When it comes to building custom homes, most homeowners want their dream house to be durable. As their designer or builder, it’s your job to merge their durability goals with their aesthetic ones and make their dream home a reality.

Easier said than done, right? Thankfully, today’s market for durable and resistant building materials has come a long way. You can design visually appealing houses that are durable and can stand the test of time.

What are some of those durable and resistant materials? Let’s take a look at six materials for both the interior and exterior of custom homes.

Material #1: ICF Walls

A lot of a home’s durability lies in the framing. Wooden framing is notorious for not standing the test of time. Steel framing isn’t standard for residential homes. So, what’s left if you’re looking for a durable framing option?

ICF construction using ICF tilt-up panels is a surefire way to build an energy-efficient and durable home. ICF stands for insulated concrete form, and rather than using traditional framing, ICF homes are built with interlocking ICF blocks.

These homes resist fires, pests, and stand up well in inclement weather. ICF walls are long-lasting, resistant, and durable. So, they’re a material worth considering for your next home build.

materials for both the interior and exterior of custom homes

Material #2: Fiber Cement Siding

The home’s siding is also important to durability. It has to endure weather conditions, sun, rain, humidity, and more. While many people opt for vinyl, it isn’t the most durable material.

Natural stone and brick are incredibly durable and long-lasting. However, they can be a hassle to maintain. Plus, they’re quite cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, fiber cement siding is exceptionally durable and can mimic the look of natural stone – without the natural stone price tag or headaches.

Material #3: Composite Shingles 

The durability of the home’s roof is also of utmost importance. The roof is like a home’s first line of defense. While cedar shakes might look nice, they’re fire hazards and degrade over time. Asphalt is popular, but it’s not durable and doesn’t last very long.

Enter composite shingles. Composite shingles mix all the best parts of the various shingle types and marry them into one. They’re cost-effective and can look like virtually any other roofing material. They’re also weather-resistance and durable.

Be sure to choose a high-quality composite shingle manufacturer, though, because not all manufacturers are created equally.

Material #4: Steel 

Steel is a versatile building material. It can be used all over the home. Its durability and ease-of-maintenance make it worth your consideration. Steel can be used for roofing, siding, countertops, framing, and more.

No matter where you incorporate steel, you can rest easy knowing that whatever you used it on is structurally sound and built to last.

Material #5: Quartz Countertops 

Natural stone countertops are all the rage. However, they’re incredibly porous and can degrade over time. They’re also hard to repair.

Quartz is a material that is increasing in popularity. It’s virtually indestructible. It’s low-maintenance and appeals to those people who want natural stone counters. There’s also an array of quartz countertop colors, so your homeowner is sure to find a shade of quartz that fits their dream aesthetic.

Material #6: Durable Small Details

Virtually every material in custom home construction has a more durable alternative. A lot of the choices are pretty straightforward.

For instance:

  • Choose insulated, double-glazed, tempered glass windows instead of the single-pane variety.
  • Consider engineered wood floor or stained concrete flooring instead of traditional hardwood or laminate.
  • Add lowes metal handrails instead of cheap, plastic alternatives.
  • Consider a steel or fiber cement door for maximum home durability.

Ultimately, you’ll need to know your client’s climate and overall durability and resistance goals. If they simply want materials that will last a while with minimum upkeep – a steel door might be overkill.

However, if they live in a volatile climate or are focused on having the most durable hose possible – they’ll appreciate the smaller detail options.

Building Durable Custom Homes

These six materials are just some of the examples of durable materials on the market. With careful planning and a clear idea of your clients’ goals, you’ll have no problem building them the durable home of their dreams.


Skylar Ross is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer for the architecture industry. Skylar is focused on helping architects and building designers discover new techniques, find ways to save on costs, and discover new modern innovative materials to use in their next project.