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Timber Frames vs. Steel Frames


Timber vs. Steel    

    While the material to build your house is chosen mostly out of personal preference, there is no clear answer as to which material is best, timber or steel. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when picking between the two materials, it is not just about how it looks. Speed of construction, environmental impact, sustainability, cost, and your location are all good points to take into consideration. Here we will go through each point to help make your decision easier on you.

Speed of Construction:

    While both materials are assembled in a similar manner, timber can actually take a shorter time to put up due to steel needing more tools and labor to attach each element together. On top of this, timber frames can be put up by carpenters or even used in DIY situations, and it helps that most professionals have experience with wood more than metal. Steel will always need a steel fabricator to put your project together. 

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

    Using materials that are environmentally friendly and have less of an economical impact is crucial. It is no secret that timber relies on both forests and the destruction of natural environments to make room for more plantations, however, there are more businesses trying to help with the impact of timber framing. Some businesses will plant a tree for every tree the cut down. There is even a new side of the argument saying that if the need for timber increases, then the demand for more forests will also increase. This will benefit the environment in lowering CO2 levels in the air, and encourage ethical and sustainable use of our forests. There are many who will choose steel over timber for this reason exactly, but steel has its own impact on the environment. The process to make steel is is very energy intensive, which can create a huge carbon footprint that is damaging to the environment, although it is easily recyclable. 


    It is difficult to look at the cost comparatively as there are so many different variables that can be placed into one job, however, you can almost always guarantee that the timber frame will be more affordable than the steel frame because the cost of labor will not be as much. 

Your Location

    Many will not even think to look at their location when deciding between what material to build their home out of, but it does matter. Steel is strong and durable, but when built in a coastal area, the harsh weather and salty air can cause the steel to rust and corrode. While timber on the other hand will require protection from termites and other insects no matter where you are. This shouldn't put you off of timber though, because if done right, timber can last for hundreds of years. 

    Here at Hickory Circle we can guarantee that when you call us about a job, we will get the job done and we will get it done right. If you are interested in our services call us at (330)-763-1122 or send a fax to (330)-695-2368 so that we can get you a quote on the service you request. You can even email us at We look forward to hearing from you and helping you build the home of your dreams. 


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