Tips & Advice
What are local building materials?
Local building materials are more accurately locally sourced materials, ideally renewable resources, or ones that are plentiful. The appeal of these is that they cost less to process and transport, and, in many cases, are naturally suited to the conditions of the area.
What are the most common building materials?
Concrete, cement, engineered wood, organic wood, glass, asphalt (roof shingles) and stone are ubiquitous in building. There are materials you don’t see that are very important, like drywall, insulation, reinforcing rebar, foundational steel, and plywood sheeting.
What is an organic building material?
An organic building material occurs naturally on earth. This term encompasses everything from rock and wood to clay and stone to straw and natural paints and waxes.
What is the best material to use when building a house?
The best material to use when building a house depends on which part of the house you’re building and what the climate and land conditions are, and what your budget is. Most builders use concrete for foundations, slabs, and walls. Wood is used universally to build at least some of the visible components of most houses in developed countries. With the modern push toward more environmentally friendly homes, many people are turning to alternative building materials like clay, straw insulation, plant-based rigid foam, and recycled glass, metal or wood/plant-based composites.
What are the traditional building materials?
The traditional building materials are wood, clay, stone, brick, and sand (used to make cement). A whole range of manmade materials are now considered to be traditional in the sense that they are used in most structures over recent centuries: metal, concrete, plaster, and glass are in this category.
What are the safest windows for a children’s room?
Windows that open from the top are safest for children, assuming the child can't reach the opening. Parents who have windows that open from the bottom or sides can childproof them with wedges or window guards.
What are questions to ask a window installation company?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have any references or past work I can see?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- How much will the project cost?
- When will the project be completed?
- Is the crew hired or contracted, and do you conduct background checks?
- Who will be in my home?
- Do you offer a warranty?
Should all windows be replaced at the same time?
Not necessarily. Unless all the windows are equally damaged or pose equal danger, homeowners can stagger their replacements to suit their budget.
What are the options on window frames?
- Wood frames are beautiful and can be customized with paint and stains, but they also expand and contract as the weather changes. They're also susceptible to rot, mold, and pests. As such, wood frames require constant maintenance.
- Vinyl frames are far more durable than wood. They resist moisture and are usually created with ultraviolet light stabilizers. This prevents the sun from damaging the frames over time. In addition, vinyl frames can be filled with insulation.
- Aluminum frames are light and weather resistant, but they also conduct heat rapidly.
- Fiberglass frames are the sturdiest option. Like vinyl options, they can be filled with insulation. Fiberglass frames also resist weather damage and do not crack, peel, expand, contract, bend, or warp.
What's the difference between single-, double-, and triple-pane windows?
Single-pane windows use one sheet of glass. Double-pane windows use two sheets of glass held together by a sealant. A small space between the panes is filled with air or gas to minimize the transfer of heat. Triple-pane windows add another sheet of glass and insulating space.