Think castles, temples, the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and even the Pyramids of Egypt – what do these structures have in common? Yes, all these are made of stone! This is why stone is dubbed as one of the oldest construction material used by mankind. In ancient times, stone houses are built for a stronger fortress against natural calamities and from human invaders. In fact, the Knap of Howar is one of the oldest houses made of stone to exist since 3700 BC. Stone is incredibly durable, and the fact that these ancient structures are still standing today are proof of that.
Currently, stone houses still remain one of the most viable options for sustainable living. Many homeowners are considering building a stone house as compared to other home construction materials. If you’re considering to build one, here are some advantages and disadvantages you can weigh in:
- Sustainability – stone is a natural construction material, it does not require any other resource to make it. This alone makes it very environment-friendly. It does not also require any use of chemicals to forge because it can be sourced almost anywhere.
- Durable – stone isresistant to water, fire, wind, and other natural factors that typically affect a house. It does not mold and it is not prone to termites or majority of pests that attack a structure. Basically, stone is damage free.
- Low maintenance – a stone house does not require extensive maintenance even over time. In the long run, it only requires minimal cleaning, and its appearance and quality will still be the same.
- Promotes comfort living – if properly insulated, stone helps the efficient regulation of temperature in a home, keeping you relatively warm during winters and well ventilated during summers.
- Aesthetic appeal – stones come in many different designs, and there are several ways to work on it. It’s only a matter of getting picking the right stone material that will fit with your home design requirements.
- Expensive – about the most challenging factor to face when building a stone house is the cost of the stone material and its construction.
- Expert contractor – building a stone house requires highly specialized skills. Expert contractors do not come cheap too.
- Longer construction process – The process of selecting the best stone for your particular home requirement is of utmost importance. Stone is a heavy construction material, it requires special care and handling. Precision is essential when setting it too.
While brick and wooden houses are great options for a beautiful and functional home, stone houses remain the better option out of the three. Stone is recyclable while wood is not. To boot, a wooden house is prone to pest infestation. Wood expands in cold temperatures, which can affect the structure of your home.
Brick houses are aesthetically appealing, but it is quite challenging to maintain. For example, it is prone to mold and vines. Irregular-shaped bricks can be difficult to deal with. It doesn’t come cheap too.
One example of a terrific stone house is the “Unika Stenhus” in Sweden, built by architect Ola Torrang
“Våra stenhus behöver varken målas eller underhållas. Vårt Unika Stenhus är över 20 år gammalt och ser lika bra ut idag, som för 20 år sedan. Läs mer om våra stenhus här.” – Ola Torrang
Translation: “Our stone houses never have to be re-painted or maintained. Our “Unika Stenhus”-house is more than 20 years old, but looks as good today, as it did 20 years ago.” – Ola Torrang
The pros of building a stone house far outweigh its cons though. Stone may be pricey upon construction, but if you look at its maintenance cost and life span, it will significantly be economical. In today’s world where sustainability has become a dire necessity, a stone house is a step towards preserving energy and the Earth’s resources. On both counts, a stone house is definitely a wise investment!