Building materials represent a diverse group of products, including complex wall and insulation systems and concrete. The classification of building materials is also ambiguous, since they can be divided by materials used in production, field of application or technical properties..
In the rules, building materials are defined as a construction product, that is, “every product or kit made and sold for permanent use in construction work or parts thereof, the properties of which affect the performance of construction work in relation to the basic requirements for construction work”. The Construction Products Act and the cited regulation also determine the procedure for placing products on the market – on the basis of uniform European rules (they are then marked with the CE mark) and national standards (marked with a special mark).
Types of building materials by origin and application
The simplest division is based on the origin of the materials. They can be divided into several categories:
natural (e.g. stone, wood).
obtained by processing natural materials (metals, aggregates, wood products, concrete, bituminous binders, ceramics, glass, binders).
synthetic (plastics, polystyrene foam).
The main types of building materials are natural and artificial. Among the prominent representatives of this category are natural and artificial stone, building materials that are used everywhere, both in construction and in finishing work. Compared to natural stone, artificial material is cheaper with high quality, due to the fact that chemical catalysts are used in the manufacture.
Another approach is to separate building materials according to their technical properties. According to this criterion, they are divided into structural, non-structural, insulating. However, the most popular section is the classification of building materials depending on their application..
The main types of building materials for use:
Astringents (from cement and lime to gypsum).
For the construction of walls (brick, reinforced concrete panels, concrete or gypsum blocks, natural stone, foam or aerated concrete).
For finishing works (there are ceramic, gypsum, polymer, cement, natural).
For heat or sound insulation (silicates, polymers, mineral fibers, glass, gypsum fiber are used in production).
For roofing, waterproofing (tiles, slate, polymer coatings, bitumen, asbestos-cement mixture).
Products, compositions for sealing (mastics, gaskets).
Natural and artificial concrete aggregates (porous rocks, gravel).
Plumbing accessories, pipes, parts for plumbing work.
Groups of building materials by properties and manufacturing method
Also, building materials are divided into categories, taking into account what characteristics the structure should have. The basic classification provides for 3 groups of properties:
Physical. This group includes such characteristics as porosity, density, coefficient of thermal conductivity and humidity..
Mechanical. Mechanical properties include plasticity, hardness, ultimate strength (under mechanical loads, impacts, bending strength).
Technological. Among the technological properties is the speed of drying of plaster, hardening of concrete mortar.
According to the manufacturing method, building materials are distinguished, which are obtained with the help of:
Sintering (cement, ceramics).
Melting (metals, glass).
Monolithization with binders (concretes, mortars).
Mechanical processing of natural raw materials (wood, stone).
Properties, types and purpose of construction materials for special purposes
The main function of special purpose building materials is to protect structures from the harmful effects of the environment, as well as to increase the operational properties of the building, and create comfort. Special-purpose goods are acoustic, heat-insulating, waterproofing, finishing, anti-corrosion, fire-resistant, and radiation-resistant. All building materials and technologies by which they are produced have differences, each product is distinguished by a set of certain properties that determine the field of application, compatibility with other building materials.
Each building material reacts differently to individual internal and external factors. The impact of these factors is due to the structure / composition of the material, as well as its operational characteristics in the structure of the structure. To get a guarantee that the building will fulfill the tasks assigned to it, the durability of the building, the builders select the goods taking into account the operating conditions in which the structure being built will be used. Using the classifier of types of building materials, you can understand what properties a specific product should have, intended for the manufacture of a specific structure. When erecting load-bearing structures, an important requirement for building materials is resistance to shape change and destruction under the influence of loads, as well as low sound permeability and thermal conductivity. Some groups must have low electrical conductivity, water resistance or radiation resistance.
Do I need permits for the sale of building materials?
Placing construction products for sale usually means that the manufacturer needs to obtain additional documents for this product. These include technical permits issued by the Construction Research Institute, declarations of conformity to the standard. Such documents define and document the properties of building materials. Usually they are not available in retail outlets, but on the manufacturers’ websites you can find all such information and even scans of the relevant documents..
Main Directorate of the System. supervision maintains a register – the National List of Disputed Construction Products, in which you can find products that do not meet technical requirements or whose documentation has been questioned by the Chief Inspector for Supervision. Before buying building materials, you should familiarize yourself with the contents of this register..
How to buy building materials?
It depends on what purpose they will be used for. For large investments such as construction, modernization or major overhaul of a single-family home, it is worth finding the nearest warehouse for building materials, studying the list of building materials and ordering all the necessary goods. For larger purchases, you can not only count on a negotiated discount on the total amount, but also ensure uninterrupted delivery to the construction site. Warehouses as well as wholesalers usually have their own transport, can deliver the necessary goods, so the investor does not need to worry about this. The issue of payment is different. You either pay for each purchase, or companies issue an invoice to investors, which is paid monthly or after the completion of the next stages of construction. For bulk purchases, the calculation of building materials is carried out at more favorable prices.
For small investments, such as minor repairs or renovations, it is worth looking for building materials at an affordable price. Promotions can be found both in large DIY stores and in chains of small warehouses..
Is it worth saving on building materials?
Even a high-quality budget for building a single-family home is usually tough and even exceeds it. Therefore, investors are tempted by savings, because different types of building materials in different companies differ in price. Of course, savings are possible, but not everything is worth saving – this applies, for example, to products that determine the energy efficiency of a house. We are talking about windows (this is a significant budgetary expense) or insulation of the building. You should not save on the thickness of the insulation (this is an investment in reducing the operating costs of the house), its professional installation. This is done systematically, that is, using all the elements provided by the manufacturer (for example, studs in the appropriate number and location, starting bar, appropriate glue, reinforcement).