The frame of your home is like the bones of your body, in that it supports the entire structure. Steel framing is very popular in commercial and industrial applications, but steel doesn’t have much grounding when it comes to residential homes. For most homes, wood is “king.” The integrity and strength of the materials you are using to frame your home are of the utmost importance. When building, homeowners have the choice to use either metal or wood for the frame, and this decision should be given careful consideration.

First thing to consider is the sustainability factors and how they differ between metal and wood. When utilizing wood products, according to Steeler Construction Supply, it can take up to 40-50 trees to build your home’s frame. And according to the Green Home Source, “steel used for construction framing contains a percentage of recycled content, typically around 60 percent or more. The use of recycled steel reduces its environmental impact by lowering the amount of virgin material and the energy needed to process it into a finished product.”

There is, however, a major drawback of steel framing, which is thermal bridging. Green Home Source defines this as, “the material’s ability to transmit heat or cold in a home setting.” This becomes problematic as it may introduce the possibility of higher heating or cooling costs, unless the proper steps are taken. This can be mitigated by putting the insulation on the outside of the steel frame, using rigid or spray foam, and has been proven to greatly enhance insulation.


It also is important to consider environmental factors, such as pests, Hawaii’s weather, natural disasters, fire and etc. Fortunately, steel-framed houses boast considerable strength against pests, such as termites, which is really a problem throughout the islands. Steel also is resistant to mold growth, which is a condition that could potentially lead to health issues. This is where homeowners find a major drawback to utilizing wood framing, because it is vulnerable to such pests, and to elements like water, allowing for rapid deterioration.

When thinking about bottom-line costs, evaluate this using the information given above, so as a homeowner, you can see which framing option has the better value for you. In the end, both wood and steel support your home, but it is up to you to decide what works best for your situation.

United Pacific Builders LLC is a licensed general contractor offering an array of services, including but not limited to, renovations, remodels and building up or new construction. Call today for your free estimate and let the company help you with your construction needs at 366-0575.

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