Choosing between steel and timber for your new home is one of the biggest decisions you will need to make throughout the process of having it built. The right choice for you will depend on a lot of different factors, the most important of which is the cost and look you hope to achieve. The following is a brief look at some of the key considerations when choosing timber or steel for your home construction.

Humid areas

In humid areas you may think that steel is the best but, just like wood, these types of construction are prone to decay. While steel can rust away, wood can be easily protected (treated timber) as well as retreated with timber oil and other sealing coats. So don’t let the humid weather deter you from wood frames as the right timber won’t have many issues with wetter weather.


Another common reason for choosing steel frames is the terrible damage that termites can do to timber construction. However, this is a myth as timber used in modern construction is treated so that it’s not susceptible to termite infestations. Termite problems can also be avoided by making sure that you carry out regular inspections and treatments in and around your home.

DIY construction

For DIY builders, timber is much easier to work with in terms of cutting and joining and won’t require as many specialised tools as steel would. Both timber and steel are heavy and can be difficult for those who aren’t professional tradespeople to handle. Both materials will have specific problems in terms of building without specific trade knowledge. If you are planning on building a home of any sort, for ease of construction a steel frame kit home or pre-constructed wood frames are easily your best option as you will not have to put too much together.

Fire protection

Those who live in areas prone to fire should avoid building anything even potentially flammable, and so steel makes a whole lot more sense than timber when you are planning your home construction. A steel home won’t necessarily be guaranteed to survive a blaze, but it is a lot less likely to burn than timber. It could well be the difference between saving your home and not. Having said that, any timber home fitted with the right fire safety equipment and built correctly will have a similar fire safety rating as a steel frame due to materials used in every house construction.

An eco-friendly choice

Steel may seem more environmentally friendly than timber but this is simply not the case anymore with most timber coming from plantations. Steel also takes a lot of energy to produce so it can end up with a much larger carbon footprint than wood.

Whether you choose timber or steel, make sure you are researching your choices and allowing plenty of time for making your decision, because unless you can afford to just have another house built, you will need to ensure you get it right the first time.

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