A questionnaire survey was conducted to evaluate the level of wood utilization for house building in the community of Manqakulane in Maputaland, northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in 2003. The questionnaire's aims were to evaluate in both a descriptive and quantitative manner the utilization of wood in building construction. House building design in that community has abandoned the traditional round huts with thatched roofs of 20 years ago and now favours square or rectangular houses made with wooden walls covered with mud or cement and with a corrugated iron roof. While wooden houses represented the majority of buildings, houses made of bricks were on the increase. Square or rectangular houses with a corrugated iron roof required significantly less elements for the roof beams than round thatched houses. The wall panels were the most wood-consuming part of a house. It was estimated that the average household would have to source 11 main posts, 10 main beams, 27 roof laths and 277 wall laths annually to replace old buildings. Between 40 and 50% of the material used in house building was obtained from species with an established sustainable harvesting potential. The high preference for Brachylaena huillensis as main posts is, however,cause for concern as the current population of this species in the communal land of the Manqakulane people cannot sustain such high levels of harvesting.