Early in the design process, John, our architect, said something that caught my attention. He said our design would require a lot of steel. Not knowing much about engineering a house, I took it as a given for a house like ours. I assumed it was normal and expected.
Since that time, I’ve had numerous conversations with people about the house and when I bring up the steel beams, they are perplexed and ask: why do you need all that steel? In watching other houses come together locally, on the internet and on TV, the houses with steel beams seemed bigger and more complicated than ours.
This led me to wonder: why does our project require so much steel? Do we have a choice?
From the very beginning, before plans were drawn, we envisioned a roof that stretched out over the deck. This roof would be cantilevered and not have posts that obstruct the view. At the time, it seemed like a no-brainer. Why have posts if you don’t have to?
What we didn’t realize was the engineering required to make that roof a reality. The regulations for our location meant the house had to withstand winds of up to 144 mph. Without a beefy roof, a strong wind could rip the roof right off the house. Further, because it hangs so far off the house, it had to be strong and support a lot of wood.