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The Benefits Of Using Steel Beams In A Loft Conversion

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  • 02-09-2022
The Benefits Of Using Steel Beams In A Loft Conversion

What are the the benefits of using steel beams in a loft conversion? We look at the factors to consider when choosing steel or timber beams for a loft conversion.

Using Steel For Your Loft Conversion

The majority of people can't see the great potential that their loft holds. If you have ever wanted a study, playroom, or extra bedroom in your home but you think that you don't have the space, then simply grab a torch, head up to your loft, and start using your imagination.

In this country, we tend to cram our lofts full of boxes we don't know what else to do with and old TVs, but the space can easily be converted into your own private getaway. Converting a loft is a lot more affordable than having an entire home extension, and in many cases, it creates the same amount of space.

With a loft conversion, you can create a whole new perspective on your home. The possibilities and customisation options are endless. You might want to consider having a window installed that will give you access to a whole new amazing view.

Some steel beams are even specially created just for loft conversions. The steel beams are designed so they can support the structure of this whole new space, in order to give it a sturdy base. Steel beams are available in all kinds of different sizes, this means they can cater to whatever your needs are in the conversion process.

If you are planning for your steel beams to be part of the loft's visual design, then painted steel beams are available to

Choosing Steel Or Timber Beams For A Loft Conversion?

When you are planning a loft conversion, your first thoughts may be about the room's colour scheme, the carpeting you're going to choose, or whether that gorgeous sofa you saw will fit snuggly in the corner of the space.

Of course, these are all major decisions, but the first decision you will need to make is whether you are going to use steel or timber beams to support the loft's structure. Although this might not be the most exciting decision you can make, it is absolutely an important one.

Structural integrity is undoubtedly the most important factor when you are designing a loft conversion. It is very easy to put together a plan for how you are going to use the space, but the space will not be liveable if it cannot be held up properly and collapses in on itself.

Thankfully this won't happen if you pick either steel or timber structural beams, but this is still a vital decision to make. Timber has a very high tensile strength. The material is light but has fantastic strength, meaning it can easily take a surprisingly large load from above.

The downside for timber is that steel is much stronger. Steel is highly robust, meaning it can take a massive amount of weight, much more than timber is capable of. Even though both steel and timber are both great at their job, the strength that steel beams hold is completely unmatched.

Another important factor when discussing structural engineering is durability. Steel and timber beams are not very straightforward with their durability, as they are with their strength. Even though steel is generally more durable in common everyday situations, timber has a great advantage which is that it doesn't expand in high heat.

At very high temperatures, steel can expand and this expansion can often lead to all kinds of different structural breakages. This is one of the only situations where timber majorly outlasts steel, and most of the time, it will not be an issue at all.

A perk of steel is that it is resistant against the nibbling of insects and vermin, as well as rot, unlike timber which is highly susceptible. Even though steel is naturally a victim to rot, this hurdle can easily be overcome simply by using an anti-corrosion paint.

Steel and timber are both highly versatile construction materials, this means they can be used for a huge range of different designs and shapes structurally.

Timber is capable of being but into whatever shapes you require, and they can pretty much be attached to anything through using nails and bolts. Steel, on the other hand, has benefitted massively from the various advancements in modern technology.

3D modelling systems are used in order to produce steel beams, it allows them to be created to exact specifications every time. Steel also has the benefit of being able to stretch long distances without losing any of the material's structural integrity.  

Even though it may sound like a complete lie, steel is actually the cheaper of the two materials. Some would say that timber is actually a much easier material to maintain, this is because all you need to do is use simple oils to keep the wood strong and healthy.

Whereas with steel, you may need to have full repairs and replacements on the structure in order to remove any damage. Of course, this is all dependent on the damage involved in the first place. You may find that timber becomes damaged more quickly due to it being a far less durable material.

Structural Considerations

Structural integrity is vital for every loft conversion. Of course, no one wants to put their home in danger by having a badly planned and poorly supported loft conversion.

Your loft conversion company of choice will play a part in the choice of structural material, as well as giving you advice on how they will make your home structurally sound.

Steel beams are by far the most commonly used structure choice for loft conversions, this is because they offer more flexibility when it comes to structure.

Some loft conversions use timber joists that can be fitted to steel beams. Steel is also capable of spanning much longer distances than timber.

Durability Considerations

Both steel and timber are capable of providing ample support for your home and your new loft space, but when you are thinking about durability then the discussion becomes a little more complicated.

Timber is susceptible to all kinds of moisture problems and rot, as well as insect infestations. Steel beams can suffer from rust damage, but this can easily be avoided through painting and primers.

Are you looking for RSJ steel beam suppliers in London, Kent, Essex and the surrounding areas? Follow the link below to discuss your project.