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Dispelling Steel Framing Myths

By | Steel Framing | No Comments

Steel frame building is a fully tried and tested product.

It is fully engineered and has been used extensively in both residential and commercial applications for many years. Below are some of the popular myths and misconceptions that exist around the use of steel frame construction.

Myth 1: Steel frames are noisier than other stud frames.
Studies conducted by CSIRO found that ‘most occupants of homes with steel frames either reported no sound emitted from the frame or said that if it did, it was not a problem’. Some even admitted to lower noise than timber framed houses. Our structurally engineered steel framing system will not rot, warp, twist, bow, shrink, split or settle. In fact, plaster or cornice cracking will be minimised because steel doesn’t change state during its lifespan.

Myth 2: Steel is more prone to lightning strikes, making it dangerous to live in.
Steel is a positive conductor to the earth with the energy conducted straight to the ground and not released destructively within the frame as in conventional framing or cladding.

Myth 3: Steel frames will rust over time.
CMI uses BlueScope Truecore which is protected against corrosion by a hot-dipped metallic coating of a zinc-aluminium-magnesium alloy. Truecore comes with a conditional 50 year warranty. In external applications such as roofing where these products are exposed to the elements, they have excellent durability, while weathering more slowly in less exposed applications such as inside the building envelope. Where there are cut edges, the galvanic action or sacrificial protection of the coating protects the exposed steel edge against corrosion.

Myth 4: Steel contracts and expands with temperature changes.
Thermally induced movement is not an issue in properly constructed and insulated homes. Everything expands and contracts with heat and cold; however, steel products have a far closer rate of expansion than wood and plasterboard, virtually eliminating plaster cracks. Steel is additionally not susceptible to moisture, unlike wood, which swells and contracts on exposure. Steel is the preferred framing material in thextreme climate of North-West Western Australia, for example, where temperatures can vary more than 40 degrees Celsius in a single 24-hour period along with humidity.

Myth 5: Light gauge steel frame can’t be safe when exposed to a live electric wire.
LGS frames are safe because they are earthed. All new houses are required to be fitted with circuit breaking safety devices in order to reduce the chances of the occupants touching anything live. In the event a wire makes contact with a steel frame, it instantly trips the residual current device. Conversely, a damaged or pierced wire in a timber frame can remain live and leak current, causing problematic faults and creating a fire risk.

Myth 6: A steel frame can interfere with radio and television reception.
Electro-magnetic waves can diffract around steel just as easily as timber. Waves pass through the spaces between the studs, allowing the use of all household appliances without any interference.

Myth 7: A steel frame interferes with Wi-Fi and mobile reception.
Steel frame is in wide use and has had no reports of interference with Wi-Fi and telephone signals in buildings featuring steel framing systems.

Steel Frame House
Steel Framing Western Australia

If you’re looking for fully engineered framing solutions capable of creating innovative architectural designs or a traditional home is your preference, for domestic or commercial building applications, Steel Frame is the future of home building; and it’s here now.

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How Steel Framing Gives You Greater Design Flexibility

By | Steel Framing | No Comments

Due to the large number of benefits, steel framing is becoming increasingly popular in home design. Steel framing offers strength, versatility, durability and economic value to a large variety of structures. Above all, steel framing allows you greater design flexibility when building a dream home that will last for generations to come.

Design Aesthetics

Bold choices that inspire and create a lasting impression are made possible through steel framing. Due to its flexibility, you can choose to design with flowing curves or precision flatness. Steel can be easily cut into different custom lengths and widths allowing you varied choices. Your desired look can be easily achieved as steel can accommodate a variety of external finishes such as brickwork, timber, weatherboard, tiles, render etc. to create contemporary and stylish looks. The ability to account for different materials at the design stage also means that services such as ducting, cabling and plumbing are made easier, saving you time and effort. The inherit properties of steel allow designers to include longer spans that create larger open plan spaces. This freedom of design provides you the opportunity to build within a wide range of styles and create an image that will endure the test of time.

Minimal Time & Cost Restraints

Using steel framing will help save you time and money in the long-run, but also during the building process itself. There is usually little to no wastage on site, and what is left can be sold afterwards to be recycled in other steel-based products. Since steel buildings are quick and easy to erect, you have more time to spend on other important aspects of the design process.

Future Requirements

As your requirements change over the years, you can reuse, relocate or expand your structure easily with steel framing. Not only does this save on future costs, it also reduces the impact on the environment. Designers can use this flexibility for new projects, while using the old materials or even relocate with substantially lower costs. With minimal maintenance requirements, your costs will stay low throughout the years allowing you to enjoy your new home.


Steel framing is fast becoming one of the most popular systems for house building in Australia due to its numerous benefits. Designing for steel framing offers perhaps the widest array of choices within the construction industry. You can find out more about the benefits of steel framing and how CMIWA can help you with your building needs here.

What You Should Know Before Building a Home in Bushfire Prone Areas

By | Steel Framing | No Comments

Although there are many elements of bushfires that you can’t control, taking precautions when building your home can dramatically increase the chances of your family & home surviving. Homes built in bushfire prone areas need to be able to resist ignition, limit propagation, add no fuel to the fire & remain strong without lots of maintenance.

The main causes of home destruction during bushfires is an ember attack. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself against these embers is simple, when building your home, use materials that don’t burn.

Integrating bushfire proof materials into the design of a home can save you money in the long run and help protect your family. While there is a common misconception that bushfire proof homes are expensive to build, using steel is a cost-effective way to keep your home safe.

Truecore steel is tested in Australian Conditions and is a fire resistant material. A steel house frame or other steel elements won’t catch fire and may help you achieve the standards required for building in high-risk zones.

A BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) is a means of measuring a building’s potential exposure to bushfire elements and provides a basis for establishing the requirements for construction to improve protection of building elements from attack by bushfire. Steel roofing systems, when built in accordance with the BAL requirements, offer great protection and peace of mind against very high risks. You can read more about the BAL and building requirements here.

The CMI Steel Roofing System is a cost-effective, structurally engineered solution that satisfies up to and including BAL 40 requirements. Using other bush-fire proofing elements such as toughened glass, window mesh and window shutters can fulfil everyday roles such as fly screens or shades, as well as protecting your home and family.

It’s clear that steel is the only way to go when designing a home to keep your family safe from bushfires. Not only is it a cost-efficient but a house made with steel elements won’t catch fire and will help you achieve the standards required to build in bushfire prone area.

CMI E-Vent Steel Roofing Supplies

E-Vent® and Whirlybird: The next Generation of roof ventilation

By | Roofing | No Comments

Effective roof ventilation is important when it comes to the energy efficiency of your home. A standard roof space can quickly trap heat and warm your home – accounting for the majority of your home’s heat gain in summer and contributing to musty smells, bacteria growth and even condensation. With rising energy costs, proper roof ventilation can help keep your home naturally cooler in summer through intelligent airflow and with CMI’s patented E-Vent®technology, you can keep it cooler more effectively.


Roof ventilation technology: Whirlybirds

There are a large variety of roof ventilation options that have been developed and have evolved over the past couple of decades. A popular option is the Whirlybird (sometimes known as a turbine vent), which lets cooler air in through ceiling eaves and expels it through a turbine near the peak of the roof.

This creates an air pressure vacuume that can be operated mechanically (turning continuously) or passively (wind spins the turbines).

Whirlybirds are full of moving parts, whether it is a passive or mechanical unit they will be prone to noise and wear. Bearings and parts will wear or loosen over time and need to be maintained (and they aren’t the easiest object to get access to!)

Due to their design, whirlybirds also have to be installed on the rise of the roof, rather than at highest peak – not the most efficient location for something that is designed to expel the hottest of air.


A better solution?

There are many solutions on the market that are more effective at roof ventilation then whirlybirds. These range from solar powered devices to intelligent vents, but nothing beats the intelligent design and simplicity of CMI’s E-Vent®.


E-Vent®: the next generation in roof ventilation

CMI’s patented E-Vent®technology was invented by architect, Ean McDonald who used air pressure principles founded by Bernoulli and Venturi in the 18thcentury to create a natural ventilation system that works better than anything on the market. With no moving parts, practically invisible installation and centuries of science behind it – it is the next generation of roof ventilation.


How does E-Vent®work?

The E-Vent®system harnesses the combined natural forces of differential air pressure and convection to accelerate the airflow across the roofs surface, extracting warm roof space air.

E-Vent® harnesses this natural power by creating low pressure areas on the upper and downwind sides of the vents creating a natural and effective exhausting air pump. That in turn means that air at normal pressure within a building will be literally sucked out by wind flow. And on the stillest of air days, E-Vents® still work by reason of simple convection or ‘stack effect’.

CMI E-Vent


Why is an E-Vent®better than alternatives?

E-Vent’s®have a number of benefits over traditional ventilation methods:



  • Is part of the roof line, sitting on the very peak of the roof, invisible from the street
  • Provides protection from airborne due to ember guard
  • Effectively removes noxious gasses, airborne bacteria and household odours
  • Low cost compared to alternatives
  • Requires absolutely no maintenance
  • No moving parts, no noise and no reliance on wind
  • Extremely easy to install – no need to cut into roofing sheet


Where can I get one!

E-Vent® is manufactured by Combined Metal Industries to ISO 9002 standards E-Vent® Patent No. 673749.Enquire today!

How to choose the colour of your new COLORBOND® fence

By | Fencing | No Comments

The fence around your home acts as a backdrop to your garden, a feature wall and a security boarder around your home. With COLORBOND® steel fencing you are guaranteed a high-quality fence product that is non-combustible, easy to maintain, easy to install, and wont rot or be eaten by termites. Not only that, you get peace of mind that you are protecting your home and family from unwanted guests, with the security of high strength COLORBOND® steel.

Choosing a COLORBOND® fence is the easy bit – however with 14 fencing colours to choose from – choosing your COLORBOND® fence colour can often be tricky.

Whether you are after a subtle or bold colour, light or dark, cool or warm, every one of COLORBOND®’s fence colours will look great – but choosing the perfect one that enhances your home and your back yard can be down to just a few considerations.


Will your fence be a focus or background?

Considering whether you want your fence to be a focal point of your home and garden or whether you want it to act as a neutral back drop is one of the more important decisions when it comes to choosing your fence colour. Some colours make your foliage ‘pop’, others blend into the surroundings. Some will add extra depth to your backyard, and others will brighten up the space.

The style and colours of your home

When considering your fence colour, an important step is to take your landscaping and your home into consideration. It is often the case that a wide number of COLORBOND® colours will suit your home, and the choice may come down to a personal preference. However many landscapers and designers suggest general rules to help make the choice easier.

Some examples are:

  • More traditional and weatherboard homes look best when paired with lighter, and softer fencing colours, whereas modern homes may suit darker and deeper colours.
  • Modern architecture often suits greys, and rural backdrops often look great with greens.
  • Reds and oranges are seen to be more traditional
  • Blues and dark grey colours add depth


Matching your homes façade to the colour of the fence is also often a popular choice, however using a contrasting colour can help the homes exterior stand out. As a general rule, sticking to either a “warm” or “cool” colour scheme for your fence and your home can be a great starting point.

To pair or not to pair

If you already have a COLORBOND® roof and steel guttering, matching your fence to one of those is often a safe and attractive option. A popular choice is to match the colour of your fence with the roof fascia, guttering and trimming, which ties your fence to the rest of the home without overloading on one steel colour.

Similarly, the colour of your driveway or outdoor entertaining area may provide inspiration for your fencing choice. Most COLORBOND® colours will look cohesive with natural tile selections around your backyard but consider more neutral colours if you have bold and bright elements to your homes external façade. 

Plants and Fencing

Your fence should enhance the foliage in your garden and not hide it. Consider the colour of your greenery and plants and look for a colour that enhances it. Some designers recommend choosing a particular plant or plant tone in your garden and matching it to your fence. This might be a great starting point if you have a lot of rich colours in your backyard.

Mixing colours

Add a bit more character to your COLORBOND® fence by choosing a different colour for your fence elements. You can have different fence sheets, lattices, posts, post heads and rails on your fence. Mixing colours can create an interesting boarder around a feature COLORBOND® colour which adds a bit more interest to your fencing. Consider this option if you are looking to make your new COLORBOND® fence more of a ‘focus’ rather than a background.


If you are unsure of what colour will best suit your fencing project, we can arrange sample colours to be sent to you for comparison. Take some time comparing the colours against your garden, your outdoor tiles, and also around your home’s exterior.

You can also use tools like Houzz or Pinterest to find existing COLORBOND® fencing installation inspiration. We will be happy to match up the colours in any inspiration image you find with a real COLORBOND® colour.®-Fence

Still Stuck??

If you are still stuck with your fence choice, talk to one of our fantastic sales consultants who can walk you through some options that will suit your home. And if all else fails – we can help you choose one of our most popular colours – if you are planning on selling your home in the near future at least it will have a wide appeal!

Steel Framing: defending your home against termites

By | Steel Framing | No Comments

Termites and Borers are big fans of Australian homes – and can carry out between $80 – $780 million worth of damage to houses annually! While termite barriers may delay termite invasions in some instances, using steel framing as opposed to timber framing completely eliminates any risk of structural termite damage.

Particularly in rural areas and urban fringes, termites can eat through everything from wood to carpet backing, cabinetry, furniture and doors – however when it comes to the structure and foundation of your home, a termite’s love of wood can be the most harmful.

There are a number of factors that will affect the termite damage risk to your home:

  • Where your home is located
  • How vigilant you are in inspecting and maintaining your home
  • And how its foundations are constructed.

The cost of any termite damage is borne by home owners and very rarely covered by insurance – even during the building warranty period termite damage is only covered if the builder is seen to be negligent. And signs of termite damage are not always apparent – they lurk beneath surfaces undetected until it is too late.

Results of a recent study commissioned by the National Association of Steel-Framed Housing (NASH) and undertaken by the University of Western Sydney discovered 1 in 8 timber framed homes in the study had suffered termite damage, and not a single steel framed home was affected.

Whilst the traditional approach to termite control was to ‘seal them out’ with pesticides and treatments, Steel Framing innovation has re invented the way builders and home owners look at their home’s foundation. A home built from TRUECORE®steel is 100% termite proof, requires absolutely no pesticide or chemical treatment and has been tested time and time again for Australian standards.


What is TRUECORE®Steel?

TRUECORE® steel is a zinc/aluminium alloy coated steel manufactured by BlueScope Steel. It is characterised by a distinctive blue resin surface finish and is backed by a 50-year warranty. TRUECORE® steel is 100% termite and borer proof, it will not catch fire, it is consistently straight and true, wont shrink, twist or warp over time, and can often allow for greater design flexibility.

Does a Steel Frame need chemical or physical termite protection?

A steel frame is completely resistant to termite and borer attacks and therefore does not require any chemical or physical barriers in accordance with the Building Code of Australia.


When considering the foundation of your home, choosing TRUECORE®Steel ensures you have a foundation that is 100% termite and borer proof, without the use of pesticides. At Combined Metal Industries, we can assist you with your Steel Framing design and manufacturing, to guarantee you a beautifully finished home, that tastes horrible to termites.