Steel framing has been used in commercial buildings since the early 1950s, and in the last 20 years, it has become popular for single-family homes and remodeling. This is partly due to the many benefits that steel framing provides over traditional wood framing.
Steel framing is not only stronger and more durable than wood, it is also more accurate and dimensionally stable. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using steel framing as a regular practice in your residential construction business.
What Is Metal Framing?
Metal framing uses metal posts and metal studs to create the frame of the home, rather than wood. The metal stud is different from wood, in that it is made with galvanized steel coated on either side and it is hollow instead of solid. This makes the material lighter and easier to work with, without losing any structural integrity. In addition, it decreases the overall construction time in the framing schedule.
Steel framing is becoming a more popular option for residential construction because it provides several advantages over traditional wood framing, including increased durability, fire-resistance, and insect-resistance. There are several types of metal framing, but steel is the most popular.
What Are the Advantages of Using Steel Framing Over Wood?
As a building professional, you know the difference between customer benefits and builder benefits. While anything that benefits the customer can benefit you, there are certain aspects of construction that improve the process and add to your good reputation as a quality builder. Utilizing steel framing gives you the following:
Engineered for Strength
One of the main advantages metal provides is strength. This makes metal framing more suitable for homes in earthquake-prone areas, because metal will better withstand shaking than wood. It also means that homes built with steel can eliminate some center load-bearing walls, which can save time and money on your project. In addition, metal framing doesn’t shrink or swell as much as wood due to temperature changes, which reduces callbacks due to interior finish issues.
Fire & Insect Resistant
Another benefit metal provides is fire resistance. Steel studs are naturally resistant to fire damage, and they are less likely to burn than drywall and wood materials. In addition, metal framing doesn’t provide food for insects. Wood-boring insects will have a difficult time finding nourishment in a steel framework.
Metal framing takes less time to install than other types of metal framing. Time-saving is always an advantage when building, but metal studs are particularly beneficial for this, because they do not require the precise measurements required for wood materials. This makes metal studs easier to install than many other types of metal framing.
Steel is Environmentally Friendly
All businesses want to be seen as concerned with the environment, and with good reason – this planet is our home. Unlike wood, which can’t be recycled easily, and usually ends up in a landfill, steel can be melted down and made into new products, increasing the life of the raw material and reducing the environmental impact on our ecosystem. The steel industry is a powerful force in the world of recycling. It recycles between 60-80 tons every year and creates jobs for countless people across North America.
What Advantages Will Your Customer Realize When You Build with Steel?
Steel construction will provide your customers with the peace of mind that their home has been built to withstand the normal threats presented in nature.
Fire, Earthquake, and Hurricane Resistant
Homes can be designed to meet the highest seismic and wind load specifications in any part of the country. Steel has an inherent strength that enables it to resist fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
Increased Design Flexibility
Steel’s strength means it can span greater distances, offering increased design flexibility without requiring intermediate columns or load bearing walls. This gives your customers the option of designing more open living areas in their homes.
Higher Level of Satisfaction With You, the Builder
Customers move into their homes believing they should enjoy it, without having to call you back to repair little things that shouldn’t have gone wrong in the first year. Steel framed walls and floors are strong and remain that way. There’s no shrinkage to cause nail-pops or squeaking floors!