Metal Studs in Residential Construction

355 Words2 Pages
Metal Studs in Residential Construction While I was looking for an article for the review one of my classmates asked me a question. Can a whole house be built out of metal studs? The technical answer is yes, but in practice no. Don’t get me wrong it could be done and I like working with metal studs. The first obstacle would be availability of materials. Second most custom homebuilder haven’t had a lot of experience with metal studs on a large scale. In addition, this type of framing would have a huge impact on the other systems in the house. Availability would be concern because most lumberyards do not carry structural studs necessary for load barring walls. Some yards do carry some non-load studs they do not carry the quantities necessary to support a home project (EX. Menards only carries about 300 verses 3500 wood 8’ studs). Yes, we do order in the necessary studs for commercial projects but those have much firmer contracts in regards to change orders and also much more accurate material lists. With these softer contracts and material lists it would necessary to order more material because you cannot just go pick up a couple more studs. You would also could have delays if your shipment is delayed your whole project would be thrown off schedule. Cash on hand may also be a problem for smaller companies if they don’t have the credit to cover the cost until they have made sufficient progress to get paid from the mortgage company. Lack of experience may not be a huge objection to the use of metal studs but it still is concern. This concern will probable show up as a higher labor cost because the contractor is trying to cover any unforeseen costs. If it were a union job, you would need to bring in metalworkers because carpenters do not have to work with metal by the union rules. The largest concern I would have would be the effect on other systems in the house. Structurally the whole house would have to be detailed on the plans (EX. Stud placement, second floor and roof placement on the supporting walls). The electrical, entertainment, and communication system would have to be in conduit and would cost considerably more. The HVAC system would also have similar problems because of the conduit runs cut in all the studs a stud cavity could not be used as a vent run without addition ducting in the wall that would not be necessary in wood framing.

More about Metal Studs in Residential Construction

Open Document