Examine the Pros and Cons of Building with Steel and Wood

With every construction project, regardless of scope, a number of issues have to be weighed. One of the biggest factors that can influence many other aspects of the project is the type of material you choose. Making the wrong choice will just create another challenge, and will affect the way you use your budget going forward. Both steel and wood come with advantages and disadvantages, so use this information to help make the right decision for your next project.

Pros and Cons of Wood

This material has been used in construction for many years with great results. It is cheaper than steel, and availability is rarely a problem. Even though this is a renewable resource, it is still not considered an environmentally friendly option. It can take up to ten years for a newly planted tree to grow to the point where it can be harvested. When you take into account the number of trees that have to be cut for one project, you can see that this takes a toll on the environment. This is worsened by the fact that a lot of material is left over and disposed of with wood construction. With wood, you can get just about any design you want but difficulties can arise when you remodel or add on. Any section that is removed to facilitate this work is wasted. It takes a lot of work to prevent rot and mold growth during the building’s lifetime, and fires are always a concern.

Pros and Cons of Steel

One of the reasons why people hesitate to use steel is that the material is more expensive than wood. It takes more work to maintain the internal temperature of steel buildings. Despite the higher initial cost, insurance rates for steel is lower since the material is tougher and requires less maintenance. This also lowers costs for the property owner in the long term. Building with steel produces no waste, and any pieces that are left over are recycled. Remodeling and adding on to steel buildings can be easier since load-bearing walls and internal columns are not usually an issue. Building with steel also means shorter constructions times and less labor. A modern steel building can be just as attractive as any other type, and the look can be further enhanced with special veneers.

Look beyond immediate expenditure to fully understand how your choice of building material will continue to pay off in the years to come.


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