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Pros & Cons of Steel Frame for Residential Projects

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on March 5th, 2008

Pro
1. New code, C.B.C. 2007, can give certain advantages to the use of light steel framing
2. “Stick” steel is termed to be light U-channels
3. Two U-channels can be put together to form 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, etc.
4. Steel member walls are light in weight
5. Steel framing members usually have stamped openings for utilities to pass through
6. Steel framing is very quiet
7. Screw guns and power cutters are used
8. No waste of wood debris
9. Light steel framing can be faster
10. Low fire danger
11. Lower insurance costs
12. No termites
13. Whole metal house is grounded for lightening
14. Save trees
15. Steel is recyclable
16. Building departments look favorably on light steel construction
Con
1. Because light steel framing is fairly new, learning curve can be slow and expensive
2. General contractors or framing crews must obtain or buy new tools
3. Some building departments can be slow to adapt to light steel construction
4. Plywood still needs to be considered for roof sheathing
5. Wood rafter ends could take longer
6. Steel is difficult to trim, unlike wood

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