GENERAL PRACTICE FOR TRADIES when working with steel frames & roof trusses

More and more homeowners and builders are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits of building steel frame homes. The evolution of timber carpenter to steel carpenter is logical progression. The skill sets required by the different trades when working with steel frames and roof trusses is not much different to those required by traditional timber tradies. Trades who empower themselves with the necessary knowledge to work with steel frames, will have a competitive edge due to their diverse competency.

A concise overview below offers steel house framing tips to the different trades:


  • Application of plasterboard to timber and steel studs used the same methodology; the same same glue is used for both.
  • Collated strip screw guns are ideal for quick fixing of plasterboard sheets to ceilings and walls.
  • Use s-point screws to fix up to 0.8mm studs (90% of all areas).
  • Use cutting tip screws to fix to heavy gauge areas or boxed studs in windows & doorways.
  • Refer CRS Redbook for more details.


  • Fix screw code compliant brick ties to studs.

Foil Wrap

  • The most common procedure is to screw foil to studs using button head screws.
  • A combination of glue, tape & screws may be used.


  • Service holes are generally pre-punched – additional holes can be created with a holesaw, step-drill or punch.
  • Plastic grommets are supplied to insulate the cable from the frame.
  • Screw mounting plates to the stud.
  • Electrical wiring should never be placed on a raw or sharp edge of the frame.


  • Steel wall frames are designed to rest on a level slab or floor. Uneven slabs may require packing beneath frame or temporary removal of bracing in order to adjust frames.
  • The steel frame should be earthed during the erection.
  • All structural alterations must be referred SCA for approval prior to commencement.
  • The steel frame should not come into contact with CCA treated timber.
  • Use the same principle as a timber frame to install the soffit framing.
  • Use hardened nails for fixing skirting boards and architraves. They are readily available for most guns. Generic brand size options are available from Trade Tools and other merchants: 38mm and 45mm per box of 4000.
  • It is recommended to glue and nail both skirting boards and architraves.
  • Door jams must be screwed – conceal screw behind the stop.
  • Timber doors and window frames should be screwed from the steel stud into the timber frame: use Type 17 Teks or similar.
  • Ancillary nogs – toilet, rails, vanity support, dryer, garage: use timber and screws to secure in place.
  • Bath frames should be installed onsite using the same method as a timber frame.


  • Most 38mm service holes are pre-punched but extras can be created using a holesaw, punch or step-drill.
  • If copper plumbing lines are used, it should not come into contact with the steel frame. Ensure it is insulated between the pipe and frame.
  • Use clips to hold plastic pipes in place securely.
  • Use silicone where water lines pass through nogs & studs to avoid water hammering.

For more information contact:  

Steel Construction Australia ✆ 1300 911 068


  Related Posts