In the classic story, the wolf can’t huff, puff, and blow a brick house down. But is brick the best home building material for you? Learn here.
There are approximately 116 million housing units in the United States.
Are you thinking of adding to that figure, and building a house of your own?
Awesome! A self-built house gives you total flexibility and control over proceedings. You have the chance to create the home of your dreams.
However, it’s a hefty investment. After all, you have to pay for the site work, foundations, framing, siding, plumbing, electrics, insulation, landscaping and more. You’re looking at an average spend of around $290,000 all up.
That’s a lot of money. You can’t afford to make any mistakes along the way. Of all the ways to ensure your building’s longevity, the building materials you choose are often important. Using the most suitable materials will save you problems down the line.
But how do you know which is right for you?
Keep reading to learn how to choose the best building material for your needs.
7 Considerations for Choosing the Best Building Material
Not all building materials are suitable for the same housing project. Each has its own set of pros and cons to keep in mind. Here are some top considerations for selecting the right building materials for your home.
1. The Environment
Environmental considerations should be front and center of your building material selection process.
They might not be. But everyone needs to start thinking about their individual impact on the environment. Frankly, some materials are more damaging than others. For instance, wood houses are surprisingly environmentally unfriendly.
Why not build your home using recycled materials instead? Such an approach saves on new resources being taken from the earth. A significant number of people are building houses like this. It’s a win-win. Not only are these materials greener, but they’re also more efficient and affordable.
If recycled building materials aren’t your thing, then consider using energy efficient materials. Recycled steel, insulating concrete forms, structural insulated panels (foam insulation placed between panels of plywood or cement) are a few examples.
These materials will help you save energy when the house is built. That’s better for both the environment and your bank balance.
2. The Cost
We’re assuming that the costs of building materials are high on your list of priorities.
There are different levels of consideration here. It’s important to think long term.
Sure, you could save money upfront by scrimping on building materials. Going for the cheapest options, such as prefab panels, simple brick, and corrugated iron, may save a penny or two in construction.
But you can end up paying more in the long term in constant upkeep and essential repair-work.
Create a budget for your build process and find materials to match it. Remember that cost comes down to installation too. Some materials are easier to install than others. Likewise, you’ll pay more for materials that are transported from far away.
3. The Ease-of-Use
How easy is it to build with your material of choice?
Using materials that are easy to use will help with the speed of assembly.
This is beneficial if you’re building your home to a deadline. Want to get it finished as soon as possible? Then opt for materials that can be put together in a hurry.
However, remember the story of the tortoise and the hair? Speed isn’t everything. Ease-of-use also takes into account the resources that are most readily available. Think about where your house will be. What materials are easiest to get hold of?
Easy access to materials will keep costs down, cut delivery time, and minimize transport-related costs.
4. The Durability
Your building materials should be as durable as possible.
It’s no good having a house if it collapses in the first storm to hit. The materials must be able to withstand the elements and the everyday hardships a house will come up against. Re-enforced concrete and steel framework are two modern durable solutions.
Remember, poor durability will cost you time and money in the future. Using well put together and durable materials will ensure the longevity of your home.
5. The Surroundings
Think about your neighbors too.
What have they built their homes from? Sometimes it can pay to use building materials that match the aesthetic of the area. You may not want your neighbors getting annoyed at what they consider an eye-sore in their vicinity.
In the middle of no-where, with barely a neighbor in sight? Well, use your surroundings for aesthetic inspiration. Pick your materials in mind of how the house will fit into its environment when fully constructed.
6. The Risks
Think about where you’ll be living.
What are the particular risks in play there? Are there earthquakes? Tornados? High winds? High chance of snow?
All of these extreme weather conditions should play a part in construction in general, but also the materials you decide to build with. Brick houses are brittle and may break easily in a quake. Woods houses can respond better to quakes but pose a fire risk.
Think about the potential for environmental problems, and decide accordingly.
7. The Climate
Climate can play a major role in building material selection.
Siding for a humid climate will need to be different than siding for hot and dry weather. For instance, stucco is a mix of water, sand, lime, and cement. It’s a good insulator but holds up poorly in cold and wet weather.
A good all-rounder is vinyl-siding. If it is good quality, then vinyl is a good option for most climates.
Be sure to consult an expert on the most suitable siding and building materials in general for where you’ll live. This website might help.
Time to Get Building
There you have it: 7 considerations to help you choose the best home building material for you.
Building a new home is an exciting time. It’s a chance to get creative and build the house you’ve always dreamed of. But you’ll have to fork out the cash to make it happen.
It makes sense to pay particular attention to the materials you decide to build with. The choices you make can have a direct impact on the cost, longevity, aesthetic, and environmental impact of your home, among others.
Hopefully, the information in this post will help you decide the best material for your new home!
Did you like this piece? Click here for some ideas on how to decorate your home once it’s finished!