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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/11/2006


After countless hours reading other posts, I'm finally posting my own. My husband and I are planning to build in New Orleans around Feb or March of next year. I have been weighing panelized construction against conventional steel framing. The concept of panelization is fabulous. (if anyone needs info on TechBuilt, Platinum Advanced Technologies, ThermaSteel, and Premium Steel I have tons of great info. I like them all.) However, I'm leaning towards conventional steel framing, because of a lack of local labor understanding the panelized system. I need opinions on pricing.

My house is 5,500 sq. ft. of living, 1,000 sq. ft. detached garage and 1,600 sq. ft. wraparound porch. The price I got for the steel includes, roof trusses, int. and ext. walls, and floor joists (including porches). Total price $80,000. Cost for labor $68,500. Any comments are welcome. I have two bids from before Hurricane Katrina and I can't really use those for comparison, considering...

Thanks.

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/11/2006


Heidi, welcome to the green building section!

Before I can address your questions, I have a few to pose first.

1) How long do you intend to live in the area?
2) How far above sea level is your building site or miles from the coast?
3) How likely are you to suffer severe hurricane damage?
4) What do you want left after the next hurricane hits?

Green building is part of the discussion of "sustainability". So there are numerous questions that affect your home which are more climate- and region-related than your personal short-term goals.

Dale

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/12/2006


I panelized the framing for a house a couple of years ago. The company that made all the walls and trusses actually installed them for me, saving them from some other framing crew messing them up or not installing in the right place.

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/12/2006


Dale, thanks for the reply.

I'll try to answer your questions.

1) We plan on staying in this home until it blows down or floats away. (Or someone offers us too much $$)
2) I think the land itself is about 4' above sea level. This might sound strange to westerners, but consider that much of the city is actually below sea level. Our property is on the Mississippi River. The house pad itself sits about 1,500 ft. from the river. Our property is directly across the street from the levee (these are not the levees brilliantly constructed by the Army Corp. along the canals that broke during the storm). This is the highest ground available in New Orleans.
3) Hurricane damage is, at best, a wild guess. I have been in New Orleans for 14 yrs. We often get hit by tropical storms, but as you know Katrina kicked our @#$. Anyway, we're going to do our part to rebuild this city. At this time we need a bigger home and we were planning to do this in July of 2005 anyway.
4) Since I'm still a little sensitive about the whole Hurricane Katrina thing I won't answer this question.

The reasons we are looking at panelization are:

1) To quickly enclose the structure (hurricane season starts in June and lasts until November).
2) I really like the combination of high R-value insulation and steel framing.
3) One-stop shopping (sort of). Each company offers benefits, but only ThermaSteel and Premium offered a complete pkg.

My concerns fall upon the actual frame-up. Can I find a crew that has some experience? Do I want to be a guinea pig for this type of construction in New Orleans? Will the structure actually go up in 10 days? This is why I was looking into traditional steel framing.

*************NEWS FLASH*****The TechBuilt rep. called me today, and said that because he wants to work on this project (I guess to establish business in our area) he will help me get the steel framing pkg. for the interior as well as provide a trained crew to put up the structure. He thinks the price I received for steel framing and materials is too high, so I told him to go ahead a price up a pkg. for me and let's compare.

I could go on and on, but I don't want you to stop reading out of boredom, so I'll stop for now. Do you have any more suggestions?

Thanks.

Heidi

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By Bret in Rhome, TX on 12/13/2006


Heidi,

We bought a stock 3/2/2 single-story all-steel 5.5-in. exterior/3.4-in. interior walls and all roof trusses, a little over 2,000 sq ft, from Rhino Bldg. for just at $20,000 delivered. One labor quote was $12,000. We did it ourselves, but it has taken many months of Saturdays to get it done. A crew of about five with the right equipment could have had it framed and trusses up in 5-7 days. The walls come as panels (no insulation); just tilt them up and screw together.

By the way, we did it for strength (tornado alley) and cost. Green is just a side benefit for us.

Bret


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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/13/2006


Bret,

Thanks for the input. The price you got sounds good. Per sq. ft. it's very close the the price I received. So, thanks for letting me know. Like you, "green" is second to strength for our project. I also like the idea of keeping termites and other critters as far away as possible. I'm very excited to start this project. I attended a demonstration for a Platinum Advanced Technologies panelized home. Very cool. Seems easy enough. I think the key is to have a lot of extra hands to keep the momentum going. I'm going to check out Rhino, I'm curious.

Thanks again.

Heidi


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/13/2006


Being concerned about building "green" doesn't give up anything to strength.

Steel is a very "green" building material. It is recycled and recyclable. Which is better than cutting down numerous trees for a termite feast.

Besides steel, I would recommend that you also look at SIP's. Sounds like another good material, ICF's, would be too time-consuming and expensive for your project.

There is a lot of discussion here about SIP's.

I have had 20+ clients over the years use SIP's and they all like the speed and quality of construction. I suspect that you would need some additional tie-downs that we usually use in Tucson. Having built with steel a few times, I would use it again.

Two years ago I was waiting for the inspector to arrive out on a steel-framed house. Was trying to get framing finished. A monsoon came in with 40-mph winds. It was so weird as the framing started to vibrate and hum.

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/14/2006


Hi Dale,

Thanks for the reply and helpful info. I'm down to comparing only two companies for the major framing of my house. TechBuilt (techbuilt.com) and HSF Inc. traditional steel framing. In weighing cost and ease of application, I have a few questions that I think you may be able to answer. Also, if anyone else is reading this and they'd like to chime in, I'm listening. As far as roofing is concerned, I want to use a galvalume metal roof. I'm looking at Mueller (muellerinc.com). For application on traditional steel trusses they have a CF panel which has overlapping channels, so the rivets are not exposed (reduce exposure, leaks etc.). Very nice, but must be used with 3/4" plywood sheathing.

If I go with TechBuilt, do I need to worry about exposed rivets, as the EPS is 11" thick? Could I eliminate the plywood sheathing? What do you think of applying the HardiPlank directly against the TechBuilt walls w/out plywood sheathing? I don't want to cut corners here, but I also don't want to add an extra step if it's not necessary. (Roof sheathing quote I received is $13,000 for labor only, and $4,000 for floor decking, labor only.)

For the flooring, I have 2" thick t&g, 100 yr+ reclaimed heart pine. I'm thinking of putting it down directly over the steel joists, then blowing in biobased foam underneath. (The house sits on piers approx. 40" above ground).

If I have to use plywood, I'm thinking of using Bluwood (bluwood.com). Have you heard of this product?
If you have any other suggestions for metal roofing or suppliers I'd love to hear about them. Thanks.

Heidi

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By Anonymous on 12/14/2006


Heidi,

I was curious if you could share your reasoning behind looking at TechBuilt over ThermaSteel. We have been talking to a local ThermaSteel dealer and I am curious what advantages/disadvantages you saw in each.

As far as applying the HardiPlanks directly against the panelized wall, that is exactly what we are planning on doing. 

Coincidentally we are also looking at the CF Panel from Mueller roofing. We got our quote on that yesterday. Sounds like we have similar tastes in building materials.

Jason

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/14/2006


Hi Jason,

I have to say that I love different aspects of all the companies I have compared. As far as panelized systems goes, my decision was neck and neck between TechBuilt and a company called Premium Steel Buildings Systems (premiumsteel.com). If I'm not mistaken, Premium uses ThermaSteel, or they use the exact equivalent. I really liked the woman at Premium. Excellent customer service and very forthcoming with references. I have a list of some Premium homes that are in TX. Maybe one is near you.

Premium's pricing was within pennies of ThermaSteel, yet much more complete and easier to understand. The absolute only thing holding me back from buying their package is the availability of skilled labor in New Orleans. There may very well be a crew around here that can put up the Premium house for me, I just haven't found them yet, and frankly I'm getting exhausted looking. I felt like Premium's package was the most complete of all packages. Even though they use lighter gauge steel than TechBuilt, I have no problem with this because the panels will be engineered according to the new bldg. codes for the Gulf Coast. Premium uses 24 g. steel and TechBuilt uses 18 g. and 20 g.

Honestly,  I think the TechBuilt system may be overkill for me. I really think the 11" thick ceilings and 7 1/2" walls are a bit much, and may even pose problems with my windows and doors. HOWEVER, the local TechBuilt dealer is new to New Orleans and has been very accommodating as far as providing more than the usual TechBuilt shell. He is pricing out the interior walls for me as well. TechBuilt usually just provides the outer shell.

The TechBuilt system creates the "thermal envelope" for your home. Then it's up to you to fill in the blanks. I will also be able to hire a crew that puts up TechBuilt houses almost exclusively. They will be coming to the Gulf Coast in a couple of months. I guess I'm looking for a little more reassurance with whichever framing crew I hire. At this time I feel like I can get that with TechBuilt. But, I must stress, the Premium pkg. was much more complete initially.

I have physically examined only TechBuilt and Platinum Advanced Technologies, not ThermaSteel or Premium. Platinum blew me away! Really cool stuff. I think in about 3-6 months they will have more to offer as far as complete pkgs. Right now, they are still getting some engineering kinks worked out as far as the ceiling panels go. If they could offer a roof system along with their walls it would be hands down the best thing available. In my humble opinion. (They have a plant in Harlingen.)

One more thing, TechBuilt's roof is complete w/EPS, not just steel trusses like the quotes I got from Premium and ThermaSteel. I'm also trying to keep all of this in perspective. Each company is good, and 100 times better than what I'm used to, as far as strength and insulation goes. As you can well understand, when you're investing this much time and money into a project, the decision-making can be torturous. 

FYI, I have a friend who is in the middle of building a serious steel-framed structure, house and workshop. I just walked through it last week to get some ideas. He is using a galvalume roof nailed directly to the steel trusses, then he had Icynene blown on the backside. He did the same thing with the exterior walls. U-channel steel roofing material screwed to the studs, then Icynene blown in. He's using 2"x8", 16-gauge framing along with red steel. Serious stuff! Anyway he is a great reference.

If you need any names or further info, let me know. I hope we will be going through this building process together. It sounds like we could bounce similar ideas off of each other. If you need pricing info you can PM me and I'll be happy to pass that on. Offhand, TechBuilt is 13% more than Premium. This is without interior walls and porch. TechBuilt has the roof panels vs. Premium's steel trusses. I'm waiting for the interior and porch quote from TechBuilt. When I get that, I can give you an apples to apples comparison.

Good luck.

Heidi

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By Bill in Seattle, WA on 12/26/2006


I can't believe that anyone living in tornado or hurricane alley would consider anything other than ICF (insulated concrete form) construction, most especially if they are interested in green building. You can build the footings and walls yourself, after a bit of study. Make the second-floor deck using the Hambro system, and hire a sub to do interior partitions with steel studs. Have roof trusses made either from steel studs, or cast it using Hambro and this impermeable concrete for water-tightness. Concrete sheathing for roof deck, and 50-year concrete-fiber shingles with 50-year concrete-fiber siding. You will end up with a fireproof, seismic-safe house that's airtight and insulated to R-50, which will last 500 years and be silent inside no matter how noisy outside. ICF brands to trust: Logix, Arxx, and Amvic.
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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/26/2006


To start with, some consider ICF's a not very "green" product. Under LCA considerations, concrete gets my vote, however there is a big issue against the foam, of whatever type, used for the insulating forms.

It is possible to build an ICF house that includes the roof system, there are a couple available. Amvic has one that is an extension of the wall system so the concrete/steel is structurally continuous.

With the Amvic system you could presumably build the floors/roof yourself. It looks pretty simple from the job where I saw them doing second-story floors and the roofs.

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/26/2006


Bill,

I understand your point on ICF.  I haven't investigated this method very much because of the style of house I am building. Can ICF be used on a raised house? My house will be built on piers raised along concrete footings. The house will sit approx. 42" above the pad.


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 12/27/2006


Yes, you can build ICF elevated. nbnnews.com/NBN/issues/2005-12-12

Just enter "Sundberg + ICF + Katrina" into a search engine of your choice to find information about an ICF house in Port Christian - their house was the only house left standing.

Now this begs the question - if your entire area is devastated, do you really want to have the only house left standing?

Depending on where you are in New Orleans, I think the challenge would be in getting a pumper truck and concrete trucks in there at the same time.


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By Bill in Seattle, WA on 12/27/2006


Quote by Dale: To start with, some consider ICF's a not very "green" product. Under LCA considerations, concrete gets my vote, however there is a big issue against the foam, of whatever type, used for the insulating forms.

Yeah, the main reason they say this is because it takes such high temperatures to make concrete. But studies show that as ICF houses are so long-lasting, and save so much energy over their lifetime with their thermal mass and airtightness, they are far and away a more sustainable choice than stick-built. Some also say the foam is the problem as, although it is recyclable, few facilities exist to do this. But with care, there is virtually no waste in building an ICF home.

Quote by Dale: It is possible to build an ICF house that includes the roof system, there are a couple available. Amvic has one that is an extension of the wall system so the concrete/steel is structurally continuous.

Sounds like you're talking about Amdeck. There is Amdeck, and Lite-Deck, and a few other EPS decking systems, but these are universally uneconomic. They're just there to make a show of a complete system, and hardly ever actually sell. This is why I recommended the Hambro system, which is steel joists supporting a poured-in-place concrete deck, integrated with the ICF walls. Very sound; a 'box of rock'. There's also hollowcore decking, which requires much less interfloor space, although I don't know how you'd hide electrical/ducting/etc. for the floor below. And there's post-tensioning, which I am only now learning about but seems promising.

The roof could be a standard trussed one, but with steel struts rather than wood. And concrete-board sheathing with concrete-fiber shingles. Or the roof could be a poured deck for a rooftop patio! Just use this new water-impermeable concrete for the deck, dye it, and stamp a pattern in it to look like tile.

Man, concrete is a beautiful thing.

Heidi, why will your house be raised? Swampy area, or concern of flood? If so, I would just find higher ground.

Conceivably, ICF could be built on steel beams, but the expense would preclude this. If you must elevate, just resign yourself to getting blown away again and use SIP, or even cheaper, regular framing. (Hurts for me to say that... all systems other than ICF seem so primitive).

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/27/2006


You can build just about anything on stilts. A few years ago I did a house set on telephone poles spanning a wash. (That's  a dry creek to all you non-westerners).

What can become complicated is the engineering to make it stay in place.

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/27/2006


I was referring to Amdeck. It isn't more expensive. And has typical limitations.

Last big project we used steel bar joists with R-Panel and concrete slab for the floor system. It was cheaper to go with heavier steel than light-weight concrete. Not sure if that would be true at today's costs.

Other alternatives for roof, are steel trusses at 8' O.C. with SIP roof deck. OR, some SIP's will span 20+ feet as a roof, just design spaces to allow for bearing limits. Use all steel framing inside.

A few years ago I was asked to review a non-bearing wall panel that consisted of 90# paper on each side with 3" of straw core. Panels were set with steel track, top and bottom. Nice system, quick, easy, quiet; unfortunately the company didn't survive.

Like another great idea I have a sample of, perforated steel stud encased in recycled plastic. Strong, easy to work with, non-thermal bridging. Too WILD for American construction 10 years ago.

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/27/2006


Bill,

I see you are from Seattle. I'm guessing that you're not very familiar with the geography and building codes along the Gulf Coast. My home will sit on one of the highest flood planes available in New Orleans. YES, I am CHOOSING to build in New Orleans, so explaining myself to you will be pointless. I gather you have a very strong opinion about building with concrete, and perhaps regarding people who do not choose to. I do appreciate the information you have shared and I have learned a lot from the links that you provided. Thank you for that.
 
A little bit of quality information here for you: my home was not blown away; most homes in the New Orleans area were not destroyed by hurricane winds, but rather the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers. The floods proved that raised structures are preferable. I'll stop here, because I'm a lady and do not wish to engage further in a conversation with someone that would be so rude as to insinuate that I should "resign myself to getting blown away again". As we have all often heard, "If you can't say something nice don't say it at all."

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 12/27/2006


Heidi,

I applaud your willingness to stay and rebuild. There are many in the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard who are faced with the same decision.

Whether anyone wants to admit or deny the affects of humans on the environment or climate change, at current speed of ocean warming there will an increasing number of communities that will be subject to more severe weather and/or rising sea levels.

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/27/2006


Ken,

Thanks so much for the info. I am going to look up the Sundbergs to see how their progress is going. That's quite a structure! Our family also lost a home in Pass Christian. I am interested to see what their proximity is to us. I have found all of this info on ICF fascinating and logical... however, I think I will continue in the direction of steel panels. My little ol' stick-built house stood up to Katrina and previous tropical storms. It's all up to Mother Nature.

Unfortunately we don't know what's coming next and we just prepare as well as we can, within reason. Timing is always a factor when building along the Gulf Coast. You don't want to be stuck with an open structure during hurricane season. I can appreciate the benefits of concrete and I look forward to seeing contractors implementing ICF techniques in our area. You do have a point when you ask, "Do you really want to have the only house left standing?" No neighbors, and no insurance to boot.

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By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 12/28/2006


Hello Heidi,

I do understand your concerns with what flooding can do to a home. I am building on Tampa Bay in Florida and have determined to go with steel SIPs.

If you have not done so, I strongly suggest that you contact FEMA. They have a COASTAL CONSTRUCTION MANUAL that is available free of charge and addresses many concerns about building in any flood area. This manual is the basis for a lot of the new laws here in Florida and is very informative. The manual is available both on CD and hard copy. Among the things they address are flood damage not from the water itself, but from debris from other structures floating in the flood waters.

With a little luck, I will get my permits to start building within the next week or two and my proposed home has been reviewed by a structural engineer.

If I can help with any additional info, don't hesitate to let me know.

In the interim, I wish the best of luck to you!

Joe H


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 12/28/2006


Actually FEMA has many valuable publications on better construction techniques, I wouldn't limit myself to just one.

People in New Orleans are probably not too happy with FEMA though, perhaps they discount the good information simply because of the messenger ;-(.


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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/28/2006


Joe and Ken,

Thanks for the reminder about the FEMA Const. Manual.  I picked one up at a building summit here in Sept., but haven't opened it up yet.

Joe, who are you using for the steel SIP's? Is your structure raised or on slab? How have your electrical and plumbing subs responded to using SIP's? 

I just got an addendum to my previous quote from Premium Steel. This was for roof panels. Their panels differ from TechBuilt, as the Premium panels will be attached to a steel truss system. TechBuilt is just panels w/glulam support beams. Honestly, I still don't understand how the TechBuilt roof can just support itself. Physics, I guess. When I get a little more sleep, and time, I'll look into it.

I'll be looking for your construction journal soon.

Good Luck!

Heidi

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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 12/28/2006


Hi Dale,

Thanks for all of the helpful info. You might be sorry I found you. I have so many questions. First off, I just got a quote on my email from the biobased insulation company here. So now I'm really trying to decide how to proceed with the floor system. Just so I don't have to retype, the questions I'm looking for answers to are in my email to you from 12/14. Specifically regarding the flooring, the HardiPlank, and the roof sheathing. I anxiously await your reply. FYI, my biobased pricing came in at $1.80 sf. for the 1 lb. foam on the floor; $1.75 for 1 lb. on the exterior walls and between floors; and, $1.95 for 1 lb. in the attic. I anxiously await your reply.

Heidi

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By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 12/29/2006


Heidi,

I actually have a contractor who will be doing the shell for me, Marquis Construction. He will be drying it in and doing the interior steel framing. His pricing on Simonton's impact resistant windows installed is significantly lower than I could obtain without installation. The SIPs he will be using are from a Georgia Company -- Precision Foam Fabricators.

I have to put 23 timber pilings 45 feet into the ground, then a grade beam with a slab over it. After that, we have to build 23 piers up 9 feet with concrete lintels tying all that together. At that point he will take over with the steel for the SIPs.

I have not started with electrical and plumbing yet, but plan to do part of that myself. Chris (Marquis Const.) has put me in touch with his electrical contractor though, who is willing to work with me doing my part of that.

I sure hope I hear something positive from the county next week so the construction process can get started.

Joe H


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By Jon in Ellicott City, MD on 12/29/2006


Hey Heidi,

I'm jumping into the conversation pretty late here, but do have a few random comments.

1. If you're concerned about strength (and who isn't?), I wouldn't even consider skipping the plywood sheathing. It adds a great deal of shear strength to the walls. (I'm a structural engineer, though I don't know if my saying that adds or subtracts from my credibility!)

2. As devastating as Katrina was for your area, I think it's important to note that the eye of that storm missed you by a significant margin. You guys got some crazy flooding, but not the big winds. If you want a house that can withstand the winds of a hurricane, I doubt that steel framing can match the strength of ICF. 

3. Go easy on the Army Corps of Engineers. The job they were given was an impossible one. Man's ability to oppose nature is severely limited. Eventually, nature usually wins. In the case of New Orleans, there is no such thing as a levee system that will withstand every storm. 

The Army Corps and numerous scientists warned for decades that a big hurricane would again flood the city. Somehow, those warnings did not prompt the adoption and exercise of a viable evacuation plan. Some degree of fault can be found with the ACoE, FEMA, and the President, but the critical fault was the failure to remove the people from harm's way.

After all the finger-pointing is done and a trillion dollars or so is spent on the city, the citizens and leaders of New Orleans need to fully understand one thing ---- Your city WILL flood again. Better performance by the Army and the Federal Government will mean absolutely nothing if the citizens of the Ninth Ward are sitting in their houses when a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane strikes the city.  

4. Best of luck with your project!!


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By Bill in Seattle, WA on 12/29/2006


Yeah, I don't think she'd consider ICF as she's mad at me. I went to all that trouble only because I was trying to help.
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By Bill in Seattle, WA on 12/29/2006


FWIW, if she's interested in the technical details of framing, the Steel Framing Alliance has lots of info on cold-rolled (formerly known as light-gauge steel construction) here.
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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 2/21/2007


I am down to my final framing decision. It is between TechBuilt and Premium Steel Systems. I could go on and on about the pros and cons of each, but I'll save us both the boredom. Anyway, I have one bid from each company for labor to erect the house. They are within about $500. That part makes my feel good. HOWEVER... I feel like both bids are on the high side. They are around $59,000 (not including cost of crane). This house is about 5,500 sf. living, 1,600 sf. of porch, and some storage on the sides of the garage. The garage is a separate structure connected by a breezeway. Total sf. about 8,000. Both companies agree that this project will take about two to three weeks to erect. I've been adding numbers and hours, and this seems like a boatload of money.

I know you built an entirely different type of structure, but yours too, was specialized. So, when using specialized labor, do you just have to pay a lot more? Or, do you think I could pay a good local framing crew, and pay extra for their learning curve, and still come out ahead? I'm not trying to be cheap about this, just trying to get real. One crew would be coming from Cleveland, the other from outside of Roanoke, VA. I'm still awaiting a bid from a company in Macon, GA.  The bids include first and second floors, int. and ext. walls, first floor steel truss system (raised house), and roof trusses (or roof panels) including plywood sheathing on roof and floors. I anxiously await your reply.

Thanks.

Heidi

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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 2/21/2007


I think you are getting a decent price.

Three years ago I was doing a 2,400 s.f. steel-frame house plus porches and garage. I bid everything out for the bank construction loan by the end of February. Steel framing and labor came in at $38K, more or less.

Then between a surge of commercial construction in AZ, energy costs skyrocketing and steel becoming a premium residential building product by May/June I could not find labor, and steel prices had jumped.

Ended up using weekend/evening available workers from a commercial drywall company. Final bill for steel framing, labor included, came to about $62K. And four weeks behind schedule. The bank was not happy, even though I could prove every extra dollar of construction cost increase.

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By Scott in Pass Christan, MS on 4/6/2007


Heidi,

SMALL world!! You have a tie to the "Pass" and NOLA! I used to work in Metairie. ICF is the way to go.... Remember Katrina was not a "wind event"....      

Scott Sundberg, P. E.

 


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By Heidi in New Orleans, LA on 4/6/2007


Hi Scott,

I'm over here in Algiers. We are going to build our home in the Lower Coast area, across the street from the Miss. River.  About two miles past English Turn. 

How is it going in the Pass? I'm trying to get my in-laws interested in rebuilding. The "camp" was on Cherry Lane off of Ponce de Leon (in the Isles). Maybe I can contact you when we head over that way and possibly take a look at your place. Our neighbors on either side are rebuilding. Maybe if my in-laws see a good structural alternative to stick framing they'll be more inclined to rebuild. As far as my project is concerned, I've decided to go with Premium Steel out of Roanoke, VA. Honestly, if my house is devastated by another storm, I'll just pack up and leave for good. The lower coast area homes were virtually untouched by Katrina. 

I would like to stay in touch with you for further reference. If it's alright with you, I'll send you a PM later to let you know when we'll be on the Coast. It's great to hear from someone who is rebuilding in the Pass. I'll be sending good thoughts your way...

Take care.

Heidi


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By Bubba in Lafayette, LA on 7/16/2007


Hi, Heidi,

We're over here in Lafayette and are having the same problems with labor shortages, material pricing and lack of knowledge and experience with SIPs. I've finished my plans and am ready to start, but I'm getting cold feet on SIPs and may go with steel.

Having watched the NO area recover has been quite sad. As I told everyone, you can't believe it until you've seen it. I have one niece from Algiers who left, one still in Metairie and another in NO. We just rebuilt a camp that Rita wiped out, 18 feet about sea level.

I would be interested to learn from your research on why you chose Premium Steel and not some of the other products.

Thanks,

Bubba

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