Sunday, September 6, 2009

Advantages of Framing With Steel Studs

I have heard all sorts of stories over the years of the advantages in framing with steel versus wood studs. One time I even heard you could build an entire house with the amount of recycled steel from a large automobile such as a Cadillac. I find this hard to believe unless you're building a very small home.

My personal favorite for framing with steel studs is that they are extremely straight. I have built nonbearing partition walls using 12 foot 3 1/2 inch wide steel studs and after the drywall you can lay an 8 foot level to check it for straightness on the wall with amazing results.

If you use 3 1/2 inch wide steel studs with 5/8 of an inch drywall you will get an extremely durable and sturdy wall. Framing was steel studs is common in office renovations or remodeling. Most of the steel stud framing is done via the drywall contractors.

Steel studs and termites do not mix. You'll never have to worry about these little buggers or other uninvited house pests damaging your walls.

Over the years I have heard stories that steel framed buildings are earthquake and fire proof. They might be more resistant to fire than wood but keep in mind when metal is hot enough it will bend and warp making it unusable.

When I hear people talking about a fireproof building built with metal framing components my first thought is all of the other materials used in building the house that are not fire resistant. Don't get a false illusion when buying a house framed with steel studs and think it is 100% fire proof.

As far as steel framed buildings being earthquake proof this is another story. I really can't comment too much on earthquake damage to a steel building. The problem with earthquakes is they seem to create fires. So even if you're building does survive an earthquake it could get damaged by a fire in the area.

I have framed more wood homes than steel homes over the years and my steel stud construction is limited to nonbearing partition walls usually located in office buildings. I love framing with metal because of its light weight and ease of construction.

I still love framing with wood. There is something about what framing that I have always loved and always will.

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