building under contruction

Concrete Beams vs Steel Beams: Which One Will Work For You?

Building materials have come a long way over the past century, with new innovations that combine ingredients to produce super strong hybrid materials for use in building. The jury is still out on whether steel or concrete beams are best, so instead we will look at the different properties of each in terms of safety, cost, availability and environmental impact, and from there you can decide which you feel would suit your unique circumstances.

Safety Advantages

Concrete – It is believed that concrete is safer in terms of fire risk, as it does not require any extra fire proofing, and its weight, mass and strength enables it to perform well in both man-made and natural disaster situations. It has also been shown to have increased ductility (ability for deform rather than break, in response to stress), which makes it useful in areas of seismic activity, although this could be largely due to structural design rather than the material itself.

Steel – While steel can tend to soften and melt under extremely high temperatures, with the addition of fire proofing measures this material can really withstand greater temperatures and provide additional safety. This material also performs extremely well under high wind forces (with adequate engineering and design) because of its ductility.

Cost and Availability

Concrete – The price of concrete (with reinforced steel) beams can be quite costly in the short term, however, in the long term, their strength and longevity appears to give them an advantage over other materials. Availability is usually affected by where the materials are being sourced from and the demand and supply routes for the material.

Steel – Recent times have seen a rise in cost of most building materials and reinforced concrete beams appear to have risen in price equally to the hike in steel prices. While there is some debate about the availability of steel, due to a dramatic rise in construction in some Asian countries, it is believed that there is no shortage of steel, so it should not be too difficult to source if you are willing to invest in a long-term solution for your building project.

Environmental Impacts

Concrete – When considering the impact of freight miles, concrete is a material that is usually locally sourced and as such requires only a small amount of energy to transport it. In terms of its reusability, concrete that is no longer used can be crushed and recycled, although the recycled material that it is reinforced with, cannot usually be recycled.

Steel – Around 85% of steel is recycled, which is an advantage in some ways, although the steel fabrication is usually done at a great distance to building sites which could affect its travel miles. Depending on where you live, the distance to deliver the steel materials may add greater miles to the journey your steel beams will travel to reach your building project.

house being renovation

Benefits Of Expanding Your Home

Often when we are looking at getting our foundations repaired or new stumps put in, we may have an idea to go ahead and renovate the house while we are at it. As many people have found, this can be a helpful idea that benefits their lifestyle in a variety of ways. During the process of having your house lifted for relevelling, stump replacement or foundation work, it makes sense to widen your vision of what may be possible.

Make Room for a Growing Family

For those whose family has grown to the point where they are starting to feel a bit ‘under each other’s feet’, expanding into the underside of their home can be an excellent way of providing extra space for the whole family to enjoy. Often the addition of an extra bathroom, a rumpus room, extra bedroom or storage area will make a huge difference to the family spending quality time, rather than leaning on each other’s last nerve.

Increase the Market Value

Nobody could argue with the fact that adding extra space to a home is guaranteed to increase its market value. Adding extra rooms or redesigning your home can produce excellent results, which could put you in a whole new bracket for the resale of your home. Whether you are planning to stay in your home long term, or have a view to move to new horizons, extra space is always a useful commodity so talk to our crew at Black & White Houseraising & Restumping for ideas.

Increase Your Storage Space

If there is one thing humans are good at, it is accumulating and hoarding ‘stuff’. Whether it’s the ski gear that only comes out once a year, the boat, the winter coats or the tools, somehow the stuff just keeps multiplying, often to the point where it is infringing on our day to day living space. Renovating your home to create a basement area for storage is one way to keep that stuff safe and dry ready for next time you want to use it.

Create Space for New Projects

In a world where the fastest way to make money is by starting your own business, many people are leaning towards putting their spare energy into building new projects and innovative ideas at home. Creating extra space in the house for allowing the creative juices to flow is an excellent way of firing up all engines and moving forward into these new and exciting possibilities. Raising your home and being able to use the space underneath could provide you with the incentive to really spread your wings and make a change to the life you always wanted to live.

Queenslander: The Legacy Will Remain. How to Restore Yours

The iconic old ‘Queenslander’ house is a favourite for many an Aussie family. Wide shaded verandas, roomy hallways that catch the afternoon breezes and plenty of space to move – make these old buildings a much-loved part of the Australian way of life.

Create Your Vision
Many, who are lucky enough to own one, enthusiastically embrace the challenge of restoring them back to their former glory, and there is a variety of ways to do so. Some opt for restoring them to exactly how they might have been when they were first built, making them into an historical time piece. While many owners are choosing to imbue them with a modern design flair, often expanding on the building’s unique features, and increasing the spaciousness of the house by building extra rooms underneath, or adjoined.

Ensure Structural Integrity
Old buildings, such as these, need to be checked thoroughly by an expert to ensure that they are structurally sound in all the right places. While the Queenslander is a hard-wearing building design, specifically built for the Australian climate, there will be components that need to be replaced or repaired to ensure the safety of the building and the longevity of the project. Parts of the building that are exposed to the elements of soil, water and weather are some of the key areas that may require replacement and repair.
The stumps are the most important part of the building as they are the foundations upon which everything else sits, so ensuring that these are in good condition is of paramount importance. Wooden stumps usually need to be replaced every ten years or so, and many people opt to replace them with steel posts, but this is up to the owner’s discretion as to what suits their design.

Adding Extra Rooms
If you are opting to add extra rooms, often this will mean that you will have the house raised and it is a good time to have new posts put in that will more comfortably accommodate a living area. This can usually all be done by one company such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping that have all the required equipment and experience to ensure that the work is done safely.

Don’t Forget to Check for Restrictions
Make sure to check with council before you embark upon your renovating dream, to ensure that there are no restrictions on your property that will affect your design, and also make sure that you have the relevant permits.