3 Alternative Building Materials to Wood

Wood has been the go-to building material used for framing construction along with the siding of homes, decks, and outbuildings for decades. However, it’s not the only durable and affordable option out there. Today, there are many alternative building materials to wood that are better for the environment and your wallet. Read on to learn more.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)


If you’re looking for a wood frame alternative, ICF blocks are an excellent choice. These interlocking blocks are filled with concrete and are housed in a foam exterior. This creates a strong, highly energy-efficient material that can easily be stacked to create a very durable frame. ICFs can also be used to construct patios, retaining walls, and outbuildings.

Fibre Cement Boards


The wood siding looks great, but it can easily rot if it’s not properly maintained. Fortunately, numerous alternative building materials to wood siding with fibre cement boards are one of the most popular. Unlike vinyl that can warp over time or aluminum that is susceptible to dents and fading, fibre cement boards are highly durable, long-lasting, and often come with a warranty to cover peeling, cracking, and chipping. It can also be made to look like wood. The downside is that  fibre cement boards are not easy to install, and improper installation could lead to problems such as rot and mould. In addition, installers must take extra care to prevent damage when fitting the panels and when cutting the material as well since fibre cement boards generate a known human carcinogen which can lead to health issues if proper safety measures are not taken.  Fibre cement boards are also not the most energy-efficient or environmentally friendly material out there, but it has lower maintenance costs over time, saving homeowners money in the long run.

Aluminum Composite Panels


An even better alternative to both wood and  fibre cement boards is aluminum composite panels (ACP). It’s versatile, affordable, lightweight, and highly durable. ACP can be easily made into different shapes whilst retaining its strength. The lightweight property of the material makes installation synch, saving time and money. ACP can also be made to look like wood, metal and stone, with unlimited colour options and a range of special finishes that can provide builders with the exact look they are hoping for. Best of all, it’s fire retardant, weather-resistant, corrosion and scratch-resistant, and it won’t fade in the light. The colour will last for decades without the need for paint, making this one of the easiest alternative building materials to wood. ACP can also be used in ways wood cannot. It can be transformed to create pointy shapes or curved shapes and to create more creative designs that you can’t achieve with other building materials. As you can see, there are few downsides to this type of material. Even when compared to fibre cement boards, it is far more affordable, practical, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Unlike other building materials, ACP can be 100% recycled. The panels do not give off any harmful gases, and their design reflects less heat into the environment.

If you’re looking for alternative building materials to wood, our team would be happy to show you all the benefits of aluminum composite panels for your next project. Contact us today at Alumax Panel. We are Canada’s leading supplier of building envelope solutions, specializing in premium-quality ACP for residential and commercial design. We offer a range of options, including cedarminum siding, aluminum plates, perforated panels, ACP, and a variety of accessories for the fabrication and installation process. Our team is standing by to assist you with finding the right product for your specific needs. 

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