Wood Vs. Metal Framing

Onur Aydin - October 6, 2023

metal versus wood

Which One Serves You Best?

Wood Vs. Metal Framing? Here you are at the point of decision…Which way should you go? You want to invest your hard-earned money into the shed or garage that will best suit your needs. Metal sounds durable and wood sounds cheaper, but really…Which is the best choice for you?  Indecision ferments from the fear of sitting in the pool of regret years down the road with the choice of a less-than-ideal building.

Your desire to feel deep reassurance of your choice when it comes to spending your hard-earned money is completely understood. We have all been there, staring at seemingly two “best” choices, yet unsure of how to move forward in making that final decision. This very situation is what inspires this blog.

Our aim is to inform, empower, and lead you to the choice of building material that serves you best!

Hang tight, and let’s determine whether you should go with a wood or metal building.

Utilize These Factors to Determine Which Material Best Suits You

metal vs wood

Before determining whether a metal or wood building is ideal, let’s dig a little deeper and think about purpose, storage, and function.

Factor 1: The Purpose of Your Structure

What are you hoping to use your new building for? It might be helpful to grab a notebook and take a moment to write down all the things you plan to store in your structure. You can use the following categories as a helpful guide.

Clarifying List of Questions to Ask Yourself
  1. Do you plan to hang shelves or tools on the side of your building?
  2. Do you need more than 900 square feet?
  3. Do you want special customization options?
  4. Do you need the greatest durability capability?
  5. Do you want a business to feel or a homey feel?

Defining your specific purpose, your storage needs, and your personal preferences is foundational for determining your ideal building and its ideal material.

Factor 2: Is a Garage or a Shed Better for You?

Now that you have a better idea of the specific purpose, let’s consider whether a garage or a shed is a better fit for you.

A garage is ideal for:

A shed is ideal for:

Sheds and garages are both versatile in their sizes and capabilities. However, there are limitations and exclusive bonuses to both material choices. Let’s continue to uncover whether a metal or wood building is the right choice for you!

Wood or Metal Buildings – Their Breakdown Advantages and Disadvantages

For the record, both wood and metal buildings provide ideal structures. However, there are times when going with a metal shed, for example, is more ideal and ultimately a better choice to fulfill your present and future purpose.

Consider your building’s purpose as we unpack the following advantage and disadvantages of metal sheds and metal garages.

Advantages of Metal Sheds or Garages

american steel structures
  1. Available in larger sizes than wooden buildings.
  2. Provide fire protection that wood does not.
  3. Looks “more industrial” and aesthetically appealing for business purposes.
  4. Easily cleaned with a handy power washer.
  5. Includes the option for larger walls, roll-up doors, and overhead bays. (These all are attractive for shops, businesses, farms, etc.)
  6. Termite, warping, and peeling resistant.
metal structures

Bonus Tip: If all that is needed is a basic cover for a car or RV, a metal-framed structure can provide permanent protection at a cheaper cost than a prefab garage.

Disadvantages of Metal Sheds or Garages

  1. Metal is more susceptible to rust.
  2. A metal roof is noisy during rain.

Advantages of Wooden Sheds or Garages

wood garage shed
  1. Easier for the buyer to customize with hangers, shelves, workbenches, etc.
  1. Wood is paintable and stainable, providing more unique customizability (only available on wood-framed structures.)
  2. Wood-framed structures are usually cheaper than metal-framed structures
  3. Rust resistant.

Disadvantages of Wooden Sheds or Garages

  1. Wood is more vulnerable to termites.
  2. Higher chance of catching on fire.
  3. Require painting once every 3 to 5 years. (If painted).

Metal Studs vs. Wood Studs – Which One is Right for You?

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of determining whether you should go with a metal or a wood building. Often, the spotlight ends up on the studs of the building. Many people wonder if one is superior to the other for load-bearing capabilities, withstanding brunt natural forces, and overall functionality.

Here is the low down!

Metal Studs Advantages:

  • Stand strong against natural disasters, such as high winds or blasts.
  • They are not susceptible to termite or mold damage.
  • Healthier for the environment because metal does not emit VOCs.

Wood Studs Advantages:

  • Wood studs are usually cheaper.
  • Wood is usually more abundantly available.
  • They are easier and safer to cut, preserve, and fix issues.

✭ Important Note:  Seasonal Impact on Material Expenses

While metal is generally more expensive than wood, this might not be true at any given time. For example, during times of global or nationwide disasters or economic fluctuations, wood shortages can occur. Always check in with your trusted building professionals during such times to be certain of whether there is a material expense fluctuation.

2020 Gemco Professional Builder’s Advice on Metal Studs

metal garage delivery

Are metal studs cheaper than wood studs?

Typically, yes. However, due to the global impact of Covid 19, wood prices have gone up tremendously. The economy affects the availability of wood and the demand for wood is high and due to the pandemic created restrictions, low inventories cannot catch up quickly enough.

Can metal studs be load-bearing?

Yes, metal studs are uniquely engineered, so without a doubt. When wondering about how much specific weight the walls can hold, then…there is not a cut and dry answer to this question since there are varying types of metal studs and load capabilities. As a rule, the taller the metal studs, the less weight than can support, which simply calls for more studs spaced closely together.  However, metal studs are strong enough to support your walls and any added décor. The fact that metal buildings are capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions attests to the core strength of metal studs.

Can metal studs be used outside?

Yes, the most commonly used and time-tested method of utilizing metal studs outdoors is by incorporating them into metal carports. Carports are an extremely durable and cheaper alternative to steel garages. Their durability is all thanks to its metal studs.

Why do commercial buildings use metal studs?

Two factors contribute to this…Weather and Fire-ratings.

If you use wood studs, especially in the south, you must worry about the temperature and humidity levels. High temperatures coupled with high humidity cause the wood to shrink and expand. Industrialized metal remains constant regardless the temperature and humidity level. Another factor is that metal studs easier meet the fire-rating municipality criteria.

Are metal studs as strong as wood?

Metal studs are way stronger than wood. Metal also requires a lot more carpentry skills than wood due to its unique strength and engineering.

Why are metal studs used?

  • For Commercial purposes – thanks to its incredible load-bearing capabilities
  • To effectively and easier achieve fire-ratings
  • Metal studs do not shrink, split, or warp
  • They are lighter than wood, which makes them easier to transport

What gauge metal stud should I use?

We do not recommend lightweight gauge framing. In our opinion, 14-gauge steel tubing is the way to go.  

Choose a Metal or Wood Structure If…

metal garage carport
wood structures

This is a lot of information, so for a pleasant breakdown of your options, enjoy having the table set for you.

Choose a metal framed structure if…

  • You need a commercial building for business.
  • You want the highest level of durability against the forces of nature and weather.
  • You want to completely avoid warping, peeling, or mold.
  • You desire a low-maintenance option.
  • You want a large space with larger walls for a workshop or hobby.
  • You want to easily meet the fire-ratings of your local municipality.
  • You want large roll up doors and a large overhead bay.

Choose a wood-framed structure if…

  • You desire special options, such as hangers, workbenches, and shelves.
  • You want a homey feel and addition to your property.
  • You have smaller space needs.
  • You are working within a tight budget. *(remember to touch base with your trusted builder to check with material price fluctuations.
  • You want unique customizability, like specific paint colors and staining.

Ultimately, it could come down to just the simple preference of wood over metal or metal over wood. However, considering the above factors along with the advantages of both wood and metal will ensure you choose the best possible option for the present and the future!

In Conclusion

The advantages of both wood and metal materials are out on the table. You know what you want and now it’s time for you and your trusted professional builder to make that final call.

Exclusive Metal Buildings from Gemco Building Systems

When you choose Gemco for your metal building, you can scratch off the one disadvantage of metal sheds or garages. Your metal building or prefab barns are securely engineered to resist rust, thanks to the fact that they are built with galvanized steel.

What is galvanized steel?

It is steel that has been immersed in a tub of molten hot zinc. This process creates a zinc coating which provides the steel’s resiliency against rust.

Thanks to galvanizing steel, Gemco’s metal buildings are built to last a lifetime and more! In fact, we are so confident of its reliability that we offer you a 40-year warranty!

We Manufacture BOTH High-Quality Metal and Wood Structures!

At Gemco, we understand that our customers have preferences and varying needs, which is why we provide both high-quality metal and wood structures.

Our passion is your satisfaction!

Check out our metal and wood buildings here at Gemco and secure your ideal building today! Also, Check out portable office buildings.

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