Fortress Blog

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Why U.S. Homeowners and Builders are Embracing Global Deck Framing Norms

For decades, U.S. homeowners and builders have relied on lumber for deck framing projects. But with today’s zeal for outdoor living and material scarcity holding lumber at 300 percent above the March 2020 price point, many are turning to steel framing to keep their projects moving and budgets in check.

While new to many in the U.S., the alternative material has a strong global track record. In fact, countries around the world, such as South Africa and Australia, adopted steel framing years ago. Inherently strong and resilient, it has proven to sideline issues that plague wood frame decks, such as deterioration after long-term exposure to moisture and warping as a result of extreme changes in temperature. In short, steel delivers performance advantages that lumber simply can’t match… and the U.S. is taking notice.  

Here are the top three reasons U.S. homeowners and builders are embracing global deck framing norms.

  1. Steel profiles can support ever-expanding deck functions and enormous loads

With an ultimate yield strength that measures approximately 10 times greater than wood, steel profiles can handle significantly greater loads than lumber. U.S. homeowners and builders can support the deck of their dreams, complete with today’s sought-after outdoor amenities, such as an outdoor kitchen and bar. With steel, there is no reason to think the added weight will result in premature failure. Steel's capacity for load bearing weight also has a direct correlation with its ability to provide greater spans. A steel joist can span up to 16 feet between supports, a distance that is simply not possible with lumber.  

  1. Ready-to-assemble steel deck framing systems support a straightforward install

If a U.S. homeowner or builder knows how to frame a deck with wood, they can certainly frame a deck with steel. Comprehensive framing solutions like Fortress® Evolution provide an intuitive ledger and convenient joist lengths for a straightforward install. Plus, because hardware and fasteners are included, there is no extra cost for joist hangers or specialty tools. These ready to assemble deck framing systems will have U.S. builders and weekend warriors feeling confident about making the switch to steel.

  1. Sleek and good looking, steel framing ensures a deck with lasting style

Along with strength and longevity, steel profiles offer a sleek and modern style that’s in-demand across the U.S. Some users choose to leave the deck framing exposed as a fascia for a trendy, industrial look. Dressed in a powder coating to increase the lifespan and preserve the beauty of the light gauge steel profiles, a steel frame deck will stand strong and look incredible for 25 years or more.

With incredible strength and durability, steel delivers performance advantages that lumber simply can’t match. With intuitive steel deck framing systems within reach, it’s no wonder more U.S. homeowners and builders are choosing to embrace steel, the globally trending deck framing system.

Thinking about making the switch to steel? You’re in the right place. Track down Fortress Building Products’ Evolution steel deck framing system and its award-winning counterpart, the steel stair system, by clicking on “WHERE TO BUY.”

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