In Australia, houses are built with a variety of materials depending on the location. The materials utilized in the construction of your home have a significant influence on its function, longevity, and energy consumption. Careful analysis and choice of materials, as well as the way they are put together, can significantly enhance the comfort and cost-effectiveness of your house while simultaneously reducing its lifecycle environmental impact. You may also lower the demand for new materials by following waste minimization ideas when planning and building your house.
When you’re constructing a new house, one of the most crucial decisions you may make is what kind of building materials to utilize. With each alternative, the appearance of your walls, flooring, and roof may change significantly. As a result, do your homework to pick an option you’ll be proud of.
Best Building Materials for House Walls Australia
When you create a new house, one of the first things you think about is the walls. The material may not only shape the appearance of your home, but it can also influence its insulation. In Australia, some of the most popular construction materials for walls are:
- Mud bricks
You may also use fibre cement sheeting or plasterboard to change the appearance of your walls and add insulating properties. Each of these wall materials is also a viable option for flooring, but you may mix and match your choices without any problems. Residential buildings usually need to include a solid foundation. The best material for a floor in Australia is concrete because it does not produce mould and is quite durable.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Different Materials for External Walls
When you’re looking to construct a house, the sort of construction material you use has long-term consequences. You could research each alternative thoroughly before making any decisions. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the most common building materials for houses made in Australia:
Brick Walls for Australian Homes
Bricks are one of the most frequent building materials used in construction. It’s strong, long-lasting, and has a timeless appeal that people everywhere adore. Double-brick structures are particularly well insulated, saving you money on heating and cooling expenses.
There are, however, a few drawbacks to brick houses. It isn’t the most durable material (but by no means is it the weakest), and it is more expensive than some other alternatives, but it has been shown to be a good long-term investment. Brick veneer walls are the most typical problem. After years of exposure to rain and other elements, they can begin to crack or fall apart, so watch for that.
- Natural material,
- aesthetically pleasing,
- can be made with recycled products,
- need to paint regularly,
- subject to water damage,
- poor insulation on its own.
Concrete Houses Design and Construction
Concrete, like steel, is a strong material that can usually be strengthened. It’s termite-resistant, an excellent insulator and an excellent sound absorber. It’s resistant to termites and other pests. Its looks are another thing to consider when buying concrete. Although some architects like its simple appearance, it isn’t a style that has universal appeal and may rapidly seem outdated. This may have an impact on the resale value later on.
Reinforced concrete is often used as a construction material for both walls and floors. A benefit of using reinforced concrete is that it’s good at withstanding high amounts of pressure without major damage. For this reason, it is widely used in constructing foundations for skyscrapers. Disadvantages include the need to be painted, susceptibility to water damage, and poor insulation in comparison to brick or double-brick structures. Commercial buildings are generally raised as high concrete towers with glass walls.
- Can be used for foundation and outside walls
- Can be painted in almost any colour
- High thermal mass
- Needs regular maintenance to protect from mould growth
- Cracks are common
Mud Bricks as Modern Building Materials
The most popular construction methods among environmentally aware builders are rammed earth and mudbrick. Although similar, rammed earth is thicker and more insulating. The earth readily accepts these natural building materials. These construction materials, which are quickly reabsorbed by the ground when needed, are long-lasting, fire-proof, and excellent sound insulators. These construction materials, according to popular beliefs, are not good insulators.
Some older houses and older buildings are built with mud walls, but you need to take extra precautions if you want to use them in modern construction. The construction material needs protection from water or it may become unstable.
- Can be used for foundation,
- can be made with recycled products.
- Poor insulation on its own.
- Needs regular maintenance
- May be protected from rainwater penetration.
Stone Building Construction
There is something to be said for durability. In most cases, it’s long-lasting, high-wearing, and extremely durable. There are certain exceptions, such as sandstone, but a professional stonemason can assist with the differences.
The high cost of stone homes is one of the major drawbacks. Not only is the material more expensive than other choices, but also it necessitates skilled masons to perform the task, who can be more costly than your regular handyman. Proper building with stone is more expensive as well, as stone may be chosen not only for aesthetics but also for resilience.
- Aesthetically pleasing,
- Natural material (for some),
- Expensive to build and maintain,
- Poor insulation without proper care.
- Might require significant maintenance
Timber Frames and Walls
Many people seek timeless beauty and choose wood, which is available in a variety of Australian hardwoods to make this a fashionable choice that may be produced locally. Many kinds of wood are termite-resistant and fire-resistant, but not all are, so pick intelligently if you go with this sort of house.
For those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, timber may be obtained as a recycled construction material to decrease the carbon impact of their home. Advantages are mostly environmental with the recycling of building materials being a truly positive step towards living sustainably, it saves forest trees from being cut down and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the environment when using locally sourced timber products
Disadvantages are largely related to maintenance requirements, you’ll need to repaint your walls every five years or so, depending on their exposure to the weather, which can be unpleasant for both you and your wallet. You’ll also need to make sure you get the roofs fixed right away if there is a leak.
- It’s easy to find in our country,
- Inexpensive compared to other materials,
- Natural material.
- A versatile material,
- Easy to work with,
- Attractive finish.
- Termite damage if unprotected
- Vulnerability to water damage
- Needs regular maintenance
- Chemicals needed to prevent rot
Common Building Material for Framing
The frame of your home is most likely to be constructed of a different material, such as wood or metal. The three most prevalent frame types in Australia are:
- Aluminium framing
- Steel framing
- Timber framing
The less expensive option is timber frames, which have a shorter lifespan. Steel is becoming more popular for home construction projects, although it is more costly (and less environmentally friendly) than in the past. Wrought iron construction material was once a popular alternative, but it has largely been replaced by steel as a more robust and less expensive alternative. Wrought iron, on the other hand, still has a role in today’s market if you own an old house or want a vintage look.
The use of corrugated iron has continued to decline over recent years as more sustainable products have become readily available for roofing purposes. Corrugated sheeting is made up of layers of metal that are coiled into a spiral shape before being fastened together at various intervals. Their ability to resist rust makes them an effective choice for a variety of building projects. The most popular use for corrugated iron is in roofing, where they can be used alone or as a layer on top of other roofing materials such as tiles.
Where is Reinforced Concrete Commonly Used?
Reinforced concrete is widely used in the construction of homes, as it is one of the most common materials that are inexpensive and easy to find. It is commonly found in foundations, driveways, fences, basements and garages. This material offers the least amount of flexibility when compared with other building materials available on the market today.
Common Building Materials for a Roof in Australia
When selecting a material for your home’s roof, you have a few more choices to make. Some of the most popular roofing materials in Australia include:
- Asphalt shingles
- Cedar shingles
- Concrete tiles
- Metal roofing
- Slate tiles
- Timber shingles
Each of these roofing materials has its own benefits and drawbacks, so do some research to find the best fit for your home. While timber is a commonly used construction material for homes, it is not the only option that homeowners have. In fact, there are more than 70 different materials that can be used in a construction project. Although wood remains a popular choice among many Australian homeowners, other options may prove to be better for your budget and environmental goals.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, one of the best ways to do so is by going with a homemade of recycled or reclaimed materials.
Common Building Materials for Insulation
The more important question is what sort of insulation do you need from all these possible choices? That may depend on the location where your house is to be located. For instance, you might need a type of insulation that can stand up well against harsh coastal conditions such as dew and salt-water air (which may corrode some materials). A good choice here would be fibreglass or plastic.
Another important aspect to consider when it comes to building materials is the size and state of your land. A large expanse of land surrounding your home means you’ll likely want more landscaping options for your property (e.g., trees, bushes, flowers, etc.). Don’t underestimate how much this can tie into the overall look and feel of your home once it’s complete.
Perhaps you’re interested in adding an outdoor fireplace with a seating area on one side of your property, which means you’ll need more privacy fencing on that side of the home. Likewise, if you plan on building a deck around your pool area for summertime fun, you might want to consider putting rails around it so family members and pets cannot wander into your pool unsupervised.
What to do After You Get All Building Supplies
Doing all this research may help ensure that your home is built with materials that are functional and beautiful at the same time. This can be challenging if you’re working with an extremely limited budget (and some structural defects in the land), but there are always options out there for homeowners who truly want to build their dream house.
Now that you know more about different types of construction materials, what’s next? You may want to think about what type of design you want for your home. Do you have a specific look in mind? If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to talk with an interior designer about how to best create a space that suits both your lifestyle and budget needs.
There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to building a house from scratch, from height restriction, materials being used and even room requirements. When it comes to the exterior of the property though, there are still some possibilities as well as limitations.
Are Australian Houses Made of Wood?
Most Australian homes are built from wood building materials. The biggest advantage of using wood is that it’s pretty light and easy to work with, not to mention readily available in the country due to the abundance of trees. However, there are some disadvantages.
Wood easily absorbs moisture and gets damaged when water seeps into its structure making rooms prone to mould and mildew problems, especially in moist or humid weather. It can also expand and contract when subjected to extreme temperatures which cause cracks on walls, doors and windows. And where nails are used for wall fixtures, these tend to leave holes all over making wood look patched up just so everything may look fine from a side view.
In short, most Australians love building from wood because it’s easier that way, but it’s also the reason why there are many cases of home repairs done for cosmetic purposes.