The high cost of lumber will only get worse over time, causing builders to look for alternatives to wood. Wood is used to build 90 percent of all new home, and it’s also used for other purposes like cabinets, doors, windows, floors, and decks. With a shortage of lumber, many builders are looking for cheaper materials that still meet code requirements. As a result, the use of alternative materials has become a popular choice.
A common solution to the lumber shortage is using insulated concrete forms. These types of forms reduce the overall construction cost by up to 50 percent. The price is still higher than traditional lumber framing, but they’re significantly cheaper than conventional lumber. This means more time for the builder, which can lead to a more successful project.
Another option is using cold-formed steel, which is similar to steel framing, but lighter. However, this material loses strength easily and conducts sound, so it’s important to add thermal and soundproofing materials to prevent a fire.
Another option to wood lumber is using a type of composite material, or composite materials. These products come with different finishes, and they may not require painting. Some of these alternatives also require less maintenance, making them an excellent choice. You may even find that wood lumber alternatives can reduce your construction costs by up to 50 percent.
Another alternative to wood is a 3D printing system. NASA is testing these new materials to help reduce the cost of construction in the future. One 3D printing system, called Redwire Regolith Print, will allow construction workers to turn lunar soil into building materials. Whether you use a 3D printer to construct a house or a building, these materials are an eco-friendly choice.