I love working with wood. It’s warm, natural, and beautiful. And when you’re building a house it’s easy to cut to any odd shape you need.
Metal, on the other hand, inspires no warm feelings in most of us. It’s cold and harsh. And not easy to alter.
So why would anyone want to build their house out of metal?
The advantage metal has that interests me is how lightweight it is. Steel load-bearing studs are half the weight of wood two by fours. And in earthquake country, the less weight the better.
However, working with metal studs has its drawbacks and quirks:
- requires learning new skills
- insulation doesn’t fit and stay put as well
- hard to support wall cabinets, attach doors and windows
- not easy to hang a picture on the wall
On the other hand, steel is:
- highly recyclable
The advantages of wood framing include:
- renewable resource
- less heat passed through outside walls
- easier to make odd shapes and fill gaps
I’m still looking into metal versus wood framing, and the future may bring changes that shift the balance toward metal someday.
What do you think of building houses with metal? Would you want it in your house?