Which Is Better: Concrete, Wood, or Brick? A Closer Look into Home Building Materials
Long ago, choosing a building material was a simple decision since the options were reasonably limited. Today, however, you can find yourself lost with all the choices available in the market, from natural products to synthetic alternatives, even to combinations of both.
If you are wondering what building material you should use for house building (check out this excellent house builders guide for more information), the most popular picks are wood, brick, and concrete. Although they are all extensively used in modern-era home construction, each of them has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the aspects of insulation value, cost, durability, safety, ease of construction, and maintenance.
To help you decide the best choice for your needs, goals, and expectations, we’ve put together an objective in-depth guide and comparison of the pros and cons of wood, brick, and concrete – each of which we work with seeing the benefits ourselves or through construction firms we work with.
The Perks of Using Wood
Abundant and beautiful, the all-traditional wood is used as a reliable building material for thousands of years. Not only is wood fairly inexpensive (unless you desire to use a rare species), it is also easy to build with. You won’t need fancy tools or heavy machinery to mould it into the shape and design you want or require. If there is a need to remodel your house in the future, the process will also be simpler and more convenient, unlike when renovating homes made of other materials.
In terms of insulation, wood is considered as a natural air conditioner due to its ability to absorb humidity. As for durability, wood can withstand erosions and the effects of siltation.
The Downsides of Using Wood
When homebuyers pick brick or concrete over wood, it is due to the reason that wood is susceptible to termites, water damage, mould, rot, decay, and pests. Wood also tends to expand and contract during harsh weather, resulting in unsightly warped surfaces. Other hazards of using wood are its flammability and its vulnerability to storms. For wood to last a long time, constant maintenance is required, such as painting and sealing regularly.
The Benefits of Brick
Used by countless civilizations around the world, brick is the first building material made by man. Unlike wood, brick is fire resistant and is less vulnerable to damage caused by natural calamities. With proper care, such as regular inspections for leaks, cracks, and damages, brick houses can last a hundred years or even more. Plus, due to its uniform sizes, brick is also easy to put together during construction.
The Stumbling Blocks of Using Brick
In comparison to wood, brick is more expensive. Although brick can have natural components, such as clay, it is generally viewed as non-natural, which means that is must be manufactured. If modifications are to be done, brick is difficult to move or tear down.
Brick, like wood, also expands and contracts during cold weather. Due to its pores, mould problems can be a serious concern. In addition to this, climbing vines pose another threat, as it can damage brick. In terms of maintenance, you will need to check for chips, which may require new mortar to repair.
Finally, concrete, the material we work with on a day to day basis. Concrete may appear severely austere compared to the aesthetic quality of wood and the feel of well-fired bricks, but in fairness it can outperform both as a building material for a couple of reasons.
With a 100-year service life, concrete is built to last without breaking the bank on maintenance, making it a cost-effective choice. In addition, the durability of concrete promotes sustainability by conserving resources, thus reducing the need to produce new material for reconstruction. Concrete is recyclable as well.
As for safety, concrete is proven to be one of the most secure building materials when paired with excellent quality of construction. It doesn’t burn, it is resistant to rot and mildew, it is invulnerable to termites and other pests, and it prevents pollutants of the airborne variety from entering. Plus, concrete provides protection against natural disasters, such as storms, erosions, and earthquakes.
Furthermore, concrete is energy-efficient due to its thermal mass, which harvests energy from natural sources, such as the heat of the sun. As a result, heating and cooling energy usage can be reduced by more than 29 per cent.
The Cracks in the Concrete
With all the pros of using concrete for house construction, you may wonder if it even has any disadvantages. It does have a few: concrete is heavy and is less malleable. Also, concrete may contain salts, resulting in an ugly appearance due to efflorescence, where salt migrates to the surface and forms an unappealing coating. However, these limitations can be resolved: efflorescence can be removed, concrete can be lifted using machinery, and reinforcement can be done to improve the material.
Whether your final choice will be wood, brick, or concrete, it all boils down to your priorities and preferences. If you value aesthetics and you don’t think maintenance is an issue, wood can be the most suitable choice for you. On the other hand, if you want excellent safety and durability, concrete can be an excellent option. Or, why not include them all in your home design, in which you can have brick pavements, wooden interiors, and concrete foundations and walls?
If concrete is what you decide is best for your home or property development, we’re here to help. At Base Concrete, we pride ourselves in providing you with the best service possible, ensuring you can always rely on our reliable and friendly staff and excellent concrete services. Providing concrete line pumps in the North West London area and delivering a wide range of concrete mixes for your construction needs, we’ll do everything we can to make your construction project a success. For more information, contact us – we’d love to hear from you.