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What Are the Different Types of Building Materials That Exist Today?

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New home construction hit an all-time high in 2006. But since then, residential construction has been on the decline.

Still, there are almost one million new homes built on an annual basis, with no shortage of commercial construction projects in the works as well.

Over the years, as the construction industry evolves, building materials become more efficient. This means that the buildings going up today will stand the test of time, much more so than those built in previous decades.

Wondering about the most common types of building materials contractors are using today? Keep reading below to discover the best building materials on the market.


One of the most basic building materials today, used globally in all types of construction, is concrete. In the US, many homes in the Southeast, particularly the wet, hurricane-prone state of Florida, are made of concrete blocks.

In other regions, concrete blocks are used for basement walls as well. Concrete blocks are stronger than poured concrete. And all concrete is resistant to termites, performs well in extreme temperatures, insulates well, and is soundproof.

Even homes built with other materials will utilize a concrete foundation, which can support a structure for many decades.


Steel is a versatile building material, used largely in commercial construction. And it offers superior strength at a fraction of the weight of other building materials.

Today, much of the steel used in construction comes from recycled materials. And when buildings are eventually torn down, the steel can again head to a recycling facility, rather than a landfill.

Steel buildings can be fast and efficient to design and build. And companies like can fabricate custom steel buildings in their own facility, making the construction process as streamlined as possible.


Wood has been used in construction for thousands of years and is still very popular today. Wood is readily available, comes from renewable resources, and is usually very affordable.

It’s a popular choice for residential construction due to its low cost, light weight, and insulating properties. Wood homes are typically built on top of concrete foundations since wood isn’t the best for permanent contact with soil.

And of course, wood is strong even when it bends, thanks to its high tensile strength.


Brick homes were much more common a few decades ago. But today, many custom homes still prefer the use of bricks, thanks to its many benefits.

Bricks are extremely durable and can last more than a hundred years. If damaged, they are easily repairable. And they are fire-resistant. Thanks to their strength under pressure, they can also be used for load-bearing walls.

Durable brick construction depends on the quality of the mortar used, and the quality of the builders. It’s not the cheapest building material, but it offers a timeless look, and everlasting durability when done right.

Choosing Between Different Types of Building Materials

The use of different types of building materials is subject to many factors. The region and climate you live in is one of the most important.

Common building materials in the north, subject to freezing temperatures, ice, and snow, may be different from those in the southwest, where intense, dry heat and risk of fires are common.

The use of certain materials should always be checked with local engineers to ensure viability in your region.

Looking for more home construction tips? Head over to our blog, where you’ll find other helpful articles like this.


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