Which is better concrete or wood buildings?

Well, it’s a popular question, concrete vs wood buildings- which is better and what do you recommend I buy? It’s a longstanding debate and today i’ll shed some light on the debate and hopefully give you some key takeaways to help you with your purchasing decision.

Concrete buildings, although generally more expensive than wood frame buildings, are worth it in the long term. It’s important to always look long term, in all aspects of life. The same thinking can be applied to when investing in your next condo.

Although wood frame buildings are cheaper for developers and thus cheaper for the potential buyer, the costs in the long run are more expensive. Wood frame buildings can see a much quicker depreciation in the structural aspects of the building. We get so much rain in Vancouver each year, should the roof or siding fail and water penetrates it, it runs the risk of getting to the wood frame. Should this happen, the dampness can lead to structural issues down the road.

Wood frame buildings also don’t insulate noise as well as concrete buildings. Concrete is considered to be the premium when it comes to new developments as the overall maintenance over time is generally less and can better withstand the natural elements Vancouver weather throws at us. Have you ever been in an old wood frame building in, say, Kitsilano? You’ll probably hear all sorts or cracks and squeaks with each step you take. Now imagine being on the second or third floor with people walking above you all night. I mean not to scare you or anything but it’s something you will probably notice over time as buildings age and it is important to consider if you’re easily bothered by this sort of thing.

Wood frame buildings are advancing further though. There is a proposed project in UBC that will be an 18 storey wood frame building, one of the tallest in the world. Full post on that Wood frame building here.