Top 5 Most Commonly Used House-Building Materials

Constructing a home or a structure of any kind be it residential or commercial is a time and resource-intensive process. You have to gather a lot of house-building materials to get the construction process started. While choosing these materials, you have to keep in mind their weight, durability, strength, and cost. You also have to determine the effectiveness of resisting the loads and the stress acting on the structure. But, what are the different types of materials required to build a house? Let’s find out. 

Types of House-Building Materials

1. Mud

Basically, mud and clay are a mixture of loam, soil, silt, or clay with water. It typically gathers near a river or a water source after the rainfall. If left as it is, the mud solidifies and becomes mudstone. 

Since this is a semi-fluid building material, it can be used to seal, coat, and adhere to materials. It is also called by many names such as stucco, slurry, plaster, and mortar. 

A mixture of water and subsoil along with gravel, stone, straw, bitumen, and lime is used to make floors, walls, and even roofs. Until a few years ago, mud was used to make building walls, plaster the building walls, and make mud bricks. If mud is mixed with bitumen or cement, it becomes stabilised mud. 


  • Mud plaster
  • Mud concrete
  • Mud bricks
  • Mud mortar

2. Clay Bricks and Blocks

A clay brick takes its shape when mud is placed into moulds and then allowed to dry in the open air. To make it even stronger, the dried bricks are placed into a furnace. The heat makes them extremely hard, and durable and gives them the ability to resist the weather. 

Sometimes, bricks are made with a binder such as straw, making them a composite. If the straw is not used as a binder, these bricks are easy to break. The straw redistributes the force through the brick and reduces the chance of breaking. Buildings made with such bricks are usually protected from groundwater. 


  • Used to make homes or other structures 

3. Sand

Sand is a granular material made of finely ground rock and minerals. The most common content in the sand is silica (siO2) and the second most common is calcium carbonate. It is one of the most important house-building materials and is in high demand nowadays to make concrete. 


  • Desert sand
  • River sand
  • Marine or ocean sand
  • Beach sand


  • Concrete
  • Bricks
  • Paint
  • Mortar
  • Abrasive cleaning and polishing

4. Aggregates

Aggregates are the most commonly used construction material and the most mined material in the world. 

Aggregate is the main component of concrete and asphalt concrete, making them strong and durable. Since it has a high hydraulic conductivity as compared to soil, it is used in drainage applications such as drain fields, roadside drainage, and retaining wall drains.  

Aggregates are also used to make a stable foundation or rail/road base because it has uniform properties and binds well with expensive cement or asphalt. 


  • Stone Quarry


  • Cement concrete
  • Asphalt concrete
  • Retaining wall drainage
  • Road and Rail base foundation
  • Roadside drainage

5. Cement

Cement is a fine powdered material, which is used as a binding substance. When used with clay bricks to make a wall, it sets and solidifies to make the wall strong and sturdy. Cement is also one of the main components in making concrete other than sand and aggregates. 

Cement is a versatile house-building material and is used in many ways such as: 

  • Mortar: A mixture of cement and sand used for brickwork or plastering
  • Concrete: A mixture of cement, aggregates, and sand used for columns, slabs, footings, and beams
  • Cement slurry: Used for tile work
  • Cement paste: Used for repairing purposes 

Physical properties of Cement: 

  • Soundness
  • Fineness
  • Strength
  • Consistency
  • Heat of hydration
  • Setting time
  • Bulk density
  • Loss of ignition
  • Specific gravity

The setting and solidifying process of cement is a result of hydration, a chemical combination of water and cement. There are different types of cement available in the market. Here are a few: 

  • Low heat cement
  • Rapid hardening cement
  • High alumina cement
  • Sulphate resisting cement
  • Colored cement
  • Blast furnace slag cement
  • Air entraining cement
  • Pozzolana cement
  • White cement
  • Expansive cement


  • Used for beams, columns, footings, lintels, slabs, and more
  • Used for plastering and brickwork
  • Used for making pipes and drains
  • Used to make watertight structures 
  • Used in bridges, pipes, dams, pipe culverts, and tunnels
  • Used in RCC roads

Final Thoughts 

Choosing the right house-building materials as per your construction needs is important. Also, you must choose strong and long-lasting construction materials for the structure to protect you from all weather and last a long time.


1. What material is used to build a house?

The most common materials to build a house are mud, clay bricks, sand, aggregates, and cement. While mud is not a widely used building material, it is still used in some rural parts of India. 

2. What is the best building material for a house?

The best construction material for a house is concrete. It is a mixture of cement, aggregates such as stone or sand, and water. When it is poured, it sets and hardens and it keeps getting hard over time. It is both strong and long-lasting. 

3. What is the longest-lasting house material?

A housing material that can outlast any material is stone. It is one of the most durable materials and can last a very long time. It can be hard to transport due to its weight, but it is extremely weather resistant and aesthetically pleasing.