So if you are buying a home, should you purchase a concrete block or wood framed home? Well, there are pros and cons to both and we have broken down each side on this article.
Most of this pros and cons list will be geared towards homes in Florida. Florida climates are much different than others in the United States, but some aspects can still apply.
If you have any questions after reading, be sure to comment below!
Concrete Block Homes
Durable & Disaster Proof
Concrete is very durable, heavy, and can last a long time. If concrete gets wet, guess what, it can easily dry out (if given the chance) and retain its integrity!
Furthermore, concrete is resistant to fires.
Clarification: concrete is not resistant to water. It actually is very porous. But, concrete will not cause mold and need replacing if gotten wet for a prolonged period of time.
Better Noise Cancellation
Concrete block is said to have a better noise cancellation in comparison to wood framed homes. This helps block out car noises or children playing outside.
Wood Destroying Organisms & Termites
Very simply, concrete block cannot be eaten by termites or wood boring beetles. However, just because your home is concrete block does not mean you do not have any wood that is susceptible to termites. Wood is often still eaten at the trusses, baseboards, and interior framing members of a concrete block home. You should still purchase a pest control plan.
Due to the durability of concrete block, your home requires less maintenance than wood framed homes.
Concrete block homes have cheaper insurance costs than wood framed homes. This is because wood framed homes have higher claims than concrete block.
Less Thermal Insulation
Wood framed homes actually have better insulation capabilities than standalone concrete block. However, this can be highly dependent on the other type of insulation materials your home has.
Concrete has a high environmental impact since the concrete has to be made under high pressure and temperature conditions. Also, the materials require lots of resources and high transport costs.
Concrete block is simply more expensive than wood framed houses to build.
Wood Framed Homes
Wood framed homes are easy to build with labor and the resources themselves in comparison to concrete block.
Easier to Remodel
Concrete block is very difficult to remove and and replace. On the other hand, wood can be cut, moved, and added with much less effort.
Better Thermal Insulation
Wood framed homes by themselves, generally have better insulating capabilities than concrete block.
This is one of the more important cons in my opinion so, I am am going to expand a little bit.
Wood is highly susceptible to damage from water so in climates like Florida, others may consider it to be a worse option. But, this is only true if you do not maintain wood framed houses in these climates.
Higher Insurance Cost
Since wood requires higher maintenance, insurance costs are more expensive since other homeowners do not maintain their homes. Poor maintenance can lead to water intrusion and termites.
Wood Destroying Organisms & Termites
Wood can definitely be eaten by termites and wood boring beetles. However, if you keep up with pest control and regular home maintenance, you do not need to worry about wood destroying organisms.
Wood destroying organisms generally like wood that has a higher concentration of moisture. So, if your home is sealed and painted, it is not likely you get termites.
Wood framed homes have a harder time blocking out noise from the outside.
Myth About Concrete Block & Wood Framed Houses
Myth: Concrete block is better for hurricanes and wood framed homes are more susceptible to wind.
While alone wood can be more susceptible to wind from hurricanes than concrete block, wood houses are not just going to blow away more often than concrete.
Wood framed homes have strong hardware and good engineering practices to protect themselves from wind damage. However, if these items are not properly attached and designed, then yes, your home could be more susceptible to wind, but this is very rare.
I have personally inspected hundreds of Florida houses from before 1980 that are wood framed and still standing. I would recommend upgrading their wind mitigation components though if they need it.
There are more myths in detail, especially about durability on Decker Home Inspection’s website. Check it out!
Summing It All Together
So which is better wood framed or concrete block?
In my professional opinion, the lower cost of wood framed homes will be made up in higher insurance costs and maintenance costs. Wood framed homes can easily be termite and damage free just like concrete block as long as you are willing to keep up with its maintenance.
Therefore, it comes to personal preference. What is your budget? Do you have time to maintain your home every few months? What type of house/look do you prefer? And what is available to you on the market?
Have more thoughts or questions? Comment below!