General Questions

HomeFAQGeneral Questions
I am an owner builder. Why should I build in steel?

Pre fabricated wall and floor, panels can be easily handled and clearly identified for assembly, with pre-punched electrical and plumbing service holes.

Steel frames require different techniques but are quick and easy to erect. Because steel as a material has consistent strength and complies with strict standards and tight tolerances, every stud is a good stud. It is lightweight and easy to handle, and saves your time in sorting suitable pieces. There is no need to tighten the framework on site, and wastage of material is reduced.

Lastly, continual product and market development means that the demand for steel framed homes will keep increasing. A steel framed house is a quality product that delivers to the home-owner a long-term peace of mind and cost savings.

Will my builder charge more for building a steel frame?

Competitive pricing is generally available from progressive builders for standard house designs. They are generally prepared to quote competitively as they are aware that steel frames are the way of the future and the demand will continue to grow.. Steel frame suppliers like Just Kits can advise you of a suitable builder.

Are there long-term advantages?

Yes. There are ongoing savings for the home-buyer. Because steel will not burn and is termite-proof, insurers generally will offer attractive discounts on their premiums for steel framed homes. Also, the expense of ongoing anti-termite chemical treatments is avoided, and you will never have to replace your frame due to termite damage or wood rot.

Can I build on piers or a concrete slab?

Either! There are several steel floor systems available for pier design which use the very popular particleboard flooring. Direct fixing to concrete slabs is also very widely used. However, on sloping sites where limits have been imposed on the maximum depth of cut and fill, it can be far more economical to use raised steel flooring than a concrete slab.

Can a house frame be erected by the customer?

Almost all systems on the market can be installed by the customer. Indeed producers like Just Kits supply frames in kit form specifically catered for the do-it-yourself owner builder. Panels can be easily handled and are clearly labelled for assembly, and generally with pre-punched electrical and plumbing service holes. Roof trusses are labelled and easily secured to support the wall. Ceiling and roof battens are easily fixed to the trusses.

Can I add to a home at a later date?

Yes. Additions are relatively simple and present no problems to Just Kits homes. Furthermore the original steel structure will remain straight regardless of its age, making the job of lining up the extension easier than for conventional timber framing.

Can I have my home designed by Just Kits?

Yes. Not all steel frame suppliers provide this service, but Just Kits do. We have our own designs and will supply to fit the customer’s needs or design.

Do homes with steel fames look different?

To the discerning eye, yes, they look better. Walls, ceilings and roofs do not have ripples or bumps in them, with no ‘nail pops’ in the plasterboard walls, and no shrinkage problems in intermediate floor joists. Roofs of steel-framed homes do not sag over time, even under concrete tiles, so the finished houseb keeps looking good.

Does lightning-strike affect a steel-framed home?

No. Because steel creates a positive earth, the lightning will have less effect on it. The energy is conducted straight to the ground, and is not released destructively within the frame as in conventional framing or cladding.

Have steel framed homes been proven over time?

Yes. In Australia steel framing has been used successfully in housing since the early 1950’s. The Australian steel framing industry has a well-earned reputation for being highly innovative; in fact, the steel framing industry in Australia leads the world with its technology. Today’s framing represents the results of years of research, testing and development; it is a thoroughly engineered product. Lastly don’t forget that steel frames have been used in commercial buildings for many years because of their superior attributes.

How do I know the steel frames will be strong enough?

The properties of steel are known, consistent and conform to Australian Standards or their equivalent. Steel-framing components are designed around those properties. Just Kits building systems use high tensile steel components and appropriate jointing methods, and are engineered to pass strict performance tests.

How does a steel frame perform in a fire?

When a fire breaks out in a building the safety of individuals is paramount, and in this respect frame performance is of secondary importance. Unless quickly brought under control, a fire can intensify and spread at a frightening speed and therefore it is important to have warning devices installed to allow people to get out of the building as quickly as possible. Smoke and heated air and or asphyxiating gases are responsible for about 75% of fatalities in house fires.

How much flexibility do I have with design?

Freedom of design is practically unlimited. Just Kits can produce almost any one home design seen in the Australian market today. Furthermore, it is possible to produce designs in steel that cannot be done with other materials. By taking advantage of this feature a home owner can often build with less money than by using more conventional materials.

Is a steel frame really the answer?

For ongoing peace of mind the best solution to the termite threat is a steel frame. Termites cannot eat steel, while timber requires protection; organochlorine chemical treatments, which were quite effective for protecting timber, were banned some years ago on health grounds.The treatments that have taken their place are probably safer but they require re-application at regular intervals, at some trouble and expense. The alternative physical barriers are not foolproof. Because it is unseen, most people rarely think about the frame of their house. Yet any damage to the frame is very serious, often dangerous, and for most people a financial disaster.

Is a steel frame safe when exposed to a live electric wire?

Yes. Steel frames are safe because they are earthed and it is a requirement that all new housing be fitted with circuit breaking safety devices, so there is little chance of touching anything live. A broken or pierced wire in a timber frame can remain live and leaking current can cause troublesome faults and a fire risk.

Is steel framing expensive?

Not when you consider quality! A steel frame gives value for money. It is the premium quality product which sets the benchmark. It has so many advantages over timber, even top quality timber, that comparisons are rarely, if ever, valid. Timber comes in many types and grades and its price fluctuates. If compared with top quality timber, and taking into account all the benefits of steel frames,they are more than competitively priced. The fact that steel frames are increasingly in demand and steel framing suppliers continue to thrive in their business, is proof of this.

Is steel framing suitable for cyclonic areas?

Yes. Steel is used extensively in these areas because of its inherent strength. Many suppliers can adapt their framing systems for cyclonic conditions if required. It is recommended that you consult with Just Kits for details.

Steel expands or contracts with the temperature changes. Is this a problem?

Whether a steel frame is mechanically jointed or welded, in a properly constructed and insulated building then thermally induced movement and noise are no more likely than with other materials. Steel framing expands and contracts at rates not too dissimilar from other materials, which means it is unlikely that there will be noise or cornice cracking problems.

What about building approvals for Just Kits cottages & garages?

Just Kits uses Fraser Coast Building Certification for all Building Approval Applications, who cover the Wide Bay area and many Council Shires. Most Councils have similar building regulations in relation to how close to a boundary or a house you can build your garage. Just Kits can engineer any local authourity requirements.

What about the energy consumed to make steel compared with say timber?

A steel house frame is one part only of all the materials used in the construction of the house. Further, the total energy used to produce all of the materials in a house has been calculated in some studies at less than 6% of the total energy consumed in the running of the house over its lifetime.

Home-owners can make a much more substantial contribution to the environment through good designs, thoughtful orientation of the building, and the use of building materials and insulation to conserve energy consumed by air conditioning or heating over the life cycle of the home. They can install solar power, and engage in waste recycling.

They can minimise the impact of the building on a sensitive site. For example, on sloping sites the use of raised steel floors can minimise disturbance to the natural contours of the land and enable better management of storm water run-off. Storage of rainwater in tanks can contribute. Also, by using a steel frame the home-owner can do away with the ongoing use of chemicals for controlling termites.

What information does Just Kits need from me?

A site plan giving the dimension from boundary of house or other structures; a copy of the Lot and RP plan if you have one, which you can obtain from your rates notice; indication as to where you want the roller doors, windows, etc. plus colours. Also mention if you have power available and if the site is a level site.

What underlies a high-quality steel frame?

The steel in the frame is produced by quality accredited producers to appropriate National Standard Specifications. The components are precision manufactured and assembled to very tight tolerances using advanced techniques. Computer-aided design, computer-controlled, manufactured, and advanced engineering, ensure the home buyer gets the design he or she wants, and that installation is quick and easy. Strength and performance are engineered into the frame.

Why Steel Framing?

Quite simply, a frame made of steel cannot be surpassed for quality. It represents value for money and peace of mind. A steel frame is light and strong, will not burn, is termite- and borer-proof and will not shrink or warp.

Why won’t a steel frame rust?

Steel frames are made of steel that is protected against corrosion by a hot-dipped metallic coating of either zinc/aluminium alloy or zinc (galvanized).

The metallic coatings conform to the appropriate Australian standards or their equivalent. In applications such as roofing, these products are exposed to the elements and have excellent durability, so naturally in less exposed applications such as inside the building envelope they give even longer service. Where there are drill holes and cut edges the galvanic actions of the coatings would protect the exposed steel edge against corrosion.

Will a steel frame perform in any climate?

Yes. Not surprisingly steel is the preferred framing material in the extreme climate of North West Western Australia, for example, where temperature can vary more than 40 degrees Celsius in a single day.

Will I be doing the right thing to the environment if I use a steel frame?

Yes. All industries have some impact on the environment but all are making concerted efforts to reduce those impacts. The steel industry, the timber industry, and other building materials industries are required to work within government codes, which are influenced by international agreements.

Timber interests are fond of drawing attention to the carbon dioxide produced when new steel is produced, but ignore the fact that steel is 100% recyclable. and that about 60% of all steel in use in Australia has been produced from recycled scrap. They also rarely say anything about the impact on the environment of large plantations of introduced species of timber such as pine, and the consequent loss of habitat to native fauna and flora.

Why trust Just Kits?

Just Kits was established in 1973 here in Hervey Bay, employing local people and guaranteeing to provide quality products. Our product is superior in quality and our framing systems are unique.

All garages and Cottages are manufactured individually to customer’s requirements in our factory in Hervey Bay and the pre-fabricated stud wall frames are delivered to site ready to be erected.

We care about our clients’ convenience, comfort and safety, so rest assured that you will have a pleasant and hassle-free experience building your house with us.