Behind the Build: What You Don’t See Can Matter Most
When you're building your dream home, the things you can see might consume your thoughts. Regardless of whether you're picking the ideal paint shade or custom cabinetry, much of your planning time will be spent dwelling over decor details. And why not? It's these little touches that will make a new, custom home irrefutably yours.
But focusing solely on your inner interior designer can leave your home with structural issues beyond what the eye can see. Materials used in the foundation and framing of your home will play a significant job in its structural stability and life span. Focus on a few key parts of your build now to guarantee what's inside your walls gets as much care and attention as what's on them. Talk with your builder about these significant components:
What's holding everything together? Most of the modern house these days are built using the traditional "stick framing" method that uses 2x4" treated lumber to construct the frame of the house. Then, the frame is covered with large sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood to form the outer layer. Quality lumber is structurally rated to ensure that the frame can withstand the weight of the home. Wood should be properly acclimated to framing in order to prevent warping or cracking of the lumber caused by moisture.
What's under your floors?
While you might not have ever really thought about it, a lot lays on your subfloors – the base on which your finished floors rest. A high-quality subfloor provides strength, stiffness, and stability, and can help prevent bouncing, squeaking, and warping. The subfloor can affect the aesthetics of your subfloor, regardless of the material you use.
Hardwood: Typically, there is only a thin sheet of felt paper between your subfloor and finished hardwood flooring. If your subfloor lacks quality and strength, it could be prone to sag or warp leaving uneven space between the layers of your floor. This can lead to squeaks and uneven floorboards.
Tile: For tile installations, the concrete backer board is laid over the subfloor before installation of the grout and tile. In the event that these heavy layers are set over a low-quality subfloor product, it can make the tile and grout crack.
Whether you're tiptoeing out of the infant's room or taking into the kitchen for a midnight snack, a sturdy subfloor won't give you away. With lower-grade subflooring, nails holding hardwood in place can pop out to tangle socks and toes, and tile and grout can crack. Upgrading is a small investment in both peace-of-mind and stability for the life of your home.
What's inside your dividers?
The basic role insulation is to decrease temperature exchange and airflow between your home's interior and the outdoors, which increases comfort and lessens utility expenses. Insulation comes in different structures, including rigid foam boards, blown-in, and rolls. Depending on the structure and location of your house, insulation ought to be installed in between or on the outside of walls, between floors, throughout the attic and over ducts in unconditioned spaces, like unfinished basements and carports.
Knowing what kind of insulation is best for each part of your home is really important; what is more efficient in one area may provide too much or too little insulation in another. When insulation is unevenly distributed or incorrectly chosen, you can wind up with an unevenly cooled or warmed home. Have a conversation with your builder to make sure that insulation is correctly selected and installed in your home. In return, you'll get lower energy bills and a home temperature that is not too cold or too hot, but just right.
What's your piping made of?
Plumbing is an essential part of your home, giving water to sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and showers. The pipes that make up this critical system are available in an assortment of materials, including copper, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polypropylene pipe (PP) and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX).
Choosing a piping material depends on your preferences.
For durability, copper is the material of choice. However, it comes with a hefty price tag.
If you are looking for a low-cost solution, PEX may be the right choice.
CPVC, similarly priced to PEX, provides the benefit of additional chlorine to further purify drinking water.
PP may be the best choice if you are looking to go green, as it is the only recyclable plastic piping option available.
Knowing your preferences and priorities will help you to make this decision alongside guidance from your developer.
Prior to talking with your designer about colour schemes and lighting fixtures, work with your manufacturer to ensure the basic parts of your house are tended to. The quality of the building materials chosen by a builder says a lot about the quality of the builder. Choose a builder who believes in quality at every stage of the build.