The building of homes and other buildings has been carried out for centuries using the same traditional methods. In this method foundations are first laid, walls are built, roofs get added, and then any work needed in the interior is carried out.
The materials used in these methods can greatly vary from stone, brick and mortar, wood, metal, mud, thatch and others. In the more recently used methods of building, foundations continue to be the first activity, while the actual superstructure is built in factories under controlled conditions, and can include all finishes for both the interior and the exterior, any needed plumbing and electricity and flooring. This is a modular method of building that requires the building to be transported to the site to be fixed in place.
In both cases, it is important that the design and planning of the proposed building be carried out earlier. The land on which the building is to be constructed has to be prepared to receive the building. Often, it is also necessary to obtain permissions and approvals, before any building work is started. The majority of buildings being constructed traditionally still use brick and mortar, with some concrete and wood for roofs.
There has been a trend in recent times to go back to older traditional materials such as thatch, for the construction of houses, even with Thatched Insure Thatch Insurance. The use of materials that are available locally has led to reduced costs, while the use of more natural materials has led to environmental benefits.
Building using stone that is locally available, mud or lime that is there in the vicinity, wood from forests that grow nearby, straw and thatch make up for building material that has been used by centuries by people all over the world.
The only drawback of using these materials has been that they required higher maintenance, which was even made easier by the ready availability of all needed materials. Earth and mud and thatch houses are even now in wide use in poorer countries and continue to use traditional building methods to deal with their need for housing.
One advantage that comes from using traditional construction techniques is that every building is unique, and allows for changes to be made at every stage of construction, thus leading to a building that is completely customised to the needs of the homeowner having the building constructed. Modular homes, on the other hand, require an assembly method of construction in which changes are not easy to incorporate.
One disadvantage with the traditional methods of construction is that it takes longer. It requires the use of particular skills at each stage of construction. There is no continuity of work for the people employed in the construction, as each stage has to be completed before the next one requiring their skills is needed to be taken up. This can lead to higher costs of construction and require more time, because of the start and stop method that traditional building methods often require.
Traditional construction methods, however, do lead to the building of structures that have better quality.