The Benefits of Metal Stud Framing
When you think of using studs to frame a building, your mind probably first turns to wood – which makes sense, as wood framing is a method that has been used for many years. However, wood is not the only option, and in some cases, it is not the best option. Metal studs can also be using for framing, and they offer a number of advantages over wood for certain applications. If you are trying to decide between wood and metal studs for an upcoming job, consider the following points.
This is a great place to start – because who doesn’t love lower costs? While the actual product itself usually costs a bit more than wood upfront, those costs are deceiving because of some of the savings that can be experienced on the backend. For one thing, the consistent quality that you will find in metal stud framing means there will be far less scrap waste from the product that you have purchased. Also, steel is not going to warp or shrink after it is installed, so other issues that may pop up in a wood structure related to warping and shrinking will not be a factor.
You are sure to be impressed with the strength that is offered by metal when used in a framing application. If you are working on a project where high-strength is one of your main requirements, you will be hard pressed to do better than using metal for the structure. For example, if you are building in an area known for consistently high winds, putting metal to use is a great idea.
As you already know, wood studs can get heavy when you are working with them all day. Thanks to the lightweight nature of metal, you will find they are easier to install because they weigh as much as a third less than their wood counterparts. Also, you can install these kinds of studs at 24 inches on center, meaning you will have to use less of them than you will need to use with wood.
No Warp Zone
Another characteristic of wood that makes it challenging to use is its tendency to warp and twist – and again, this is not something you will see from metal. A metal stud is going to remain exactly in its position, so you can build with confidence knowing that a square corner is going to stay square throughout the project. In the end, it is much easier to be precise with your project when you are working with a material as reliable and predictable as metal.
Of course, wood remains a suitable choice for the studs in many building projects, but metal should not be overlooked. There are a great number of benefits to using metal, and there are a limited number of drawbacks. When you start to think about the needs of your project in detail, don’t be surprised if metal studs prove to be the wise choice.