One big advantage steel framing has over wood is that its greater spans allow the use of fewer footings.
Although steel can span considerably longer distances than wood, it’s only about one-third the weight.
Complex framing can take longer with steel than with wood. For decks like the one pictured above, the steel has to be cut to length on site. Plus, complicated designs have a lot of screwed connections, which take longer than gun-nailed wood connections.
A specialized steel-cutting saw makes quicker work of cuts and does a better job containing the hot chips of steel from the cuts.
LGS beams are made by joining a joist and a track. A single beam (right) consists of one joist and one track, while a double beam (left) consists of two single-beam assemblies.
Once everything is wrapped with finish materials, it’s impossible to tell what the underlying material is.
Wood support posts attach to LGS beams with hardware that’s similar to what would be used with wood framing.
Wood posts are bolted to the steel framing. A short piece of track between the joist and the post stiffens the joist and provides a rigid mounting surface.