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Metal or Wood Framed Home Building Tips – Which Ones Better?

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If you've been in the construction business as long as I have, there's a good chance that you'll run into this question, which would you use when building a house, metal or wood. I personally like to use wood, because that's what I've done the most work with, even though I've used metal, I like and prefer wood any day of the week. I've heard construction professionals tell me that metal homes are earthquake and fire proof, but I strongly disagree though statements. I've heard professionals tell me that wood homes rot, attract mold, termites, it ripped apart during earthquakes and burn down when there's a fire. Each one of these types of buildings has their advantages and disadvantages. To learn more watch this and arresting video that I put together and by the time you're done you might have a little more knowledge about metal and wood buildings. We appreciate any positive comments that you can leave for us in the comment area, especially if you enjoy watching our videos.


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27 comments

  • gregvancom

    @joeycbn I’ve even seen stainless steel rust, what makes you think galvanized metal studs won’t. I’ve torn out plenty of galvanized wall framing that was rusted when exposed to moisture, even while sitting directly on top of a concrete foundation, located inside a building.

  • brown55061

    Stainless still will not and can not rust. If you saw SS rust, it wasn’t stainless and was likely chinese crap metal. You could submerge true SS in the ocean and it will not rust. But every metal framing home builder I’ve read about uses galvanized metal, which is just a coating that can ware off with heat and stress, and once that’s gone it’s time for rust.

  • gregvancom

    From what I gathered off of the Internet, stainless steel is corrosion resistance, which means it can rust.

    As far as the galvanized nails, you’re right, there are some nails with a galvanized coating, but there are also nails made from 100% galvanized metal. The nails that are coated, usually end up rusting and staining.

  • brown55061

    There have been submarines and ships wrecked in the ocean that had stainless steel parts that were untouched by corrosion and rust. The chemical properties of the higher grade stainless are corrosion proof. As for stains, wouldn’t all that be on the inside of the walls anyway? Most modern steel framed homes I see look like any other ranch from the outside so any rusty spots would be behind walls and siding, right?

  • gregvancom

    That is interesting about stainless steel, I will need to look into it further and appreciate the insight. As far as the nails go, I would be referring to nails on the exterior of the building, for siding, fascia board or other wood trim. These nails will stain and rust under the right conditions or poor maintenance and of course the biggest problem nowadays is the pneumatic nail guns, chipping the coatings off, while driving them into the building.

  • Scott D

    what about i beam framing wow

  • gregvancom

    Metal I beams will rust under the right conditions. If you can protect wood and metal from the elements, then both could last for decades.

  • Brandon Mcreary

    well yeah wood is definatly easier to work with and metal is not plus wood is cheaper and its more common.

  • Phil Butters

    Great tips for my readers at philhomebuilders com

  • Armin Omidfar

    metal is more powerful facing the both static and dynamic forces and more flxable, pretty much thats why how the cable structures appeared. but when it reaches its burning point it burns pretty fast and the heat that it produces is way more powerful than a wood structure. but for the two story residential houses wood is a great choice still. specially whn it comes to the resistance ability for its acoustic and the heat and ofcourse its way easier to work with.since the vry frst houses wre wood

  • gregvancom

    Thanks for the great points. Realistically some metal structures are more flexible than others, but I don’t think you could get anything more flexible than wood nailed together, except for maybe a straw house or something built without any fasteners like nails or bolts.

  • Ntr Htp

    Rammed earth is the solution; period!

  • AmericanViking75

    I like building with Termites haha

  • cameron howard

    I personally believe its a matter of opinion and what your most comfortable with. I myself lean more towards a steel structure not only because its my comfort zone working with metal but I believe they will outlast wood in elements, stress, human error, and abuse. for example…. have you ever seen a wooden cell phone tower, or wooden broadcast tower? I rest my case.

  • gregvancom

    I think you make a good point that would be difficult to argue against with extremely large metal towers, but if you’re going to use that as your example and were talking about building homes then you should ask yourself why most homes are built out of wood.

  • Kenice Masayuki Okishima

    just another thought, in an event of fire, wood becomes fuel. steel doesnt. . .😆

    • gregvancom

      You’re absolutely right and I think the reason why they don’t use steel is because it isn’t a renewable resource like wood, but that’s just my opinion.

    • ਉ찊ঌঘ

      Kenice Masayuki Okishima thats not true, steel will burn with enough heat/oxygen

  • marco hanse

    I live in Queensland Australia and we have wooden homes. The framework in old houses made from hard are never burnt down in a fire! When ever i do renovations. I always use hard wood. Believe it or not it’s cheaper then using pine. For some reason the termites don’t like the hard wood either!

    • gregvancom

      If you don’t mind me asking, what type of hardwood do you use? Some hardwoods are difficult to work with, harder to cut and nail together.

    • marco hanse

      +gregvancom the cheapest. It’s not really hard wood. Rather it’s the right sections of the tree. I always take a planer with me. U plane the end of the wood,and check to see if it’s the middle of the tree. The middle of the tree is very week. It splits easily. I also try to avoid the outer most extremity of the tree as it has knots. Pine is no different. I usually do the roof frame work out of pine.

    • gregvancom

      Yes I agree, center cut lumber twists and splits more than the lumber cut farther away from the center.

    • marco hanse

      Centre cut lumber has no strength. I love working with hard wood. Pine burns away instantly. Hard wood takes a very long time to burn down. I still believe hard wood is better then steel. Steel buckles and warps in very weak house fires! My cousins house caught on fire. The fire department turned out the fire with in an hour. The frame work was still perfect. we simply repaired the house back to new. If the house was pine. The house would of burnt to nothing. If the house was steel framed. The steel would have been buckled and warped. Clearly to me hard wood is the best!

  • Dr. Seymour Butts

    wood is way stronger in most applications

  • Jeronimo Mico

    Metal house to me…so we can save many, many trees.

    • gregvancom

      From what I’ve gathered, metal is not a renewable resource and probably the reason why we use trees, but I can’t argue with saving the trees.

  • Claudisimooo

    Coming from Chile I have to say that wood houses performs surprisingly well in case of strong earthquakes, but i don’t know if that would be the case when we are talking about 2 or 3 floor houses. But yes, metal houses are completely earthquake proof. With 2010 earthquake noy a single one suffered from structural damage. Some wooden houses got a little leaned, but a lot of them where low cost houses, not really well constructed.

    What I do like from metal houses more than wood is that they are so quickly to build…