This report evaluates a cost comparison of steel vs. wood framing in two demonstration homes in Beaufort, South Carolina. One of the homes used conventional dimensional lumber framing and the other used cold-formed steel framing. The study determined the installed costs of the steel framing material and compared them with those of the conventional wood framing materials. It also compared the labor hours for framers and the air leakage (infiltration) rate for each home. This study is part of a larger project that compared the cost of steel vs. wood for side-by-side homes at three different locations in the U.S.
The report provides a description of each of the Beaufort demonstration homes, a description of the framing components, a list of materials, and productivity and unit cost comparisons and short-term energy comparisons. It also includes an analysis of factors that impacted construction and data collection.
This document includes the full report, appendices A through C which include the building plans, and appendices D through E which include builder's costs and photographs.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Policy Development and Research