This study aims at improving the performance of simulated annealing (SA) search technique in real-size structural optimization applications with practical design considerations. It is noted that a standard SA algorithm usually fails to produce acceptable solutions to such problems associated with its poor convergence characteristics and incongruity with theoretical considerations. In the paper novel approaches are developed and incorporated into the standard SA algorithm to eliminate the observed drawbacks of the technique. The performance of the resulting (improved) algorithm is investigated in conjunction with two numerical examples (a 304-member braced planar steel frame, and 132-member unbraced space steel frame) designed according to provisions of the Allowable Stress Design (ASD) specification. In both examples, curves showing the variation of average acceptance probability parameter in standard and improved algorithms are plotted to verify usefulness and robustness of the integrated approaches.