Building in a private or a commercial capacity is a rewarding investment of time and money. Designing and constructing a building according to your needs can give you a better functioning space and a reliable asset you can hold for decades.
Building smartly can also set your property up to have a higher resale value, but for that, you need to choose the right building materials.
There are five main categories of building materials and hundreds of sub-categories. To find out what the right materials are for your project, keep reading this handy guide.
Table of Contents
Stone is the most durable and toughest building material. Stone buildings can literally last thousands of years if maintained properly. However, cutting it and moving it around is very difficult and therefore expensive.
These days, stone has largely been relegated to flooring and finishes due to the wide variety of textures and vibrant colors. This suits the modern context more as it is too tough to allow for easy renovations, and it’s the second worst overall insulator after steel.
That doesn’t mean it has no functional value, as stone makes for good countertops, garage floors, and other tough workspace surfaces.
Timber (wood) is great for its cheapness, high availability, versatility, and relative toughness. It can be molded, cured, bent, or cut into almost any shape you need it to take. This makes it possible to work seamlessly with any of the other materials on this list.
You can make walls, frames, soundproofing, floors, insulation, and almost anything else out of wood. It is, however, more vulnerable to the elements and should therefore be maintained (painted, varnished, or replaced) more regularly.
Bricks are the spiritual successor to stone in that they’re standardized stone-like objects that are designed to fit together. They may not have the insane compression strength of natural stones, but they still have more than you’d need.
They can also be customized to be better insulators and covered with another material to give your building a customized interior or exterior.
Concrete is one of the go-to materials for large-scale industrial or functional builds. It’s made of a coarse mixture of certain sands, stones, and a binder like cement.
Self leveling cement is a cost-effective concrete component that you can pour on site if you want a concrete floor without a hassle. You can also make concrete components using molds beforehand, after which you’d simply transport them to the building site and fit them together.
Steel is incredibly strong, relatively light (when compared to its strength), and cheap to procure and transport. Its best use is for the support and reinforcement of buildings. Using steel inside concrete structures gives them unmatched strength and durability.
However, because it isn’t the best insulator, it’s not a good material for walls on its own. It can be used as a roof covering if treated so that it can endure rain and oxidation.
Choose the Best Building Materials for Your Project
Choosing the right building materials for your construction is an important part of your design phase. Choosing the best building materials for a build depends on their intended role.
Stone and concrete make the best foundational materials while timber, bricks, and concrete serve well as the primary materials for your walls. Timber and steel make great supports and frames depending on the size and weight of your building plans.
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