The Edwards Agency

Home & Garden

Steel home under construction in Woodinville

steel home

Steel is used instead of wood in the construction of this custom-designed home.

steel home A unique, steel-framed house is under construction in the Cottage Lake area of Woodinville. The custom-designed home is being built by Itasca, Inc., a Woodinville-based general contractor of steel-framed homes, deck, and other structures.
   The 3,263 sq. ft. house has three plus bedrooms, two and a half baths, den, bonus room, gourmet kitchen, and a large master suite.
   "We are targeting the market for people who want to own an environmentally-sensitive home. All of our materials used in construction are non-toxic, non-allergenic, and free of any off-gasing or formaldehyde-based components," said Bob Thorne, President of the Residential Division of Itasca, Inc., and a Woodinvlle resident.
   Using steel instead of wood for the exterior and interior, as well as the trusses, is a relatively new concept for the Northwest residential home construction, according to Thorne.
   Used for years in commercial construction, steel is now being considered because of the escalating cost for top-grade lumber.
   "I have had to add approximately 20% to the cost of the lumber package in building wood-frame residential homes," said Thorne.
   "The home will look just like a wood-framed house upon completion but will not need the maintenance that a wood house requires," he added.
   "Thirteen years ago when I was a commercial project manager, with a background in residential stick-frame building, I thought, 'Why can't we use this same process to build residential homes of steel where the risk of fire and earthquake would be reduced?' In Hawaii five years ago, 3% of the homes were built with steel, and today, there are 60% of all homes being built with steel. It resists the moisture, prevents dry rot problems, and doesn't attract termites and carpenter ants," he said.
   The Woodinville house will be insulated with a Canadian product, Icynene, which is a spray foam that is non-toxic, has no out-gassing, and expands upon application to fill all voids. The foam, which sets soft and flexible, is cut even with the steel studs and wall board is then added.
   "Steel construction reduces your homeowner's insurance, due to reduced risk of losing your entire structure to fire. Steel doesn't fuel a fire and is environmentally friendly," Thorne added.
   The asking price for the house is $325,000. It is located at 19405 179th Ct. NE, and is being handled by Shari and Ron Laverty at Windermere Real Estate.