Florida is a state of many housing styles. What you see or live in depends on what you’re looking for in a permanent residence. For example, pre and early 20th-century homes feature a wood frame construction. Later designs contain concrete block construction (CBS). Here are the pros and cons of both styles.
Previously, wood-framed homes were constructed with pine and cypress, which are or have similarities to hardwood. In other words, they feature durability against time and weather conditions. Today’s wood-framed homes are constructed with engineered frame wood, designed to withstand higher wind shear.
On the other hand, CBS homes are built with interlocking cement blocks. These are raised to the desired wall height and kept in place by mortar. In many cases, the exterior walls are coated in stucco – a mixture comprised of cement, lime, sand, and water.
Thanks to the enactment of the 2002 Florida Building Code, today’s wood-framed and CBS homes can withstand winds up to 120 mph. In fact, houses built after 1992’s Hurricane Andrew are sturdier. After that storm’s devastation, the state tightened their building requirements to construct more durable properties.
Yes, it’s true CBS structures hold up during more powerful storms. However, they can still have their roofs pulled off or windows blown out by formidable winds. Thus, damage still equals that of a wood-framed home.
By far, concrete homes have better soundproofing than wood-framed properties. The walls are designed to reflect sound back to its source. The rest of the soundwave is absorbed into the walls without the need for additional installation.
Sure, a simple one-floor, concrete-constructed home could be considered inexpensive. Yet, the same can be said for a wood-framed tiny home. Overall, CBS properties become more expensive with their size and design complexity.
Electrical and Plumbing
It’s fairly easy to install (rough-in) electrical and plumbing components in a wood-framed home. Additionally, the construction’s flexibility allows contractors to replace older materials with newer ones in a shorter period. On the other hand, electrical and plumbing routing is more difficult in a CBS home due to the lack of material flexibility.
Energy efficiency is a toss-up between a wood-framed and CBS home. Generally, neither maintains interior climate control without proper insulation and construction. Doors and windows not firmly in place result in drafts. Further, a poorly maintained HVAC system causes uneven heating and cooling.
An insurance premium advantage doesn’t exist between a wood-framed and CBS home. If built after 1992, coverage costs reflect construction changes. Homes built before that year and Hurricane Andrew face higher premiums if they don’t pass a home inspection report.
Which is Best
Wood-framed and CBS homes have their pros and cons. What’s best for you depends on your interests. If you’re concerned about insurance coverage, speak to your local agency today to get an estimate on future premiums. Ideally if you are in the market to buy a home in Florida you should lean towards searching for a home for sale built after 1992.