Understanding the Different Methods and Materials of New Home Construction

When you're ready to have a new home built, it's probably not a good idea to just hire a builder, tell them the type of home you want and then let them make all the decisions as to the methods and materials they use. After all, you need to live in that home and pay for maintenance and repairs once it's constructed! Understanding a few differences between various types of new home construction can help you to make the best choice for your home, so note a few of those differences here, and then discuss these choices with your builder or architect as necessary.

Modular homes

Modular homes use traditional framing methods and materials, but the majority of the parts or sections of the home are built in a factory; they are then shipped to a construction site and assembled. A modular home may be a faster method of construction and may involve less construction waste since the pieces are cut to exact measurements more easily in a factory setting. However, you may have far fewer options for personalising a modular home because most of these homes are made with preset designs.

Light gauge steel

Steel framing can be used for a residential home and is impervious to insect infestation and the risk of fire, although it is expensive. Unless you're planning a very large, mansion-sized home, traditional stick framing or timber framing is probably more than sufficient for your new construction.


You may not think of concrete when you think of home building materials, but poured concrete can be a good choice for exterior walls. The material is fire-resistant and can be painted or stained to look like virtually any other material. Concrete is also made from raw materials available in abundance, including sand and gravel, so it's very eco-friendly.

Timber roof trusses

Some homeowners confuse timber roof trusses with standard stick-built roofs since wood is used for both methods of construction. However, timber trusses include very large beams that hold up the weight of the home, so you don't need load-bearing walls, and those beams are often left exposed. When you visit a church with high ceilings and exposed rafters, you're probably seeing timber roof trusses, as an example. This type of construction is good for an open floor plan and for maximum control over where walls will be placed inside the home, allowing you to create and then eliminate rooms in the home as needed over the years.