Please note - Due to the holiday season, builders and developers may be slower than usual in responding to any queries Close

Should You Build Houses with Wood or Steel Frames

The frame of a building is no different than the skeletons of a human body, considering that both serve as a backbone and hold everything up together and in place. This underlines the importance of a safe, secure, and strong building frame.

In Australia, your options are between steel and timber frames, both of which have their share of pros and cons. So even if the decision usually comes down to personal choice, it is vital that you understand the benefits of your options, their effects in the future and costs of a building.

Timber Frame vs. Steel Frame Houses

Steel Frame

  • Cost

There are lots of different costs in the manufacturing and installation of a steel frame that may affect the price. For example, many steel frames are created off-site and pre-fabricated to drive efficiencies and reduce wastage and costs. As a general rule, the raw cost of the steel is more expensive than timber, however on a fully installed basis you may find the finished cost of the total frame is similar to timber.

  • Strength and Quality

Steel is considered more durable than timber. But the strength and quality of a building, however, greatly depends on how a structure is designed and built. A home that is professionally engineered to meet Australian Standards will meet the test of time regardless of the frame material used.

  • Environmental Impact

Steel is 100% recyclable and is one of the most recycled materials on earth. This is great if you are interested in reducing your environmental footprint. Steel frames also allow for the ability to seal around door frames and windows, so in the long run, they may reduce the cost and environmental impact of running heating and cooling in your home.

  • Termite Protection

Steel is 100% termite-proof, which basically makes a steel frame invincible against white ants. This doesn’t mean, however, that you no longer need a termite protection system. If you use timber or wood in other areas of your home, you still need to protect it against termites. Where a steel frame is concerned, however, termites will not touch it.

  • Frame Movements

Generally, building frames move, and the slightest movement can cause a steel frame to creak or make noises. With fixed brackets and connections and secure screws and bolts, creaking can be minimised, if not eliminated entirely. A steel frame does not twist, warp, shrink, or buckle either.



Timber Frame

  • Cost

Is it cheaper to build with wood or steel? Because wood is readily available and easily sourced, it is often cheaper to build with than steel. However, because most/all of the construction occurs on-site, there may be errors, creating waste and increasing the cost of labour.

  • Natural Product

Timber is one of the few building materials that is a natural product. It is non toxic, does not leak chemicals and is safe to touch. This could be a great option for your new home build.

  • Quick Build Time

Timber is easily sourced and framing can generally be constructed quickly on site. This is usually a more straightforward process that includes less lifting equipment because timber is a lightweight product. However, there can be mistakes made, we are all human, which can extend the process and require tradespeople longer. Compared to steel frames, due to the off-site preparation normally done with steel, the timeframes to erect can often be very similar.

  • Rust Protection

While steel is a great way to avoid termites it should also be considered that a timber frame is a sure way to avoid rust. If you are building in a coastal area (lucky you) or if there are water leakages, rust could eat away at your steel frame.

Still don’t know what to choose?
It’s not easy to choose between a timber frame or steel frame houses but iBuildNew can provide you with professional advice on which material to use for a specific house design that will be built on a certain location. We will take into consideration all your needs and the factors that make a material a suitable choice. Whichever is the case, we will ensure building and installation will comply with Australian Standards.

Its a tough choice between steel and timber, have you considered your options in terms of foundations?

Speak to one of our phone operators today and they will answer all your questions about steel and timber frame and anything else you might want to know. You can call them on 1800 184 284 or book a call online.

iBuildnew Advisory Team
Let us do the legwork for you.
  • We’ll ask the right questions to better understand your needs
  • We’ll create a recommended shortlist ideally matched to you
  • We’ll answer specific questions or concerns related to home building, land purchasing or financing

Ben

Ben is a passionate home renovator who is forever making improvements around the home and garden

About

iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

You may also like

Jan 24, 2018

Building a House in an Estate or an Established Area

With so many housing options available in Australia, it can be hard deciding which area...
Read More
Apr 04, 2017

Four Common Types of Foundation that Make Sense When...

For those of you who are probably thinking, 'is there more than one type of foundation?...
Read More
Jan 27, 2022

Important Things to Consider when Building Double St...

One of the biggest advantages of building new double storey homes is that customers can...
Read More
Jul 20, 2017

Building on Sloping Blocks: How to Make the Most out...

When it comes to sloping blocks, opinions tend to differ. Some say it is a problem; oth...
Read More
Apr 23, 2017

Why Should You Choose iBuildNew

It is no secret that building a new house and choosing the perfect house plans is a str...
Read More
Apr 01, 2018

Tips For Sticking To Your Construction Timeline

Beginning construction on your new home can be both an exciting and daunting step in cr...
Read More
Nov 05, 2015

New home design – Tips on choosing the right p...

Once you've narrowed down a shortlist of serious contenders, you then need to pick your...
Read More
Sep 10, 2019

Questions To Consider Before Committing To An Open F...

Since the 1990s, an open floor plan has been regarded as the pinnacle of modern, sleek ...
Read More
Jun 15, 2018

4 Questions You Should Ask Our Phone Consultants

The importance of asking the right questions cannot be understated. Our locally based b...
Read More
Feb 10, 2016

New Home Design – How To Write A Comprehensive...

Before you sit down with your builder it's important to be clear about what it is you w...
Read More
Mar 30, 2018

The New Home Building Process

You’ve finally decided on your new home design. Congratulations! This decision can be a...
Read More
Aug 10, 2021

How Do You Know If You’re Ready To Build Your ...

Everybody aspires to build their dream home one day and shares the desire to make their...
Read More
Feb 26, 2016

How to Choose The Right Facade with Street Appeal

The façade of your home plays a large part in setting the theme of your house design. C...
Read More
Feb 08, 2018

Subdividing Land: Why Would You Consider It?

When purchasing a substantial piece of land, it’s important to have a plan for how you ...
Read More
Aug 21, 2019

What Comes First? Buying Land or Choosing a Builder?

Building a new home is an exciting process! While you’ve probably conducted your initia...
Read More
Jul 19, 2017

10 Mistakes Every New House Builder Should Avoid

Building a house is a tremendous project. If it is not managed correctly it can be exha...
Read More
Apr 28, 2017

Building A New Home? Understand The Building Process

You have chosen a builder, purchased land that has now titled, you have chosen a house ...
Read More

9 Must-Have Features of the Most Lucrative Investmen...

If you’ve read the news lately, then you’re no stranger to the state of the Australian ...
Read More
Feb 10, 2017

#dreamhome: Our Favourite New House Plans in Melbourne

Our mission at iBuildNew is to help you find your dream home. When selecting a new hous...
Read More
Nov 22, 2019

Top 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Building A Ne...

When fulfilling the dream of a new home, there are a range of questions that come up fo...
Read More
Aug 24, 2015

The Perks Of Building A New House

Contrary to popular belief, building a new home from scratch is easier, more efficient ...
Read More
Nov 08, 2017

Factors to Consider Where You Build Your Own Home

Trying to find the best investment suburbs in Melbourne, Sydney, or elsewhere to invest...
Read More
Jul 01, 2018

Everything to Consider in Your Luxury House Plans

When looking at luxury house plans that deliver more than the average off the plan desi...
Read More
Jun 17, 2019

A Single Storey House Can Have Big Potential!

That old adage ‘bigger is better’ does not necessarily apply to house design. The moder...
Read More

Get more from

Browse New Home Designs