Steel Framing In Small Remodels - Remodeling - Contractor Talk

Steel Framing In Small Remodels

 
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:45 PM   #1
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Steel Framing In Small Remodels


A while back I decided to start using steel framing where it made sense in remodels in our typical single family home work - type 5, wood frame. So far, for non-bearing walls, soffits, half-walls, etc. We've had to use it before in our high-rise condo remodels, and I thought I'd give it a shot in other types of projects.

In addition to its other advantages, I've been finding that remodeling crew with light framing experience do a much better job framing with steel than with wood. A few things (fire stopping, running electrical and plumbing, etc.) have required some learning, but I've been happy with it, feel that I've been delivering good value, and customers don't have any opinion about it at all.

We've been using 20-gauge to 14-gauge, and the result is rock solid.

The materials cost a bit more, but I'm not having a problem with that. In many cases we'd be using LVL's or other materials more expensive than dimensioned lumber, anyway.

I realize that steel is mundane for many in new construction or large projects - they load my few studs in between the truckloads going out to big projects - but I'm wondering how many are doing this in single family remodels? Anything to share? Any comments?
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I'm interested as well. I've used steel on basement projects, but haven't done it other remodels. I honestly prefer working with steel since we do all the interior finishes as well. For me having straight/flat walls is easier to finish in all aspects. The higher cost of steel can be partially offset by improved finish quality and increased production on phases after framing.

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Old 06-12-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


One of the contractors I learned from said she used it all the time in the Oakland hills and sold it on the fire stopping merits. Seemed to work well there for obvious reasons.
Nice that it doesn't shrink. No nail pops, need to crown the studs, etc.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I'm using it. I can carry more studs by myself than wood studs. I don't have to select for straightness, and it never splits. No hole drilling for wiring.

The downside is I have to travel a ways to get the materials - too far away for small deliveries. I also have to make sure I have the right drywall screws with me - I still have buckets of the conventional ones.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


Pretty typical for us to use wood exterior bearing walls and light gauge interior walls on things like small offices, vet clinics, etc. I've used them on basement finishes. I actually like working with them more than wood.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I started out working for a commercial steel stud and drywall company, mostly doing suspended ceilings but also got some framing experience with steel studs. I like them a lot for certain things. Things like soffits in basements are much easier to do with steel studs. I don't use them all the time but on certain jobs they are better to use over wood.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I did a complete townhouse complex in Napa with steel studs about 98,000 sq.ft. and then a 40,000 sq.ft. retirement home in Sonoma as well, all steel.

Once the guys get screws over nails, grinder over skilsaw, etc. it's pretty simple to work with.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:35 PM   #8
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


Nice to be able to cut a stack at a time without muscling around too much.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I've been considering using it more for the same reasons.Most of the remodels and additions we do have a considerable amount of drywall and it would be nice for a solid flat wall .
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


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I've been considering using it more for the same reasons.Most of the remodels and additions we do have a considerable amount of drywall and it would be nice for a solid flat wall .
You probably already know to find yourself a good commercial supplier, to get a heavier gauge than you will get from the big box stores. They also stock the fire stops, stiffeners, clips, and other useful pieces. Around here the big boxes only sell the studs, not the tracks, either.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:27 PM   #11
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


The BB strores around here don't even sell it.I have a good local lumberyard that supplies most of my material and does good quality at a good price.They will pretty much get me whatever I want the next day if they don't stock it.Lucky to have them in a small town.
When I was in Florida doing high rise condos that is all they used so I'm a bit familiar with it just never used it in residential but with the quality of wood these days and the pros with the metal framing .I think I'll try it and see what happens.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:06 PM   #12
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


If it's just going to be sheet rocked and maybe a few door's and some base molding then yea I'm using metal . If there's crown and cabinet's I'm back to wood .
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


Quote:
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If it's just going to be sheet rocked and maybe a few door's and some base molding then yea I'm using metal . If there's crown and cabinet's I'm back to wood .
I'm curious, why?
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


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I'm curious, why?
I'm also curious about that statement .you can get a lot truer wall from metal which would be great for cabinets imo.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:11 PM   #15
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I took it as a fastening issue.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #16
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


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I took it as a fastening issue.
That would have been my guess. I know some that like to put ply up on walls before rocking so cabinets can be fastened anywhere, even with wood framing...
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:08 AM   #17
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


In California we always bought our fasteners for drywall, cabinets etc for steel from ORCO, which if I remember was bought out by WhiteCap.

Fasteners made by Grabber, use the LOX head...you will be impressed
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:26 AM   #18
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


I just find it annoying trying to fasten crown to metal framing . When you have a ceiling that's not straight and your fighting to push the crown in place I would like to grab my gun and shoot a few fasteners to hold it in place . When you need to use a screw gun to install crown that's unproductive and the time you saved by using metal was not worth it . I'm also not installing cabinet's to metal with out first putting up a few sheet's of plywood , but then you need to install sheet rock over it . I'm not concerned with wood not being straight , that's what shim's are for .
I'm also curious to know how some of you are installing crown with metal stud's .
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Old 06-14-2015, 04:10 PM   #19
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


Typically either wood blocking at the studs or a triangle ripped nailer behind the crown. Some guys just cross nail and glue it. We have a nail gun that works for baseboard in to 26-24 gauge.
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Old 06-14-2015, 04:22 PM   #20
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Re: Steel Framing In Small Remodels


ET&F makes a 'T' shaped nail and air gun designed for trim work into these studs

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