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What Is the Cheapest Exterior Building Material?

Submitted by Jenny Hull on

It’s no secret that construction prices are much higher than they used to be. In fact, nonresidential construction input prices are 20.3% higher than they used to be. These soaring prices can tempt many contractors to look for cheap alternative building materials when building exterior walls. While looking for affordable exterior finishing and other materials should be a priority, you should also keep the quality of materials in mind. After all, higher quality materials will last much longer and require less maintenance over time than the cheapest exterior wall material available. Plus, they will keep your reputation positive, and avoid the chances of a lawsuit due to poor-quality workmanship.

To navigate between the intricacies of keeping building costs manageable while also maintaining good quality, you should understand:

  • typical prices for exterior walls
  • what materials might be more affordable, such as certain types of exterior finishes
  • the best materials to use for exterior wall construction

Commercial High Rise

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Exterior Wall?

The cost to build an exterior wall will vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Location
  • Materials used
  • Number of doors and windows
  • Labor
  • Size of wall
  • Density of wall
  • Manufacturer

Typically, the cost of a wall is broken down per square foot; however, there are other costs not measured in square footage that are also found in residential and commercial projects alike.

What Is the Cheapest Material to Build a Wall With?

While prices of materials will vary depending on where you’re building, the least expensive types of siding for exterior walls tend to be vinyl and composite. Vinyl is synthetic, low-maintenance, and comes in all different types to match aesthetic desires. However, when it’s damaged, it must be completely replaced instead of repaired. Composite siding is made from wood fibers and resin and can resemble natural wood. It is typically strong against weather and pests, but cracks in the resin can lead to water damage if not fixed right away.

While staying within your working budget is important, you should not skimp on materials or labor where you don’t have to. Labor is especially important because if an external wall is not built correctly, the building may face severe issues further down the road, such as water damage, mold, and cracking. These issues will lead to even more costs and labor for building owners and may cause potential and current customers to lose trust. Using low-cost materials may also set you up for more maintenance over time since they typically aren’t as durable as more expensive materials.

What Is the Best Material to Build a Wall?

What is considered the best exterior wall material depends on your preferences and other factors, such as the climate of where you’re building. When it comes to siding, for example, those in coastal areas may do better with aluminum siding, whereas those in drier areas with low humidity may do better with stucco siding.

Other materials you will need to make your exterior walls strong and long-lasting include:
●    Rainscreen to boost your wall’s drainage, ventilation, and thermoregulation.
●    Weep and sill screeds that connect to the bottom of exterior walls and move water away from them.
●    Control joints to lower the chances of extensive cracking in walls and ceilings.
●    Expansion joints to help prevent damage due to movements, such as temperature-related expansion and contraction.

ClarkDietrich offers all of these and more to best fit your exterior finishing needs.

What Is the Strongest Type of Wall?

The strongest type of exterior wall is one built using high-quality materials and expert guidance. ClarkDietrich sells steel framing systems and interior and exterior finishing systems for commercial buildings, that are supported by intelligent design tools and capable engineering services. Plus, when you work with us, you are getting more than a product or service provider. You get a partner who will be there to help you solve any issues during the building process. We have over 70 engineers and technicians on staff, so you will have someone to answer any questions when you need them to.

If you want to create an exterior wall with quality materials, turn to us. To see the different types of materials we offer that you can use to build strong exterior walls, check out our Exterior Framing and Exterior Finishing landing pages.