Steel Building or Wood Building? That is the Question
Wood has been a building material of choice for centuries and this wasn’t without reason. But with mining, engineering and manufacturing technology improving – there’s a new king in town, steel buildings.
Once you start digging into it, you’ll find steel buildings offer many benefits over their wood counterparts. Some of those advantages include but are not limited to its inherent resistance to pests and fire, strength, and ease of assembly. Let’s review some of the main reasons why people choose steel buildings for their building project:
Steel buildings provide improved efficiency of construction when compared to wood. This reduces labor costs to save you money. By choosing steel, the design of your building can be simplified for easier construction. Steel framing stronger relative to its weight than it’s wood counterpart. This allows you to create larger open spans for doorways or extra space then you would with lumber construction.
Earth Friendly Building Alternative
Many people do not know it but steel buildings also are a green option when compared to wood. When constructing a steel building, everything is pre-cut at the factory. By machine-fabricating pieces ahead of time, you generate less waste than you have with a traditional wood building which is often cut on-site.
Any steel scraps can also be remelted down and recycled for future building use. Structural steel is often made of recycled steel. Currently, structural steel has a recycling rate of 98%. A large part of this is that the value of this material makes it worthwhile to recover it after demolition, whereas wood is typically just disposed of in a landfill.
Durability and Longevity
Steel buildings have many long-term benefits when compared to wood buildings. Unlike wood, steel does not warp split crack or rot. Steel is also not able to be eaten by vermin or termites so you can protect your investment and save on insurance.
If you live in an area with high humidity or changing weather conditions steel is far more stable than its wood counterparts. This may not seem like a large issue in the short-term, but over time this expansion and contraction can cause serious structural issues.
Save on Insurance
Along with reduced termite and pest issues, another reason you can save on insurance costs is due to steel being inherently non-combustible. By using a non-combustible material, versus wood, you reduce the liability risks for occupants as well as insurance costs for the goods that may be stored inside.
Resistance to Extreme Weather Conditions
Finally, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes tornadoes or earthquakes then steel can be a good choice. Steel buildings survive natural disasters typically far better than wood buildings do. If there’s flooding or heavy rain (as the majority of hurricane damage typically comes from water-damage) the steel beams do not swell like wood. Steel is also far stronger than its wood counterparts making it able to handle heavier wind loads and reduce damage from earthquakes.
Hopefully, this has helped explain why the choice between steel and wood may not be as difficult as you think. Sure wood has its cost-benefits in the short term due to the cheap cost of lumber. Over time, however, you’re unlikely to be as happy with your future building, or saving as much money on maintenance and insurance as you would with a more durable steel structure.