When building or renovating a property, one of the first decisions is what material to use for the frame of the building. The frame serves as the skeleton of the house that transfers the load from the rooftop, walls and floors down to the foundations, so it needs to be structurally sound.
Popular choices for building frames are timber, concrete or steel. Concrete is labour-intensive and less efficient. This article looks at the pros and cons of timber and steel. At Tile Importer, we believe that wood is the right choice for your project. Here are five reasons why:
#1: Environmental Friendliness
Timber retains CO2. It is a natural product and a renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly construction material. Although steel is a 100 per cent recyclable material, a majority of steel is made from new iron ore extraction. Steel is more energy-intensive to produce and transport, leaving a bigger carbon footprint than timber.
#2: Safe and Energy Efficient
Timber frames provide a slower rate of heat transfer than steel. As a natural insulator, wood decreases your need for cooling or heating, helping you reduce your energy bills. Steel is a good conductor of heat, and therefore requires additional insulation. If exposed to extreme temperatures, as in the case of fire, the loadbearing capacity of steel frames fail. If a timber column burns, the surface chars forming a charcoal layer that fireproofs it against further damage. A fire-retardant coating further reduces the risk.
Timber is cheaper than steel, but not because it is of lesser quality. It is more readily available on the market and can be easily altered to suit your project’s design. Constructing a steel frame is more labour-intensive, so the construction costs are higher.
#4: Flexibility On-Site
Timber frames are constructed by your carpenter on site (or the competent handyman for DIY projects)so are able to be made or adjusted to suit your site perfectly and or to accommodate any changes to plans as you go. This also goes for future renovations to your existing house with timber frames better able to accommodate new additions or changes.
This isn’t the case with steel; it needs to be delivered to site in its final form, ready to be installed in the building. Any incorrect measurement means a longer delay.
#5: Ease of Decorating
Because of the flexibility when working with timber, timber frames offer a wider range of designs and options for cladding. Wood panels, flooring and partitions are easily fixed and give you the versatility to carve, cut or paint the material to match your desired look and feel of the space.
Decorating a space with steel frames can be more challenging. Special equipment is required to drill through steel because it’s denser than wood. Drilling and welding metal also produces sparks, creating a fire hazard.
Opt for timber frames for your project if you want an eco-friendly material that gives you flexibility and lower construction costs.
Tile Importer: Your One-Stop Shop for Timber Framing Needs
Find the right timber frame for your building or renovation needs with Tile Importer. We are a one-stop-shop for durable timber frames, fencing and flooring in Melbourne.
Request a call back by filling out our contact form. You can also drop by our showroom at 17 Natalia Ave Oakleigh South, Victoria to see our products.