Before we dive into the discussion of why more and more builders and leaving wood frame construction, we have to talk about the current state of the construction industry as a whole. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, hundreds of industries are struggling to climb back. One of the industries is construction, this is because there is a massive workforce shortage. According to the Washington Post, “The construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional works on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor, according to a model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors.” Not only are skilled and qualified craft professionals are becoming harder to find so are younger workers.
The average age of retirement is 61 and according to ABC, “ more than 1 in 5 construction workers are currently older than 55. - There is a large decline in the number of construction workers ages 25-54, which fell 8% over the past decade. Meanwhile, the share of older workers exiting the workforce soared.
Wood is a very demanding material regarding weight and needs a lot of tools and hands to get the job done. With the current state of the construction industry wood is becoming an impractical option because there simply aren’t enough people to complete jobs. To add on to the issue, wood has increased to nearly 300% since the pandemic began. So we are looking at a material that demands high labor and high costs overall. This is where Cold-formed steel comes in to save the day.
Steel framing has barely been bugged when it comes to material cost. This is because, unlike wood, steel is highly recyclable. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the United States!
Currently, steel and wood costs are practically identical INNO even offers a price match guarantee. But that’s not the only benefit, steel framing is significantly higher in comparison to its wood counterpart. This is because steel beams are completely hollow which doesn’t impact the structural integrity. An 8ft wood stud can weigh anywhere from 13 - 20lbs depending on how it’s treated. An 8ft 25 gauge metal stud weighs approximately 3.2 lbs which is less than half the weight! Reduced weight will speed up production time, which will have cost savings for a project. Because of the lightweight metal, there are fewer workers needed for the overall construction process.
If you really look at the two materials side by side and understand the current state of the construction industry, steel only offers solutions that need to be addressed while wood only contributes to the current problems. Steel also has eco-friendly benefits, like mentioned before it’s completely recyclable and there is no wasted material. This is because of the advancements in Cold-forming steel and prefabrication to where each steel stud is cut to the exact measurements with zero error. Another big perk is that it qualifies for insurance because of its fire and rodent resistance. As you can see there are dozens of benefits of steel framing instead of wood! If you have any questions give us a call! A specialist will be able to answer any questions you have about steel framing.