steel frame (and mass of steel) will conduct heat away from the house and into the ground and air real well.
Steel framing requires more precision in the build, whereas wood is more forgiving. It also requires the foundation to be made to more exacting tolerances.
Here's some pictures of a steel house like I lived in for 18 months courtesy of the USAF with 50+ other Airmen in Southern Turkey for 18 months in the 1960s. I would suggest staying away from that brand.

I think that one is the one directly to the West of the one I was in.

It was divided into large rooms that held 8 to 10 sweaty Airmen each. You can see some small windows down the side. In this 1969 picture there are AC units in the windows. We weren't allowed to have AC in 1963 even if we bought it ourselves.
We rented some steel house (former military housing) when I was 10. 4 rooms + bath. A centrally located in floor oil burner (you just turned a valve and threw in a lit piece of paper ). I don't even know if it was vented. Hanging pictures was a challenge. I think my mother managed to find some stick on fabric type thing with a hook on it.

My parents would point the cars toward the house when they parked. It kept the frost off of the windshield in winter.

They're still there. Just down the road from what was (maybe still is) Mazda USA.
Originally Posted By: D189379
Originally Posted By: Gary Allan

one outfit

Complete overkill for a home. You'd never recoup the extra costs.

You don't happen to represent the timber industry, do you? Just checking. There's usually a secondary or tertiary reason for thngs.

G'Kar: No one here is who they appear to be
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