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Building Supplies

A building is just as good as the materials used to build it, which means quality building materials is just as important as a good foundation or a trendy design plan. There are many kinds of building materials available, each with their own price ranges and some distinct advantages over the other kinds in certain conditions. Consider the type of structure you are building, where you are planning to build it and what will the structure be used for in order to narrow down your search for the best possible materials for your construction project.

  • Wood/Carpentry: Wood has been part of human construction since ancient times. Many of the first human settlements were made of wood, and it remained the primary construction material until the discovery of stone. Nowadays wood is largely used for supporting materials in roof construction, internal fixtures and framing. Although there are still wooden houses today like log cabins.
    Examples: Heavy timber, treated wood, paneling, post and beams
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Wood doesn’t stretch and/or shrink in relation to temperature changes
  • Air dried wood is a good electric insulator and is not known to produce static electricity
  • Ideal for auditoriums and concert halls because of their sound absorbing properties.
  • Easy to maintain and repair; polished wood has a classy appeal
  • Certain odors tend to stick to the wood, and stronger odors tend to last longer
  • Wood is prone to deterioration due to fungi, termites and other insects
  • Wooden houses are more prone to fires even with the addition of fire retardants
  • Concrete Masonry Units (CMU): Masonry involves construction by putting small units together with mortar, which make up a sturdier frame compared to wooden structures.
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Stones and bricks are natural thermo regulators; they can form a natural barrier that prolongs the passage of heat through it.
  • CMUs are non-combustible and can help prevent fires. They are also durable and offer better protection from the elements and projectiles
  • Most CMUs don’t need to be painted over, which can save construction costs
  • Well made CMUs can longer than structures built with steel or reinforced concrete
  • Extreme weather conditions such as heavy snow can damage the stone facade
  • CMUs need strong foundations such as those made of concrete to support these heavy materials.
  • Some structures built solely with some CMUs (like bricks) are more prone to severe earthquake damage and should be reinforced with steel bars to keep the individual pieces together.
  • Concrete: It is a composite construction material made through mixing a coarse aggregate (filler) and cement (binder) to glue the aggregates together. When dried, they form a durable material the same level as CMUs but at a cheaper price.
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Concrete is cheaper and more readily available
  • Structures built of concrete are usually of low maintenance and durable; they will not rot and are fire resistant
  • It offers protection from elements and will not corrode or be damaged by pests or rodents
  • Concrete has low tensile strength and non malleable
  • Concrete retains heat longer than other materials
  • Concrete is prone to forming cracks
  • Metal: Solid, shiny and durable materials that become malleable when put under extreme heat. Metal can last under extreme weather conditions, high pressure and heavy weight which make them ideal to use as frames for infrastructures such as bridges and highways. They are also commonly used to construct high rise buildings such as modern office towers and skyscrapers.
    Examples: Aluminum, steel
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Metals are easy to use and are malleable to form any curve or length needed
  • Extremely durable and can bear a lot of weight
  • Has the advantage of being more resistant to blasts and earthquakes, which also makes them good reinforcements of other building materials
  • Metal structures are constructed at a faster rate, cutting down construction costs
  • These materials can be used and reused after several deconstruction processes
  • Metals are more expensive than the other construction material types (like concrete)
  • While metals can resist heat, prolonged exposure to it will eventually weaken the material. And since metals transmit heat very fast, they need effective fireproofing measures to prevent fires.

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