Building a New Home? Frame with Steel

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 18, 2016

Steel framing

Steel framing is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of using traditional wood construction to frame your new home, your contractor will use steel beams to support your home instead. Steel framing is stronger than wood construction, doesn’t warp or crack like wood, is impervious to insect infestations and is very cost comparable to boot. If you’re looking into building a new home, think about metal stud framing.

Earthquake and Hurricane Proof

Perhaps the biggest draw to using steel to frame your home is its structural integrity. You simply can’t find a stronger, more resilient framing material on the market. It’s the main reason why steel framing has become a popular choice for areas prone to earthquakes and hurricanes. It won’t split or crack under duress and can survive winds of up to 180 miles per hour! And unlike wood, steel won’t warp, crack or split over time. Be it a natural disaster or simply the passage of time, steel construction bests wood.

Termites Don’t Eat Metal

The other big draw of steel framing is that it is impervious to insect infestation. Bugs simply don’t find steel very appetizing. This can be a major selling point if you live in an area of the country where termites, carpenter ants, and other insects regularly cause major damage that requires costly repairs. By choosing steel you will ensure that you’ll never have to call an exterminator or worry about the structural integrity of your home when it comes to our six-legged friends.

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What about Energy Efficiency?

The main argument against metal stud framing is that it hasn’t proven to be as energy efficient as wood construction. While this is a real concern since steel conducts heat and cold much easier than wood, with proper construction techniques and good insulation your steel framed home can reach an energy efficiency rating even higher than that of traditional wood construction. And if you are concerned about our greater impact on the environment, you might want to take into account the fact that all steel framing materials are made of at least 25% recycled steel and are also100% recyclable when the structure is torn down. How’s that for a green building material!

Cost Comparable

Framing with steel is very comparable in cost to wood construction. The labor costs are more expensive since it requires more expertise and planning than wood to put up, but the material is quite a bit cheaper, which evens things out. You’ll pay one or two percent more in initial costs by choosing steel, but if you balance that against the long-term structural benefits of steel and its resistance to insect infestations, you’re going to come out ahead in the long run. If steel sounds like the answer for your new home construction needs (and how could it not?), contact a prescreened contractor or construction management company experienced in steel framing to ensure the job is done right.

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