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Why Wooden Houses?

  1. #1
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    Why Wooden Houses?

    I have always thought that is is strange that
    most houses in North America which includes
    Canada are built of wood.



    I visited Florida several years ago and knowing
    that it is on the main highway for Hurricanes,
    I was shocked to see that most houses were
    wooden.

    You are a highly educated country and also a
    wealthy one, so why? Is it the speed of the build
    or the cost, or maybe it is the availability of the
    resources?

    Personally I think that it is not very wise to build
    a wooden house in any high wind area, this also
    means tornado country, another strange thing
    about a lot of your houses is the size of the main
    window in the lounge, no built-in shutters and no
    special fixing for roof tiles. There is special paint
    for roofs that sticks the tiles together, used to
    stop leaks normally.

    We don't really get high swirling winds very often
    but we don't have flimsy houses.

    In Italy many/most houses and apartments have
    built in metal shutters, mainly for security, but they
    will also stop a high wind and maybe flames from a
    wild fire.

    I hear on the news that the latest hurricane has
    caused deaths, was this perhaps because of the
    material used to construct houses?

    Mike.
    A Scot Living in England.

  2. #2
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    Good question Mike, I've always wondered the same..

  3. #3
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    I think that in the beginning people just used what was readily available and it became common practice.

    No reason that we couldn't build them out of plastic these days.

    Remember Heineken's experiments in the 60's with brick-shaped WOBO bottles.




  4. #4
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    Nov 2014
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    I am in a hot/dry area of Texas , our codes out here require 90% brick.

  5. #5
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    Here in earthquake country, wooden houses, perform better than brick or concrete. They are lighter, less likely to collapse.
    Love is a verb.

  6. #6
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    In this part of Maryland, brick is the usual building material.

    But when I lived in Washington State, I notices that most houses were made of wood. Obviously, that's big tree country, so wood is probably a lot cheaper.

  7. #7
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    You won't see many brick houses in Souther California. Bricks crumble in a quake and need special reinforcement to be safe. When I was a kid, we had a big quake. We lived in an old wooden frame house with high ceilings. I was in the living room and I looked up and saw the walls flexing. There was no damage to our house.

    Of course, economics plays a part. A steel reinforced concrete house might be the safest if you could afford it.

    Don

  8. #8
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    I was looking at some footage of hurricane Michael where an hotel of steel and cement construction was starting to break in places and part of the roof came down.

  9. #9
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    Over the years we have owned 3 homes here in Florida that had concrete block walls on a concrete slab. The roofs were wood in each case. While living in them we never experienced a hurricane.

    I was in Miami on business 1 week after hurricane Andrew went through some years ago. The devastation was amazing. It looked like they fought a war and lost. There were concrete block homes where there was nothing standing above the ground floor window sills. There was a mobile home park where there was no trace of any of the mobile homes. (mobile home= static caravan in UK English). The tile roof of a large restaurant looked like a plucked chicken. I would have hated to be hit by one of those concrete tiles.

    Hurricanes Irma and Micheal largely passed us by with just some rain. We are now in a condo apartment. Some folks nearby had power outages from Irma.

  10. #10
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    Availability of resources. Builders use materials that are cost-effective and easy to obtain. The End.

    "For the times they are a changin'."
    -- Bob Dylan

  11. #11
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    Thank you for answering, different materials in
    different areas.

    I have no idea about earthquakes, thank god,
    so you need special buildings there, I did see
    on TV years ago that the only buildings left
    standing after an earthquake were pagodas
    because the central pole was a living tree at
    the time of construction and that the build
    started at the top and worked down to the
    ground, so I suppose it was swinging like a
    big bell.

    Mike.
    A Scot Living in England.

  12. #12
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    A good friend from school days now lives in Nevada. His house is constructed on a wooden frame and covered with aluminium cladding. He told me that where he lives the difference between day and night temperatures would cause brickwork to crack.

    On the other hand, my house is built from locally quarried sandstone and the walls are about 30 inches thick. This is a very traditional construction method in rural Scottish areas. Now most houses use flimsy wooden frame construction and a single brick outer skin - mainly to keep cost down and profit up.
    We're not here for a long time. We're here for a good time

  13. #13
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    The first little piggy built his house of straw. The second little piggy built his house of sticks. The third little piggy....said wee wee wee, all the way home. No, not really....


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I have always thought that is is strange that
    most houses in North America which includes
    Canada are built of wood.
    I lived in Philadelphia for 48 years and 20 years in the Alaskan wilderness and both homes were constructed with wood. Back on the East coast I think because of cost was a main factor why the contractor's chose wood framing plus it was just easier to work with. In Alaska is was availability four of us got together and built 5 homes on an 80 acre homestead in the far north of Alaska. Using the wood for the framing and slab wood harvested from trees in the area and for our roof we choose metal because of the fire protection. We did not have hurricane force wind but every winter you could expect to see winds over 70 MPH with no damage at all.

    ...getting ready to lift my new ham radio antenna at my cabin

    IMG_7983.jpg

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