Building With The Best

When it comes to deciding what building materials would be best used in constructing a home or business, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration. These can include cost, availability, weather conditions, energy efficiency and if the area is prone to certain natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. Generally speaking, there are four basic types of building materials that are used in constructing buildings. These are brick, concrete, wood and stone. Each has its pros and cons, depending on how it is being used.

Stone has been one of man’s most basic building materials for thousands of years. People worldwide have used stone as a structural component in buildings, and it is known to hold up quite well under varying weather conditions. Stone buildings and structures, such as the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Mayan ruins, have been around almost since the beginning of time. It’s considered the longest-lasting building material and is almost always readily available. One advantage of using stone is its density, which lets it provide protection. However, it’s also very heavy and can be awkward to work with, and its energy efficiency is very low because of its difficulty in staying warm. 

Wood is an all-purpose building material and is used in building almost any structure in any climate. Because of its flexibility and strength when bent or compressed vertically, it’s considered to be a great material to use in earthquake zones. Certain kinds of wood are considered better for construction than others. Two of the best are oak and elm. Elm is often used in places where damp conditions are common, while oak is used in dryer climates. Most modern homes today are constructed using a basic timber frame. Birch doors work well in Utah because the wood remains durable in a mild desert climate as well as winter weather.

Brick is considered by many people to be one of the most sturdy and attractive building materials available. It’s usually made of clay or mud, and can often be made into various colors to enhance its visual appeal. Brick has been a popular building material for over 300 years. The main advantages of building with brick are its ability to be much more flame retardant than wood and being so cheap to manufacture. Two kinds of low-cost bricks are cinder blocks and sandcrete blocks. Cinder blocks are mostly made of concrete, while sandcrete is weaker than but cheaper to make than clay bricks.

In modern construction, concrete has been the material of choice. Cheap to produce and easy to work with, concrete does have some disadvantages. Because of its rather low tensile strength, it’s usually reinforced with steel bars or rods. It can also have air bubbles in it that can weaken a building and allow water to seap in, causing cracks and deterioration within the structure. Some banks are even wary of lending money to people wishing to buy a home made of reinforced concrete. Despite all this, concrete is a very cheap material to use and does tend to support structures for a very long time. 

So when a builder is preparing to erect a structure, there are many factors to consider when deciding what type of material to use. Once all factors like cost, climate and availability are analyzed it’s time to decide between stone, wood, concrete or brick. Many times combinations of these are used, and it is up to the builder to decide what will work best for him and his building.