Wooden Houses

Just watching a natural disaster programme there on the telly with the wife (very domesticated now) and she asked me why Americans build houses out of wood and then are surprised when they blow away or are burnt to the ground. I told her it was because wood was a cheap and abundant raw material. Is this right ? Now that I’ve thought about it it seems a bit daft. Could anyone explain ?

They’re a lot more beautiful than these tile and cement monstrosities in Taiwan, and most don’t burn or blow away but stay put for years. What do they build with in Ireland, sod? Don’t you have problems with moles and shrews?

You’ll probably find most of them were built by Irishmen… and yes, we all live in holes in the ground over here. We’d probably be living in wooden houses here too but we sold all our wood to the English, well actually they just came and took it and gave us these feckin bricks instead… Sure we wouldn’t know what to do with them…

Anyway, it’s a straightforward question. I guess someone must know the answer…?

Concrete construction is more expensive and less flexible in design than wood construction. It’s advantages are that it’s stronger and more sound deadening.

With lots of wood and a taste for architectural variety, most Americans opt for the less-expensive wood construction – or wood and masonry – method for homes. High-rise apartments require concrete and steel construction.

Wood also adds a less tangible but highly desirable feeling of “warmth” to an interior environment over concrete construction.

The dangers of fire are manageable in wood construction through good design. Concrete buildings can also burn because of their flammable interiors.

It would make more sense for Americans who live in hurricaine or tornado-prone areas to use more concrete construction but you’ll find many people in those areas even living in flimsy, cheap mobile homes – tornado snack food – instead.

I think it is just a matter of building and material costs and a wide variety of environmental conditions in a place the size of the States.
Most of the time wooden houses are suitable but I think if I lived in an area where hurricanes and tornados were common Id consider concrete or brick. In an earthquake area....hmmm...maybe wood is better for the shake but not the bake? Every year alot of houses get burned down in forest fires--I think most people just take their chances and hope theyll be lucky. If you built a concrete house and it survived a forest fire itd probably still need to be torn down and rebuilt because the heat would have stressed and weakened the concrete. In some areas of Hawaii it doesnt matter either way—lava cant be stopped. I think a concrete house in Alaska would be quite expensive to keep heated most of the year. Now if you asked more regional...why do people in tornado areas build wooden houses?....Id just say maybe because that`s what red-necks do, just like out in Malibu California the yuppies build year after year on the steep hillsides over- looking the beach and then sit and wonder why, when it rains …their houses slide away into the sea.

why do Taiwanese build in flood prone areas and on earthquake faults and get surprised when their houses are flooded or fall down.
Why do Taiwanese put sea sand in the concrete and get surprised when their houses crumble?

it’s pretty hard to build anywhere in Taiwan that is not flood or earthquake prone.

Wood is a lot more attractive, in my opinion.
I grew up in an area where there was an architectural tendency toward stately red brick colonial homes.

The bricks didn’t keep the flood waters out when 200 year old oak trees crashed through roofs during Hurricane Hugo 1989. Charlotte North Carolina is 200 miles inland and it’s an absolutely gorgeous southern city in the springtime.

However, homes along the coast were also devastated, but those tend to be made predominantly of wood.

I happen to find concrete or brick structures on the Carolina coastline to be hideous eyesores. The wood blends and weathers with the environment.

No matter, compared to the architecture in Taiwan, there’s no question that aesthetics plays a huge role in what building materials americans construct their homes with.

Someone above mentioned the sea sand apartment buildings. I happen to live near them and am constantly amazed at what a collossal blunder they were. There must be ten huge buildings with hundreds (thousands?) of units sitting there empty.

Well, not completely empty, and that’s why I’m writing. While the buildings are almost completely vacant, maybe a half dozen apts have lights on at night and plants on the balconies. What’s the deal? How can someone live on the 15th floor of an empty building? How do they get electricity and water? Also, has anyone heard what they plan to do with them? will they tear them all down some day?

People in North Yorkshire, England, live in houses that flood every year due to the melting of winter snow on the nearby mountains swelling the river Ouse (what a great name for a river). There is a pub in York which shows the level of water each year on a yard stick, and it famously tries to stay open (beer kegs in the loft). These same people are now gutted that their insurance is now impossibly expensive. Why move there ? The river was flooding before any of the inhabitants were born. Surely it’s madness ? I lived 3 miles away from it all - dry as a bone. Some people…

Thanks for the info. Wooden houses were in vogue here for about a week in the 70s, but they weren’t a success. Too cold and damp, I think was the problem. It’s cold and miserable here - the walls in my house are three foot thick and I’m still freezing.

What about using radioactive iron for the concrete reenforcement in buildings in Taiwan. Tai-Power dormitories were a calssic a few years back. Ohhh…I feel so tired when I sleep here on weekend duty.
Anyone ever get the DIY raidioactive testers in the mail before?

wood burns. People die in fires,. Please phone me with the name of your dealers. You obviously have the good shit if you think that talking about wooden houses is exciting. It’s people like you that drive the masses away, Wankers.

First, computer viruses, now, computer cockroaches.

Somebody turn on the lights and hand me that can of . . .