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.