Timber Frame vs Steel Frame


It all comes down to personal preference and there is no definitive answer to the question which building material is the best. However, steel has become a more popular construction material. We’re comparing the pros and cons to find out how they compare. Rated Builders London is a group of highly skilled and professional tradesmen who are committed to providing top-quality services. We are London’s most trusted builders.

Construction speed

It is faster to build a timber frame than a brick and mortar house. This makes it very popular. But how does it compare with a steel-framed house?

A steel frame is assembled in the same way as timber frames. However, it can take longer to put up because each piece requires more tools and labor. Timber frames can be built by carpenters or used in DIY projects, while steel frames require steel fabricators to join the structure.

Environmental impact & sustainability

Many people are conscious of environmental conservation. This is why it is so important for the construction industry to use environmentally friendly materials. Both timber and steel have their benefits and drawbacks in terms of their environmental impact. It is important to carefully consider all options before you make a decision.

A steel frame is less destructive than timber. This argument relies on the destruction of forests to make way for new plantations. However, this argument also points out that the demand for timber will increase as a result. This would help the environment by reducing CO2 levels and encouraging ethical and sustainable forest use.

Steel frames are more efficient than timber in reducing waste. Timber is natural and has imperfections that make it unusable. However, steel is very energy-intensive to produce. The production process leaves huge carbon footprints which are harmful to the environment. This is a good thing because steel is 100% recyclable. Steel can then be reused after its intensive creation.

The thermal transfer properties of each material is another environmental consideration. This is often where there are heated debates. Metal frames are better than wood for sealing windows and doors. A metal frame can reduce heat loss by combining with wall insulation. Others argue that steel has a greater thermal transfer than timber. A timber home would therefore be more comfortable in summer and warmer during winter. This would reduce the need to heat and cool the house.


It is difficult to compare costs of timber and steel-framed houses on a similar basis. There are many variables that can affect the final cost of production. The price of a timber-framed building will be affected by factors such as the timber used, the contractor and the supplier, and whether it is pre-constructed or made from scratch. A timber frame will generally be cheaper than a steel one. However, the construction process is more labor intensive so tradesmen will likely charge more to work around a steel structure.


Steel is undoubtedly strong and durable. It is also completely protected against termites and ants that can cause damage to timber structures. Steel can rust and corrode in coastal areas due to the harsh environment and salty air.

Timber will need protection from termites and other insects. However, this shouldn’t stop you from purchasing a timber frame. Timber can be used repeatedly because it is strong and durable and can last hundreds of years if constructed well. However, it is important to remember that timber frames can be altered in a very complex way and should only ever be modified by a structural expert.