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What building materials will last the test of time?

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Any building, be it residential or commercial, is a long-term investment. Quality materials are essential for a safe and long-lasting building. While the evolution of architecture and construction have created many new structures and designs, strong and reliable materials have not gone out of style.

There are many benefits for choosing long lasting materials in your building projects. For a start, you don't have to constantly invest in replacing or repairing them as they are designed to last. The added bonus is that they are also better for the environment with less need for wastage and replacement.

So, what are the building materials that last the longest? Let’s take a look.

Brick is a popular choice for building homes, and for good reason. First of all, brick is a relatively low maintenance material. It is strong and retains colour well. It won’t rot or require painting. It is also a more environmentally friendly option as it is made from shale and clay, which are readily available resources. Bricks are fire resistant and are incredibly durable against weather and environmental factors.

Steel is often used to build strong frames for buildings. It is not flammable and withstands high temperatures. It doesn’t contain any moisture, which means it will not grow mould or contribute to structural water damage. It is also not susceptible to other causes of building damage like termites.

Low cost, pre-fabricated steel structures are becoming popular affordable housing options. No doubt you have seen some impressive examples of tiny houses made from recycled steel shipping containers! They are strong, weather-resistant and provide a cost-efficient step into the housing market.

Wood sourced through sustainable means is a great choice for many renovation or new build. Wood is a renewable material and is versatile and durable. Using wood as opposed to concrete or steel makes for a more environmental build, as it reduces fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It doesn’t however have some of the qualities noted above, and can be affected by mould, pests and does require maintenance.

Wood is lightweight and can contribute to better air quality throughout the home. As a construction material it is very durable, though susceptible to fire and heat or moisture damage. It is one of the oldest construction materials and can also be used for decorative purposes.

Stone lasts a very long time and is one of the most durable materials to use in building and construction. It can be more difficult to move and transport around due to its weight, but it is naturally resistant to the elements and is also aesthetically appealing.

Stone is a more expensive option and therefore it is common to find synthetic stone in more modern builds. People will also use wood, steel, or concrete for a structural build and then use a decorative stone layer over the top to keep the cost down.

Concrete is a mixture of a few other things. It could contain stone, sand, cement, and other binding materials. Concrete teamed with steel rods make a great reinforced and sturdy foundation for a building. It can also be used to build walls, frames, beams, and various other structural components.

Concrete provides great resistance to moisture and therefore prevents contracting and expanding. It can be poured and moulded into whatever shape or size is required before being transported to a building site. This makes it a flexible and versatile option for renovations or new builds alike.

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Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. © Planning Plus Ltd 2023

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