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Wood vs Steel

Home Wood vs Steel

Options are endless when it comes to construction materials, but framing typically draws down to one of two choices; wood or steel. While wood have been the traditional choice, construction companies like we are moving towards steel as a cost savings and longer lasting option and here is why.

Steel framing options can save you money; from initial costs and long – term cost savings in the form of low – maintenance and durability.

  • Design Flexibility

    Steel framed buildings are built using lower roof lines but do not mean you couldn’t create a high – peaked steel roof. Another advantage of steel is prefabricated members and panels make it easier to add an expansion or wing in a matter of weeks. Continuing innovation makes it possible to have metal roof and siding facades that replicate traditional materials like tiles, wood, stone, etc.

  • Structural Strength and Integrity

    The issue with wood is that it is susceptible to pests, like termites and other burrowing insects. Wood absorbs moisture, expanding and contracting as the wood soaks up water and dries out. Drywall and other coverings attached will crack and warp along the wood. Steel frames are resistant to pests and fire. The only weakness is condensation and moisture penetration, which is less severe by the use of high – quality coatings, insulation and moisture barriers. Steel can withstand high winds, which is why steel schools, churches and municipal buildings are often used as evacuations centers in areas that are prone to hurricanes or tornadoes.

  • Lifetime Maintenance Requirements

    Wood also has the tendency to crack, warp, split, mold and rot. Steel framed buildings with metal buildings components have no splitting, warping, molding, mildewing or cracking. So lifetime maintenance and upkeep costs of a steel – framed building are minimal. Steel results in a lighter weight framed that doesn’t weigh as heavily on the foundation and has fewer cracks, fewer repairs. The best part is that steel is so durable and resistant to fire and other destructive actions, owners are able to save approx. 45% in insurance costs.

  • Energy Efficiency

    Wood has steel beat when it comes to heat transfers heat from on area to another. However, wood – framed buildings still need to be insulated, so dollar for dollar savings are pretty balanced here. However, wood must constantly be harvest and milled. There is little to no recycling or wood frames, they are typically torn down and hauled to the landfill. Steel is made using both pre – and post – consumer recycled products to start with and can be completely recycled again at the end of its lifespan. That is a major bonus regarding carbon footprint and total life cycle efficiency. Cool metal roofs also help to increase the energy efficiency of a steel framed building.

Leading The Construction Industry

Overall, we see steel as the better option in the long run as you are able to stretch design, your building will stay strong longer, energy efficiency and your lifetime maintenance is minimal.

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