I have used I-beams over unusual spans, 24ft. of free space, 4 six ft. sliders. This was brought to an abrupt halt by hurricane Andrew.
Placing them and boxing them in is about 3 times the cost of standard post and beam construction.
I have not actually participated in the residential process of steel framing, but have worked for companies that have done structual res. framing. The only 2 main difference are that it is a lot more $$$$$, and that instead of traditional stick fraqming like it used to be, the walls come in 4' panels. You work them like a giant errector set. Stand up one panel, plumb it fasten it and stand the next one up, secure the two together and keep going. Trusses are also steel. For beams and headers, box beams made out of 2 pieces of track and 2 studs are used for headers over anything 4' or longer. If you can getr past the part of thinking metal is different than wood, it's just as easy if not easier, working with steel than it is with wood. Hope this helped.
I've been framing walls with steel studs for years now, usually 20 guage.It's cheaper & much faster. You just have to think ahead & make sure you install backing for wall hung cabinets, grab bars, ect, & wrap door openings W 2xs. All walls should be insulated w unfaced for sound. Some inspectors might require 18ga & hex head s-tapping screws.
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