Building or buying a house is a huge decision, and one that weighs heavily on the person doing the purchasing. What if you make the wrong choice? What if there are some serious problems you didn’t catch during the initial inspection? What if you miss something and tragedy happens?
There are ways to limit those nasty surprises, and one is to consider from the beginning what your home is made out of. The materials that go into construction will dictate how long your house lasts, costs and frequency of repairs, and the stress you are forced to deal with moving forward.
Two popular materials known for their sturdiness are wood and brick. But which one is actually better? Let’s take a look.
The Benefits Of Wood
Wood is often praised for its overall look. You can create a rustic, natural setting using logs. No one would deny how gorgeous wooden houses look both on the inside and the out. Plus the colors and grains of the lumber are warm and inviting, which is a great feeling to have about your house.
But there is more to it than that. Wood is more eco friendly than most materials. It can be made through recycled lumber and wood panels, which help to lower the impact on the environment. Stains, seals and other chemicals that were once dangerous for the ecosystem surrounding the house have become much more environmentally safe.
Wood is also very sturdy and easy to replace. If a log cracks you can replace or fix it with minimal work, as opposed to many other materials. It is less likely to have problems if properly maintained, and so this is a primary reason for many people choosing wood over different options.
The Benefits Of Brick
Brick is another good looking material, ahead of concrete, sheetrock or plastic siding in the appearance category. You can select different colored bricks, which is a pro for those who want something a little different from the norm.
As far as sturdiness goes, it is hard to beat the brutal efficiency of bricks. After all, there is a reason it is used in the story of the three little pigs. On the downside, when it is damaged it is difficult to fix or replace brick. You may also need a bricklayer to perform those repairs, as removing one brick may cause some damage to the overall structure of the siding and lead to problems later on.
The quality of materials may be more likely to be compromised. You can look at wood and get a good idea of whether it is a stable, healthy piece of lumber. Bricks can be harder to gauge.
Why Wood Is Better Than Other Materials
You can look between the two pros above to see why wooden homes are usually considered better. But there are a couple of other reasons. For one thing, lumber is much easier to move, and wooden houses are lightweight while still being strong against the elements. That means you can actually transport it from one location to another if you ever choose to move, without having to sell away the house itself.
The amount of time to construct one of these homes it another reason. Wood takes an average of three months to construct from scratch, or less when using prefab houses. Brick homes can take a year or more, and the cost is much higher thanks to the amount of labor involved. Insulation is easier and cheaper to install on a wooden house, and it is simpler to reseal any leaking areas where water or cold air might be getting in.
What About Maintaining Them?
Maintaining wooden houses is easier than you may think. Every three to five years you will have to apply a new stain and seal to your home, and search for potential problems. Some issues that could occur include cracks or wearing in the wood, blanching from the sun, rot in the logs, infestations of insects, and general wear. The more faithfully to maintain the wood, the more unlikely it will be that these problems creep up.
On average this is a $2500 to $5000 cost, depending on the square footage of your home, and the product selected for the job. When you consider the fact that it will only be done as infrequently as every five years this cost is pretty minimal. Especially given the fact that most people can do it themselves.
Doing some work on the surrounding area is also necessary. Some plants and vines can try to grow into the wood, and so you will want to trim back plants annually. Applying a weed killer or pulling weeds when they first grow is a simple way to make sure this never happens.
All of this isn’t needed for bricks, but it is harder to prevent issues when dealing with materials like concrete. You may also have trouble seeing problems because they occur inside of the bricks themselves, and so cracks that aren’t on the surface, spaces where the bricks have worn, infestations and other risks may not be apparent until they have grown to a much greater level.
Prefab Versus Custom
What kind of wooden house should you be looking into? You have the options of building your own home, buying one that is on the market, or going for a prefab model. A prefab wooden house is one that has already been constructed using different parts, which the contractor then puts together on the land you have purchased.
Prefabs are a great way to get a beautiful house for a fraction of the cost and time. They are similar to metal mobile homes, only they come with the many benefits of having a wood structure. You can get one of these houses for as little as the tens of thousands of dollars; customized models can cost more.