Copper or Steel? Pros and Cons of These Common Building Materials for Your Construction

Choosing the right materials for any construction project is a must. If you’re looking at metals, for example, you might reach a point at which choosing between copper and steel becomes necessary. Below are a few of the areas where each of these materials tends to stand out.

Cost

If you’re looking just at short-term costs, there’s absolutely no question that steel is a much better option than copper. In fact, one of steel’s real selling points is that it costs significantly less than an equal amount of copper. While there might be some situations in which you can find the two materials of similar costs, the truth is that you’re almost always going to walk away from a project with more money in your pocket if you choose steel – at least, in the short-term.

Strength

The other major pro to using steel is its strength. Simply put, steel is one of the strongest materials used in construction. There’s a reason, after all, the cheap and reliable production of steel was responsible for the boom in some of the world’s most recognizable construction projects. Copper is a relatively ‘soft’ metal as compared to steel, and thus isn’t necessarily as useful in projects that require a particularly strong metal.

Environmental Factors

One of the biggest environmental factors in choosing a metal for a construction project is rust. This is the reason why you more often see copper pipes than steel pipes in plumbing, after all. Copper is remarkably resistant to rust and several other environmental issues that tend to be very hard on steel. Though copper is impacted by its own issues, it does tend to be superior to steel in this regard.

Longevity

Finally, there’s an issue of longevity. Simply put, copper has the ability to outlast steel in many instances. Copper is a great choice if you’re looking for something that’s going to last for decades, though steel itself isn’t exactly prone to falling apart in a short period of time. It’s the places where you use the two materials that really have the impact on longevity, and thus both tend to have something to offer in terms of this factor.

It’s always good to weight the pros and cons of a material before you start a construction project. Steel has strength and cost on its side, while copper has longevity and environmental resistance. Always carefully examine your projects to figure out which metal is right for your needs.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.