When it comes to wall frames there are two major groups: metal and wooden wall frames. Now, within those two groups, there is a whole subsection of different options with different benefits, but the main fact remains that these two broadly defined areas have similar characteristics so that you can lump them together. However, metal and wooden wall frames are very different from each other in ways that make it vital for you, a new home builder or renovator, to know about. Here are a few reasons why it matters which type of wall framing material you choose and how it can affect your construction.
If you are going to be making a large structure of any kind with metal wall frames, then you will need to have them custom made, as not many contractors have a huge stock of them in their supplies. On the other hand, wooden wall frames are very easy to source at the drop of a hat and can be cut to measure on-site if need be. They are also much more adjustable should the plan change, which is great for people who like quick problem-solving. Metal wall frames have to be exact and cannot easily be changed after they are created.
For any kind of commercial or larger structure, wall frames made of metal offer a lot better longevity and security. Any of the big skyscrapers you commonly see have metal wall frames and so do many brick and mortar stores. They are also often used in houses that are built in more difficult areas with strong storms or consistent erosion from saltwater. Wood, on the other hand, is a perfectly durable material as long as it is within a reasonably sized building. It also provides better insulation, as metal is a great conductor.
Many wooden wall frames are now sourced from sustainably grown trees that are built to be harvested, and therefore no wild ecosystems are being harmed and the overall impact on the environment is lessened. On the other hand, most wall frames made out of metal are some sort of alloy, and creating this can use all sorts of toxic chemicals and a lot of energy. While some metal wall frames are recycled, and if you can get recycled metal wall frames, then you should do so, but overall, they will impose a much bigger cost on the environment.