Wood Frame vs Concrete Construction

12.28.2012  |  category: Real_Estate  |  posted by: Joy Mengeringhausen

wood framed houseComing from the Greater Boston area and growing up in an old 1920's wood frame victorian, the idea of wood frame construction was not foreign to me. In fact, I find them to be very cozy, especially in the winter months. I love the feel of wood floors under my feet and creaky stairs remind me of home every time. It wasn't until after I became a REALTOR and learned about the difference in construction types in the Southwest Florida climate, that I thought about potential problems of frame construction in this area. See, in northern states you have a rather cool spring and fall with a downright freezing cold winter which would make it impossible for termites to survive. Florida on the other hand is always warm, even our winter months are on the warm side with only a week or two of cooler temperatured cold fronts dotted here and there. Making Florida's climate ideal for termites to really thrive. Termites eat wood and the sandy, warm environment is really perfect for them allowing them to live a very happy existance jumping from the sand to a tree or your house. Know that if you are planning to buy a wood frame home that you will need to treat it for termites regularly or they will eat your home. Just saying, it isn't a question of "if", rather a question of "when". 

When it comes to hurricane risk there actually seem to be two mind sets, the pro wood and pro concrete. Some pro concrete Southwest Florida home inspectors and contractors will say that should your wood frame home fall in the path of the eye of a storm, the home would likely be reduced to a pile of toothpicks. While the pro wood side will say wood bends and will sway with wind then sway back into place without breaking. The pro wood frame construction mindset also claim that concrete doesn't bend, it wouldn't sway with high force winds, it would just crumble or break. The pro concrete builders often believe their construction will survive even the strongest of hurricane winds leaving you to decide for yourself whom to belive. 

There are many homes throughout Florida that were built of wood frame as far back as the 1940's or even earlier that are not only still standing but have been maintianed over the years and are fairing rather well. This article was not written to scare you altogether out of buying a wood frame constructed home, simply to advise of the risks involved.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in Southwest Florida? Contact me for a free consultation.