How many times have you heard someone use the cliche, they just don’t build ’em like they used to?
There is a lot to be said about tradition but when it comes to building a custom home, it’s a good thing we’re not building our homes like they did 50 years ago. Even 20 years ago!
I know it isn’t very sexy to talk about wood and plumbing products (that you can’t even see!) but around here, we think what goes in behind the finished walls is just as important (if not more!) as what you see in a finished home. And one of the most positive changes we’ve seen in the home building industry over the last 20 years has been the introduction (and accessibility/affordability) of new and superior building products. Not only have these products contributed to the comfort of our new homes but they have also increased the quality of the homes we’re building today.
So even if you prefer reading about pretty hardwood flooring more than building materials (which can be boring to some I know!), I hope you will read on. Because by installing quality materials underneath, you will protect what you see and enjoy every day.
Engineered Floor Joists vs. Wood
Engineer Floor Joists (or “I”-Joist) were first invented in the late 1960’s but they weren’t commonly used until the 1990’s. They replaced solid wood 2×10’s (or 2×12’s, etc.) and good riddance! Solid wood joists carried common problems with wood like warping, splitting, cupping, bowing, etc. By eliminating these characteristics, squeaky floors are no longer!
Dad always tells the story about the lumber guy hounding him about switching from solid wood joists to the I-Joist system. Finally, the guy took it upon himself to go out to one of Dad’s job sites. He grabbed a few 2×10’s and brought them to the office to show Dad. Not one of them was the same size, some were taller, some were shorter. With the I-Joist system, every joist is the same height because they are manufactured to be the exact same, every time. This ensures a level (and non-squeaky!) floor.
AdvanTech Subflooring vs. Plywood
The next significant change came when Dad changed to AdvanTech subflooring instead of tongue and groove plywood. AdvanTech is FAR superior in performance (water resistant so the floor won’t warp, cup, etc.) and it is nearly impossible to install it incorrectly.
This stuff ain’t cheap, but my goodness, we have used it in every home we’ve built for the last 15+ years, and it has been worth EVERY PENNY! To ensure the highest performance, we glue, nail AND screw our floors. If you insist on one building material in your new home, make it AdvanTech – it’s the real deal.
CPVC Water Piping vs. Copper
Using CPVC vs. copper piping has been a change we made about 8 or 9 years ago, but since going to all CPVC, we haven’t looked back. CPVC is corrosion resistant so even clients on a private well don’t have to worry about their plumbing pipes corroding over time. CPVC also has better insulation properties so it is more energy efficient and offers long term savings for the owner. And one of the most popular benefits of CPVC over copper is the noise reduction. CPVC pipes reduce water flow noise and virtually eliminate “water hammer.”
I love the investment we’ve made over the years to ensure the highest quality in our homes. I was recently at a settlement and my client was telling me about their private home inspector who came in before drywall to inspect the progress of their home. She said the inspector told them he hadn’t seen such craftsmanship and attention to detail in a long time (clearly has never seen one of our homes!). That makes my heart sing considering the investment we’ve made to get quality construction. Every time.
Dream Big. Build Smart.