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Building Materials - Lots to Choose From

Today, there is a dizzying variety of building materials available, from reclaimed lumber to PVC and fiberglass panels.

The choices can seem overwhelming. The following is an overview of some common building materials you may, or may not, be familiar with.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)
Fiberglass panels made from insulating foam sandwiched between two layers of structural material. These energy efficient panels are used often in walls, floors and roofs.

Steel Framing
Light-gauge steel studs can be used in place of traditional lumber to frame a house. Homes built with steel framing are particularly sturdy and can withstand both wind and seismic loads caused by hurricanes and earthquakes.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Blocks (AAC)
Autoclaved aerated concrete is an all-natural raw material that forms a solid sound barrier and is both fire and termite resistant. It is a lightweight, energy efficient material produced by adding a foaming agent to concrete and "cooking" it with steam (autoclaving). Once cooled, blocks are cut from the resulting slab with a wire.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)
Insulated concrete forms are hollow foam forms filled with concrete and reinforced with rebar. These lightweight, stackable interlocking forms provide a solid sound barrier, are strong, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Engineered Wood
Engineered wood is used in place of traditional lumber to provide a strong, predictable and environmentally responsible building product. It is formed when thin layers of wood are glued together and cured to form large, solid planks and beams.

Reclaimed Lumber
A variety of lumber, from wood beams to exotic wood, can be salvaged from structures such as old warehouses or from other places, like the bottoms of lakes or rivers. Reclaimed lumber can add character to a home that traditional new lumber cannot.

Bamboo Panels
Panels made from bamboo provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood. They are ideal for use in cabinetry, furniture and shelving.

Concrete is a time-tested, durable material that is more cost effective than any other building material when spread over the lifetime of a home.

Air Flooring Tiles
These tiles are made from millions of micro air bubbles that form soft, flexible flooring that absorbs impact particularly well. Air flooring tiles are ideal for playrooms and home fitness areas.

Laminate Flooring
Laminated flooring looks like hardwood but is less expensive, durable and easy to clean.

Glazed Ceramic Tile Glazed ceramic is a practical and versatile material that can be used on floors, walls and countertops.

Cork flooring
Made from the bark of cork oak trees, cork floors are cushiony, warm and durable. Cork flooring is antimicrobial, resistant to mold and mildew, and serves as a natural noise absorber. It is available in tiles and sheet and is ideal for placement over concrete slabs or sub floors.

Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo flooring is an inexpensive and durable alternative to hardwood flooring. It is made from a renewable resource, is easy to clean, and does not promote dust or harbor dust mites, making it ideal for anyone with allergies.

The information provided here is just a sampling of the many building products available today. For more detailed information, speak to your home builder about what is right for your new home.