Benefits of Steel vs Wood Framing???

imwonderwomanMay 4, 2010

OK, here in Aussie land it is not unusual to frame in steel, due to termites and wood costs being high.

That said, I have done alot of reading on the pros of steel and the pros of wood, however, does anyone here really KNOW the true benefits of steel framing??? It is very difficult to sort out the "hype"!!

I like the fact that most of the light weight steel framing companies make your pieces for you and all you have to do is put them up (or hire someone to do that for you), including your roof trusses.

I also like the idea that everything is straight. They say it will stay that way, but is that really true???

Thanks for any respones!!!

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Steel is more expensive and less energy efficient so it is used in structures that are required to be built of non-combustible materials.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:49PM
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Are we talking of steel studs that replace 2x4 wood or are we talking of steel buildings that come pre-manufactured, ready to assemble?

Steel is a way better conductor than wood; cold, moisture, electricity all have to be dealt with when using steel. I wouldn't use steel in a basement, for instance. But steel studs go up fast and true.

I've seen electrical run through steel studs with no grommets, the sheathing almost cut through from the original pulling of the wire.

I've also seen wood studding so compromised by bad construction practices that its a wonder the wall held up.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:01PM
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Hello WW.
First house we built was double brick and tile...way too hot in summer/cold in winter. Second house we built, timber frame...very good in both summer and winter, but a concern in the area we built as there ended up being a problem with firebugs and also the introduction of the European house borer, so onto our third house...steel frame. We are very happy with it, been here two + years so far. I know a quite a lot of folk in this area wouldn't build anything but steel frame...termites mostly. As with any construction, it has to be done properly.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:15AM
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The Land of Oz and its recurrent plagues of creatures great and small straight from Starship Troopers is a special case.

Arachnids attack Melbourne suburb

Here in the other Dominion, steel framing is common in small commercial buildings, but rarely used in housing. Only seen in the isolated small subdivision or custom home. Installation cost seems the biggest drawback, followed by lack of experienced labour; creaking, and extra electrical work probably figure in it too. I have been in a couple of demo steel houses. Even the staircases were steel. I like to use light steel framing in the basement. Great for renos! No dust. It gives you straight warp free walls.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:00AM
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"I've seen electrical run through steel studs with no grommets, the sheathing almost cut through from the original pulling of the wire."

Use MC cable not NM.

NM requires the grommets.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Hey, it wasn't me!

Big difference in putting it up yourself and fixing anothers good idea, right?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:11PM
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another advantage of steel framing is the framing steel and the gib-board have the same expansion co-efficient, so as the walls heat up and cool down they do so as one unit, so no cracking due to expansion. we also have alot of rain in the south of NZ so waiting for timber to dry out is a unwanted variable. the doors fit nicer too and like the walls stay truer. Done both, steel and wood, and sticking to steel now, just seems a more stable product even if a little more difficult to work with at times,
I believe it makes a better quality house and the end result for the customer is what matters to me, but each to their own in their own specific situation

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:18PM
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