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Why are houses in the USA made of wood ?

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cost.

wood is cheap in the US, it also takes less labor to construct.


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Wood is cheap and easy to build with.

Both very important factors when a large part of the country risks losing their house to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes or, apparently, wild fires.

 

There's also just regional preferences in housing materials.

like, where I live concrete buildings are seen as tacky, cheap and as a relic of the 1960's. Buildings here tends to be build out of bricks or wood.


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good question i always wondered myself. around here its usually brick and mortar and although there are some wooden houses from time to time its not that common. also im wondering if its that much cheaper really. like what would building a standard house cost in the us normally


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Here in Aus. if you live in Western Australia your house would be made predominantly from masonry due to the lack of timber supply, whereas if you live on the east coast the opposite is true, we have plentiful timber supply and aggregates are not as easy to work with. 

 

I assume it is very similar in the US. 

 

Also if you have the option, timber gives you a multitude of options that masonry doesn't, like being able to rout and re-route electrical, plumbing, move doors change the cladding type, and cladding speed is also faster than hard setting plaster or rendering the outside.  That's just of the top of my head.


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Have you tried setting up WiFi in a concrete house? It’s a mission and a bloody half. That’s not why hey use wood but that’s what matters to me xD.

 

 


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Cheap, strong, light, and allows for easy remodel.


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In general there is a lot of wood in the US, which makes wood a very cheap material to use. 

 

It also makes houses very fast to build, and easy to remodel. 


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In addition to cost (it's mostly a labor difference), wood is also a superior material for residential construction.  Concrete requires high strength metal reinforcing to have any tensile strength, also has nearly zero elasticity, and is easily damaged by impacts.  Wood is very strong in compression, tension, and shear; can be fastened with quick and simple techniques (like nails and screws); can be made into a variety of cheap composites (plywood, MDF, particle board, OSB); and wood structures can be easily engineered to be very flexible for high wind and earthquake areas.

Reinforced concrete does scale much better due to the variety and quantity of reinforcing.  It gets tricky to make a wood building more than about 10 stories high, way less than the limit for concrete and steel. 

From my experience as an engineer and residential builder, I would say that for smaller structures (like houses), wood would probably be the preference for everyone if it was available.

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in the 1950's when america was building more housing they built almost every neighbor hood out of wood and it kinda stuck partly because it looks okay and partially because it cheap.


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After WWII they had to build houses quick because of the baby boomers. Wood was the best option. In my city lots of people are moving in so the choice still stands.


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7 hours ago, VegetableStu said:

how about hurricane-prone areas? o_o

same thing beachs have it because of price and it is easy to replace.


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11 hours ago, cluelessgenius said:

good question i always wondered myself. around here its usually brick and mortar and although there are some wooden houses from time to time its not that common. also im wondering if its that much cheaper really. like what would building a standard house cost in the us normally

The cost of the actual house is similar, but labor costs go through the roof. It's way more work to route everything around a concrete construction. Wiring, installing drywall, etc etc. That can cause the costs to go up drastically, or you can pay about the same and it just takes a whole hell of a lot longer.

 

6 hours ago, Real_PhillBert said:

In general there is a lot of wood in the US Canada, which makes wood a very cheap material to use. 

 

It also makes houses very fast to build, and easy to remodel. 

FTFY ;)


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>concrete for a house

 

What? Bricks how it's done, are you using breeze blocks? xD


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3 hours ago, Blasteque said:

In addition to cost (it's mostly a labor difference), wood is also a superior material for residential construction.  Concrete requires high strength metal reinforcing to have any tensile strength, also has nearly zero elasticity, and is easily damaged by impacts.  Wood is very strong in compression, tension, and shear; can be fastened with quick and simple techniques (like nails and screws); can be made into a variety of cheap composites (plywood, MDF, particle board, OSB); and wood structures can be easily engineered to be very flexible for high wind and earthquake areas.

Reinforced concrete does scale much better due to the variety and quantity of reinforcing.  It gets tricky to make a wood building more than about 10 stories high, way less than the limit for concrete and steel. 

From my experience as an engineer and residential builder, I would say that for smaller structures (like houses), wood would probably be the preference for everyone if it was available.

10?  I think it is closer to 5-6 stories with timber/masonry.  Steel is the material for going higher.


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15 minutes ago, dizmo said:
7 hours ago, Real_PhillBert said:

In general there is a lot of wood in the US Canada, which makes wood a very cheap material to use. 

 

It also makes houses very fast to build, and easy to remodel. 

FTFY ;)

No doubt there's a lot of wood in Canada too, but states like Minnesota also have a lot of wood.

 

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6 minutes ago, wcreek said:

No doubt there's a lot of wood in Canada too, but states like Minnesota also have a lot of wood.

 

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Depends on the area and whether earthquakes, hurricanes, etc are common. Concrete is not the best building material for all expected loads, especially for earthquakes (you want some flexibility in the structure, to not get too technical).

 

Also wood is a super cheap and extremely plentiful resource (here, at least). Why not build with it?

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25 minutes ago, dizmo said:

Why would you ever want to leave? Join ussss :dry:

eh it's related to what this forum thinks about NN, that's all I have to say.


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