Steel Buildings vs Wood Framed Buildings

Steel buildings vs wood-framed buildings: which is better? This is a question that many business owners, project managers, and shareholders ask themselves. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of steel frame construction and why steel is often a better choice than wood.

commercial building for a towing company

At Scenic Ridge Company, we’re a commercial building company that works throughout Lancaster County, PA. Here’s your chance to learn more about the advantages of steel frame construction so that you can make an informed decision. Check out our breakdown of steel vs wood building – and give us a call to get started!

5 Key Advantages of Steel Frame Construction

When it comes to your building, there’s nothing more important than the “skeleton” or framework of the structure. Whether you’re expanding or constructing a brand-new facility, it’s essential to pick the right framing material. We’re breaking down the key advantages of steel frame construction:

  1. Stronger and More Flexible – When comparing the strength of stick-built vs metal buildings, there’s no contest. Steel frames are stronger and lighter than their wooden counterparts. A steel structure is typically 20% to 30% lighter than a comparable wooden structure. Steel components can be custom-made for your specific building, giving you more design flexibility.  Steel buildings typically clearspan 50′ to 150’…much further than wood.  And heights are typically 20′ to 40′ high, again much higher than wood buildings.  Columns along the walls are typically spaced 25′ to 30′ apart, but can easily be spaced further apart if needed.
  2. More Durable – steel buildings are an excellent choice for buildings because they prevent rot, mold, warping, and pests from compromising the structural integrity of the structure. They can also withstand harsh weather like strong winds or heavy snow with ease!  Steel building roof panels are usually 24-gauge standing-seam with no screw-holes, compared to 28-29 gauge screw-through panels.  Steel building siding is also heavier, at 26 gauge vs. 28-29 gauge.
  3. More Cost-Effective in the Long Term – wood buildings might be cheaper in the short term, but they aren’t as durable and can come with more problems down the line. In the event of a serious leak, the wood can absorb water which causes it to expand and crack. The increased durability of steel leads to less maintenance costs over the lifespan of the structure. Steel frame buildings can also reduce insurance costs compared to wood-framed buildings.
  4. No Bottom Chord Across the Truss – building with a steel frame means that there will be higher clear ceiling space since there will not be a bottom chord going across the truss. Wood buildings have a lower flat ceiling located at the bottom of the wood trusses.
  5. Fire Resistant – the steel frames of buildings are designed to be fire-safe and reduce the risk that a structure will suffer damage in the event that a fire occurs.

Steel frames are the preferred choice for most commercial buildings. They provide many advantages over traditional wood construction, making them an excellent investment!

Is Steel framing Better than Wood?

As you can see, steel buildings vs wood framed buildings is a multifaceted comparison. Overall, the advantages of steel frame construction for your commercial construction project are peerless. In the long term, steel is more dependable, resilient, adaptable, and cost-effective, while wood is susceptible to fire, dampness, vermin, harsh weather, and more. Generally, when asked “is steel framing better than wood framing”, professionals almost always say yes!

The only downside with Steel framing? Steel buildings are often more expensive upfront. But, because they last much longer and don’t require as much maintenance, they more than make up for the difference in price over time. If you’re still undecided about which route to take for your commercial construction project, consider consulting with a member of our team. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of steel buildings.

Get Started on a Steel Building for Your Business

We hope this breakdown of steel buildings vs wood framed buildings gave you some essential background information. If you’d like to take the next step, we’re here to help. With Scenic Ridge, you can feel confident knowing that you are working with one of the top metal building contractors in PA. You’ll not only be able to design your new facility, but you’ll also have the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced team.

is steel framing better than wood

If you’re in the early stages of a project and wondering whether the advantages of steel frame construction are appropriate for your project, please reach out and we’ll put you in touch with one of our experts. We are happy to talk you through your options and help take your project from concept to completion!

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