01:25PM | 12/27/02
Member Since: 12/26/02
3 lifetime posts
Can anyone point out the price differences in using a steel frame vs wood frame in a house?

The house will be 2 story, approx 4000sqft. I recently watched a house go up in my neighborhood that used steel I beams instead of pressure treated wood for long runs. The had a crew come out with a crane and put 4 beams sticking straight up, then 4 horizonal beams connecting the 4 vertical. Then the foundation was poured around the beams that were 5 or 6 feet into the ground. They then used wood for the rest of the frame.

I like the idea of using all steel (no shrinkage, less bugs, no termites)... I'm just thinking it is a lot more expensive and it seems like a pain for running electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other wiring.



02:01PM | 12/27/02
Actually the price of steel is not much more than wood. Most companies that do both residential and commercial jobs have crews that are proficient in steel structures. (Make certain any contractors you get to give you a price or actually do the work has a good background on building steel framed buildings.) Steel is the material of preference in most commercial buildings and has been for years. It is stronger, straighter, insect proof, and easy to work with if you know what you are doing. Many residential contractors are now offering steel framed houses at competitive prices.

As for the electrical and plumbing, the steel studs used in framing the walls is already punched out for easy electrical and plumbing installation. If there is no hole where a pipe or wire has to go a simple stud punch will make one where it is needed.



05:16PM | 12/28/02
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
A steel framing member costs less than a similar wood one. There are other labor and fastening costs that can add to the finished price though.

BTW, the vertical members are posts, not beams. Probably the reason they used this hybrid system is that steel will generally provide greater strength for the size than wood where a free span without many posts is required.

Chicago Stoam

11:33AM | 01/07/03
Member Since: 01/06/03
7 lifetime posts
We are a company that deals with wall systems. The diffence between steel and wood is depending on what kind of steel is being used because some can actullay rust, so make sure that there is some kind of protection over the steel it self. Now the disadvantages between the both is steel does not rot, mold, and pest free, in which wood does. Now ours is different from both wall systems. We manufacture steel studded wall systems engulfed in styrofoam, which is fire proof as well. More info (

[This message has been edited by Chicago Stoam (edited January 09, 2003).]



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