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What is the strongest wood for framing?

Steel vs Wood framing – Which is best for construction?

steel vs wood framing

The construction industry continues to move from strength to strength. But following the pandemic and a new way of life, the construction industry has experienced a surge across the world. C ontractors and builders are in high demand due to previously stalled projects coming back to life in a thriving market.

A key decision with any construction project is choosing between a steel and wood framing structure . Here’s all the data you need to compare steel vs wood framing to make sound decisions for your next construction project.

Steel Framing vs Wood Framing, how do they compare?

The frame is the backbone of any building, so when choosing a construction material it must be both safe and secure. Steel and wood framing both have pros and cons such as cost, longevity, sustainability, and flexibility during the construction process. Let’s take a look.

The Ability to Customi s e Your Design

When it comes to construction materials, cold-formed steel is seen as one of the most versatile materials. Cold-formed steel is popular among architects and designers because it has superior consistency, strength and reliability. By utilising the FRAMECAD system and software , architects and engineers can easily bring to life any design with CFS framing. This, combined with the strength of a metal frame, means that cold-formed steel is frequently a better choice than a wood frame.

Lifetime Durability

Mold, rot, and mildew are all significant threats to wood structures . However, cold-formed steel, unlike wood framing, doesn’t retain water, making it stable and more robust over time. Corrosion and rust are potential weaknesses of a steel building material, but with modern zinc coatings, corrosion is avoided. When it comes to durability, CFS is clearly an excellent choice.

Structural Integrity

Steel-framing is built to last. Steel frame buildings have less movement overtime because they do not twist, warp, shrink, or buckle, whereas timber frames are much more likely to distort as timber will continue dry and shrink for many years after the tree was cut down.

While any form of construction is a long-term investment, those built with steel framing and CFS are particularly sturdy.

Sustainability is Key

Sustainability and green practices are becoming key in construction. While wood framing is often seen as natural, it has a high wastage . Steel framing on the other hand, can be produced with minimal waste which is then reused and recycled , Timber frames are also often treated with toxic chemicals to protect them from pests and hazards, where steel doesn’t require this.

Labor Costs

In your construction project, the cost of labor will drive return on investment and be a key deciding factor. Though wooden frames are also seen as easy to construct and often don’t require highly skilled labor, the same is true with steel, which with the frames being much lighter, there can be less labor required onsite.

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Even more labor cost savings can be achieved by moving framing offsite. The frames are assembled as a part of a manufacturing process and then shipped to site to be assembled. This results in a higher labor utilisation, productivity and ultimately a lower cost.

Insurance costs for Steel Framing

CFS and steel framing is non-combustible and therefore a much safer, more reliable alternative to other framing materials on the market. As a result, insurance companies have rewarded contractors for using CFS with lower building insurance. Landlords also often receive lower insurance costs, so the savings continue once the construction is complete also.

How to decide what material to use for your building frame

There you have it, a list of the advantages of steel over wood framing. So, is steel framing better than wood?

When deciding between wood and steel, remember that both materials are good foundations for building a structure. The final decision comes down to what works best for your location and budget.

For more information on cold-formed steel and to keep yourself updated with the latest developments in the construction industry, check out our news and blogs .

If you’d like to find out more information or are interested in using CFS in your next project, con tact one of our local cold-formed steel experts today.

The 6 Best Types of Wood For a Door Frame… & Why!

You’re not alone! In fact, several people find themselves in the same situation every day.

Building a door frame is no straightforward task, and there are many decisions you must make. Depending on where the door is located, you must consider costs, structure, and the type of wood.

In this article, we discuss the different woods available and their pros and cons for your door frame project.

Hardwoods are an excellent choice for external doors because they stand up to the elements better. Species like white oak or if you’ve got the money, mahogany, or teak. For internal doors, popular choices are pine, maple, and poplar (a hardwood that’s not very dense).

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Let’s take an in-depth look at why these particular options are the 6 best types of wood for a door frame.

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External Door Frames

When building an external door frame, the primary considerations are strength and aesthetics. You need a frame that is overall resistant, that will take the harshest weather Mother Nature has to throw at it, and that will last (and look good) for years.

You also want a frame that matches your external door and the surrounding structure.

Now, before explaining any further, it’s important to clarify the difference between a door frame, and a rough opening. If you already know what it is, feel free to move on to the next paragraph, but if you don’t please read on.

In a nutshell, a rough opening is the area cut out of a wall where you’ll then place a door or window frame. Rough openings are typically made from spruce framing lumber, whereas door frames are commonly made from hardwoods or softwoods.

The best wood types for an external frame tend to be hardwood. For strength and weather durability, you just can’t beat them. And hardwoods always look good. Let’s have a look at three types you can use for your external door frame.

#1 Mahogany

Mahogany is a tropical hardwood and its distinctive red-brown color is both beautiful and durable. A mahogany door frame oozes quality and will last for decades. It has excellent strength and the wood naturally resists rot. It is therefore an exceptional choice for external frames subject to heavy weather.

Mahogany wood

#2 Teak

Teak is another tropical hardwood. Grey-brown, teak darkens as it ages and looks stunning at any age. It contains natural oils that make it both weather and pest resistant. This combined with its natural tensile strength makes it an exceptional choice for an external door frame.

Teak wood

#3 White Oak

White oak is a popular hardwood native to many parts of North America. Its structure makes it water and rot-resistant, and it has high strength. All the features you want in an external door frame. But white oak’s major selling point is the price. You can usually find it much cheaper than mahogany or teak. So if you’re looking for a hardwood frame at a reasonable price, check out white oak.

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White oak wood

Typically, hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that is still almost as good as those mentioned above, you could try Douglas Fir. It is a softwood, but it’s almost as strong and durable as the hardwoods mentioned. And with the right coatings, it will last a long time.

Internal Door Frames

Internal doors don’t need to put up with the weather or have to stand up to a break-in. So strength isn’t as much of an issue. This means that the primary considerations for an internal frame are really price and aesthetics.

Because of this, builders and woodworkers make most internal door frames from softwoods. So, let’s look at three softwood options for your internal frames.

#4 Pine

Pine is an evergreen softwood that grows in most of the Northern Hemisphere. It is also one of the longest-living organisms on the planet, with one tree being dated at almost 5,000 years old.

Pine is probably the most commonly used wood for internal door frames. It is cheap, easy to work with, and looks good untreated, stained, or painted. The only point to note is that pine is quite soft and will dent from knocks easily. If you’re building a door frame that might take some punishment, you might be better off with one of these other options.

Pine trees

#5 Poplar

Poplar is a good option for internal frames. Although it is a hardwood, it has characteristics similar to some softwoods, because it is very easy to work with and is relatively cheap.

It does not have the weather resistance of some other hardwoods and hence it’s used mainly indoors, but it takes a knock better than pine, so could be a better choice for frames that will see heavy use.

Tulip Tree

#6 Maple

Maple, although not as popular as pine, can be an interesting choice. It is a strong and good-looking wood that can make a fine frame.

Common in North America and parts of Asia, they use maple in construction but also in musical instruments, baseball bats, and pulp. Maple is a wonderful choice for its distinctive look, so if you’re thinking of a clear finish, maple could be your wood.

Maple trees

Other Woods to Consider

While these 6 wood types are some of the best and most commonly used for door frames, there are other options you could consider.

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Oak is a good-looking wood that can make excellent framing material and is another one often used when the frame will have a clear finish.

But oak can be a little harder to work with, so keep that in mind. Cedar is another distinctive wood that can be used in frames. MDF, although not a solid wood, can be used in door frames because it offers good dimensional stability.

Just remember, no matter the choice of wood for your door frame, make sure you inspect the wood before you buy. A door frame needs to keep its shape. Any warpage or shrinkage will mean your door won’t fit properly and will either jam or let in a draft. To avoid these issues, make sure you use well-seasoned wood and seal it properly.


That about covers it!

If you’re looking to build your next door frame, now you know what types of wood to look out for and which type of wood suits indoor and outdoor use. Whichever of these woods you choose, with the right preparation, build, and finishing, you’ll have a frame that will last for a very long time.

If this article helped you, please consider checking out the related content below. On the site, you’ll find all sorts of solutions for everyday appliance issues, such as a dishwasher that’s clicking, or an electric stove that keeps turning off.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your framing projects.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more

Image of Craig Anderson, Appliance Analysts founder

Craig Anderson

Hi there! My name’s Craig, and I started Appliance Analysts back in 2017.

My mission is to help our readers solve appliance-related issues without paying through the nose for contractors or a whole new model. I’m joining up with experts from across the HVAC, Appliance Repair, & DIY industries to share free expert advice that will save you time, stress, and money.

Power Beam ® — 3000Fb — 2.1E — 300Fv

Power Beam

Power Beam® is designed for use as primary support beams.

Power Beam® compliments Mass Timber wood framing systems.

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Power Beam® matches I-Joist depths and nominal wall widths for flush framing and are manufactured in framing appearance grade.

Power Beam® is the strongest engineered wood product (EWP) on the market with design values of 3000Fb — 2.1E — 300Fv.

For faster installation, Power Beam® is available in wide widths of 3 ½”, 5 ½” and 7”

Power Beam® is manufactured with superior strength southern yellow pine MSR Lumber.

For a cost-efficient, high-strength solution to your load-bearing structural applications, choose Power Beam®

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To enhance Power Beam ® quality further, all outer laminations have strict quality control procedures. Each beam has a specific lumber lay-up combination which optimizes Power Beam ® performance. The highest strength lumber is placed in the tension and compression zones, efficiently and optimally using lumber resources. All lumber is machine evaluated at the grading line by a Ecoustic ® E-Grader or Metriguard CLT for MOE to average 2.3 x 10 6 psi in the outer laminations.

Power Beam ® can be used for window, door and garage door headers, floor edge and center girder beams, roof ridge beams and commercial beams and purlins.


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Power Beam ® Features

Code Evaluations/Standards: ICC ESR 1940, APA Product Report PR-L263; ANSI A190.1-2020; APA Y117; and ASTM D-3737.

Sizing Software: Power Sizer® Software is now powered by the most powerful engineered wood software tools in the market—iStruct® software suite, featuring isDesign® for single member sizing.

Sustainability: Power Beam ® is certified by Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

Dimensional Stability: Power Beam ® is a laminated composite product of high-strength lumber. This randomizes any natural defect so there is greater beam strength and a higher degree of reliability. There is also less likelihood of warping, twisting, checking, cupping or shrinkage. Power Beam ® is surfaced sealed with a wax coating.

Quality Assurance: Power Beam ® is manufactured in accordance with ANSI A190.1-2020 (Structural Glued Laminated Timber) with appropriate modifications. Plant implemented Total Quality Management, statistical process control procedures and APA as our third party quality assurance program, ensure consistent quality and performance in every Power Beam ® .

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