Building Materials Outside the (wood) Box

Whether you’re adding a shed to your property, expanding the home with a new room or building an entire house, the cost of lumber is likely going to affect your plans. Though not as high as it peaked early in the pandemic, buying lumber in any quantity still isn’t what one would call a cheap endeavor. There may be a bright side to all of this, however; the high cost of lumber is highlighting the fact that there are actually a few alternatives to wood that you might not have thought of.

This doesn’t mean that you can completely avoid the use of wood in every project. Some projects work better with alternative materials than others Still, the fact that there are options out there other than just using lumber for everything that might help you think outside of the box and find at least some cheaper (and in some cases possibly even better) options when planning out your next construction project.

Non-Lumber Construction Materials

Lumber is probably the most well known material that’s used for framing construction and building out projects, but it isn’t the only option out there. When it comes to creating frames for rooms and buildings, steel and other metals are not only an option but they’re actually becoming an increasingly popular one because of the added strength that they provide. Metal framing is used in everything from sheds to exterior garages to whole homes and creates very sturdy structures that can stand up well against other severe weather and other events.

Metal isn’t the only wood alternative that you can use in construction around the home, either. Plastics such as composite decking and fencing are increasingly popular for use around the home, creating a look that is often reminiscent of wood while providing superior resistance to fading and weather damage. Bamboo products are also seeing an increase in use as a building material, as they have similar capabilities to wood but often come at a lower cost than wood lumber because of the fast rate at which bamboo grows. Even concrete and fiber cement are seeing a growing popularity as materials, especially given their relative strengths and the ability to mold both to a variety of shapes to better match the project at hand.

Minimizing Wood in Your Projects

Even with a variety of materials as options, you may still need to (or want to) use some wood in your construction projects. You may simply prefer the look of wood, or have a specific idea in mind that does require wood. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to wood for the entire project, however, and you can use alternative materials in places where they aren’t visible or won’t affect the project in substantial ways as a means of reducing your overall project cost.

A great way to do this is to use the alternative materials for framing and then attach wood to that frame. You can also use wood in areas where it’s strictly necessary for the project that you have in mind and then supplement that with paintable composites or fiber cement siding so that the end product can get a coat or two of paint to make it all mesh. There are a number of ways to be creative and keep your costs low while still giving you the look and functionality that you want in the end.

Working Without Wood

Of course being able to use a material other than wood in your construction projects only works if you have contractors that are used to work with these alternative materials. We can help you find and secure contractors and professionals that can help you with all of your construction projects. We are here to do more than help you sell and buy your home, we are your real estate resource for life.

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