Why Is the U.S. Still Using Wood to Build Houses?

Why Is the U.S. Still Using Wood to Build Houses?

In other parts of the globe, many building companies prefer to opt for manufactured materials such as bricks and cement as they are more durable and longer-lasting than wood. In addition, depending on the geographical climate and weather, the materials can be customized to keep the home insulated or well-ventilated. However, this isn’t the case in the United States, and wood continues to be immensely popular among Americans, with 90% of wooden houses – despite the popularity and accessibility of manufactured materials today. 

Experts say that many homeowners and building companies in the United States prefer the flexibility of the material, as it can withstand low-intensity natural disasters and weather events such as earthquakes, storms, and hurricanes. Additionally, they have always been famed for their economical and reasonable prices due to the substantial supply lines of the logging industry.

The Rise and Fall of Lumber

As the world entered the endemic era, the increase in the demand for lumber (due to the cohort of millennial homeowners) and a shortage of supply drove the prices up significantly, where prices in early May 2021 peaked at $1.6k. A report stated that this price increase subsequently impacted the costs of single-family home construction and had incurred up to $35k in additional expenses. Currently, lumber prices are sitting comfortably in the $700 to $800, and many experts have predicted this is unlikely to change until early 2022. However, as the market continues to stabilize over time, the likelihood of prices returning to their pre-pandemic levels increases.

Accessibility of Wood

Historically, wood has always been readily available even during colonial times. Many commercial buildings and houses from the past were constructed from wood as they can be assembled faster than other materials like cement, masonry, or bricks. This is still the case for the United States today, and unfortunately, this has significantly impacted the environment.

While wood is a natural, renewable resource, additional resources must be poured in to compensate for the loss of forests. However, deforestation rates are at an all-time high due to anthropogenic and natural causes (bushfires), which have heavily impacted the logging industry, further exacerbating the supply shortage caused by the pandemic.

Sustainability and the Legal Obstacles Around Wood

With deforestation happening at an alarming rate, many governments have introduced forest management to circumvent the debate around the definition of sustainability. However, many scientists and experts have argued that legality does not equate to sustainability, and the implementation of laws does not guarantee the ethical and responsible use of forest products. Fortunately, with more initiatives like the Forest Legality Initiatives, many countries have begun integrating sustainability in their laws and policies according to their legal context, fostering the popularization of ethical sourcing and supply.

Why You Should Work with U.S. Framing

US Framing is here for you at every step of the way. Our professional experts are familiar with the state’s building standards and codes and aim to create a safe working environment for you and your co-workers. We put our best foot forward to ensure your project is completed timely so that you can achieve your goals and aims. In addition, our professional team of building experts at US Framing have the right knowledge and experience in assisting you in planning all the details you require in your project timeline – from budgeting to pre-planning to problem-solving to the construction phase.

For more information about the types of framing services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

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