This tree change home, set in an idyllic location, is built on solid foundations thanks to the steel flooring system
A70-acre site in a tranquil rural location in Titaatee Creek on NSW’s Mid North Coast, proved the ideal place for Elaine and Andrew, a shipwright by trade, to build their new home with a steel flooring system. Now empty-nesters, they decided the time was right for a lifestyle change — in this case, a tree change.
“We initially purchased the property, which has a fantastic view, as a weekend getaway destination, but as our children are now grown, we decided to move there permanently and build a unique home,” says Andrew. “We designed the home ourselves, with the help of an architect, and apart from the electrical and plumbing work, I am doing all the building work myself.”
In choosing to become an owner-builder, Andrew was taking on quite a challenge. The site is in a difficult rural location, it has a steep slope, a BAL 29 fire rating and the potential for white ant infestation. Additionally, the house design was “not out of the box” and considered a difficult build.
“The initial quotes we got for steel were astronomically high, and all involved cranes for the heavy lifting. This was beyond our budget,” says Andrew. “The Spantec system looked strong and suited a one-man building team, so we made an enquiry. “Spantec quoted quickly for the ground floor, deck and ramp. The staff were also extremely helpful and patient with us during the design process. They worked from our construction drawings, which lacked a lot of detail and required some tweaking by the Spantec drawing office.
“We chose aerated concrete panels for our floor and together with the Spantec steel flooring system, the house feels rock solid. The Spantec system was so successful for the underfloor, that our engineer agreed that we could substitute the large and heavy timber LVLs specified for the roof frame (which would have required the use of a crane) with Spantec’s Boxspan beams which allow for greater spans. They were more than strong enough, yet light enough to be manhandled without a crane.”
Spantec drew on its 30 years of experience when planning the full design and engineering for the clients’ steel flooring system. “The kit was inclusive of a fully galvanised and cut-to-size system, beams that were strong, straight and true and the clients welcomed the added benefit of being able to achieve greater spans,” says Steve Targonski, National Sales Manager, Spantec Systems.
“When the first delivery arrived to site, Andrew was pleased to find that every beam was labelled with its size, length and references relating back to the drawings that were provided. The beams were lightweight enough that only one person was needed to carry them — due to the size of the project, this was a huge saving in labour. The adjustable pier heads allowed the install to come together smoothly. If any of the levels didn’t match up it was a quick fix on the adjustable pier head onsite once the flooring was completed.”
Using a combination of three products — Boxspan, Ezipier and Ezibrace — Spantec was able to provide the full kit system for the ground floor, curved deck frame and curved roof along with all bracing and piers required. Adds Andrew, “Spantec staff were always available to answer our questions, both during design and construction. The company delivered on time, full drawings were provided and everything went together well. We also appreciate that they have kept in touch and are interested in the progress of our project.”
Spantec pioneered steel flooring systems in Australia and has been designing and manufacturing galvanised steel floor and deck kits for 30 years. The flooring systems are lightweight, long-spanning, straight and true to size. Manufacturing tolerances are perfect, products are cut to size so there is no wastage and the systems are easy to assemble.
In addition to manufacturing and supplying its popular Boxspan and Ezipier brands, Spantec offers a design service, can produce site construction drawings and is able to supply in-house engineering certification. Spantec Systems, which is based in the Southern Highlands region of NSW, is highly experienced at producing building solutions for a broad range of residential projects, from one- and two-storey kit homes and granny flats to homes that need to be built on sloping blocks or in bushfire-prone areas.
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