Despite having the GDP of around 50 countries combined, most of the U.S. still build its homes with wood, which is a relatively inexpensive material. Estimates show that at least 80 percent of homes in the country have a wooden frame.
Is there a reason for this heavy reliance on wood? Homebuilders and homeowners identify a few.
Rebuilding is Easier
The U.S. is no stranger to natural disasters. Even homes made of stone and brick are no less susceptible to the aftermath of Mother Nature’s wrath. Wood’s advantage surfaces during rebuilding efforts. For one, it is more affordable than other materials, making rebuilding less costly.
In addition, wood is readily available. The U.S. market share in wood production accounts for around eight percent in the world–the fourth largest–as of 2012. This goes to show that the country has a huge domestic supply available for consumption.
Vintage homes, relics of the country’s storied past, still stand tall and proud today. Wood was the material of choice for buildings during the 1800s, but a series of major fires in major cities nearly spelled the practice’s demise. Today, building codes make sure that wood is reinforced by more fire-resistant materials like concrete when used in home construction.