How to Fix Timber Boards to a Steel Frame House

Updated July 20, 2017

Steel frames have been used to make commercial buildings for many years, the Empire State Building being one of the most famous examples. Since the early 1990s, the steel frame construction method has been used to build residential properties. Steel homes are durable, quick to build and can be clad with various materials, including timber boards which are easy to fit. This type of home construction is becoming more popular in many parts of the world, including the U.S., Japan and Australia.

Clamp the wood board to the steel frame using G-clamps on two opposite beams or joists. Use two clamps on each side --- one at the top, 1 foot from the corner, and one at the bottom, 1 foot from the corner.

Drill pilot holes at each corner through the board and into the steel using a No. 6 drill bit. Drill a pilot hole exactly halfway between the two corner holes through the board and into the vertical steel frame, again using the No.6 drill bit.

Drive No. 8 self tapping screws into the pilot holes using a power screwdriver. Ensure at least three thread turns of the screw are visible on the inner side of the steel frame. If not enough thread is visible use longer screws.

Remove the G-clamps so you have access to insert the remaining fixings. Drill pilot holes using the No. 6 drill bit at 12-inch intervals. Drive the No. 8 screws in with the power screw driver and make a visual check that the board is tight against the frame surface and at least three turns of each screw head is visible on the inside of the frame.

Clamp the next board in place using the G-clamps in the same manner as the previous board. Complete one horizontal row before starting the next.


Wear safety goggles, hard hat and safety gloves when working on a construction site.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 G-clamps
  • Drill
  • No.6 drill bit
  • No.8 screws
  • Power screwdriver
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About the Author

Richard May provides niche Web content for various clients via online forum sites and other outlets. He has technical writing experience, having written training manuals for bespoke and commercial software applications, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.