Selecting the best home building materials can be challenging. People use all sorts of things for building materials, and when it comes to a home, most of them are looking for a combination of practicality, affordability, good looks, and energy-efficiency. The manufacturers of building materials offer some construction products that meet these criteria, such as insulated concrete panels, cell insulation, low-voltage electrical fixtures, and energy-efficient roofing shingles. With so many types and choices of home building materials, the selection can be a bit confusing. Taking time to do some research and learning a little about building materials will help to make things clearer.
The home building materials industry is quite large, with about $265 billion in annual sales in the U.S. alone. That means that there are a lot of competing manufacturers making a lot of different products. Manufacturers of home building supplies are all likely to advertise their products as "top-quality," which only makes choosing the best construction products that much harder. Typically, larger corporations produce better products that cost a little more, but this is not always the case. The best materials give the best return for the money, are easy to use, easily installed, require little maintenance, and provide long-term durability.
To make the best choices, consult or shop with a builder,contractor, or architect, and get a real education on the best construction products. Professional builders and contractors see all of the latest innovations in home building materials. Architects can consider building supplies as a aspect of design and are able to see the simplest and most elegant function in specific materials. Experienced professionals in the industry also know which products are likely to be the best value for the money and which materials work best for a particular situation.
The best home building materials will help you to save energy and to cut energy costs. For maximum energy savings, select low-voltage electrical fixtures and energy-efficient lights and appliances. Look for products with energy-efficient designs, like high R-value windows and quality insulation. Consider spending a bit more now on products that will provide savings over the long-term. Another thing to consider in choosing the best home building materials is using quality, authentic materials rather than similar, cheap products that imitate the better, more expensive products.
Other good choices for building materials include insulated concrete panels and structural insulated panels (SIPs), which are basically foam insulation sandwiched between plywood or oriented standard board (OSB) panels. These are lightweight materials that offer fast and easy installation, superior strength, and energy efficiency. Air leaks account for about half of all home energy loss, so choosing the best quality insulation now can save thousands in energy costs over the lifetime of a home. In 2011, you can offset the high cost of home building materials by choosing roofing shingles with a high-efficiency rating and a rebate of 30%, or up to $1,500 US dollars (USD), from the federal government. The best choices in home building materials are sustainable materials that can last from 50 to 100 years, quality made products which may cost a bit more and building materials that foster low use and long-term energy savings.