Condos and apartments are found in many different types of buildings, with various types of construction. Concrete tends to be the preferred option, as it offers superior protection from noise transfer and tends to last longer. However, it’s also more expensive.

Concrete, high rise buildings can come with hefty fees

Concrete high rise buildings tend to better views, especially if you are on a higher floor, but there are often more units in the development. This means they can feel impersonal at times, and it can be hard to get to know your neighbours. The buildings often have great amenities, including gyms, party rooms, concierges, and sometimes even a pool or hot tub.

Many upcoming developments are going above and beyond this – offering everything from chefs on demand, to wine cellars and fashion consultants. Basically, anything you could ever desire is available at the push of an elevator button, and you don’t even have to leave the building.

Don’t forget though, all of these extra amenities will increase your strata, HOA or maintenance fees.

Wood frame buildings an affordable option

Wood frame buildings tend to be less expensive and are more plentiful outside of the downtown core. They are also gaining in popularity due to technological advances in wood construction. For example, the University of British Columbia (UBC) recently completed a 17 storey tall student residence — the world’s tallest wood building. It’s likely we will see more taller wood frame buildings in the future.

Wood and low rise buildings many other benefits over a concrete tower, including a stronger community feel, more intimate locations and better value for money.

Instead of being located on busy thoroughfares, many wood frame buildings are located in quieter residential areas with less traffic and noise.

Noisy neighbours and sound transfer

However, older wood frame buildings tend to have more sound transfer between units, and they don’t tend to appreciate in value as fast as concrete construction. There can also be issues with leaks and water ingress.

Newer wood frame buildings are addressing many of these issues by adding superior insulation and new flooring technology to reduce sound transfer between units, so they are definitely worth considering.