What is the Best Material to Build a Home With?

All different kinds of materials have been used to build a house. People have used wood, straw, brick and concrete. When you look at the materials, you also need to look and see what you want to accomplish. The materials need to accomplish the following:

a. materials must be used that can absorb a little bit of moisture and also get rid of the moisture without damaging the material

b. materials must be used that repel a large amount of water from leaks so that leaks will be discovered and repaired before mold is formed

c. materials must form a moisture barrier near the middle of the wall

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The density of the material is an important characteristic to consider when choosing the best material to build a house with. At one time, people thought that the denser the material, the better the material to use. Through testing and field experience, it has been shown that materials denser than concrete can form mold in a very short period of time and this is even when exposed directly to sun and air.

The best materials to use to resist mold is dense concrete. When the materials that makes up concrete start to cement, or harden, the PH that is produced may help to prevent the growth of mold. The moisture that makes it way in can also make its way back out before mold and mildew are formed. For less dense concrete or porous concrete, water and moisture goes in and keeps traveling in and farther away from the edges on the outside of the concrete. This means that it takes longer for the water to be removed and thus allows mold and mildew to form.


This article has discussed when choosing materials to build the house with, what they must be able to do and which material is the best material to use to meet the goals set forth when getting ready to build the house.

Types of Building Materials

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Steel buildings are common all over the World. The usage of steel in construction is a not a new practice. However emerging technology changes the type of construction materials we use. This is also applicable to steel.

Earlier hot rolled sheets were in use, which were manufactured at elevated temperatures. This structural steel is rolled unto its shape while hot at a temperature of 1700 degree Fahrenheit. The hot rolled steel shows lesser degree of accuracy than the cold formed steel hence its use is increasing worldwide.

The cold processed steel comes with much more plus points than the hot rolled steel does. This steel sheets are processed at scalable temperature to form shapes of building sections as desired. This type of steel is easy to handle, light weight and is easy to use.

This type of steel is mostly used in prefabricated buildings. In such type of construction, steel sheets are used to make the desired section. These are than transported to the building site. Most important sections are steel roof, wall panel, wall studs and floor decks. In the manufacturing units cold roll forming or press breaking accords the desired shape to the sections.

For production of roof, floor and wall panels' cold roll forming is mostly used. This material is also employed for important structural components.

The cold process increases the strength of the section, hence it is preferred. The yield point and tensile strength depends upon the type of the steel used and also on the type of cold forming.

Cold formed steel prefabricated section finds use in multiple applications. The manufacture in factories and installations at the site is beneficial. This saves both the time and money. In building construction, the doors and windows are also made from this steel. In highway construction, the guard rail and barriers are manufactured using cold formed steel. Transportation does not pose much of a problem as the material is light weight.

The sections formed using the cold formed steel are often used for the entire building. The material is also used for making the roof, floor and wall systems. The material is also used for making framing members such as studs, joists and truss. The primary as well as secondary structures are also made of light gauge steel. The load bearing steel stud wall is a fine example of primary structure used in commercial and residential buildings.

Hence hospitals, hotels, education institutes, research institutions all prefer the prefab construction technique. In India government offices prefer steel construction to traditional building methods.

Resistance to fire, rot, fungi, algae etc are plus points of this material. The ability to gel with many types of paints and coatings also helps. Cold formed steel is strong, durable and ductile material.

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This is a very synonymous trade with construction works, especially the construction of buildings. Most of the modern construction has its structural frame fabricated out of concrete. There are two main types of concrete:

· Mass Concrete: This is usually a 'weak' form of concrete. This means that it does not perform any load bearing duties. It is used in ground floor slabs, platforms or simple bases for light works.

· Structural (reinforced) concrete: This is used to carry loads and is therefore a common part of buildings and other structures like retaining walls. It is usually added strength properties by the use of steel (reinforcement). The specification of concrete is usually dependent on the amount of strength it is supposed to carry.

Concrete is made from a mixture of the following main parts;

· Ballast (Course aggregate): This forms the bulk of concrete parts. It is made from crushed stone and the size of the aggregates determines (partly) the strength and workability of concrete.

· Sand (fine aggregate): This is the second largest part of concrete. In concrete, it fills the gaps in between the course aggregates.

· Cement (binder): This binds together the other parts of concrete and hardens in a chemical process to form a strong mass, shaped to the desired form and size.

The three parts form the main type of concrete, which is usually given as ratio as in the following manner; (1:2:4 - One part Cement, Two parts Sand and Four parts Ballast). The three are mixed with clean water in a specified quantity. Cement reacts with water to form its strength.

Other constituents of concrete include;

· Reinforcement: Usually in the form of steel bars, but also in the form of fibrous material. Gives concrete enhanced strength properties.

· Additives: Chemical compounds added in concrete to give it enhanced characteristics like more flowability and water resistance.

Alongside this, concrete also needs moulds, commonly known as formwork, to give it support as well as shape it in the desired form, for example circular shape in columns. The conventional formwork was made of timber and poles, although this is quickly changing to other materials, mainly steel and aluminium.

Concrete works constitute the following works, which are either carried out by hand, by machine or a combination of both.

· Formwork construction: Depending on the material to be used, this can be purely a carpentry affair or a simple steel assembly. It also includes works like leveling and waterproofing. It also involves removal of formwork after a specified period, for example seven days, a process known as striking.

· Mixing: As earlier discussed. It is either done on site or mixed offsite and delivered in premix trucks.

· Steel Fixing: Where reinforced concrete to be set up, steel bars are usually fabricated and laid into the formwork before concrete is put. This involves works like bending, cutting and binding. This process is usually guided by an engineer's drawing. This is mostly a manual affair.

· Placing: This refers to the act of putting concrete into the formwork. It is in most cases done above the ground level and as such involves either hoisting or dropping. Hoisting is either done manually or mechanically using hoists or concrete pumps.

· Compacting: This is done to make sure that concrete forms a compact mass, thus enhancing its strength. In small scale projects, it is done by hand, but in large projects, it is either done using poker vibrators (hand held or otherwise) or by use of additives to achieve self-compacting concrete.

· Curing refers to the task of allowing proper chemical bonding of cement by hydration (watering). It is usually done for a specified period of time, for example thirty days.