Concrete Block vs. Wood Frame Construction

Topic: 
Structural Issues
Topic: 
Home Inspections
Topic: 
Framing
Question: 

Concrete Block vs. Wood Frame Construction We are very interested in purchasing a home that is of "frame" construction. Although the property appraiser rates this home as having "excellent construction", we are concerned about termites and weather. Is it okay to buy a wood frame constructed home in Florida?? Thank You,

Answer: 

I am not as concerned about the construction materials used in homes as I am about the quality of the construction. Good arguments? - pro and con - can be made about the relative quality of concrete block, wood frame, metal frame and poured concrete construction. I have seen many examples of good quality and poor quality homes made out of each of these materials.

As for pest problems, you are correct that concrete block is not subject to termite damage. However, termites and other wood destroying organisms can be a major problems at the non-structural elements of a home. Recently I inspected a home in the Seattle area (a slightly different climate) with a fungal wood rot problem which was caused in part by the improper use of concrete block.

Concerns about wind and earthquake damage, as well as heating and cooling issues have similar requirements: quality design and quality construction.?

Now as for the opinion of the appraiser regarding the quality of the home. I am glad that the appraiser thinks that this is a quality home but is this person a home inspector? People like me a home inspectors, we are trained to evaluate the construction and maintenance of homes, we may have some vague idea about the value of the home, but that is not our job. Apprai