building

Concrete VS Wood

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One of the most common questions I receive when a buyer is considering a condominium purchase is whether they should purchase in a concrete or wood construction building. In a two-part post, let’s take a look at this decision and examine the pros and cons for both.

Concrete: Pros

Noise Reduction

When living in a condo, it’s no secret that you’re sharing the building with many others. Shared living environments can also mean living beside, above, and below a variety of residents, from quiet and studious students to families with children. Concrete construction limits the amount of noise transference between units around you. The only exception to this is if you have louder tapping sounds above you, such as high heeled shoes clicking on a hard surface flooring.

Building Longevity

Buildings constructed with concrete are built to last a very long time. The Lower Mainland climate brings in a lot of rain and wind, which tests the structural integrity of all buildings. Being a sturdier material, concrete holds up to these tests and shows slower signs of wear and tear over the years.

Value Retention

In large part due to the building longevity, concrete high-rises have demonstrated a stronger track record of retaining value. As with all real estate, building values follow market cycles, but concrete homes have shown greater resiliency in declining markets and higher ceiling prices in upswings.

Views

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth pointing out. Most concrete homes are high-rises and this enables greater views. Soaring into the sky often allows incredible lookouts for homeowners and is a significant reason for premium prices on some homes.

Concrete: Cons

High Cost

Concrete is a more expensive material to build with and this cost is passed onto the end user. You can usually expect a premium upwards of 10-15% for a home in a concrete tower over a wood-frame building in the same location. This expense can be quite a deterrent, especially for first time home buyers.

Smaller Floor Plans

More often than not, high-rises will have smaller individual homes when compared to their counterpart. You are more likely to find sub-500 square foot one bedroom homes and sub-800 square foot two bedroom homes in high-rise towers. Layout width can also be compromised in these homes due to the land configuration that many concrete high-rises are built on.

More Neighbours

Typically, high-rises contain anywhere from 150 to 300 suites, and you won’t often find concrete towers with less than 100 homes. This means sharing the common areas, the parkade, and perhaps most noticeably, the elevators with a lot of people.

Well, there is one side of the coin! Stay tuned to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of wood-frame construction in my next post.

If you have any questions about real estate in the Lower Mainland, you can email me anytime at adil@adilkhimani.com.

Thank you for reading,

Adil