Comparing Steel vs Wood House Framing Costs
Homes have been built using wood for hundreds of years, and wood is still a popular building material. However, the tide is definitely changing and we’re witnessing a shift towards using steel framed structures.
Due to specific environmental concerns and some of the inherent problems associated with using wood, steel-frames buildings are becoming a popular choice amongst new homeowners. Typically, this material was reserved for commercial use, however, more people are using this material for residential properties.
As you would expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to both of these framing options and the costs associated with these options are also very different. Here, we’re taking a closer look at each framing option to see which one will best suit your personal needs.
Cost of Steel vs Wood Framing
When it comes to steel building prices, steel framing is more expensive than using wood framing. The materials costs associated with a steel building project are higher and labour will be more expensive as some contractors will not be familiar with using steel. Although, some companies allow you to price your own metal building online, which can help you choose the correct elements to cut down on costs. An example of where you can do this can be seen at http://armstrongsteel.com/.
Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from 5% right up to 15% more if you choose to build a steel framed home. The reason this range exists is because of the numerous variables that can affect this price, including current steel prices, experience of your contractor and even the region of the country you live in. However, these initial costs are usually worth it if you are looking to build a structure with a long fie expectancy.
Steel Framing Pros
- Steel is stronger: When it comes to durability, steel is far sturdier than wood. This means it is better able to withstand a number of natural disaster scenarios such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. This means that steel-framed structures often cost less to insure and are a popular option for people living in areas with strong seismic activity.
- Steel is non-combustible: Unlike wood, steel is not combustible. Some local fire and building codes will actually require you to use steel when building.
- Steel will not bend or rot: You don’t have to worry about steel rotting or warping over time. This means that your floors, walls and roofline will remain straight and there’s no need to consider potential damage from insects.
Wood Framing Pros
- Wood is cheaper: If you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, wood is the cheaper building material. In fact, both your material and labour costs will be lower.
- Wood is more common: Most contractors will be more familiar with wood framing, so you will have a wider selection of contractors to choose from if you opt for this material.
As you can see, there are advantages to using both materials, however, steel is clearly the better choice if you are looking to build a structure that is weather-resistant and non-combustible. The initial outlay costs will most likely be recouped over time as your insurance premiums will be significantly lower.