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Chances are good that you grew up in a house made of wood.
When you were young, the idea of a metal house may have seemed unusual. But today, you are starting to see them crop up more and more.
With metal homes becoming such a major trend, you might even be thinking about living in one yourself.
But is a metal building home right for you?
What are the pros and cons of metal as a material for constructing a private residence?
How much would a metal home cost you?
What do metal homes look like when they are completed, and what styles are available?
Before we answer these questions in detail in our residential metal homes guide, lets look at some of our favorite builds.
Why Build Your House With Metal?
There are so many reasons why building a metal house makes sense.
It would actually be harder to answer the question, “Why not build a steel home?”
In fact, let’s break it down by going over all the advantages you can look forward to if you do go with metal for your house.
8 Benefits of Metal Homes
- Save on the overall construction costs.
We will discuss the cost of building a metal home later in this article, but for now, we will simply say that it is significantly less expensive to construct a steel home than one made out of wood. If you are building a home on a budget, metal is the way to go.
- Save on long-term maintenance costs.
You do not just save money in the short term when you build a metal house. You also save money in the long term. The maintenance costs associated with a metal home are quite a bit lower than those for a traditional wood home.
- Build a home that will last.
Wood is organic, and therefore subject to decay, even though a lumber house can last a very long time. Steel is tough and durable, and a home made out of it should be standing long after the lumber dwellings around it have fallen into disrepair.
- A metal building home can be erected quickly, conveniently and affordably.
There are multiple approaches that you can take to constructing a metal residence. Being as you can purchase prefab metal homes which come in ready-made modules or you can order a kit with factory-made components, your options are fast, simple and cost-effective.
- Customize your design.
An astonishing range of finishes are available for metal homes.
If you want your house to look like a metal home, it can. But if you would prefer to disguise it as a more traditional home, there are plenty of finishes which can help you to achieve the exact effect that you want.
Nobody looking at the home will be able to guess that it is a metal home at all if that is your preference.
- Protect the planet.
A steel residence is the eco-friendly choice. You can purchase recycled materials to build your home. Because your home should be standing long after you’re gone, it can serve future generations.
If for whatever reason a steel home is disassembled, those materials can be recycled again to build something new.
- Save on energy bills.
You might think that a metal home would be highly susceptible to temperature swings—but actually, the average metal house features a higher capacity for insulation than the average lumber house.
With more insulation installed, your home can contain heat or cool more efficiently, reducing your long-term utilities costs.
- Say goodbye to all the weaknesses of lumber.
Think about all the things you have to worry about when you construct a home out of lumber. Pests such as termites feed on wood and can compromise the structural integrity of a house. They can also be very hard to eradicate.
Wood also can rot as a result of moisture, and it is easy for a traditional home to form a leak. But sometimes it isn’t water which threatens a lumber home, but fire—something else that cannot damage a metal house.
Your steel home will be able to stand up to fire, pests, and water.
Not only will this make it last longer, but it will also reduce the number of repairs needed to keep it in excellent condition.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Using Metal?
We have now gone over some of the advantages of metal houses. But are there any drawbacks which you need to be aware of?
We may be a bit biased here but here are some things to consider.
- If you do not install extra insulation in your metal home, it will be less energy-efficient.The reason for this is because metal rapidly conducts heat through thermal bridging. This can happen even with insulation, so the regular amount will not cut it.
- It is possible for a home made out of metal to rust.This could even happen with steel if it is not galvanized. This would be most likely to be a problem if you are constructing a metal home along the coastline where there is a great deal of salt in the air. The problem is preventable, however, by choosing to build your home out of galvanized steel or galvalume steel.
- Although metal is not going to burn down in the same manner as wood, it can still be damaged by fire.And while metal is strong, like any other material, it can lose structural integrity over time if poor planning distributes too much force to some part of the frame.Even though these issues are not unique to metal as a building material, it is still worth pointing out that they exist.
Metal homes have significantly more advantages than disadvantages. And with smart planning, you can mitigate the drawbacks of metal.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Residental Metal House?
Now let’s discuss the cost of building a steel home. This can be a confusing topic and hard to give you are hard number without the specifications for your build.
At first glance, it may seem more expensive to build a metal home than to build one out of wood or another common material. The metal itself tends to cost more than those other materials do.
But this does not mean that your initial cost outlay needs to be higher. It depends on how you choose to build your home.
If you want to save money, you can purchase a steel frame kit, and then either contract with local labor or build your home yourself.
If you are selective about where you purchase your metal home kit and you take a cost-effective approach to labor, it is possible to build a metal house for significantly less than you would pay to erect a wood frame structure.
Here is approximately what you can expect to pay for a steelframe building shell with minimal finishes with for different sizes of homes:
- 1,200 square feet: $19,500
- 1,600 square feet: $28,500
- 2,000 square feet: $36,500
Note that these are just ballpark prices.
The exact cost would depend on the specific kit you purchase. For example, simple pole barn home kits with living quarters and a work shop will cost significantly less than a rigid steel frame home.
Also note that these estimates do not include the cost of delivery, laying a foundation, the construction process, or adding doors or windows or specific finishes.
Your local building codes can also play a role in the final price. If they require a specific framing system or other construction methods for prefab home kits, you may have to pay for the changes before your manufacturer starts the building project.
If by chance you are interested in building an even smaller home than 1,200 square feet, the cost could be even less than what you see listed here for a prefab steel building kit.
Both the low cost and the ease of erecting prefab metal building homes is why they have taken off in recent years. With that rise in popularity, we have seen several sub-categories of steel floor plans emerge. From tiny homes, to modular container homes to metal building conversions.
A Metal Home May Be Right For You If:
- You want to minimize the cost of building a new home.
- You would like a home that requires minimal maintenance over the years ahead and which offers greater longevity than a wood frame.
- You want to go with an eco-friendly option which is good for the environment and improves energy efficiency.
- You are ready to put in the necessary planning to ensure that your home is structurally sound and well-insulated.
- You are excited to customize your home with the style and finish you want.
While you do not need to be a DIYer to have a metal home kit constructed, steel building kits are particularly ideal for those who do enjoy DIY work and feel up to the project of building their homes themselves.
We can help you price out a kit and then sub-out the trade work or we can help you build from start to finish.