Author Topic: Steel! The perfect housing option?  (Read 11808 times)

ModernIncantations

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Steel! The perfect housing option?
« on: April 05, 2015, 02:18:39 AM »
Greetings!


I have been searching for the cheapest, most practical way to obtain a relatively normal, smallish house for my family so that I
can avoid a mortgage and live a more free life.

Anything that looks better than your run-of-the-mill, backwoods murder shack runs > $75,000 in Georgia. Existing home purchase (probably)
ruled out. My journey then lead me through all kinds of construction types (rammed earth, concrete, underground, normal wood), but the
costs always outweighed buying existing.

...until steel.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DuroSPAN-Steel-30x35x14-Metal-Building-Kits-Factory-DiRECT-Custom-Roof-System/291418438004?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29268%26meid%3Df4be9d97a803408f86058339632ba71a%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D200906775730

I realize this building would be nearly uninsulated. Is there a way to fix that? I'm going to tally the very rough estimates I think it would
take to turn this building into a working home below. I'd love your expertise on the matter. Is this a pipe dream? I intend to supply my
own labor and learn as I go.

Land, transaction costs: $20,000
Permits, power, gas, water, sewer hookups: $10,000
Misc. contractors for electrical, plumbing: $3,000
Foundation: $5,000

Option 1 (curved steel frame):
Structure, end caps, doors, windows: $9,000
Insulation: ??? ($3,000) for some creative coating inside or out
Interior finish for 2 BR, 1 BA, kitchen, living room: $15,000

Total: $65,000 for a unique, solid home on 1 acre

Option 2 (http://www.budgethomekits.com/):
Complete home + interior studs: $33,000
Interior finish: $13,000

Total: $84,000 for a brand new, seemingly normal home on 1 acre

TLDR: How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 02:20:55 AM by ModernIncantations »

deborah

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 02:52:48 AM »
If you ring them, they will tell you how to insulate it - the entry says they can supply insulation.

Irishtache

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 04:58:08 AM »

MDM

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 06:27:37 AM »
How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?
You have hit on the issue that caused a friend in Louisiana to abandon steel.  He wanted it for various reasons, including termite resistance.  He decided against it after various contractors told him the I-beams were great heat pipes and his cooling costs would soar.

That was some years ago so things may have improved - but you are asking a great question.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2015, 08:08:01 AM »
How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?
You have hit on the issue that caused a friend in Louisiana to abandon steel.  He wanted it for various reasons, including termite resistance.  He decided against it after various contractors told him the I-beams were great heat pipes and his cooling costs would soar.

That was some years ago so things may have improved - but you are asking a great question.
Bingo--the steel beams will be massive thermal bridges--you'll have to insulate them as well to minimize heating/cooling costs.

ModernIncantations

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2015, 02:14:44 PM »
If you ring them, they will tell you how to insulate it - the entry says they can supply insulation.

Good idea. I'll see what they have to say and report back here. It seems like others here are confirming heat transfer issues

Doubleh

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2015, 02:54:39 PM »
I live in a steel house, although technically it's a canal boat. I'd suggest looking at steel boat building information and techniques as much of it is probably relevant. I've lived on both poorly and well insulated boats and is true good insulation makes a huge difference. Good practice in boat building is to coat the entire inside of the shell with a good thick layer of expanded foam insulation before lining and fitting out, with this treatment our current boat holds heat in pretty well even in a London winter.

A big downside of steel as a construction material is that it is very prone to rusting, you should give some thought to this. Good painting is very important to protect the steel, and will need regular touching up and repainting to preserve the surface.

Good luck!

ModernIncantations

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 02:59:23 PM »
Thanks for the tip! That does sound similar

I live in a steel house, although technically it's a canal boat. I'd suggest looking at steel boat building information and techniques as much of it is probably relevant. I've lived on both poorly and well insulated boats and is true good insulation makes a huge difference. Good practice in boat building is to coat the entire inside of the shell with a good thick layer of expanded foam insulation before lining and fitting out, with this treatment our current boat holds heat in pretty well even in a London winter.

A big downside of steel as a construction material is that it is very prone to rusting, you should give some thought to this. Good painting is very important to protect the steel, and will need regular touching up and repainting to preserve the surface.

Good luck!

HipGnosis

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 10:41:12 AM »
I live in a steel house, although technically it's a canal boat. I'd suggest looking at steel boat building information and techniques as much of it is probably relevant. I've lived on both poorly and well insulated boats and is true good insulation makes a huge difference. Good practice in boat building is to coat the entire inside of the shell with a good thick layer of expanded foam insulation before lining and fitting out, with this treatment our current boat holds heat in pretty well even in a London winter.

A big downside of steel as a construction material is that it is very prone to rusting, you should give some thought to this. Good painting is very important to protect the steel, and will need regular touching up and repainting to preserve the surface.

Good luck!
Your two bits of information seem to contradict.
How do you repaint when it's been covered in thick expanding foam?

JLee

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 11:32:48 AM »
I live in a steel house, although technically it's a canal boat. I'd suggest looking at steel boat building information and techniques as much of it is probably relevant. I've lived on both poorly and well insulated boats and is true good insulation makes a huge difference. Good practice in boat building is to coat the entire inside of the shell with a good thick layer of expanded foam insulation before lining and fitting out, with this treatment our current boat holds heat in pretty well even in a London winter.

A big downside of steel as a construction material is that it is very prone to rusting, you should give some thought to this. Good painting is very important to protect the steel, and will need regular touching up and repainting to preserve the surface.

Good luck!
Your two bits of information seem to contradict.
How do you repaint when it's been covered in thick expanding foam?
Paint on the outside, insulation on the inside?

waffle

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 02:12:53 PM »
Now I'm really interested in these kinds of houses. I'm hoping to do a job/location change soon that would involve the chance to build a house on some free ground, and after doing a quick google search for steel home kits its definitely something that I want to look into more. The prices look pretty affordable (depending on what you use to finish the interior) and since most seem to come as pre engineered kits it would be pretty simple to DIY.

Doubleh

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2015, 02:31:05 PM »
I live in a steel house, although technically it's a canal boat. I'd suggest looking at steel boat building information and techniques as much of it is probably relevant. I've lived on both poorly and well insulated boats and is true good insulation makes a huge difference. Good practice in boat building is to coat the entire inside of the shell with a good thick layer of expanded foam insulation before lining and fitting out, with this treatment our current boat holds heat in pretty well even in a London winter.

A big downside of steel as a construction material is that it is very prone to rusting, you should give some thought to this. Good painting is very important to protect the steel, and will need regular touching up and repainting to preserve the surface.

Good luck!
Your two bits of information seem to contradict.
How do you repaint when it's been covered in thick expanding foam?
Paint on the outside, insulation on the inside?

Good question and yes, that's the plan - insulation is on the inside which is sheltered, paint on the outside which is exposed to the weather.  Slightly longer answer is that one of the biggest problems to look for when buying an older steel boat is corrosion on the internal surfaces as it is hidden away and cannot be checked or protected; condensation can gather and cause rusting if the insulation is not adhered to the steel.

Good sprayed insulation not only reduces the condensation but also forms a barrier against the inside of the steel so protecting it, and so is preferable to even good loose panels of insulation.

ModernIncantations

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2015, 07:54:00 PM »
Now I'm really interested in these kinds of houses. I'm hoping to do a job/location change soon that would involve the chance to build a house on some free ground, and after doing a quick google search for steel home kits its definitely something that I want to look into more. The prices look pretty affordable (depending on what you use to finish the interior) and since most seem to come as pre engineered kits it would be pretty simple to DIY.

I tried to gather figures for all the other costs (which you can see add up to a significant amount), but reply here if you refine my figures. What were your figures for interior finish? Any better options other than drywall + wooden studs?

There must be some way for the creative and hard-working to get a better deal than what I have listed here. Any brainstorming is welcome!

waffle

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 08:00:27 AM »
I don't really have an estimate on interior finishing since I'm still in the general looking at options phase, but it would vary widely depending on the size of house, the materials you choose (expensive custom cabinets vs. home depot prefab), and how much of the work you hire out.  You didn't specify the size of the kit you wanted, but just my very rough guess I'd budget at least $10-15/square foot for finishing.

theoverlook

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 10:22:46 AM »
Something to keep in mind is to look at the cost of traditional stick built house.  I bought steel trusses hoping to save money on building my last garage but it ended up not really any cheaper - 2x6s and plywood are really cheap in the scheme of things.  $10k would pay for enough to put together a pretty decent sized house!

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2015, 10:51:54 AM »
Out of your two options, if forced to choose, I would take the more traditional style kit house. Quonset style buildings have serious issues once you turn them into dwellings, in particular they are difficult and expensive to modify, and add interiors to. Curved walls, heavy ribs in the exterior shell and awkward use of space are obstacles. When it comes to more traditional steel stud framing like the kit houses, you might want to do some Googling regarding real world R-values and thermal bridging. Bottom line with a steel stud assembly is that you cannot simply add up various components and derive an R value, lab testing indicates that you actually end up with a 35-50% loss due to the conductivity of the steel framing. Here in the northeast, we had a blip in the steel framing market a while back, when a few outfits were selling the idea as the greatest thing ever. Not only were the finished products extraordinarily difficult and expensive to heat,  they also had interesting black stripes on the ceilings where the interior water vapor condensed on the cool steel rafters, and developed black mold on the painted sheetrock. Also, don't forget that EVERYTHING about finishing the mechanical systems, and interior of a steel stud house is different. Running Romex to wall outlets? You need a special punch, protective bushings, cable straps and screws, and metal electrical boxes. Installing kitchen cabinets? Did you remember to add wood blocking everywhere you need it, so you have something to screw to?  Baseboard and casings going up?  Do you know that they need to be screwed to the walls with special screws, and  then there are hundreds (or thousands) of holes to putty, sand and paint?
Every system has it's good and bad points, and every marginal idea has vocal proponents. There is a reason that, in most markets,  the vast majority of single family homes are everything but steel framing.

waffle

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2015, 01:05:05 PM »
Out of your two options, if forced to choose, I would take the more traditional style kit house. Quonset style buildings have serious issues once you turn them into dwellings, in particular they are difficult and expensive to modify, and add interiors to. Curved walls, heavy ribs in the exterior shell and awkward use of space are obstacles. When it comes to more traditional steel stud framing like the kit houses, you might want to do some Googling regarding real world R-values and thermal bridging. Bottom line with a steel stud assembly is that you cannot simply add up various components and derive an R value, lab testing indicates that you actually end up with a 35-50% loss due to the conductivity of the steel framing. Here in the northeast, we had a blip in the steel framing market a while back, when a few outfits were selling the idea as the greatest thing ever. Not only were the finished products extraordinarily difficult and expensive to heat,  they also had interesting black stripes on the ceilings where the interior water vapor condensed on the cool steel rafters, and developed black mold on the painted sheetrock. Also, don't forget that EVERYTHING about finishing the mechanical systems, and interior of a steel stud house is different. Running Romex to wall outlets? You need a special punch, protective bushings, cable straps and screws, and metal electrical boxes. Installing kitchen cabinets? Did you remember to add wood blocking everywhere you need it, so you have something to screw to?  Baseboard and casings going up?  Do you know that they need to be screwed to the walls with special screws, and  then there are hundreds (or thousands) of holes to putty, sand and paint?
Every system has it's good and bad points, and every marginal idea has vocal proponents. There is a reason that, in most markets,  the vast majority of single family homes are everything but steel framing.

What is the difference between commercial steel buildings and residential that causes those problems in a residential home, but (at least I've never heard of it) not in commercial buildings? Are steel home kits just generally not assembled/finished right right?

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2015, 08:31:26 AM »
Out of your two options, if forced to choose, I would take the more traditional style kit house. Quonset style buildings have serious issues once you turn them into dwellings, in particular they are difficult and expensive to modify, and add interiors to. Curved walls, heavy ribs in the exterior shell and awkward use of space are obstacles. When it comes to more traditional steel stud framing like the kit houses, you might want to do some Googling regarding real world R-values and thermal bridging. Bottom line with a steel stud assembly is that you cannot simply add up various components and derive an R value, lab testing indicates that you actually end up with a 35-50% loss due to the conductivity of the steel framing. Here in the northeast, we had a blip in the steel framing market a while back, when a few outfits were selling the idea as the greatest thing ever. Not only were the finished products extraordinarily difficult and expensive to heat,  they also had interesting black stripes on the ceilings where the interior water vapor condensed on the cool steel rafters, and developed black mold on the painted sheetrock. Also, don't forget that EVERYTHING about finishing the mechanical systems, and interior of a steel stud house is different. Running Romex to wall outlets? You need a special punch, protective bushings, cable straps and screws, and metal electrical boxes. Installing kitchen cabinets? Did you remember to add wood blocking everywhere you need it, so you have something to screw to?  Baseboard and casings going up?  Do you know that they need to be screwed to the walls with special screws, and  then there are hundreds (or thousands) of holes to putty, sand and paint?
Every system has it's good and bad points, and every marginal idea has vocal proponents. There is a reason that, in most markets,  the vast majority of single family homes are everything but steel framing.

What is the difference between commercial steel buildings and residential that causes those problems in a residential home, but (at least I've never heard of it) not in commercial buildings? Are steel home kits just generally not assembled/finished right right?

There are huge differences in the hows and whys of residential, compared to commercial and insititutional construction. I did a ten year run of supervising construction on new institutional and commercial buildings. The bottom line, from what I observed, is that energy usage is not nearly a priority in bigger buildings. Spaces are hugely different, for example, usable space to exterior surface area is far greater in a lot of non-residential designs. Steel framing on exterior walls is frequently covered by a few inches of foam on the exterior, prior to exterior finishes, and roofs are generally flat with several layers of foam under the roofing material. Although there are some exceptions, generally in this climate (northeastern US ) steel structures are designed to keep the steel fairly well thermally isolated from the exterior.  This can be done, to a lessor degree, with light gauge steel framing in residential work, but there are LOTS of potential downfalls, and the market in this area has determined that the cost/benefit analysis doesn't pan out. All this applies to light gauge traditional framing, and not the OP's other question about inhabiting a quonset hut, which is IMHO, a bad idea for too many reason to count.

HipGnosis

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2015, 08:43:35 AM »
How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?
You have hit on the issue that caused a friend in Louisiana to abandon steel.  He wanted it for various reasons, including termite resistance.  He decided against it after various contractors told him the I-beams were great heat pipes and his cooling costs would soar.

That was some years ago so things may have improved - but you are asking a great question.
Bingo--the steel beams will be massive thermal bridges--you'll have to insulate them as well to minimize heating/cooling costs.
I just found out that there are companies using steel siding and/or roofing over pole-barn type frames.  Interesting hybrids.
I've also seen buildings (commercial) that had the frame-beams on the outside of the rest of the building.  That eliminates the thermal bridge issue.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2015, 09:09:45 AM »
How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?
You have hit on the issue that caused a friend in Louisiana to abandon steel.  He wanted it for various reasons, including termite resistance.  He decided against it after various contractors told him the I-beams were great heat pipes and his cooling costs would soar.

That was some years ago so things may have improved - but you are asking a great question.
Bingo--the steel beams will be massive thermal bridges--you'll have to insulate them as well to minimize heating/cooling costs.
I just found out that there are companies using steel siding and/or roofing over pole-barn type frames.  Interesting hybrids.
I've also seen buildings (commercial) that had the frame-beams on the outside of the rest of the building.  That eliminates the thermal bridge issue.
Fascinating!  Do you happen to have some links about those external-frame steel buildings?

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2015, 01:31:09 PM »
I just found out that there are companies using steel siding and/or roofing over pole-barn type frames.  Interesting hybrids.
I've also seen buildings (commercial) that had the frame-beams on the outside of the rest of the building.  That eliminates the thermal bridge issue.

Pole barns, with steel roofing and siding (think tin roofing in various colors)  have been an economical staple of most agricultural areas of North America for at least fifty years. There is a small subset of users who either build one as a home, or convert the interior of one to living space. As for a steel exoskeleton, it sounds like WAY more money that you are looking to spend. Not only that there are maintenance issues, exposed structural steel needs to be cleaned, and painted on a pretty regular basis, but the thermal bridging issue doesn't necessarily go away. The loads of the building, including dead, live and wind loading, all need to be transferred to the exterior structure, via structural steel that penetrates the outside skin of the building, so the bridging issue could be, in fact, worse.

Glenstache

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2015, 07:11:22 PM »
Regardless of the details of your material choices, as a first-time builder I highly recommend you check out this book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Real-Goods-Independent-Builder/dp/0930031857

Even better if you can find it at your library, used or what not. The intro sections are excellent for getting your mind in the right place. One of the conclusions of the author is that when everything is tallied up, you will have a hard time beating stick-built construction for cost per square foot. Pole barn type construction may be competitive, but is a bit non-standard for residential so may have hidden costs. Those poles will also be thermal bridges (wood isn't a great insulator). The place you will save money is building less square footage, within reason, and doing as much as you can on your own. Park model mobile homes can be cost effective per square foot, but are typically poorly insulated leading to longer term energy costs and maintenance issues.

Also remember that your structure is building value and part of your net worth, so be wary of making something that nobody would ever want to buy should you decide to up and move elsewhere.

Some of your costs for electrical and concrete work seemed optimistic.

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2015, 07:46:21 PM »
I generally agree with glenstashe's post.  I really don't get the comment regarding wood posts being an issue, given that most wood has at least a nominal R value, with steel being quite the opposite. Pole barn type structures are not competitive with stick building, they are actually dramatically cheaper. The biggest issue with them is clearly delineated in Glenstashe's final comment, when used as a residence, they are strange and of limited value to most potential buyers. Finally , park model homes are the smallest of the mobile home products available. they are strictly limited in size, max of 400 sq. ft. IIRC, built and titled as an RV, and not allowed in most areas outside of property zoned as campgrounds. 

lakemom

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2015, 06:27:37 AM »
Greetings!


I have been searching for the cheapest, most practical way to obtain a relatively normal, smallish house for my family so that I
can avoid a mortgage and live a more free life.

Anything that looks better than your run-of-the-mill, backwoods murder shack runs > $75,000 in Georgia. Existing home purchase (probably)
ruled out. My journey then lead me through all kinds of construction types (rammed earth, concrete, underground, normal wood), but the
costs always outweighed buying existing.

...until steel.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DuroSPAN-Steel-30x35x14-Metal-Building-Kits-Factory-DiRECT-Custom-Roof-System/291418438004?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29268%26meid%3Df4be9d97a803408f86058339632ba71a%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D200906775730

I realize this building would be nearly uninsulated. Is there a way to fix that? I'm going to tally the very rough estimates I think it would
take to turn this building into a working home below. I'd love your expertise on the matter. Is this a pipe dream? I intend to supply my
own labor and learn as I go.

Land, transaction costs: $20,000
Permits, power, gas, water, sewer hookups: $10,000
Misc. contractors for electrical, plumbing: $3,000
Foundation: $5,000

Option 1 (curved steel frame):
Structure, end caps, doors, windows: $9,000
Insulation: ??? ($3,000) for some creative coating inside or out
Interior finish for 2 BR, 1 BA, kitchen, living room: $15,000

Total: $65,000 for a unique, solid home on 1 acre

Option 2 (http://www.budgethomekits.com/):
Complete home + interior studs: $33,000
Interior finish: $13,000

Total: $84,000 for a brand new, seemingly normal home on 1 acre

TLDR: How can I insulate a steel building? Is this as advantageous as it seems?

No comments on steel buildings per se BUT have you actually talked to contractors in your area for estimates on the additional costs associated with building a house?  In my area power water etc. would run closer to 20k unless you were to find a lot within a town/subdivision that has city water/sewer then it would be closer to 10-12k.  Also 5k for a foundation seems extremely low even for just a slab (no crawl/basement) and would that figure include site prep (scraping off topsoil, building a sand base, setting forms and pouring finishing the concrete) or is that just a figure for the concrete?  Even with a relatively flat parcel just site prep would run the 5k you quoted and that would be without the forming, pouring, finishing.  Misc. for plumbing and heating seem low too unless you plan to do all the work yourself and just have someone certify it for inspections.  In my area wiring a whole house (this would include electrician supplying all materials) runs at least 2X that amount.  Please be careful of getting very solid numbers BEFORE making a decision that building will be more affordable than buying and existing house.

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2015, 09:18:28 AM »
Lakemom makes many excellent points. I FIREd as a small homebuilder about a year and a half ago. I did all my own mechanical work on every house. My material bill for a small two bath house, including all electrical and plumbing materials was roughly 2-1/2 to 3  times your estimate. Subcontracting the work would put it in the $12-15K range. $5K for contracted foundation work is going to get absolutely nowhere. The very least I could spend on a small simple foundation, crawl space and thin slab over stone, was $8K. In this region the cost of concrete work has more than doubled in the last 10-12 years. In all of her other comments lakemom is dead on, dollar wise, in my market.

Pooja Sharma

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2015, 11:18:48 PM »
I like the concept of steel house

Well i would like to share some pictures with you all


MetalCap

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2015, 09:49:20 AM »
Keep in mind that many areas require the steel to be fireproofed regardless of size of structure.  This can be a huge headache if not accounted for.

bostonjim

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2015, 07:48:41 AM »
Keep in mind that many areas require the steel to be fireproofed regardless of size of structure.  This can be a huge headache if not accounted for.

But... but... the 9/11 truthers have assured me that fire can't do anything to steel structures!  They can't be wrong, can they?

paddedhat

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2015, 02:23:41 PM »
Keep in mind that many areas require the steel to be fireproofed regardless of size of structure.  This can be a huge headache if not accounted for.

But... but... the 9/11 truthers have assured me that fire can't do anything to steel structures!  They can't be wrong, can they?

Talk about crazy bastards, eh? I once watched a garbage transfer station go down in flames. It was an all steel, clear span building. The next day each one of the huge steel I-beam style arches,  spanning the structure, was laying on the slab, the upright steel columns were bent in giant loops. Their bases were still bolted to the foundation, and they were still firmly attached to the trusses, but they had gotten hot enough to bend like putty and form tall hoops. The entire scene was like a giant modern art project. Of course the towers were a whole different story, and the construction method of floor panels, lightly attached to the exterior exoskeleton, makes for some interesting reading. 

MetalCap

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2015, 10:37:10 AM »
Even adequately fireproofed steel columns can lose integrity when exposed to severe heat (jet fuel).  The biggest key now is to design progressive collapse buildings to prevent Multiple floor failures.  Sucks for people on that floor but not bad for the people above and below.

HipGnosis

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2015, 10:25:08 AM »
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

bandito

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2015, 03:58:02 PM »
I work in the metal framing drywall industry and have seen homes built with basically 14g and 16g studs which can be with no need for structural steel i-beams and columns but the depends on the size of your project.  This would something an engineer would have to design not necessarily a contractor. Once you have the drawings stamped by a licensed engineer you could proceed building your project yourself.  Personally I find that a steel and wood hybrid is best using wood where its better than steel and steel where its better than wood. You could also look into insulated concrete blocks.

shadowmoss

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Re: Steel! The perfect housing option?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2015, 04:31:00 AM »
Not sure how they are cost-wise, but have you looked at building with SIP panels?  Some of the tiny homes folks have built with them.  The insulation is all part of the panel.  Kind of a large sandwich.  No links at the moment.

EDITED TO ADD:  the first duckduckgo link that came up to show the idea:
http://www.sishomes.com/

EDITED AGAIN:  Here is another process.  Supposed to be easier and cheaper with better insulation:
http://www.thermobuilt.com/Home_Page.html

I work a boring job and have internet access...
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 04:48:22 AM by shadowmoss »