People have been using wood to construct homes for as long as humans and trees have coexisted. It’s natural, warm, and comes in a wide variety of colors and grains. Even well into the 21st century, you’d be hard-pressed to find a home without wood.
Yet this “traditional” material may surprise you. Builders and designers are creating fresh, new ways to incorporate wood into home construction and remodeling in every room in the house. Whether it covers the floor, walls, or ceiling or serves as an accent anywhere in between, wood continues to be a modern and classy solution for building a vibrant yet cozy living space.
What do you need to know about wood before beginning construction on a new home or remodeling your current home? As home-building experts, we’ve got a few insights and tips about wood construction and remodeling that may help guide your plans.
The Advantages of Wood Construction and Remodeling
There’s a reason — many of them, actually — that wood remains a must-have choice for home builders. Despite numerous innovations in construction materials over the years, contractors and homeowners continue to integrate wood into their house projects. Here’s why:
Ease of Use
With a few hand-held tools, wood can be sized and shaped onsite for a long list of features in home construction. It’s a simple and versatile medium for beams, frames, shelves, stairs, joists, cabinetry, trim, and more.
Faster Build Times
Because of wood’s flexibility, it can be measured and cut precisely and quickly. It’s fairly easy to replace, as well, making it ideal for both new construction and renovation projects.
As a renewable resource, wood is easy to grow and replace. Most timber companies replace more trees than they use, ensuring wood as a construction material for decades to come. Plus, trees are known for their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the air, acting as a sustainable resource that contributes to a greener environment.
Wood is great at retaining heat and insulating the inside of buildings from extreme temperatures — far more so than steel, concrete, or glass.
Some Things to Keep in Mind when Building with Wood
While wood does indeed offer a lot of benefits for construction projects, it also comes with a couple of downsides to keep in mind. Most contractors, however, agree that using wood is worth the risk.
Wood burns. However, most wood that’s used in construction is treated with a fire retardant that can slow down or resist burning. The fire danger for wood in construction and remodeling is higher during the earlier stages of building when the wood is exposed to the elements.
Rot and Decay
As a natural resource, wood is susceptible to a variety of destructive elements including insects, mold, moisture, and other concerns. These days, builders know how to account for these hazards and take precautions to ensure the wood remains stable over time. The fact that wooden homes from centuries ago are still standing is a testament to the longevity of wood.
As versatile as wood is for construction, it’s not always the best solution for some projects, especially larger, more contemporary homes that may require greater structural stability — something concrete and steel are very good at. However, a number of builders, engineers, and scientists are finding new ways to make wood even more versatile for today’s evolving building projects.
Why Use Wood for Your Construction or Remodeling Project?
Typically, wood is one of many materials used in the construction or renovation of homes. In addition to glass, concrete, vinyl, stone, rubber, foam, porcelain, and various forms of metals, wood offers benefits for a long list of construction needs for the home.
There’s no denying that wood is beautiful. And with so many wood varieties available, there’s something for everyone to love. Wood adds grace and natural elegance to just about any space, whether it’s the floor, walls, furnishings, or accents.
Usually, wood is readily available in numerous forms. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive for manufacturers to have a large stock of lumber on hand throughout the year, so wood remains a reliable resource for your home construction or remodeling project.
Wood offers the ability to endure the elements and support heavy loads — in many cases even better than steel. Wood is especially good at supporting its own weight, allowing for more open building designs.
Because of its unique acoustic properties, wood is great at absorbing sound and reducing the echo effect in homes.
Resistance to Heat and Electricity
Wood may be combustible, but it’s also highly resistant to heat and electrical currents. When dry enough, wood resists electrical conduction, as well, making it a highly desirable construction material.
VPC Builders Is an Expert in Wood Construction and Remodeling
If you’re considering building a new home or remodeling your existing one, consider calling VPC Builders to help with your next wood construction or remodeling project. We’ve built dozens of top-quality custom homes in North Carolina, and our team would love the chance to talk with you about your vision, answer your questions, and maybe even start a quote for you.
We’ve worked with wood in just about every way imaginable, and we may have some great suggestions for how the right wood treatment can make your home beautiful, sustainable, and enduring. Give our team a call today.