Houses built today have a wide range of cladding or façade finishes that make them individual and tailored to the client’s needs. The constant though is the skeletal frame that the cladding or façade is fixed to.
There are two main materials used in framing - steel and timber. Though other options exist such as traditional bricks and block work frames as well concrete and pre cast concrete panels and structurally insulated panels and other modular construction systems.
In regards to steel and timber frames both have their benefits and differences. When choosing which framing system to use consideration should be given to the cost, availability, longevity, sustainability and flexibility during the construction process that suit the needs of the project and the client.
Steel frames are designed to be strong and long lasting, with the added benefit of being termite resistant without further treatment.
Steel frame houses tend to allow less movement as steel frames don’t twist, warp, shrink or buckle, while timber frames are more malleable to their environment.
Steel frames provide a solid and sturdy frame for attaching plasterboard. This can assist to minimise problems associated with frame movement over time.
Timber is a great resource to use when constructing frames for your house. Timber is one of the few building materials that is a natural product with minimal processing required.
Timber frames can quickly be constructed on site, saving time and increasing the efficiency of the build and can also be manufactured off site and delivered when required.
There have been significant advancements over the past decade with engineered timbers which can offer large span options, reduced member sizes and flexibility of framing, truss and flooring options.
At the end of the day, the choice comes down to what works best for the builder and the customer.
When choosing between timber and steel framing it is important to remember that both materials are quality foundations upon which to construct a house. Both materials are well utilised in Australia and can readily meet the framing needs for any project.
Combined with the availability of supply and the trades associated with the build being available for your location and budget, both can provide the homes you build with a solid foundation to build on.
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