Wood Prominence in heritage Indian Homes

Around 60-70 years ago wood was a prominent structural material in Indian homes. On visiting old heritage homes in India one can still see the wooden rafters and pillars that form the main support structure. Wood from demolished old building is being recycled all over the country. Growing population and fast depleting natural rain forests made wood scarce and expensive in India giving prominence to steel, concrete and bricks as main building materials. However, the aesthetic value, precise finish and inherent beauty that personified wood based buildings were lost in the dim and distant past to connoisseurs of fine living in India.

There appears to be an apprehension in the minds for many individuals that wood is not a very suitable material to build homes in tropical India. This question can be answered by looking at some of the most prominent historical buildings in India made from wood and still standing in immaculate condition after centuries.

The Most famous of wooden palaces in India is the Tippu Sultan's summer palace in Srirangapatnam around 70 km from Bangalore. This palace was built in 1778 and is known for its aesthetic beauty and grandeur. The immaculate condition it stands today after 200+ years never ceases to amaze a visitor.

Another example in India is the beautiful Padmanabhapuram palace situated 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, in the neighbouring state of Tamilnadu. It is the magnificent wooden palace built in the 16th century by the Travancore rulers. Padmanabhapuram palace has a maze of 108 rooms which leaves a visitor breathless at the artistic expression and sheer opulence of these magnificent rooms. Even the ceilings have intricately carved floral patterns! The palace made of teakwood with granite foundation. It displays a perfect combination of clean lines and gentle angles, the sloping tiled roofs of its various interconnecting buildings broken by projecting gables enclosing delicately carved screens.

Longevity of Wood and log homes far outclasses the brick and mortar buildings. Wooden and log homes are an investment which can be recovered after years of usage as wood is a recyclable commodity and always has a value. Several old wooden structures dismantled in urban areas fetch excellent value for their wooden rafters and pillars.

Wood as a material of construction has several advantages over brick and concrete. They are as Follows:

  • Wood is a better insulator and keeps the interiors +or- 6 degrees Celcius in summer and winter thereby saving energy costs in cooling and heating.

  • Wooden homes are made to a precision standard with superior craftsmanship, excellent finish and custom touches. As wood has a large lifespan and can be easily dismantled and reused it is appraised at a much higher value than brick and concrete structures. Basically this means that, square foot for square foot; wooden homes have a much higher resale value.

  • Wood is easy to maintain and is naturally formed to withstand the wrath of nature effectively.

  • Modern treatment methods render wooden construction material termite, borer and mold proof. Rats and other earth barrowing pests do not barrow wood. Thus they are easy to maintain and lasts much longer.

  • Square foot to square foot wood / log homes are far cheaper option in the long run tough the initial cost may seem on the higher side.

Therefore one can generally conclude that, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to choosing a wooden or log home. Whether it's for your primary residence, a vacation rental, or a place to retire down the road. A wood or log home can keep you and your family warm and comfortable for years to come.

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