Difference Between Steel Framed & Wooden Frame Buildings

When you’re building on a large scale, a common decision to be made is that between using wood and using steel for the framing of a building. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer which determines which is the superior choice. Instead, the decision should be weighed on a number of different criteria, which you’re using to construct your building. Simply put, wood and steel frames each have their own merits and pitfalls and the decision should be specific to your needs. Here, we look at a few matters where steel and wood give different results.


One thing everybody wants from a building structure is for it to last. Aside from your own vested interest in the building staying strong for a long time, this is something insurance companies will take into account when issuing your premium. Generally speaking, wood is a good deal more vulnerable than steel. Steel is not flammable, nor is it affected by rot, damp or termites. While these may not be considered likely problems in a modern home, they are more realistic threats in farm buildings.


Our wants and needs change over time, and sustainability is one of the newcomers to the list of common criteria when a structure is erected. While both wood and steel can be procured from responsible sources, it’s fair to say that steel has the edge when it comes to sustainability. Steel is considered to be one of the most sustainable materials in the building world, and is often recycled.

Heat Efficiency

Depending on what the structure is to be used for, its ability to keep heat in could be a deciding factor in the materials you use. The conductivity of metal has made the debate of whether wood or steel framed buildings are warmer somewhat complicated. The bulk of research, however, points to wood being the better option. However, it’s important to note that efficiency in this respect can come down to a huge number of other factors. Insulation will go a long way to smoothing out any differences between the materials used in the framing of the structure.