There are many decisions that need to be made when building a home or business. One of the most critical decisions is what the frame of the structure is going to be made of. The most popular choices are steel and timber. In this post, we are going to take a look at the pros and cons associated with both options in further detail so that you can make up your mind about the best solution for you.
When construction any type of building, one of the most important factors that needs to be considered is the overall cost. Unfortunately, comparing the two materials on a like-for-like basis is not easy, as there are a number of variables that can have an impact on the final cost. This includes whether the frame is pre-constructed or built from scratch, as well as the supplier and contractor used. Nevertheless, most experts will say that timber is generally cheaper, but then there is the argument that you get what you pay for. Do you really want to cut corners when it comes to something as monumental as this?
One of the main reasons why companies such as Armstrong Steel are such advocates of the metal alternative is because of the strength and robustness that steel provides. Not only is steel durable and strong, but also it is completely protected from termites and ants, which can cause destruction to timber structures. Nonetheless, in coastal areas, salty air and harsh weather can lead to corrosion, so it is important to keep that in mind.
Environmental impact and sustainability
Nowadays, the environmental impact of any new build is something that needs to be considered very, very carefully. Both steel and timber have pros and cons when it comes to environmental conservation. Of course, the most obvious benefit in this regard of using steel is the fact that it results in less deforestation than timber. Steel is also believed to produce less waste than timber. This is because timber is a natural product, whereas steel is manufactured very precisely. On the flip side, the very fact that steel is manufactured means that it is energy intensive to create. This means that steel is responsible for more carbon footprint. But, you can then flip the script again because steel is 100% recyclable. This means that it can be used again and again after the intensive creation process. Quite clearly, both have environmental benefits and concerns, so it is really about what matters to you.
Last but not least, a timber frame for a building is a lot faster to assemble than a standard brick and mortar house. But, what about steel? In fact, the construction times are rather similar, but you will need a steel fabricator to weld the structure together, so it is important to keep this in mind. Less specialist labor is required for timber frame buildings.
Hopefully, by considering the four elements above, you can come to a decision regarding the best type of structure for you.