What to build walls from

In the construction of summer cottages and cottages, the following materials are most often used for the walls: brick, lightweight concrete (foam concrete, expanded clay concrete, etc.), wood (timber, log) and wood with insulation (frame walls). For the construction of frame walls, a relatively new material is undeservedly rarely used – cement particle boards (DSP). Consider their advantages, disadvantages and construction costs.

Fig. Walls made of cinder-concrete stones with facing in half-brick (a), without facing (b), from monolithic cinder-concrete (c).

When choosing a wall material, consider the following considerations.

1. “Rule of homogeneity” – all main walls (external and those internal, on which the floor rests) must be built of the same material and rest on the same foundation. A combination of brick and lightweight concrete, as well as DSP and wood when cladding frame walls is acceptable.
2. Distances between capital walls (supports for wooden floor beams) should not exceed 4 m.With reinforced concrete floors (for brick walls), this distance can be increased to 7 m.

Brick

Advantages

Brick walls are very durable, fireproof, not susceptible (unlike wooden ones) to the action of insects – pests and decay, and therefore they are durable. They allow the use of reinforced concrete floor slabs. This is necessary if you want to furnish a living space above a garage or a very large room. The small size of bricks allows you to build walls of complex configurations from them, lay out decorative elements of the facade. Due to the fire resistance of bricks, walls made of it can adjoin stoves and fireplaces, smoke and ventilation ducts can be laid inside brick walls. Brick walls have a high heat capacity and, therefore, thermal inertia – in summer it is cool behind them in any heat, in winter it is warm for a long time even after the heating is turned off.

disadvantages

Brick walls have a high heat capacity and therefore thermal inertia, as well as a relatively high thermal conductivity. Therefore, if the house has not been heated in winter for at least two weeks, it will take several days to warm it up to comfortable conditions. Brick readily absorbs moisture. Because of this, during seasonal operation, the first weeks in a brick house are damp. The bricks that have collected moisture from the atmosphere in the fall freeze in winter, this leads (during seasonal operation) to rapid destruction – after 25 years the walls will require serious repair. Brick walls are very heavy and do not tolerate deformations, so they require a strip foundation to the full depth of freezing. To ensure proper thermal insulation, brick walls must be very thick (in the Moscow region – 52 cm). The house has a useful area of ​​50 sq. m they will occupy “17 square meters. m – 1/3 of the area; for a house with an area of ​​200 sq. m this ratio will be 1/6. After completing the laying of the walls, a year must pass before the start of their finishing; the walls must “settle” before finishing..

Summary

It is advisable to use bricks only in the construction of large cottages (several floors, floor area more than 200 sq. M), intended for year-round use.

Lightweight concrete and its combination with brick

Advantages

The walls are made of lightweight concrete, fireproof, not susceptible (unlike wooden ones) to the action of insects – pests and decay, and therefore they are durable. The relatively small size of the blocks and the ease of their processing make it possible to build walls of complex configurations from them. Due to the fire resistance of concrete, walls made of it can adjoin stoves, fireplaces and smoke ducts. Concrete walls have a high heat capacity and, consequently, thermal inertia – in summer it is cool behind them in any heat, in winter it is warm for a long time even after the heating is turned off. Foam concrete walls, in comparison with brick ones, have lower heat capacity and, consequently, thermal inertia, as well as relatively low thermal conductivity. Therefore, if the house was not heated in winter, it can be warmed up to comfortable conditions in a day. The thickness of foam concrete walls can be half that of brick walls. Lining foam concrete walls outside with decorative bricks does not increase their weight much, but it strengthens the walls and saves you from worries about finishing. Brick walls are much easier and cheaper than brickwork.

disadvantages

Foam concrete readily absorbs moisture. Blocks that have collected moisture from the atmosphere in the fall freeze in winter, this leads (during seasonal operation) to rapid destruction – after 25 years the walls will require serious repair (this does not apply to expanded clay concrete, it is hydrophobic). Lightweight concrete walls do not tolerate deformations, so they need a strip foundation or a foundation – a slab. After the completion of the walls, a year must pass before the start of their finishing, the walls must “settle” before finishing. Cracks can form on walls made of foam concrete during settlement.

Summary

Lightweight concrete occupies an intermediate position between brick and wood, and the higher its specific gravity, the closer its properties are to those of brick. It is advisable to use it in the construction of small cottages (no more than 2 floors) and summer cottages intended for year-round operation.

Wood (simple timber)

Advantages

Timber walls have low thermal conductivity. Therefore, if the house was not heated in winter, it can be warmed up to comfortable conditions in a few hours. For timber walls, a thickness of 15 cm is sufficient. Wooden walls create a healthy microclimate in the house, they remove excess moisture from the room. The timber walls are relatively lightweight and resistant to deformation. They can be built on pillar foundations or floating pillars. Wooden walls can withstand an unlimited number of freeze-thaw cycles, and therefore their service life can exceed 100 years.

disadvantages

Walls made of wood are highly flammable and susceptible to the action of insects – pests and decay, and therefore require special treatment and constructive protection from moisture and fire. After the completion of the cutting of wooden walls, a year must pass before the start of finishing, the walls must “settle” before finishing, and the sediment (up to 10%) is much greater than that of stone or frame walls (3 – 1%). The timber is deformed when it dries. Caulking squared walls is a complicated and expensive procedure. To minimize the consequences of these troubles (deformation and poor caulking), the timber walls from the outside and from the inside have to be sheathed with clapboard or DSP.

Summary

It is advisable to use wood in the construction of small cottages (no more than 2 floors) and summer cottages intended for seasonal or year-round use.

Wood (profiled beams, simple and cylindrical logs)

Advantages

The same as for timber walls. Plain log walls are more durable.

disadvantages

The same as for timber walls. In addition, walls made of these materials require careful and beautiful caulking..

Summary

It is advisable to use such a tree in the construction of small cottages (no more than 2 floors) and summer cottages intended for seasonal or year-round use, when purely aesthetic considerations come first..

Frame walls

Advantages

Frame walls with double thermal insulation made of light materials (polystyrene, mineral wool, etc.) have the lowest thermal conductivity. Therefore, if the house was not heated in winter, it can be warmed up to comfortable conditions in a few hours. For frame walls, a thickness of 15 cm is sufficient. Frame walls are the lightest of all considered and are resistant to deformation. They can be built on pillar foundations or floating pillars. Frame walls can withstand an unlimited number of freeze-thaw cycles. CSP sheathing provides protection (though not absolute) from fire and moisture. In frame houses, the most free layout of the interior is possible. Costs of funds, effort and time for the construction of frame walls are minimal. There is no need to wait for “precipitation” before finishing. With well-organized work, you can enter a frame house a month after the start of construction.

disadvantages

Walls made of wood are highly flammable and susceptible to the action of insects – pests and decay, and therefore require special treatment and constructive protection from moisture and fire. Lining – the main material for cladding frame walls quickly (within 1-2 years) dries up, cracks appear on the wall (with correct work, they are not through). It is believed that the service life of frame houses does not exceed 30 years, but the use of modern materials can significantly increase it. Increasing the size of the house (L walls > 9m, height – > 2 floors) leads to a significant complication of the frame and a decrease in reliability. The use of siding for cladding is unacceptable, as it “does not breathe” – does not let water vapor.

Summary

It is advisable to use frame walls in the construction of summer cottages intended for seasonal or year-round use.

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