Concrete houses have a number of advantages, including increased heating and cooling efficiency and extreme stability. However, as with any kind of construction, concrete houses have disadvantages as well. Concrete houses tend to be expensive to build, take more time to build than traditional wood-frame houses, are less aesthetically pleasing when they are completed and are difficult to remodel.
Concrete-block houses are more expensive to build than traditional wood-frame houses because concrete typically costs more than wood. The Wise Home Design website states that building a concrete home tends to be from 1 to 8 per cent more expensive than a wood-frame home. Building with concrete can increase the total cost by more than £650.
Concrete homes tend to require more skill from the builder because they are built using special techniques and equipment. Many newer concrete-block homes are being built using insulating concrete forms, which allows for the concrete blocks to be poured into a concrete wall form with foam on each side, while traditional concrete-block homes require the builder to be skilled in using concrete masonry. Regardless of the method used to build the house, it takes longer to pour and form a concrete home than it does to nail together a wood-frame house.
Despite the many advances that have been made in approving the aesthetics of concrete-block homes in recent years, the typical concrete-block home tends to be short and squat with few windows. There are only so many stucco options, and having additional siding put on the home for aesthetic purposes raises the cost of building.
Concrete homes are sturdy, but they are also difficult to remodel. Making changes such as knocking down a wall or adding additional windows can only be done with a significant amount of effort and expense, since thick, heavy concrete has to be destroyed and removed to make changes.