Many of the housing trends of 2015 reflect people's growing awareness of the need to conserve increasingly precious natural resources. The desire to create the healthiest, most non-toxic living environment possible is also reflected in those trends. For example, the collective quest to reduce our carbon footprint has led to a reduction in the size of homes. A few short years ago, the average size of a new home was 3,500 square feet, while the average size of a new home today is 2,300 square feet.
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In addition to the potential economic advantages of choosing a steel kit home, there are a number of health benefits as well. Lumber is susceptible to termite attacks and other insects as well as dry rot and mold. Consequently, it's often necessary to treat it with chemicals, some of which, like formaldehyde, are known carcinogens. While there are now some less toxic products available that help preserve wood by acting as fungicides and insecticides, those products are water soluble and have to be re-applied regularly.
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Steel isn't susceptible to the growth of potentially hazardous molds and mildews and requires no chemical treatment to prevent rot. It's also much more stable than wood because it isn't subject to warping, bowing, or splitting, which over time can result in creating drafts. A drafty house can mean more frequent illnesses and higher heating costs.
Another potential health benefit of a steel kit home is the exercise that do-it-yourselfers get while reducing their building costs. Many companies offer assistance with construction and meeting local building code standards, but buyers can complete as much or as little of the construction themselves as they choose. Advances in engineering have elevated prefabrication to a science and steel-framed assemblies significantly reduce framing time.
Unlike wood, steel is recyclable. In fact, approximately 500 million tons of steel are recycled every year. It's been estimated that recycling three old cars can produce enough steel to frame a 1500 square foot home. Using steel to frame homes eliminates the need to cut down trees that provide oxygen and prevent soil erosion. It also helps eliminate construction waste and reduce the size of landfills.
In addition to increasing air quality, noise reduction testing in Canada revealed that steel framed wall construction performed better than wood in reducing noise pollution. The fact that steel kit homes are less expensive than existing homes means that buyers can also treat themselves to a few extras, like skylights or solar heating, that will save them money while preserving the environment. These environmentally conscious extras also increase home values.
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Benefits of Customization
Today's steel kit homes offer some great examples of combining style with affordability. There are a variety of floor plans for every type of home, from a simple cozy guest house to a family home large enough for lavish entertainment area. To ensure that you are catering to your comfort needs, but stay within building guidelines and approvals, make sure to talk to your trusted local floor and shed specialist. The ability to customize living space according to their own unique set of circumstances is one of the reasons steel kit homes are becoming so popular.
While the price of wood often fluctuates between expensive and more expensive, the price of lightweight steel remains relatively constant. That means you can choose to add another room or rooms relatively easily and inexpensively if your circumstances change. For most families, change is not a matter of if, but when. Young children become teen-agers who often play music loud enough to make adding a music room, away from the rest of the house, a sanity-saving alternative. Travelling becomes more difficult as parents age, and adding a private bath onto the spare bedroom might encourage longer visits.
Although the history of kit homes is a relatively short one, even many framed with wood have remained standing for nearly a century. Kit homes that take advantage of the durability of steel and advanced design engineering are likely to endure even further into the future. Since steel is the world's most recycled material, the industry having achieved a recycle rate of 88% in 2012, that future just might be a greener one for us all.