The purpose of this article is to give you options that are available to build a custom home with quality.
This article gives the choices, but it doesn’t decide for you. You will need to weigh them, and then determine the quality you want when building a custom home.
The importance of knowing what your getting in your home build
A builder and architect get accustomed to using certain grades and types materials when building house after house. In turn, you are at their mercy when they make these decisions without consulting you. Yes, they will give you some options. But overall, they do a lot of the picking if you don’t inquire about it.
Also, there are many hidden components that affect the quality of a custom home build. You may not care about some of these but others may be very important to you. And these components are not easily changed once your house is built.
Framing Components which lead to building a custom home with quality
The framing is the biggest hidden component and needs serious thought.
The design and engineering lend’s to the quality of the home. A careful architect can eliminate future problems.
First, let’s consider the flooring system. The layout and materials used are critical to a strong, flat, and noise-free floor.
Often, homes are built with big open rooms and areas. Structural beams and hangers can be used in the floor system to create these spaces.
These spaces are big and roomy but the hangers are not quiet. The enemy is metal touching wood. Whenever a floor joist is placed in a hanger, there is a potential squeak. Designing the house without joist hangers will prevent future squeaks.
Floor joists support the floor and walls. There are 2 types available, natural wood and engineered wood. Engineered joists have come a long way. They are strong, straight, and long. Use engineered joists for a flat, squeak-free floor.
The sub-floor covers the joists and is the floor base. Again, engineered wood is great here. There are several options in brand and quality. The better quality is highly weather resistant during construction, installs easily, and is self spacing. All this allows for proper expansion and contraction, preventing rubbing and squeaking later.
The best sub-floor fasteners are screws because nails can squeak in the sub-floor.
I have been in many homes with squeaks in the flooring system and they are difficult to fix. Prevent squeaks by not using hangers, using quality engineered lumber, and using screws instead of nails in the sub-floor.
The walls are built with studs. And studs, like most lumber, have degrees of quality. The higher grades are straighter. Use these to make nice, flat walls.
Also, the wall construction allows for insulating, making the home energy efficient. Deeper studs hold more insulation. And the exterior can have rigid foam if you’re looking for even higher efficiency. The more insulation there is, the more efficient the house.
Better windows add quality when building a custom home
There are many options in windows. They range in style, quality, efficiency, durability, and warranty.
Double pane windows are standard. Triple pane are more efficient.
Typically, window construction materials are either vinyl, wood with metal cladding, or fiberglass. Some of the best windows are fiberglass, which won’t warp over time.
Exterior wall covering
Brick and stone is the most durable and maintenance free exterior. Next, are composite and concrete fiber siding. And, finally, is vinyl siding.
Roofing improvements have made great strides over the years.
Architectural asphalt/fiberglass are very appealing and durable. Ask the builder the brand and the warranty that comes with it. A warranty is only as good the brand that stands behind their product. Do they have a good product and stand behind it? Or do they have a lousy product, put a warranty on it that sounds good, but in reality, they don’t stand behind it.
Interior upgrades are available in flooring, cabinets, trim, doors, counter tops, and wall coverings.
Real wood and wood veneers are preferred to particle board, fiber board and paper veneers.
Stone and porcelain are the top hard surfaces for flooring, counter tops, and walls.
If installing carpeting, high end polyester or nylon is durable.
Conclusion in how to build a custom home with quality
In a custom home build, the options can be overwhelming. The list above helps you with ones that you should know and with some that are often decided for you. Get involved with your builder and architect, letting them know what you want in your house.
For a step by step guide in how to build a house using a builder, go to How to Build a New Home – Step by Step Plan.
To get help finding and picking a good home builder, checkout our guide How to Find, Interview, and Vet a Home Builder.