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Steel vs. Other Materials

Woman sitting at table with two contractors looking over blueprint of building.
06 October 2020

When selecting building materials, there are a number of variables to consider when determining what material best fits your needs: where you live and average climate, affordability, strength, and more. All building materials have unique advantages and disadvantages, but there’s nothing like steel.

When You Have a Choice, Choose Steel

Steel can be creatively designed and molded into unlimited shapes and sizes. There are many finishes and coatings available for steel products, too.

Many of us know steel’s strength-to-weight ratio gives it “superpowers” as well as durability. What most people don’t realize is that steel has high recycled materials content and leaves a minimal carbon footprint. Steel is environmentally the best choice in building materials.

Infographic with a list of 5 benefits of steel buildings.

Steel vs. Concrete

Because it’s fabricated elsewhere, steel structures are quick to install. There’s no need for formwork and we don’t need to “shore-up” steel garages and other buildings. A steel building can be erected in almost every kind of weather extreme. (Some materials like concrete have temperature restrictions.)

Other benefits of steel over concrete include:

  • • Durable and nonporous
  • • Greater design flexibility
  • • Less material usage
  • • Steel can be modified for building repurposing
  • • Steel is lighter but just as strong
  • • Stronger in tension and compression than concrete
  • • Unlike concrete, steel is recyclable; usually made of 93% recycled content
  • • Won’t crack or break but has the ability to bend


Steel vs. Masonry

The biggest advantage of steel vs. masonry is more efficient material usage and greater design flexibility. “Steel allows for long spans and open, column-free spaces” according the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction). Other benefits of steel are:

  • • Adaptability to vertical or horizontal expansions
  • • Better value
  • • Coatings protect steel in corrosive environments
  • • Environmentally safer
  • • Greater ability to maintain strength during seismic events
  • • Higher quality
  • • Predictability
  • • Superior durability


Steel vs. Wood

Timber is simply not the better choice for framing. About 40% of every tree harvested goes unused. About half of what is sent to the lumber mill is lost in production and becomes sawdust or wood chips, which are later burned or dumped.

Steel advantages include:

  • • Environmentally safer
  • • Faster installation because of off-site assembly
  • • Greater flexibility in space planning
  • • Higher resale value
  • • Non-combustible
  • • Longer-lasting
  • • Not vulnerable to insects or vermin infestations
  • • Stronger
  • • Will not rot or decay
  • • Won’t expand, contract, or warp


Steel Structures Offer Better ROI

Your property is likely your biggest asset. Any upgrades or property additions will add value, like an investment. Steel gives you a better return on investment.

You get amazing value for what you spend. In fact, steel buildings often qualify for lower insurance rates. Having a fire-resistant garage or outbuilding is an investment (and insurance) advantage. Steel buildings can stand up to hurricanes, high winds, heavy snow, earthquakes, and rain deluges.

You may say “You get what you pay for,” but we believe when you choose steel, you get more for your money:


Bulldog Steel Structures: You’ve Made the Right Choice

Bulldog Steel Structures’ building professionals have the experience and know-how to get the job done right. We’ll make sure your building meets your requirements and works with your property affordably.

If you receive what you believe is a great estimate, contact us before you commit. If we can’t beat another price, it’s probably because we only use quality materials. We won’t compromise workmanship to save money. But if we can match or beat another quote, we will.

Other companies cut corners with imported materials, but our buildings are American-made. That means superior quality control and safety guidelines are followed. It also means we keep American workers working.

Call 888-551-2156 or contact your Bulldog Steel Structures specialist today.

*Freight charges may apply.

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