Brick, wood and metal are three of the most common materials used in construction, and they each have their pros and cons. If you’ve got a construction project in mind – whether it’s a shed or a self-build home – it’s important that you weigh up these three construction materials in order to choose the right one. This compares them all.
Why choose brick?
Brick is the most traditional material for walls and is still heavily used today. It has great insulating properties – cavity brick walls are often used in areas with cooler climates to reduce heat loss. Sound also doesn’t travel well through brick compared to wood and metal, providing more privacy. It also reacts well to extreme temperatures.
Brick buildings have to be built on site and this can be time-consuming work. For construction projects that need to be carried out quickly, brick is not always the best option. Brick is also expensive compared to wood and metal.
Why choose wood?
While the price of timber is on the rise, wood is still generally the cheapest material to build with. It’s also pretty eco-friendly when sourced from sustainable forests or recycled. Many people favour wood for its classic rustic look. It’s also a fairly good thermal insulator.
Wood’s biggest drawback is that it does not react well to water or fire. It needs to be very well treated to stop it from rotting and is more likely to catch alight in a fire than brick or metal. Wood can also be damaged by pests like termites unlike brick or metal.
Why choose metal?
Metal is easy to fabricate off-site, allowing for quick builds. It’s generally cheaper than brick and more environmentally-friendly (while steel production does produce emissions, it can be infinitely recycled). Metal is also very sturdy and secure, while being relatively light compared to brick. The likes of these steel Butler buildings could be a great option if you’re looking to build something quick that is secure.
Metal is generally better at dealing with moisture and fire than wood. However, the likes of steel can still rust if not finished properly, while extreme heat may lead to melting. Noise can also travel through metal more easily than wood or brick.
Which one should you choose?
Most homes are made of a mixture of brick, metal and wood. However, when it comes to choosing the main materials, you should think about what your needs are.
If you want a building that is fire-proof, sound-insulating and heat-insulating, brick is typically a good choice. Just be prepared for the project to cost more and take more time.
If you’re on a tight budget and you want to build something that is sustainable, choose timber. It’s a good option for areas where there’s a low risk of fire, flooding or termites.
If you want to build something strong and secure quickly, then metal may be the best option. Much of it can be prefabricated off-site, reducing disruption during construction.