What materials to use to build a house

Written by Posted On Monday, 05 February 2018 05:43

So, you've decided to build a new house from scratch or remodel an existing one. Don't rush into it. First, you need to consider various factors that may affect the future construction process. Probably, the most important of them is the correct choice of building materials. Which one you select depends on the part of the house where you are going to use them, as well as on the characteristics of the place where the house is going to be located, and many other factors. Construction experts in Tampa highlight the following factors which are to be taken into consideration before actually proceeding to the construction of the house itself.

Factors to consider when choosing building materials

Before you actually order your materials, you should know that there is no single "one fits for all" solution when it comes to construction elements. But do not forget to consider:

1. Climate

Think about the climate zone where you are going to have the house built. The thing is that some construction materials are better suited for certain zones, while others are not. The best approach is to use a combination of different materials depending on the environmental characteristics of the place where the house is going to stand.

2. Time

Another important consideration is the time you have planned for the construction work to complete. If you are in a hurry, some materials that have a long lead time should be discarded in favor of prefabricated ones. On the other hand, if time is not an issue, the choice of building materials is wider.

3. Motive

The choice of building materials also depends on your purpose. If the house is going to be leased out, consider harder, wear-resistant materials like concrete or brick. The same is true if a large family is going to reside in the house on a regular basis. By contrast, if you are going to live there alone, lighter and more delicate materials like wood will be a better fit.

4. Money

With so many building materials offered at stores, you may be tempted to choose the cheapest ones. However, even if your budget is not lavish, don't make hasty decisions. A cheap material may turn out to wear out faster than its more expensive equivalent. Some materials are provided as finished products. Others require extra finishing, which brings their cost up. So, the price tag can be misleading. Ask the vendors about all the other aspects such as maintenance and lifespan.

5. Site

Finally, the relief of the place for your house is essential, too. That can be a steep block, so you will have to cut into the ground. In that case, consider bricks or other materials with considerable retaining characteristics. Perhaps, the site is flat but hard to get to. Then, lighter materials are a better choice. Location on a coast or in a fire-haunted area also calls for selecting particular types of building materials.

Building materials for different parts of the house

Now that you know what factors can influence your choice, here is what materials you can use for the different parts of your house.


1. Concrete

This material is used in places with moderate and mild climate. You can create a poured concrete foundation by filling steel-reinforced plywood forms with concrete. Another option is a crawlspace foundation made up of a number of concrete blocks.

2. Preservative Treated Wood

This material can be used for building a crawlspace foundation too. It is quite inexpensive in comparison with other foundation-construction materials. The preservative treated wood is produced by soaking wood in preservative chemical substances to make it pressure-resistant. What makes the preservative wood attractive is its ease of use. Foundations based on wood need no poured concrete base.

3. Clay and Sand

These materials guarantee that the water at your property will be drained well. The first step in building a foundation is to level the land with a bulldozer to remove the topsoil. To ensure better drainage, the foundation should be raised above the grade level. Then, spread a layer of clay and sand over the foundation and roll over it with a bulldozer to pack the material down. Two days under the sun, and your clay-and-sand foundation is hard and ready to accept other construction elements.

4. Fly Ash Concrete

You have an alternative to using cement in the concrete when building your foundation. It is fly ash. This material has several benefits. By using it, you have lighter and at the same time stronger concrete that costs less. In addition, the fly ash concrete doesn't require so much water as the ordinary concrete does.


Now, on to the part of your house that is the first “line of defense”: your roof. There is a wide choice of materials here.

1. Fiberglass Shingles

These are very sophisticated. They consist of a thin layer of fiberglass. That layer is then enveloped in whether-grade asphalt. In addition, special granules are placed atop. Their function is to give a fiberglass shingle color plus make it fire-resistant.

2. Metal

This material is famously known for its durability. It is also extremely windproof. You will find all types and shapes of it.

3. Tiles

Tiles come in various shapes and colors, too. They can have a standard weight or be lightweight, and are made of all kinds of materials like clay, wood, or asphalt.

4. Concrete Tiles

Those are not for every roof frame. Make sure that the roof frame of your house is sturdy enough to support the heavy weight of concrete tiles.

Other construction elements

Finally, let us talk about materials used for other construction elements like beams and walls.

1. Recycled Steel

This very durable material is choice number one in regions where earthquakes and hurricanes are not a rarity. Another benefit of recycled scrap steel is that it is more energy-efficient in its production compared with traditional steel. It is also environmentally beneficial since it helps save trees. Normally, recycled steel is used for beams. One of the downsides is its relatively higher cost.

2. Brick and Block

These are widely used construction materials. If they are of good quality, they can serve for a long time. However, you should consider several demerits of bricks and blocks, too. One of them is their inability to withstand earthquakes (which is important for the residents of California, for instance). Another drawback is their heavy weight, so that a deep foundation is required. Finally, if you deal with porous bricks, expect mold in the damp places of your property.

3. Wood

As the rest of building materials, wood has both pros and cons. Speaking about positive characteristics, it is lightweight and is easily processed. On the other hand, wood is susceptible to water, fire, and insects that can damage it.


Choosing the right building materials for your new home is quite a challenging task. You need to know what factors may affect your choice, as well as get familiar with the most essential characteristics of the materials like their durability, susceptibility to dampness, or impact on environment.

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