The Enduring Popularity of Wood Houses

By HomeAdvisor

Updated June 13, 2017

Wood House Exterior

Many potential homeowners have the perception that wood houses are inferior to their concrete and brick competition. It’s true that concrete, brick, and stone have become more popular home building, but this doesn’t mean a wood house has nothing to offer. Wood has several advantages over other building materials. It is a cheaper, easier to work with, and can often reduce the building time of your new home. Plus, better technology is allowing wood homes to become more and more energy-efficient.

Durability and Climate

The biggest concern many potential homeowners have is the durability of a wood house. It’s true that wood won’t hold up the heavy pounding of a hurricane or tornado as well as concrete or brick. Yet, a wood house is less likely to collapse under the stress of an earthquake. It may sound odd, but wood has different properties of structural integrity. Concrete and brick are denser materials that aren’t as easily knocked over by simple brute force, but tremor waves can crack it. Wood has greater structural flexibility, allowing it to absorb the ground tremors.

Naturally, this has led to wood houses remaining popular in California. For other parts of the country, you may have a more ambiguous choice, and you should talk to home builders in your area how each kind of building material holds up under local climate conditions.

Wood-Framed Houses vs. Log Homes

Log homes and wood houses are not the same thing. Sure, both are made from wood, but for cost, performance, and style, these two types of home couldn’t be more different. One of the advantages of wood-framed houses is the cheaper building costs. Log homes can be machined or hand-crafted, but either way, you’ll probably end up paying more. In fact, in many cases, a wood house can be as much 50% less than a comparably sized log home. On the other hand, a log hog is probably going to be more energy-efficient, last longer, and bring a greater level of comfort and magnificence. It may sound counterintuitive, given the idea most people have in their minds of “log cabins,” but log homes are among the more luxurious and expensive homes available today.

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Other Wood House Options

Wood-framed houses are sometimes pre-fabricated, meaning they are designed and built in a controlled facility and, then, transported in sections to the building site. Wood house building companies may offer different levels of complete construction. This versatility can be great for DIYers, who need the basic framing erected, but can do much of the subcontracting work themselves. If this doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry other some companies also offer “turn-key” construction, where your home is ready to live in upon the completion of their construction services.

Traditionally, wood houses are stick frame, where the wood timbers act as just another wall stud. Today, more and more wood housing is added with rigid foam and/or oriented strand board. This allows less wood to be used during construction, but will also create a more energy-efficient home.

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