In 2016, one of the main trends in housing construction and renovation is a desire to use more classic building materials. For example, clients are requesting more stone construction rather than brick or clapboard construction. Similarly, solid wood floors or stone floors are becoming preferable to laminate or linoleum. Classic building materials are thought of as strong and durable, and many people prefer them for a more durable construction. However, they are often more expensive than their modern counterparts. Before you make the investment in classic building materials, consider these factors for deciding between traditional and modern materials.
Passive Solar Heating and Energy Efficiency
It is becoming more important for homes to be constructed with energy efficiency in mind. Homes that utilize passive solar heating and have limited heating and cooling costs can save you money on your energy bills and may help you qualify for a tax rebate. Often, natural materials, such as stone flooring or stone walls, are considered superior when it comes to passive solar heating. However, many modern materials can be used as thermal mass in a passive home. This includes brick, concrete and tile.
More important than the thermal mass you select is the type of insulation you use around the thermal mass to prevent heat from leaking out of your home during winter. Often, modern insulation materials are more efficient than their traditional counterparts.
Cost of Materials
Traditional building materials will almost always be more expensive than modern materials. If cost is a concern for you while you are building your home, then you will want to limit your traditional building materials to a few key areas and use them as accents rather than constructing your entire home from them. For example, you can build a stone fireplace in your home but use stone facades outside of your home.
Construction with modern materials is often faster than construction with traditional materials. This is because traditional buildings are built on site. Modern construction methods allow sections of buildings to be built in factories and then transported and assembled on site. This prevents weather delays and allows you to move into your home sooner than you would be able to if you decided to go with a traditional construction material.
Availability of Suitable Substitutions
There are many modern materials that look similar to traditional building materials. For example, some stone veneers can give a very realistic stone effect. Similarly, some high-quality laminates can give a realistic wood or tile appearance. However, it can be difficult to get the appearance of traditional plaster while using modern drywall systems. If you want the look and feel of traditional building materials, you should consider whether there are suitable modern substitutes available in your price range.
Chances of Future Renovations
If you like to change up your living area every few years, then it is a good idea to go with cheaper modern materials rather than traditional building materials. Modern materials will be easier to remove and replace, and you will lose less on your investment. For example, it will be easier to remove and replace a laminate floor rather than a hardwood floor. However, if you want to build your home once and complete minimal renovations for the rest of your life, then you may want to opt for traditional building materials.
Making decisions between traditional building materials and modern materials depends on your preferences and your financial situation. However, it is important that you work with a new home builder who knows how to blend modern and traditional buildings to create the effect that you desire and who can give you solid advice about the materials available to you.