Building with Steel vs. Conventional Materials

Published by on March 10, 2015 8:45 am

A practical solution to the many limitations builders face using traditional building materials is the strength of steel. Steel, LLC recognizes that even with this code-approved material, there are a number of frequently asked questions when building with steel. Consumers, businesses and organizations appreciate the lower costs involved with steel construction, but how does it compare to more conventional construction?

Why should I consider building with steel?

  • Steel framing can lower construction costs.
  • Warranty is more effective because steel does not shrink, split or warp. There are also no nails or drywall cracks to fix after the structure is completed.
  • Consistent quality means that scrap is drastically reduced (2% for steel versus 20% for wood).
  • Discounts are given on builder’s risk insurance for steel framed structures.
  • Steel framing is easier to handle because steel studs weigh one-third less than wood studs.


Steel buildings normally range from $50-$70 per sq. ft.

Clear Span

With conventional construction, you can go up to 80 ft. wide and maintain a clear span. The wider you go the more expensive it becomes. Steel buildings can go up to 300 ft. wide and maintain a clear span.


A one-year warranty is typical with conventional construction. Steel buildings generally come with a lifetime warranty on the structure.


Using conventional construction methods require a great deal of maintenance, such as paint, shingles, siding etc. With steel buildings, you simply power spray once a year.

The Elements

The elements affect conventional construction and steel buildings quite differently. Steel buildings can be designed to withstand a 160 mph sustained wind. While you can burn a conventional construction building down with one match, steel is virtually flame retardant. Steel will not soak up water or have mold problems that are found in conventional construction.


Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on conventional construction buildings each year due to termite damage, which steel is resistant to.


Expansion on conventional construction buildings can be expensive and sometimes impossible. Steel buildings allow you the flexibility to expand in almost any size or shape in a very most effective manner.

Pages: 1 2