Two tips for building a structurally-robust house that will last a lifetime

If you want to build a solid, structurally-sound house that will last for decades to come, you should keep the following tips in mind when drawing up the plans with your contractor.

Invest in a high-quality roof

The roof plays a huge and important role in the lifespan of a building. It serves as a protective shield, which prevents rainwater, UV light, snow, wind and fluctuating temperatures from destroying the property's interior.

If you opt for cheaper asphalt shingles, the chances of your home developing water-related structural damage will be higher. This is because asphalt granules tend to shed over time; when this happens, water can seep in through the damaged shingles and saturate the property's timber framework.

If this framework remains wet for too long, rot will set in, and the timber's structural integrity will gradually diminish as the wood decays.

As such, it really is worth investing in a roof made from high-quality materials. Metal roofing is one option which can provide a property with decades of protection from the elements.

Metal roofs come in many varieties, including copper, zinc, aluminium and steel. In addition to being extremely robust, these materials are not susceptible to corrosion and will not develop holes or structural weaknesses when exposed to water or high humidity levels. This, in turn, means that there is very little chance of the roof allowing moisture to seep into your home and cause issues with its framework.

Test the soil before laying the foundation

The soil on which your contractor lays the foundation of the house can be a determining factor in how structurally-robust the property ends up being.

If the foundation is built on clay soil, for example, there is a very good chance that your new home will eventually succumb to subsidence-induced structural damage.

This is because clay soil expands when exposed to moisture and contracts when this moisture evaporates. When it contracts, the foundation of the house on top of it will start to move downwards into the gap created by this contraction.

This, in turn, will lead to various types of structural problems within the house itself, including, but not limited to, large cracks in the interior and exterior walls, as well as warping of the property's door frames.

As such, it is essential to have your building contractor test the soil before they initiate the foundation-laying process. If the soil is found to contain large proportions of clay, it should be replaced with sandstone, limestone, chalk or compacted gravel, none of which are prone to expansion or contraction when exposed to water.