One of the questions we get regularly at Outside Concepts, is what structural material should I choose for my new patio, pergola, carport or verandah? Steel or timber? Is timber the best choice or is steel a better long-term decision? I’m on a budget, so does this mean steel will be too expensive for me?

The benefits of steel

  • Many of us have spent plenty of time up ladders painting or repainting timber, so there’s little doubt what one of the main advantages of steel is – reduced maintenance. Most steel structural materials come pre-painted in the colour of your choice, so you’ll never need to touch a paint brush again!
  • Steel is stronger than timber and maintains this strength for a very long time. This strength advantage could mean, for example, that you can have less posts or less beams in your outdoor structure. Steel can also span further than timber, so for larger outdoor structures may be a necessity.
  • If you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t use steel. In some cases steel can actually be cheaper to use than timber.
  • Part of the reason why steel can be cheaper to use is that many components are fabricated off-site, so are quicker to erect. This reduces the labour cost of the build.
  • Steel won’t rot, warp or twist.

The benefits of timber

  • Steel is more aesthetically pleasing than it once was, but for many people it still can’t match timber for looks. This is particularly the case if you don’t want to paint the structure of your new patio, pergola, carport or verandah, and want to show off the natural beauty of the timber by using a stain of clear protective finish.
  • For older-style homes, which already feature timber in posts, beams and other applications, using timber in your new outdoor structure makes sense as it will match the rest of your home.

Why not have both?

There is, of course, another alternative, which is to use a combination of materials. For example, if you love the look of timber, you might like to use timber for the posts and decorative elements, which are the part of your outdoor structure that you’ll see the most, then use steel for the remainder of the structure.

Need more advice or tips about a new outdoor structure, or whether steel or timber is better for you? Give Outside Concepts a call on 1800 601 674. Together we can make your new patio, pergola, carport, verandah or deck the best in the street.

Find out about Outside Concepts’ 10-year structural warranty. Call us on 1800 601 674.