Sign up for eletters today and get the latest how-to from Fine Homebuilding, plus special offers.
Visit just about any commercial construction site in the country and you’re likely to find light-gauge steel framing. And why not? Galvanized studs are uniformly straight, lighter than wood, inedible by bugs, resistant to fire and rot, and conveniently prepunched for wiring. The system is pretty simple, particularly on non-load-bearing partition walls where studs fit into tracks at the floor and ceiling and are held in place with a couple of screws. As builders continue to complain about the difficulty of finding quality framing material, and an ongoing trade dispute with Canadian lumber producers helps to push up prices, the time seems right for more residential builders to move to steel. Why is it, then, that in 2016, the United States Census Bureau reported that a mere 3000 single-family houses are framed with steel, compared to the 674,000 houses framed with wood? In some regions of the country, the proportion of steel-framed houses is too low to rate more than a “Z” in Census Bureau records—less than 500 units, a statistical no-show. Despite efforts by a few production builders to introduce steel framing, and attempts by researchers to make builders more comfortable with steel by providing performance data and construction…
You must be a member to access this story.
Become a member today and get instant access to all Fine Homebuilding content!
I have searched without success for further information on using steel framing in house construction. In particular, any different approaches that are required for trim carpentry; e.g., are special fasteners, such as screws, needed for baseboard and window and door casing? Is this sort of detail information information available anywhere?