Our usual idea of a house is a square or rectangular structure with the typical four walls. Depending on where you are, the material used for the home often varies. But does the material make a difference?
Think of the popular children’s story, the Three Little Pigs. One pig builds a house made of straw, the other creates a home made of wood, and the final one builds a house made of bricks. As the story goes, each one but the brick house is easily destroyed by the wolf, perhaps claiming that a brick house is the sturdiest.
While there isn’t any wolf out to destroy houses, building material does matter. The location where you’re building your house matters considerably, and so is the ‘feel’ that you want. Nowadays, you can rely on architects, engineers, and other construction professionals to get the materials right for you. But knowing more about the make and quality of your building material helps a lot so you can better understand your home’s structure and design.
Among the most common material for homes, wood is easy to work with as it’s lightweight and can easily be adapted to almost anything you want. It’s cheap and accessible, with many lumber suppliers available throughout the country. But wood has its drawbacks as well. For multiple-story buildings, wood isn’t the best choice. Although it can last a while (a long period), it’s prone to many kinds of damage such as moisture or fire, not to mention termites. There are ways to treat wood to make it more challenging against its natural weaknesses, but going this route also increases its base price.
Whenever we see a wooden house, we often think of Asian design, as it is a popular choice in most Asian countries. There are benefits to using bamboo as a building material, as it’s easy to handle and repair. It is lightweight and can be transported easily, which can mean less transportation cost and cheap depending on your location. It also provides adequate protection against earthquakes, thanks to its flexible yet enduring nature. However, when mishandled, it can be highly flammable, attract insects, and can even be challenging to use for those with little experience with it.
Steel is a highly reliable material to work with, and with its accessibility, it is also among the most popular ones for construction use. It’s often used for large-scale, multi-story construction. And unlike other forms of building material, it is less susceptible to moisture, fire, and even termites. They are manufactured for different uses, making them a very convenient and efficient building material. However, steel is more expensive than wood. Having a good engineer will help make the utilization of steel more efficient, as they can make the most out of a construction plan’s limited steel supply.
Images of brick houses often evoke an old feeling, as they are usually found in centuries-old cities. Picturesque homes from Europe often come to mind, and even those built in the modern era give off a rather elegant look. Bricks are efficient in maintaining an adequate temperature, as they can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The difficulty in using bricks as a construction material lies in the fact that it is a relatively time-consuming material to work with. They are heavy and fragile, requiring a specialist to work on them. Despite all this, bricks remain a popular building material for houses, which may not change soon.
In its purest form, concrete is simply a mixture of cement, sand, and water. When mixed and left to dry, it creates a tough compound that can create anything from beams to pillars or even walls. Since it is strong and sturdy while still being resistant to moisture, it makes for a good foundation. It is commonly used along with steel or bricks and also insulates well.
However, it does require a particular skill set to work with. It’s best to find a professional who handles concrete, as making mistakes with it can be a rather costly experience. It can be a bit expensive compared to the others, but it is low-maintenance and efficient, making it cheaper in the long run.
A Mixture of All Types
Some homes are entirely built using wood or bamboo, while some use a mixture of different building materials. The most effective means of creating a sturdy and reliable home varies on your preference and location. Most of the time, an innovative mixture of different types makes for the right house. Knowing what the materials are will help you make a better and more informed decision on what to choose.