Timber or Steel Frame

The most common frame for the standard brick veneer house uses timber.

Steel frames however are becoming much more common. . . . So why should you choose one or the other?

2 storey frame

Advantages of Timber

  • Well understood by builders;
  • Cheaper;
  • Easy to adapt or modify during construction or later;
  • Is a sustainable resource;
  • Better sound and heat insulation;
  • Easier to fix fittings into;
  • Lock away carbon.

Advantages of Steel


  • Cannot be attacked by termites or borers; (that doesn’t mean you don’t need termite protection as there will still be plenty of wood in door frames and cupboards etc);
  • Prefabricated frames are lighter than timber;
  • Steel doesn’t have to be treated with chemicals;
  • Doesn’t rot;
  • Doesn’t shrink warp or twist;
  • Doesn’t burn;

NB. Inside a building rust will not be a problem, but just in case most steel frames are galvanised.

All my houses up to now have had timber frames and I have been happy with the result so I would probably continue to use timber if I was getting someone else to erect it.

If I was planning to erect the frame myself I would probably go for steel for the weight saving.


To find out more about house frames follow this link: House Construction – The Frame

For similar posts look in the Design Category