Traditional wood frame construction has a lot of merits and so does pre-fab metal buildings (or steel frame construction.) The answer depends on your unique combination of needs, requirements and preferences. To decide, it helps to consider how these two common construction methods compare in different situations.
With regard to appearance, metal has an unshakable appeal. Metal frame buildings offer not only time-tested natural beauty but also a welcome, reliable familiarity. After all, a structure with steel framing construction can be designed to mimic virtually any aesthetic. Features like brick facades, wood veneers or vinyl sidings can transform a building’s appearance.
Both metal frame construction and steel framing construction can be used to craft a wide array of floorplans for commercial buildings. Either material can be an excellent choice for commercial entities that want a structure customized for their production needs. However, when there’s a desire for uninterrupted space, steel frame construction has the edge. Its strength allows builders to span greater distances without the interruption of supports.
With proper care, a wooden frame structure can endure for centuries. Still, a certain amount of upkeep is a must to safeguard against insect damage, rot and other hazards. On the other hand, a commercial steel building has inherent strength that allows it to stand the test of time. As a bonus, steel frame construction has natural durability which means that it can do so with less routine maintenance. It’s also noncombustible, so the destructive power of fire is less of a threat to steel construction.
In commercial construction, time is money. Any additional time and labor are likely to add to the total price tag of a commercial building. A metal frame construction project can produce tremendous results. However, it requires a significant time investment from skilled laborers working onsite. It also demands a careful evaluation of all materials since lumber is a natural product that can be inconsistent in quality. Steel is a man-made product with an enviable consistency, and it lends itself well to prefabrication. A pre-engineered metal building can save time and reduce labor costs. In fact, using a pre-fab metal building can cut your construction time cycle by about 30 percent.
While it depends on the specifics of your project, opting for wood beam construction when building a new facility can keep your initial material costs lower. Building a steel frame commercial building construction generally leads to higher material costs, but the reduced need for maintenance can often make up for the difference over the structure’s lifetime.
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