What are the best wall designs for your home?
It is impossible to build any type of house without walls. They help you to build a secure home and protect the inhabitants of the house from the onslaught of nature. They are essential for maintaining the privacy of those who live inside the house. Walls act as potent sound barriers and help you to live in peace even in the heart of a busy city like Singapore. Beautifully designed walls improve the façade design of your house.
Your house needs two types of walls – load bearing and non-load bearing walls. Nearly all the walls built on the outer side of your house are of the load bearing type. Many of the interior walls belong to the same category as well. They support the entire house and provide strength to a the structure. Some of the interior walls belong to the non-load bearing category. They are built to separate the different parts of a living space, such as the living room from the kitchen or bedroom. Their existence increases the privacy of the living area. To find out which type of walls your house needs, you may have a talk with an experienced architect. The design of the walls can be further differentiated into the following:
Curtain wall – This type of wall is very popular in the multi-family houses and commercial buildings of Singapore. They are designed from a combination of reinforced glass and metal framework. You will see examples of curtain walls in The Quayside, Chinese Cultural Centre of Singapore and Fusionopolis. This is one of the costliest wall designs which has charm but no lead bearing capacity.
Partition wall – This type of design segregates different sections of the house, like bedroom from the dressing room, dining parlour from the kitchen etc. Sometimes, partition walls don’t extend till the ceiling. This type of design is known as dwarf wall.
Precast compound wall – This type of walls is designed with prefabricated concrete blocks. They are affordable and easy to install. These blocks are generally used to build the boundary walls or other secondary constructions on the premises of a residential house.
Sleeper walls – This type of design is prevalent in houses with a gable roofing system. They make the attic roomier and support the ceiling above the room.
What materials should I choose for the walls of my house?
Walls can be made of a variety of materials. The outer walls of a building in Singapore are generally designed using brick and mortar. Walls made this way are very sturdy and durable. They have great load bearing capabilities. Sometimes interior walls are designed using bricks and concrete as well. Hollow bricks could be utilised for the interior walls which don’t need to have load bearing capacities.
Brick and mortar walls are sometimes built in conjunction with a steel or wooden framework. This provides further strength to your house. You may use natural wood to build the interior and exterior walls of your home. This is very common in log houses. Vernacular architecture of Singapore also prefers natural wood as a primary raw material to build the entire construction. Wooden walls look elegant, are durable and capable to bearing the loads of the ceiling and the upper levels of a house. You may use wood to design graceful panels for the interior walls. Wood types like cedar, mahogany, maple, oak etc are very useful for this purpose.
Stone walls designed from marble, onyx, sandstone and granite look chic and are very durable. They could be used to build load bearing or non-load bearing walls. They are a great option for classically styled homes. Walls made of brick and mortar cost less than SGD 50 per square foot. Hollow brick walls are nearly twice more expensive than the common type of brick walls. Concrete blocks are available in less than SGD 20 per square foot. Wooden walls are expensive and depend on the type of wood in use. The cost of wooden walls may exceed SGD 80 per square foot. Natural stone walls cost more than SGD 120 per square foot.
What types of paints and finishes are available for the walls?
Choose a paint colour that completely merges with the colour scheme of the interiors. Keep the style of design in mind while choosing the colours for the walls. Some shades like grey, blue and white look more elegant in a home decorated in a Scandinavian style. Beige, brown and yellow are best for country homes. To select the right colour and finish for the walls, have a detailed discussion with a reputed interior designer. You may select matte or enamel finish for the interior walls of your house. It has an elegant appeal and is durable in nature.
Glossy finishes are ideal for small rooms with insufficient sources of natural light. Glossy walls are easier to clean as well. Satin finishes merges the beauty of matte with usefulness of glossy finish. Egg shell finish gives your interiors a smooth and graceful look. For both the outer and interior walls of your house, you may choose pebble finish, ceramic tiles, stucco, Canfor, stone or wooden panels. Canfor is the art of designing faux stone or brick walls. Stucco gives a rough edge to the walls. They are ideal for houses with a Mediterranean design. You may combine different types of finishes for the best effect.