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Tools And Materials

Home Building Materials

Traditional home building materials have stood the test of time. They are reliable and usually safe and you can guarantee that every contractor knows what to do with them.

However, civilization has sent a man to space and if we can do that, then we can come up with alternative building materials. Here are some great ideas that can give you more flexibility and integrity and, sometimes, even save you money.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)
These fiberglass panels are made from insulating material. You can put these up extremely quickly and you don't have to worry about extra layers of material. Often lumber takes several weeks to erect. They are light and often custom designed to fit your home plan. They also save energy by being airtight to prevent heat loss.

The only drawbacks to SIPs are the price. Generally SIPs are 10% more expensive than lumber. Installing them also takes a bit of skill. You'll either have to invest the time yourself, or hire a contactor who can do it for you.

Modular Construction
Essentially, a modular home is built and assembled in a factory off site, then dismantled, transported to your property and reassembled using cranes. Often mobile homes or trailers are associated with this type of building, but it has become more and more common for traditional homes.

The drawback to this method is that the appearance of your home will betray the fact that it was built off site. Also, the cranes involved are very expensive to rent and they can only be used at certain times of the year and, even then, only with a permit.

Steel Framing
Simply enough, steel-framing uses light gauge steel studs instead of the more traditional lumber. There are quite a few benefits to this increasingly popular home building material.

Firstly, steel can support heavier loads and generally tends to stand up better against the elements and trauma. Steel framing can also be fitted with any siding material, so it is quite flexible.

The major drawback to steel framing is it takes a master craftsman to install it. While the method is similar to building with lumber, the materials are very different. Make sure your builder knows what he is doing.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
While this new material will probably never be used for the framing of a house, it is becoming increasingly popular for gutters, window frames and shutters and siding. PVC is great because it lasts a very long time and is amazingly durable.

PVC is also fire retardant, which is a good protection on your investment. The only drawback is that PVC looks like plastic (because it is plastic). This makes it unpopular for builders hoping to achieve that traditional look.

Hammer Visit our forum to get the answers you need about using alternative materials.