How Do I Choose the Best Home Building Materials?

M. Kayo

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.

There is a lot to choose from when it comes to home building materials.
There is a lot to choose from when it comes to home building materials.

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.

Because it is light and durable, Styrofoam is often used as insulation in construction.
Because it is light and durable, Styrofoam is often used as insulation in construction.

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.

Sales in the U.S. home building materials industry are more than $265 billion annually.
Sales in the U.S. home building materials industry are more than $265 billion annually.

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Discussion Comments


@heavanet- I had steel doors installed several years ago, and I am very happy with them. They have several great qualities that make them ideal for homeowners who are building new homes, or for those who are replacing old doors.

I think that the best thing about steel entry doors is that they are very durable. You feel secure knowing that your doors are made of such a strong material that isn't easily damaged.

Steel entry doors are also very energy-efficient. They do a great job at keeping out drafts and cold temperatures. They also help to keep a home cool in the summer because they keep the cool air inside and the heat outside.

Finally, I also think that steel doors are very stylish and attractive. They come in any color you want, or you can get the kind that has a primer on it so that you can paint it yourself. Steel doors can also be found with decorative glass panels that give a home a lot of curb appeal.


I'm wondering if steel is a good home building material for exterior entry doors. I have always had doors made of wood, but I am thinking of replacing them and am looking for best type of material to use.

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