top of page

A Young Adult's Guide to Rent a Comfortable Home

A Young Adult's Guide to Rent a Comfortable Home: Understanding Building Materials and Insulation

As a young adult or a college student, finding a comfortable and affordable place to live can be a challenge. I started renting life six years ago, living on the east coast, west coast, and the middle U.S. I have to admit that the experience was daunting at first, as I had few clues about what to examine and ask during the rental open house day. After moving in, I often wondered why my apartment was so cold after just a few hours after turning my heating off, and why I could always hear my neighbor's Netflix drama.

During my internship experience at Sellside Group with Chirs Yount, an expert with building materials and waterproofing, I learned a lot about those materials used in my home and how they contribute to a more comfortable renting experience.

This guide will give an overview of how the building materials and insulation affect the comfort of your home, and provide some tips on how to find a pleasant place to rent.

Section 1: Building Materials

The quality of building materials used in the construction of your home can greatly impact your ease level as they are the bones of your house. Some common building materials to consider include:

  • Wood: Wood is a popular choice for building homes because it is renewable and has good insulation properties. However, it also needs good maintenance with products like a wood stain to protect itself from water damage or rot.

  • Plywood: This is a type of synthetic wood that is made from recycled plastic with higher durability and requires low maintenance. But it must be used carefully as it has lower heat retention compared with natural wood.

  • Drywall: This is more commonly seen in internal walls and ceilings. It is a flat panel made of a core of gypsum that is sandwiched between two layers of heavy paper or fiberglass. It is the economic choice but is not as waterproof or sound-insulated as real wood, and it is easily damaged or cracked.

  • Concrete: Concrete is a durable and fire-resistant material, but it can be costly and has poor insulation properties.

  • Brick: Brick is another durable and fire-resistant option, and it has good insulation properties. It brings a special aesthetic taste to the building. However, it can also be expensive.

Section 2: Insulation

Insulation is another essential factor to consider when looking for a relaxing place to live, especially when living in extreme weather locations. Insulation is the material used to reduce the flow of water, heat, sound, or electricity between spaces.

  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a popular type of insulation because it is affordable and easy to install. However, it can be itchy and may require a professional to install it.

  • Cellulose: Cellulose is an eco-friendly option that is made from recycled materials. It is effective at reducing noise and is resistant to fire.

  • Spray Foam: Spray foam insulation is a popular choice because it creates an airtight seal, which can help reduce energy costs.

Section 3: Other Factors to Consider

In addition to building materials and insulation, there are other factors to consider.

  • Windows: Look for homes with double-paned windows, which can help reduce noise and energy costs.

  • Heating and Cooling: Consider the type of heating and cooling system used in your home. Look for homes with energy-efficient systems, which can help reduce energy costs.

  • Remember to do maintenance or regular inspections of doors and windows, especially when you live in an area that experiences high levels of moisture or precipitation.

When looking for a comfortable place to live, consider the building materials used in the construction of the home, and how the insulation is performed. Going inside the house and feeling it by yourself will be the optimal choice. Attend the open house, ask questions, and examine the materials and key facilities. Otherwise, you can ask the landlord or property manager about the materials used, and research the pros and cons of each in detail to ensure that your rented home is cozy and energy-efficient year-round.


bottom of page