Construction Materials

Construction materials have evolved in great ways over the years. Instead of using asbestos when building, people now use recycled materials. Construction materials are important to our safety because they're what hold the industrial world together.

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Depending on your resources and what and where you're building, your options for long-lasting building materials are wood, brick, stone, concrete and steel. Learn about what types of building materials last the longest in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Most of us know that a house must have a well-insulated building envelope to be structurally sound. But we may not know how important this shell really is. These are 10 types of insulation that can protect your home.

By Echo Surina

Most of us are aware of the dangers of outside air pollution, but not many know that indoor air pollution levels can be as much as five times greater than outside. Ventilation can help combat the poor air quality, but how can we keep it quiet?

By Bambi Turner

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Construction has come a long way from the mud huts or canvas tents early man. But what materials should be used to keep that roof securely over our heads?

By Sara Elliott

You've probably heard the green mantra: reduce, reuse, recycle. Those three actions aren't limited to your kitchen trash; they can be applied to renovations, too.

By Emilie Sennebogen

If you're building something out of wood, you're going to have to choose between treated and untreated lumber. Which one is better?

By Elizabeth Abbess

The terms metal and steel are constantly used in the same capacity but are they really the same?

By Vivien Bullen

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One of the most dreaded projects for homeowners is roof repair. If you're looking for an alternative to the exhausting process of roof repair and maintenance with asphalt shingles, you may want to consider rubber roofing.

By Rosalind Jackson

The house is looking a bit drab these days. So, you're thinking about sprucing it up. A new coat of paint, or hey, a whole new color might do the trick. But how can you make the best decision possible when choosing that new color?

By Vivien Bullen

You'd love to quit climbing up on your rickety ladder to clean your gutters. Are gutter guards the answer?

By Rosalind Jackson

If you've ever wondered about the Formica countertops in your kitchen or bath -- or the laminate that tops tables and furniture -- this article is for you.

By Simon Shadow

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OSB stands for oriented strand board -- it's a competitor for plywood. So how do the two products stack up?

By Rosalind Jackson

When you think of a metal roof, you think of a dilapidated lean-to with a corrugated tin roof. Today roofs are usually made of an asphalt/fiberglass combination or wood shingles.

By Sarah Siddons

Stamped concrete is a form of decorative concrete that looks like other materials like brick, tile and wood. You can do it DIY, but it takes some skill.

By Mitch Ryan

Whether you're repairing concrete structures or coating surfaces, Quikrete products can be a simple and inexpensive solution.

By Vivien Bullen

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Blazing fireplaces make things cozy and warm - but they're not very energy-efficient. Fireplace inserts will save you money and time.

By Richard Winter

To most house hunters, granite means luxury and elegance. Concrete, on the other hand, is edgy, trendy and infinitely adaptable. So in terms of looks, durability and safety, which countertop is better?

By Julia Layton

There are many tools that builders find useful, but only a few of them are absolutely critical. What tools are essential to get the job done?

By Jonathan Strickland

Ceramic tile may spruce up your kitchen, but this material is more than just a pretty face. How does clay get transformed into something so strong and useful?

By Molly Edmonds

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It's been preferred in Europe since the 1970s, but can radiant floor heating help with your allergies and get you a good night's sleep? Why would it make you toss your snow shovel?

By Charles W. Bryant

Some people like to eat paste. Others like the smell of gasoline or even paint. Whatever your chemical predilection is, it's not good for you, and paint is no exception.

By Jennifer Horton

Sure, industrial and residential construction share some common traits. But in the grand scheme of things, the two fields are about as different as, well, night and day.

By John Perritano

Even Michelangelo had to deal with efflorescence -- white deposits that appear on masonry -- while painting the Sistine Chapel. What causes this unsightly problem, and how can you address it if it shows up on the surfaces of your home?

By John Kelly

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Tough, wear-resistant granite has long been one of the most popular choices for countertops. You should probably think twice before installing it yourself, though.

By Richard Winter

As steel framing becomes more common in modern homes, DIY homeowners are facing new decorating challenges. We'll dish on everything from drilling through metal to drywall anchors in this article.

By Gerlinda Grimes