Shopping for a home and don’t know if you want wood frame or concrete? What is the difference and would it really matter to you?
Wood frame buildings are usually smaller buildings up to a maximum of 4 floors. Anything over 4 floors and high-rise condominiums are almost always concrete.
Advocates of concrete say that concrete provides people with less noise disturbance in their home, more privacy, durability and energy efficiency. Especially with our west coast humid weather, more are comfortable with concrete, as wood tends to expand and contract. Insurance premiums are also lower in a concrete building as there is less risk of fire spreading.
The trend is moving towards concrete construction for many developers and buyers; even for smaller multi-family units. According to the Cement Association of Canada, more than 72% of respondents prefer purchasing concrete. People want piece of mind, privacy, re sale value and less maintenance and are willing to pay the premium to go into a concrete unit.
Wood frame is still a great option for many. The Canadian Wood Council notes that about 1 million wood frame homes are built every year in North America. Wood construction is much more time efficient and flexible. Renovations are much easier and more cost effective. Wood frame homes are also proven to be one of the safest materials in an earthquake as wood is strong and light and there is less mass applied to the building. There are also many more connections so more paths to absorb the forces applied.
The truth is, it’s all in the detailing and the structure. Research the developer and their previous projects. Look at the quality of the workmanship and the finishing. Just because one home is concrete and the other is wood frame it does not make it superior to the other.