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Wood Prices Rise, Is It Still Cheaper Than Steel Framing?

In the past wooden framing was the cheapest method of framing in the construction industry, but due to the ongoing costs and building costs make this method dramatically much more expensive than you may realize. Steel is, therefore, the cheaper and more trustworthy material to choose from. Not only is the overall process more expensive but according to an article from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that was published on May 13, 2022, by Virginia McDaniel, “Wholesale prices for plywood increased from $400 to $1500 per thousand square feet (roughly equivalent to retail prices of plywood increasing from about $12.80 to $48.00 per sheet).” This means the cost of wood has gone up a whopping 275 percent!

The NAHB or The National Association of Homebuilders recently created an article titled, “Building Alternatives to Help Navigate Elevated Lumber Prices” it notes, “As lumber prices are remaining to be higher than what is considered normal, builders are eyeing alternatives to wood and different construction methods to help mitigate the impact material costs and supply-chain disruptions are having on their businesses.”

In recent years steel studs are becoming more attractive to homeowners because of the high prices of wood. According to a Green Building Tech research names Ben Hildebrandt, an eight-foot wood stud would cost $3-$4 each while steel studs were priced around $6.50. Now Wood studs cost 8.50 and steel remains relatively the same. Homeowners and builders can save money with steel framing for the first time ever.

Hildebrandt also states that a large benefit of steel studs is going CFS. Cold-formed steel (CFS) has huge environmental benefits. Every piece of CFS framing contains recycled content and meets the highest sustainability requirements of all major green building standards and ratings.

Single Family Homes Cost Increases to $35,872

According to the National Association of Realtors that the median sale price has increased by 14.1% from a year ago which makes the average price of an existing home roughly $304,000.

In February of 2021. The Marketplace states that one of the key facts in inflated prices is from COVID-related mill shutdowns on top of devastating wildfires that have reduced available supply while demand has dramatically increased.

The sky-rocketing increases in lumber prices in the past couple of years have added roughly 35,872 to the cost of an average new single-family while adding $13,000 to the market value of the average new multifamily home according to the national association of home builders.

According to the report from Baystreet, North American lumber prices will continue to rise this year as home building and renovations cause demand for wood.

Builders are seeking Steel Alternative Alternatives

Due to all these high costs in wood, contractors are becoming open-minded and interested in or pursuing alternative materials including steel framing.

Home Innovations Lab concluded that Cold-formed steel framing for interior partition wall framing is perhaps the easiest to implement option. Because of the spike in lumber prices, many builders are rethinking alternatives to lumber which includes steel framing.

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