Concrete is a building material made from cement and mineral aggregates such as sand. Concrete is commonly used for home foundations because it can be counted on to withstand the weight of the home as well as moisture in the ground and the natural shifting and settling that occurs over the years. In parts of the country where hurricanes are common, newer homes are often built out of concrete because concrete block homes are less likely to cave in to the extreme weather conditions. An added bonus is that as far as building materials go, concrete is fairly inexpensive.
People often choose brick homes because they like the appearance of brick buildings. However, brick is also a sound choice if you want to build a home that will last for generations. However, because the process of making bricks is energy intensive and because bricks make use of nonrenewable resources, it can also be a very expensive building material. For this reason, builders often use bricks in parts of a home, such as just the front or the lower portion, then use another building material for the rest.
Wood has been a common building material for centuries. While homes today are often built on wood frames, there are many different types of wood, some stronger than others. Selecting a strong wood is important because it makes a home less susceptible to damage from hurricanes, tornadoes and pests such as termites. Bamboo is known to be incredibly strong but can also be expensive because it's not as commonly found as other types of woods. Douglas fir and cypress are often used in log homes because they're also very durable and strong.
Homes are rarely built from any type of metal. However, thick steel rods are often used to reinforce homes made of other building materials, including wood, cement and brick. Additionally, metal is becoming increasingly popular as a roofing material because metal roofs can withstand time a lot better than roofs of other materials, and they tend to stand up to extreme weather better. While metal can be costly, the longevity of metal roofs tends to make this material a worthwhile investment.