How much does metal stud framing cost?
How much does metal stud framing cost?
$17 – $32 cost per square foot installed
$34,000 – $64,000 average total cost (2,000 SF house)
Metal stud framing cost by size
Metal stud framing prices are $17 to $32 per square foot installed. Framing a 2,000-square-foot house with steel studs costs $34,000 to $64,000. Metal framing labor alone costs $7 to $15 per square foot. Metal stud prices are $0.50 to $6.75 per linear foot for 14- to 25-gauge steel.
|Home / building size (square feet)||Average cost installed|
|500||$8,500 – $16,000|
|800||$12,800 – $25,600|
|1,000||$17,000 – $32,000|
|1,200||$20,400 – $38,400|
|1,500||$25,500 – $48,000|
|2,000||$34,000 – $64,000|
|2,500||$42,500 – $80,000|
|3,000||$51,000 – $96,000|
Average metal framing cost
The following table shows the average cost of metal framing for a 2,000-square-foot house, including labor and materials.
|National Average Cost||$49,000|
|Average Range||$34,000 to $64,000|
*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Metal stud prices by gauge
Metal stud prices are $0.50 to $6.75 per linear foot for materials alone, depending on the gauge and width. The steel gauge indicates the metal's thickness—the smaller the gauge, the thicker the metal.
Thicker steel gauges of 14, 16, and 18 are best for exterior or load-bearing walls.
Thinner steel gauges of 20, 22, and 25 are best for interior, non-load-bearing walls.
|Steel gauge||Average price per linear foot*||Wall type|
|14||$2.40 – $6.75||Exterior or load-bearing wall|
|16||$1.90 – $5.00||Exterior or load-bearing wall|
|18||$1.50 – $4.25||Exterior or load-bearing wall|
|20||$0.80 – $1.90||Interior, non-load-bearing wall|
|22||$0.65 – $1.60||Interior, non-load-bearing wall|
|25||$0.50 – $1.30||Interior, non-load-bearing wall|
*Materials only. Not including delivery or installation.
Cold-formed steel (CFS) studs are for residential construction to frame walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs. Hot-rolled steel beams—also called structural steel beams—are for large-scale construction like bridges, industrial buildings, and large commercial buildings.
Metal stud framing cost calculator
Metal stud framing costs vary by the amount of labor needed, the installation location, and design type.
|Factor||Average cost per square foot|
|Materials||$10 – $17|
|Labor||$7 – $15|
|Total cost||$17 – $32|
Factors that affect the cost to frame a metal house include:
Steel prices & gauge – Steel pricing fluctuates daily, affecting your total material costs. The steel gauge also impacts the cost, with higher prices for thicker-gauge studs.
Home or building size – Larger structures require more materials and labor time, increasing costs.
Number of stories – Framing costs are typically on the higher end of the range for homes with 2 or more stories. However, steel framing is ideal for multi-story homes because steel supports more weight than wood.
Doors & windows:
The cost to frame a door opening with steel studs is $120 to $170 per interior door and $150 to $500 per exterior door, depending on the width.
The cost to install a door is $200 to $1,150 each for interior doors or $480 to $2,250 for exterior doors.
The cost to frame a window opening with steel studs is $120 to $400 per window, depending on the size.
Window installation costs $400 to $650 per window, including labor and materials.
Pre-built panels vs. on-site framing – Many companies offer steel-frame panels manufactured in their facility according to the blueprints. Crews assemble the panels on-site in only 2 to 3 days, compared to the 30 to 60+ days it takes to frame a wood house.
Steel beam – A steel I-beam costs $100 to $400 per foot installed and can replace a load-bearing wall.
Insulation costs $1.00 to $4.50 per square foot installed. Rigid foam board insulation—also called extruded polystyrene or XPS—is ideal on the exterior of a metal-stud frame. Fiberglass batts or spray foam work best in interior walls.
Hanging drywall on metal studs costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot of surface area, including labor and materials.
Metal framing labor cost
Metal framing labor costs $7 to $15 per square foot, making up 25% to 45% of the total project cost on average. In addition to framing labor, you may need a general contractor to oversee your project and a structural engineer to inspect it:
General contractors charge $50 to $150 per hour or 10% to 20% of construction costs.
Structural engineers charge $100 to $220 per hour or 1% to 5% of construction costs.
Commercial metal framing cost per square foot
Commercial metal framing costs $12 to $40 per square foot for labor and materials, depending on the building size and number of stories. Metal framing with cold-rolled steel studs and hot-rolled structural steel beams is common for large office buildings, schools, hospitals, and industrial buildings.
Steel vs. wood framing cost
Metal stud framing costs $17 to $32 per square foot, compared to $11 to $25 per square foot for wood framing. Despite its higher cost, steel framing provides better value due to its durability and resistance to fire, rot, and insects.
The cost to frame a house with wood studs is $22,000 to $50,000 for an average 2,000-square-foot home, while framing a wall costs $1,000 to $5,000.
|Cost per square foot||$17 – $32||$11 – $25|
Metal stud framing FAQs
What is metal stud framing?
Metal stud framing is a construction method that uses cold-formed steel components, including studs and tracks fastened with screws. Metal framing lasts longer and is suitable for houses or commercial buildings.
Is metal stud framing cheaper than wood framing?
Metal stud framing costs more than wood framing due to the higher material cost for steel versus lumber. However, steel studs are more durable, easier to install, and resist fire, moisture, and termites better than wood studs.
Where to buy metal framing studs
You can buy metal framing studs from local building suppliers, online steel suppliers, or home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menards.
Getting estimates from metal framing contractors
When hiring a metal framing contractor near you, remember to:
Obtain estimates from at least 3 contractors. Confirm the bids include comparable materials.
Look for contractors certified by the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA).
Select licensed, bonded, and insured contractors who have been in business 5+ years.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the project begins.
Never pay in full before the work begins.
Don't make the final payment until the project is complete and has passed all inspections.
Questions to ask
How long have you been in business?
Can I see a list of references?
How many homes have you framed with metal studs?
Will you handle the project yourself or hire subcontractors?
Which steel gauge will you use for my project?
Will you frame the house from scratch on-site or assemble it from prefabricated panels?
Does the estimate include all materials, labor, delivery, and cleanup?
What unexpected costs might come up during the project?
Which insulation type do you recommend for my metal-framed home?
Can you add wood blocking in places where I’ll need to nail into the wall to hang pictures?
Will you handle the permit process?
How long will the project take?
Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it include?