How Long Can My Home Last?

When our customers trust us to create their dream home, we try to include details that capture their personality and lifestyle.  We also go way beyond the industry standards and use the highest quality materials and proven labor so our customer’s home lasts for generations but this doesn’t mean it’s a maintenance-free purchase.  Designing and building a home for the ages requires forethought and consideration for the owner’s own lifetime and for generations to come.

Here’s the test for a home to last for ages:

  • Make sure the foundation is engineered.
  • It’s also a good idea to have the framework engineered. Although this adds cost, both in the engineering and material, it can keep future problems from occurring.
  • Use exterior finishes that last, such as brick, stone, stucco, and Hardi plank. Building materials, such as cedar, can be beautiful but create yearly maintenance.
  • Interior materials like tile are durable for flooring, but can be unforgiving with any foundation movement. Some foundation movement is necessary and normal, so this is no cause for alarm. It’s best to use a membrane under large areas of tile flooring to keep cracks from forming.
  • Another common misconception is that MDF (medium density fiber board) is a cheap or inferior product. Although you don’t want to use this product in wet areas, it is great for closet shelving, trim, and some cabinets. The paint finish is far superior on MDF than on real wood products and requires less long term maintenance.
  • According to AARP, “Aging in Place”: 87 percent of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age. Among people age 50 to 64, 71 percent of people want to age in place. Planning for flexible or universal design now allows you to save money later and your home lasts through your lifetime.
  • Plan to make it easy for repair and renovation. If you design for deconstruction, it’s easier then to make necessary repairs or renovate.   Planning now for future renovations to match the lifestyle of future generations ensures your home lasts into the future.
  • Choose plumbing fixtures wisely prior to rough-in. The valves that accommodate showers must be installed prior to sheetrock and finish work, so it’s important to have a valve that will work with the fixture you choose. Companies that make fixtures will usually have two versions of the same product. Box store and fixtures you buy online may look the same as what plumbing supply houses sell, but in most cases have cheaper internal parts. Consult your builder and plumber about viability and warranties before making any fixture purchases.

Work with your builder to plan to last.  You are investing in a major purchase that affects your lifestyle and the generations to follow.  Leave a legacy and build right!

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