The best in steel
When it comes to strong, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient steel frame homes, Superior Steel Homes NQ is the industry leader. For more than 12 years, they have been operating from their base in Atherton, in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands, supplying to clients throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory, and remote areas of Australia. In that time, they have steadily expanded their business and grown their reputation. Today, they are well known for their honesty and integrity, their respect for the environment, and their unyielding commitment to providing customers with the best quality steel and the best after-sales service the industry has to offer.
“We believe we’re the best that Far North Queensland has to offer,” says Alan Floreancig, founder and Managing Director of the company. “We design and manufacture homes that are practical, that work for our customers, and we do it at minimal cost, in minimal time. No one does it better than us.”
Alan is a registered builder that brings more than 20 years’ building and trade experience to his role. He was drawn to steel specifically when a good friend asked him to build him a house in a termite-filled area. He was the one that suggested a steel frame, but Alan initially tried to talk him out of it, because his experience was with timber. He’s glad he lost that argument, though, because that job introduced him to the many benefits and advantages of steel wall framing and trusses.
“That job came together unbelievably well,” he recalls. “I could not believe how well everything fit together, and how fast it all came together.”
Following that experience, Alan started promoting steel frames to his customers, and eventually started his own factory at the age of 29. The initial investment was daunting, there was a learning process, and Alan admits the first three years were rocky. Once they were up-and-running, however, the company expanded quickly. They outgrew both their first and second premises in rapid succession before eventually moving into their current space in Atherton. Since then, they have made sure to keep that factory up-to-date and equipped with the latest in machinery and technology. They now have three state-of-the-art roll formers in, and are looking at purchasing a fourth in the near future.
On the building side, Superior Steel Homes NQ is now capable of taking on a wide range of new home products, in a wide range of locations. They do everything from one-bedroom granny flats to double-storey homes, and they work on a lot of hard-to-reach and challenging sites, travelling as far as Mackay, Mount Isa, Burketown and the Aboriginal missions. They also do the occasional commercial job for customers in that sector who recognise the many advantages that come with building with steel.
One of those main advantages, Alan explains, is the efficiency and productivity of the construction. The building components are designed and manufactured locally in a factory in Far North Queensland, then transported to site where they are efficiently assembled in far less time than a comparable building method. That means their workers spend less time on site, which means less risk of accidents, and less cost to customers.
Another main advantage is the strength and endurance of steel – and the fact that, unlike timber, it doesn’t burn and is not at risk at termites. Plus, Superior Steel Homes NQ’s homes are even stronger and more durable than the average steel frame product. That’s because they use of Bluescope TRUECORE® steel, which is backed with up to a 50-year warranty. They also use a unique, patented method of construction – a method which has been cyclone rated to withstand even the harshest wind loads in Far North Queensland conditions. Alan and his team believe their method is the most effective on the market today.
Over the years, that internal belief has been reinforced by the reviews and loyalty of the company’s clients. Most of their work these days is for repeat customers, or for customers they earned through referrals or word of mouth.
The full package
In recent years, the efficacy and functionality of Superior Steel Homes NQ’s work has also been repeatedly recognised by industry bodies such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and Master Builders Association (MBA). At the 2018 HIA North Queensland Region Awards, for example, they won ‘Best Use of Steel.’ Then at the 2018 MBA Far North Queensland Awards, they won the category for ‘Individual Homes $451,000 to $550,000.’
“That means a lot to us,” Alan says of the recognition. “It shows our construction team is of the highest class, and it means our people in the factory are of the highest class. It shows we’re all doing the right thing. It shows that we have the ability and know-how to design buildings that win awards, and we have builders that know how to put those buildings together.”
“It shows we have the full package,” he adds. “It shows builders and owner-builders that we can help them achieve a home or a product that they are going to be 100 per cent happy with.”
The company’s 2018 accolades were for a project called ‘The Kingfisher’ in Tolga.
On that job, Superior Steel Homes NQ had to contend with many challenges. For example, the site was located in a bushfire zone, but the client was intent on having an elevated floor system with internal timber floors. Alan and his team had to come up with a design that utilised non-combustible materials almost exclusively, and the process of clearing the land, clearing vegetation, and eventually putting the pad down was not simple or easy.
Fortunately, Superior Steel Homes NQ pulled it off, they complied with all the bushfire rating requirements, met the client’s design objectives, and Alan describes the end-result as “absolutely awesome.”
“Just going to that house is a great experience,” he says. “It’s really cool to go through the bush area, going down that driveway, and arriving at this beautiful homestead-style home.”
Alan is also particularly proud of that job, he adds, because it shows that it’s possible to make a steel frame home look and feel like a Queenslander home.
Since completing that project, Superior Steel Homes NQ has continued to win industry accolades. More recently, at the 2019 MBA Far North Queensland Awards, Superior Steel Homes NQ won ‘Best Use of Steel Frame Housing.’ That prize was in recognition of a home they called ‘Serenity,’ also located in Tolga.
The clients on ‘Serenity’ were a young family, and they approached Superior Steel Homes NQ with a budget capped at $200,000. They gave them a list of everything they wanted to achieve with that budget, and Alan and his team turned that wish list into a functioning design that ticked all their boxes. They also provided them with 3D renderings of their plans, and walked them through exactly what their project was going to look like before they signed off.
“They said ‘Perfect,’” Alan recalls. “They said ‘That’s exactly what we’re looking for, that’s exactly what we wanted.’”
Later, the clients went on to express the same enthusiasm throughout the entire process. When it came to the finished product, they repeated their praise almost word-for-word. Alan initially didn’t even initially plan to submit it for awards, but the clients’ reception convinced him it might be worthwhile
“We think all our houses are potentially award-worthy,” Alan says. “We put the same effort and attention to detail into all of them. But on that one, we had to work within such a tight budget, and the house just came together so well, and the clients were so stoked – we decided to go for it. We asked them if it was alright to put it in for awards and they were more than happy to have the judges come through the house.”
Alan partly credits the awards success of that project – and the success of the Kingfisher last year – to the contributions the company received from their suppliers and subcontractors. He says that many of those partners have been longstanding, and that Superior Steel Homes NQ wouldn’t be where they are today without them.
For example, he says the company has a longstanding relationship with Metroll, one of Australia’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of quality steel building products and solutions. They offer everything from roofing, to cladding, rainwater, structural and fencing. They are national company, backed by national strength, but they emphasise local service, and empower their local branches to make decisions and form personal connections – so clients like Superior Steel Homes NQ get the best of both worlds.
Also, much like Superior Steel Homes NQ, Metroll understands the importance of partnering with their customers. They are willing to listen to listen to their specific needs and requirements, and they consider the quality of their advice and service to be just as important as the quality of their products. Those are values that Superior Steel Homes NQ looks for in all their partners
Moving forward, Alan wants to continue fostering relationships with those kinds of companies. With their help, he says the company will continue striving to “grow bigger and better,” and continue to expand their service offering and capability.
“We’re always looking for new ideas, new materials, new styles,” he says. “We’re always considering what’s available, and what comes next. We don’t want to be left behind.”
“We want to be at the front of the market,” he concludes. “That’s where we are right now, and that’s where we want to stay.”
For more on Superior Steel Homes NQ, their process, their products, and their points of difference – and to contact Alan and his team – visit http://www.sshnq.com.au/