If you are not careful, construction can quickly become a budget-nightmare with sky-high prices for equipment, labor, and materials. In fact, materials alone can quickly kill your budget and have you second guessing whether or not it’s even possible to complete the project.
But what if we told you that it is possible to obtain high-quality, budget-friendly building materials? Welcome to the world of cost-saving possibilities with cold-formed steel framing!
Cold-Formed Steel Explained
First, you should understand what cold-formed steel is and the realm of budget-friendly possibilities that surround it. Cold-formed steel is made from steel sheeting. It can be cut, folded, pressed, molded, and/or manipulated into whatever shape you need. Since cold-formed steel is just that (formed cold, and not with heat) cold-formed steel materials are smooth, reliable, and affordable.
Cold-formed steel also has regulatory codes that dictate manufacturing, usage, and allowable loads. When you partner with a reputable manufacturer, these regulations help protect your liability and keep your project running smoothly. Cold-formed steel framing has proven time and time again to keep your budget in check, or to get it back on track. Remember, cold-formed steel not only serves many purposes on the job, but it also solves many budget, design and construction dilemmas.
Getting MORE Out of Cold-Formed Steel
Cold-formed steel can be advantageous to many aspects of the project, and structurally it can save a significant amount of money during and after construction. For example, non-combustible cold-formed steel provides additional savings after the project is complete, because the project no longer needs an expensive sprinkler system or high-end builders risk insurance.
Sticking with cold-formed framing materials not only increases the realms of your budget, but it also expands your design and construction possibilities for foreseeable future projects. Many developers forego luxury additions to their projects, because of the additional cost. However, cold-formed steel gives you the ability to add extra architectural features without ruining your budget completely. There are even low-cost cold-formed steel design software programs available to the industry that aid in making cost-effective design and estimating decisions for a project.
Balcony and Terra Additions
Adding balconies to buildings can take extensive design effort. When it comes to apartments, hotels, and other buildings, the placement must be strategic.
The challenge of adding balconies and terraces is anticipating the appropriate support requirements. Most balconies are suspended, meaning that they are not supported by stilts or beams attached to the ground; the designer must figure out a way to support the balcony as well as additional loads of live or dead weight.
Cold-formed steel offers just the solution! You can use CFS joists and posts to support terraces and balconies, the support comes from the load-bearing wall and the placement of these materials. Another option for balconies or terraces would be the use of anchors in the roof and trusses in the floors. These anchors are built-in to provide appropriate support.
Next is bracing. Bracing is the more costly piece of the puzzle, but with cold-formed steel the cost is slashed. With a balcony the construction crew might use a shear wall bracing, and in most cases this bracing will be integrated with other forms of bracing, depending on the overall building layout.
Prefabrication of Panels
Cold-formed steel panels are increasingly popular. A project’s labor costs and timeline can greatly decrease with cold-formed steel prefabricated panels. Fabricating the wall panels offsite instead of “stick building” the structure is a process that has big payoff in the end. Wall panels are the most common piece that can be prefabricated, but you can actually have any cold-formed steel piece prefabricated. The important thing is to have the appropriate measurements and build for each setting.
For instance, an apartment complex in Ontario was completed six weeks earlier than anticipated due to pre-fabricated cold-formed steel load and non-load bearing wall panels, roof trusses and parapets, earning the developer an extra $100,000 in revenue from early rent collection! Now that’s getting MORE for LESS!!
Saving on Costs After Construction
Cold-formed steel can be conducive to managing your budget before, during, and after the project is completed. Here are a few ways you might continue saving with cold-formed steel after the fact.
- No risk of termites or pests that will cause rot and decay
- Reduced insurance costs
- Reduced risk of fire or mold
- More flexibility
- Longer building life
Luxury apartments, high rises, and residential properties alike all can benefit from the use of cold-formed steel. With cold-formed steel framing you not only see increased cost savings for the initial construction materials, but the savings for the life of your structure really adds up! Cold-formed steel is certainly the way to go to keep your project on budget, and to get more “bang for your buck”.
Learn more about how cold-formed steel can be applied in your upcoming projects, by contacting our team today.