Wood is the traditional material for framing houses. In commercial construction, steel framing is the norm, largely because steel studs are inherently fire-resistant. Steel framing, however, is gradually catching on with home remodelers. It has some real advantages over wood: It is lightweight, inexpensive, and strong. In addition, it won't rot, shrink, or warp. Steel framing is ideal for framing walls in a basement, where moisture can be a problem.
Walls framed with steel are built in place, one piece at a time. The primary fastener is a sheet-metal screw; the primary tools are a power drill/driver and metal snips.
About 1 to 2 hours for a 12-foot wall
Tape measure, chalk line, plumb bob, power drill/driver, metal snips
Measuring and laying out, power-driving screws, cutting sheet metal
Planning where walls are to go
Metal track and studs (four studs for the first 4 feet of wall, three studs for every 4 feet thereafter), pan-head sheet-metal screws