By Norwich Builder, Hardwin Osborne
Of all building materials I find timber (wood) the easiest to work with because of it's flexibilty.
Brick is another common material. It gives a warm effect for a house. You can choose from a range of different colors, which can work well together. Brick gives a feeling of permanency, which you don’t get with timber. This is why I like to use brick peers for pergolas, which are by their nature rather temporary.
Brick and timber are the two main materials for house building. Whatever a house is made of, it’s almost certain to have some brick and wood – even if it’s just a brick chimney and timber roof trusses. Stone is an alternative to brick, traditionally used in places where stone is plentiful. There are many different types of stone, giving the buildings of each region a distinctive local look. Historically, Norfolk and Norwich builders have used flint to build houses which can be seen throughout the region.
Concrete is universal. It's used a lot for larger buildings, and for foundations for structures of any size, because of it's strength.
One of the most basic of materials to build a simple house with is clay. Traditional ways of using it include clay lump and cob, or as an infill in timber frame buildings in the form of wattle and daub. Adobe is another traditional way of building in mud, similar to clay lump. In dry climates mud buildings become as hard as rock, but in damper climates the mud walls need to be protected by foundations of stone or brick, a good roof, and a coating of whitewash or paint.
In some parts of the world bamboo is very common rather than trees. This is actually a type of grass, though some varieties grow as tall as trees. It makes an excellent building material in much the same way as timber.
Guadua bamboo is considered one of the 20 best bamboo species in the world.
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