Steel VS. Concrete: Which is Best for Your Build?

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Aug 28, 2021 8:00:00 AM
Brett McCutcheon

Steel vs Concrete Construction

Choosing between concrete and steel can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Concrete has been around since the start of the Roman Empire, and it has endured the test of time. Steel’s popularity has grown over the last 150 years, and it is currently one of the most extensively utilized structural materials. They both have the strength, versatility, and accessibility to be used in almost any building job. The question is which material is better for your project? Here are some of the key differences between steel and concrete to determine what might be best for your project.

Many considerations must be made when working on any construction project. Finding the most effective alternative, as well as determining which technique will give the best outcome, is a crucial decision.


Making sure your project comes in, on, or under, budget is important, and material costs can have a significant impact on your project's success. The price of concrete has remained steady. Furthermore, concrete ingredients are low-cost and readily available.

When it comes to steel, the cost situation is a little more complicated. The greater durability of steel allows for the construction of a stronger structure with less material. Production innovations have allowed steel to be produced quickly, making it a very cost-effective building material.


Having your project stand up to the many different elements is critical. You must compare each type of building material to help you determine which is best for your individual job.

Steel has a slight edge over concrete for durability. Concrete structures are fire-resistant, wind-resistant, and pest-resistant. However, concrete can be vulnerable to earthquakes since it is cast-in-place and can crumble or break.


You want building materials that are readily available for your job. Fortunately, both products are readily available, but some steel products may be subject to tariffs, which can lead to cost fluctuations.


Today’s consumers are interested in how building materials will affect the environment. Providing options to your clients can offer them peace of mind. Steel is the greenest of all building materials since it is the most recyclable substance on the earth. Steel is the natural and responsible solution for green building, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

The concrete in a building can be recycled once it has served its purpose, but the ultimate product is no longer suitable for construction. As a result, only about half of demolition concrete is recycled. The remaining 50% is dumped into our overcrowded landfills, which can be a problem.

Safety Concerns

Creating a safe building, both during and after construction, will help build your firm's reputation. Both materials offer many safety features for you to consider.

  • Concrete is heavy and sturdy; it withstands high winds; it is fire resistant, and pest resistant. However, concrete's biggest safety flaw is in seismically active places, where it can crumble and collapse, causing significant damage.
  • Steel's resistance to wind, rain, bugs, mold, and other obstacles posed by nature is widely documented. Steel has reasonable fire resistance. However, steel can be subject to corrosion, and when exposed to high heat, it can bend.

Get Reliable Tools for The Job

Any time-saving tactics, such as utilizing more efficient tools, can pay dividends in the future, as you and your team will have more time to take on other projects, allowing you to grow your business. One tool that every builder needs is the ET&F’s (a member of the BECK Group) PANELFAST® Model 510 nailing gun. This tool makes face nailing siding, steel-to-steel, and gypsum wallboard fastening a breeze. The tool operates with a maximum air pressure of 120psi and has the power to attach fiber cement siding to steel with no problem. BECK products offer the best balance of speed, durability, and flexibility, and this tool delivers on all of those features. Click below to learn more!

Click here to get more information on the Panelfast® Model 510


Topics: Steel Studs, ET&F


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