| As previously stated, there
are many different types of construction methods. Probably
the most widely known is wood framed. Coming in a close
second would be metal framed or metal stud framed. Something
that is gaining popularity is ICF's (Insulated Concrete
Forms). I believe they have heavy steel construction
now too. And possibly the oldest method besides brick
is timber frame - that's a toss up. So what makes each
of these types better or worse than other types of construction?
Wood Framed Construction
Building with wood is probably the easiest method
of construction - at least for me. Some new technology
(not really new) that is gaining popularity due to
decreased install time is stressed panel systems.
These systems essentially sandwich 3.5" of foam
between 2 pieces of plywood. It's rigid insulation
therefore provides better insulating values compared
to fiberglass batt insulation.
Pros: Renewable resource, easy to construct, forgiving
Cons: Insulating value, air infiltration, termite
and insect infestation
Another method of wood framed construction is Timber
Frame. The timber frame home uses heavy timbers (6x6
and above) to frame bents that are typically 8' on
center. Between the bents are infill materials of
typical wood framed or squared logs. Probably the
best quality of timber frame construction is the aesthetic
look of the timbers and the joinery used.
Steel Stud Construction
Steel stud framing is probably the second
most used method of framing for the residiential market
and probably first is commercial projects. Much the
same variables apply with steel as in wood framed
structures. You still have the same materials applied
to the exterior of the building. As far as the ease
of construction - it's no different than wood framed.
Light gauge steel construction has one different than
wood framed - insects can't eat it. Other than that
the only other major difference would be that screws
are used to put together steel instead of nails.
Insulated Concrete Forms will probably begin to take
over the housing industry before too long. Don't get
me wrong - there will probably always be wood framed
and light gauge buildings. The concepts behind ICF
make it a far superior structure than any wood framed
building. Structurally - ICF is stronger. Air Infiltration?
- What air infilitration? One problem with ICF is
that people (homeowners and contractors) do not understand
how to design for that tight of a system. It'll take
some time - but will get there. For specific information
regarding ICF's go to Concrete
There are many more types of construction but these
are the major ones at this time. Research is happening
all the time in the construction and related industries.