Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

Why are most american houses built out of wood?

When we see pictures of tornado damage etc all the wooden houses are destroyed and most of the brick built ones still stand

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You've seen diff pics than I.

    Neither brick, brick veneer or wood construction is much of a match for a hit from even the weakest tornado...

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Woodworking Course http://givitry.info/WoodworkingProjects
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Easy up - easy down.

    Although brick houses can be destroyed by a tornado, the debris caused by wood in a tornado will cause far more damage and deaths.

    By the way, most houses in the US are built with brick with only the outside covered with wood for extra protection.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A tornado would also demolish a brick house (which would typically have a wooden frame anyway) Remember pictures from the London mini-tornado? That was just a small one!

    An earthquake would also flatten a brick house. Wood is the preferred material in some parts of America because it is available and more practical. It is also cheaper, and faster to repair.

    Remember also many parts of the USA DO have brick buildings.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the oklahoma city tornado took out plenty of brick ones too. they are actually stick built too. the brick is just the siding. wood is cheaper and more abundant. sort of like why people still live in trailer parks when they have signs in the heavens directing tornadoes to them. you live in what you can afford, and the sheer numbers of those who can afford trailers and non-brick houses is more than brick home owners. so, averages say that the tornado is more likely to hit a regular sided house or even trailer. i've seen regular houses standing right in front of where another was taken down. some also depends on the path of the twister.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wood is readily available, easy to work with, and easy to repair. And there's tradition: in Colonial America wood was plentiful so that's what houses were built with, so folks these days are accustomed to the look of a wood house. Brick houses are common in the US where clay deposits are common, but brick is heavy to transport so shipping it long distances makes it less available in some regions. Any house built poorly won't survive weather stresses as successfully as a well built house. Here's what This Old House general contractor Tom Silva recommends for a strong wood house:

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1204044...

    Built it right, maintain it properly, and a wood house will stay around for a while! But as others have noted, extreme weather can flatten most any house.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Pegw,

    Depends on where you are.

    I grew up in Southern California, and most of the homes there and in the rest of the south-west are stucco.

    I now live in the Pacific Northwest (near Seattle) and here homes are built of wood for two reasons: 1. Wood, especially pine, fir, and cedar, are abundant here. 2. Wood breathes better than stucco and brick, thus is less likely to develop mold and mildew. This would be the same as in the south-east with the high humidity.

    It seems that in tornado areas, building codes would require homes to withstand tornados - though I don't know what that would entail.

    "Ranger"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Building wood "stick" homes in America makes good sense.

    We (Canadians also as they are North Americans and can be called Americans) have an abuncance of white or southern pine and we manage these forests very well - it is inexpensive and economical.

    Wood is flexible - during settling and earthquakes wood gives and thus reduces the chances of cracking. Brick will crack - most brick you see is what is called "Brick Veneer".

    American economy is better suited for wood home manufacturing. Most American homes may last at most 100 years probably less. That means new homes must be built, people are employed building them.

    I have been to europe and the homes are build to last forever, but europe gives me the impression of stagnation. Houses are jammed together with no space, no yard. They are just packed on top of each other. I have no idea how they tolerate having to live so close and up each others @ss's. Give me land, lots of land - don't fence me in.

    As far as tornados go, brick does very little to prevent tornado damage. Block buildings have been proven to be the best at this. Of course solid concrete would be better, but during settling would have cracks, water leaks and so forth.

    I have lived in tornado alley all my life and do not fear tornados, not to say I don't respect what they can do. I make sure with every home I have owned I have a poured foundation type basement. The home I have now has a family room in the southwest corner of the basement. Nine times out of 10 a tornado will approach from the southwest with all the debris going to the north east. So having a room in the southwest corner allows all the debris to blow over you and not into you.

    Americans, Canadians, South Americans, Kiwi's, Austrailians and those of the new world understand the dangers of this brave new world. We have grown up in it and have good reason for what we do. North American and the New World is gigantic, and we have it all. We fight danger everyday from nature in the form of weather, creatures and even plants. Europeans - well they stayed behind and played it safe, then again all they seem to do is want to War on each other. Yes, its peaceful now but for sure something will start. America - well we will take the war to you, whose next anyway?

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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://smarturl.im/aDDRS

    The reason why many American houses are built with wood is because Americans appreciate the beauty of wood. You see you are more likely to appreciate something that you have seen, tasted, smelt, touched, and heard while growing up. People tend to have a lower appreciation for what is unfamiliar. When settlers came to the Americas, they were happy to just be on solid ground. They had to build shelter quickly before the winter months struck. No time or effort could go into quarrying stone so they used what was in abundance; wood. Using wood served multiple purpose for the settlers: first, clearing the land allowed for setting up settlements and farmland; secondly, it provided fuel for fire; thirdly, it was relatively easy to split and shape for constructing log cabins and fencing to keep wild animals at bay. Well, over the years with the development of lumber harvesting, processing, and curing techniques. Lumber became stronger, lighter, easily repairable, and more resistant to the elements. Framing techniques were developed which cut construction time dramatically. It's easy to shape thus craftsmanship became increasingly affordable, while stone craftsmanship remains today a luxury few can afford. Also, its beautiful painted and could be easily maintained by painting every few years. Well, imagine all the kids growing up in wooden homes, with soft warm wooden floors. Homes built with wood are a romantic flashback that is repeated in pursuit of the the American dream. People continue to use wood to build because now a new wooden home (preferably using reclaimed or renewable wood) is often accented with masonry but is given greater value and status because of the beauty, variation, and versatility of the wood used to make it. As for the natural disasters having less of an impact on harder materials like cement blocks, you can make case for; but, a poorly designed home can be dangerous regardless of the materials used and each material has its pros and cons. Interestingly, modular wood homes (not trailers) built off site and then assembled on site have been tested and shown to be safer then most conventional homes be they wood or brick. These days exterior walls often are covered with noncombustible material or fire-retardant treated wood. Americans, simply put, love their wood. AnthropologistCarl

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  • 1 decade ago

    Building houses out of wood is just one answer to the weather conditions. Wood being a bad conductor, does not take the environment's heat or chillness easily, hence making the house more liveable. In case of concrete, since it is a better conductor of heat, electricity, etc. one feels colder on a concrete floor than on a wooden floor. So wood keeps the house slightly cooler in summers and warmer in winters.

    Anyways, wood is less resistent than concrete, and when the tornadoes are of high intensity, it does not actually make a difference if it's wood or concrete.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Most brick houses are made of wood..brick is

    merely the veneer, however the brick does protect

    a lot, but often times a tornado is more powerful

    than brick protection.

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