Why should I choose steel for my extension?

Why should I choose steel for my extension

Steel, as a building material, lends itself perfectly to the construction industry.

With its high strength, lightweight structure and range of capabilities, structural steel has become a popular material for the construction sector, and is becoming more widely used for house building and home extensions.

Builders utilise the many benefits of structural steel for house building. With the trend for open plan living across modern properties, the material lends itself to provide large expanses of space without needing wall/pillar supports.

When considering an extension, we would always advise that the homeowner speaks with a structural engineer before going ahead.

They will be able to take on your project plan and highlight what steel/s you will need to use to ensure your building will be structurally sound and ensure the structure will pass legal building control requirements.

So, what is the type of steel used for an extension?

If you’re in a position to go ahead with a house extension, following plans being drawn up and approved, your structural engineer will recommend the types of steel structures and sections you will need.

For extensions, and for most other residential home improvement projects, universal beams and columns, in varying sizes, will most likely be the recommended sections of choice.

Also known as RSJ’s (rolled steel joists), ‘I’ beams or ‘H’ beams, universal beams/columns are particularly useful for home extensions.

They can be used to carry loads to take out existing walls, put in large windows or bi-fold doors and in general open up and/or extend an existing space.

Steel beams can be used on their own, for example, to hold up an above wall when the below is knocked out.

Alternatively, they can be connected together to create new structures for extensions or large openings for bi-fold doors using a goal post structure of two columns connected above by a beam.

They can be utilised vertically in between floors, or horizontally in ceilings, supporting the weight of the above load to stop a roof collapsing.

The strength of steel beams means that they are able to support a greater load, whilst taking up minimal space. 

What’s more, they can even easily be hidden within a building’s structure or even in the ceiling, providing the ultimate support without having to compromise on style.

Although, more recently, the popularity of ‘industrial chic’ has meant that some homeowners have kept the structural beams in view, making them a key design feature throughout the property.

Installing an RSJ is relatively straightforward, but it’s important that the correct calculations and preparations are made ahead of the installation to ensure the property will be secured.

At Steels Direct, we have 30 years of experience with structural steel, meaning we have the knowledge to help you bring your project plans to life.

If you’re considering an extension and would like to discuss how to make this a reality with the team at Steels Direct, we’ll be able to help you from start to finish.

Our team of project managers can quickly and easily provide you with expert advice and offer you a free, bespoke quotation based on the work needed.

From here, our in-house design team will produce your drawings and, once agreed, be fabricated in our state of the art facility in the Midlands.

If you’d like to discuss your project with us in more detail, or for additional advice on the structural steel sections you may need for your extension, please contact us today.