Wood-framed or a concrete condo building?

choice[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o you decide you’re ready to purchase a condo. Friends have told you that either one or the other is the way to go. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both buildings for your condo purchase.

Benefits of wood-framed condo buildings:

  • Cheaper than concrete in general
  • Generally only found in low rises (four floors normally but recently the building code in BC was changed to allow for six-story wood construction)

Drawbacks of wood-framed construction

  • More noise transfer between units
  • Require more maintenance than concrete buildings

Benefits of concrete construction

  • lower maintenance
  • less prone to water ingress (“leaky condo”) issues

Drawbacks of concrete construction:

  • Higher cost of construction
  • Normally only found in high rises due to higher cost of construction

Ultimately you’ll need to decide if the additional cost for concrete construction is worth the premium. A well constructed wood-framed building can perform well over the years. A good home inspection can go a long way in determining if a property is a wise buy.

Please let me know in the comments below if you’ve had good/bad experiences in either.

Top 7 Home Inspection Red Flags for Buyers

A home inspection performed by a licensed home inspector (not your uncle’s brother-in law even though he may have worked as a plumber’s helper in Saskatoon in the summer of 1983) should be a part of the due diligence for every property purchase.  All sorts of interesting tidbits may come out of a thorough home inspection. Certain items can be more costly to remedy to others. A red flag list should include:

  • Health and safety concerns: mould, faulty construction, etc.
  • Roof replacement – one of the most costly home maintenance items
  • Heating/Cooling system problems – these systems, especially furnaces can be costly to repair/replace
  • Foundation issues – cracking, settlement, etc.
  • Moisture/drainage issues
  • Electrical/wiring issues
  • Plumbing problemshome-inspection-house

Other problems may show up on a home inspection report that should all be carefully considered when deciding whether or not to proceed with a purchase. Certain problems may necessitate further investigation by other specialists as home inspectors tend to be generalists.

A home inspection in the Lower Mainland usually starts from around $400.00. This cost is infinitesimal relative to property costs in our area and is money well spent.

I’d love to hear in the comments below if anyone has had particularly interesting home inspection results.