steel or timber beams?

1 Jun 2014
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United Kingdom
Hi all
We are 1 week into our kitchen extension. it will be 7m by 4m with flat roof EPDM membrane.

The architect specified steel beams (and structural engineer did calcs for these). Our builder is suggesting using timber beams instead.

I get that the timber beams will look nice. But I'd be really grateful if someone could outline the pros and cons. I don't feel like I have enough information to make any kind of decision.

One of our big questions is maintenance, does timber need treating throughout its lifetime?

Huge thanks
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It will cost you more money for a start as you will have to get the SE to re calc for timber beams.

If your SE has spec'd steel beams then you would probably have to have flitch beams which are wood with steel in between all bolted together.

We have just had 2 flitch beams put in using treated timber so I dont expect theyll need much maintenance.

Really your builder should be following the plans and the SE's calcs. If you go with what the builder is saying without getting recalcs then if something happens and your timber beams fail then your SE's indemnity insurance is unlikely to pay out.
You haven't given enough information for anyone to comment on the viability of timber -v-steel beams.
Pics? sketch plan?
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thanks to you both for your replies.

Excellent points about the beam calcs and indemnity insurance. Decision made! (Stick to the steel)

Thanks again

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