Building a new home ensures that you are not inheriting someone else’s problems. However, unless the home is built the right way, you may very well be creating problems of your own. Therefore, keep reading to see how modern home builders like TimberCraft homes are utilizing innovative building materials to reduce maintenance and ensure longevity in their new construction projects.
Composite Roofing Shingles
It is estimated that at the height of their popularity, asphalt shingles were used to roof 75% of all American homes. While new asphalt shingles do have some solid home-protecting properties, they consistently lose their effectiveness over time in the face of steady UV exposure, making the useful life of most asphalt roofs about 20 years.
This has seen the rise of more durable options, such as clay, metal, and slate roofing tiles. While these products will last significantly longer than asphalt, clay must be regularly sealed to prevent moisture absorption, and metal can become dented in the face of heavy impact.
Therefore, the best choice for a new build would be a modern composite roofing tile. Composite roofing is fabricated from a blend of asphalt, fiberglass, and other synthetic compounds that give the roof elite weather and fire resistance. Composite shingles are certified to last 50 years with minimal maintenance required but will likely be good for the useful life of the home itself.
Fiber Cement Siding
Like roofing, many of the most traditional siding choices no longer stack up compared to more innovative options. Wood lap siding must be regularly painted to remain weather-resistant, while brick must be sealed to prevent moisture and cracking.
As such, many contemporary builders are leveraging the benefits of James Hardie fiber cement siding. Fiber cement is tremendously resistant to fire, impact, and moisture but requires little more than an occasional pressure wash to remain in top condition. In addition, it can be manufactured in a number of attractive designs and styles that are nearly indistinguishable from wood and masonry products if the homeowner wishes to capture the rustic look of these products.
Insulated Concrete Framing
A poorly framed house will lead to a variety of subsequent issues, such as high utility bills to the need for frequent repairs. As a result, the porous oriented strand board panels used to frame most houses throughout the latter part of the 1900s are increasingly being eschewed for insulated concrete forms (ICF). ICF comes with elite fire, mold, and insect resistance that wood framing simply cannot match. In addition, its airtight design and high thermal mass prevents the unwanted transfer of ambient conditions into the home, making the home energy efficient and at low risk of damage for years to come.
While stately kitchen counters of marble and concrete are undoubtedly elegant, they are extremely porous without regular sealing efforts. This can lead to staining, mold, and other bacteria buildup that can quickly cause such surfaces to deteriorate.
A better alternative is quartz. Quartz countertops can be engineered to give the appearance of these elegant counter options, but offer none of the porosity that undermines these surfaces, giving them low-maintenance durability in the face of heavy use. For this reason, many new construction homes, such as this Tribeca home plan by TimberCraft homes, are choosing quartz countertops as part of their base package.
When choosing the flooring for a new home, hardwood is far more preferable to carpet, which requires consistent vacuuming and shampooing to remain presentable. Even with regular care, carpet will still need to be replaced on average every 7-10 years.
While more expensive, solid and engineered hardwood floors offer far more durability. These floors can last over 30 years with reasonable care and can be cleaned with a broom or wet mop. The main drawback to hardwood is the upfront price, but fortunately, there are some innovative vinyl tile products that look strikingly similar to solid hardwood and offer many of the same low-maintenance benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Having a durable home exterior is every bit as important as having a durable interior. To this effect, nothing can get beat up on your home’s exterior quite like the driveway. Nonetheless, concrete that is susceptible to collapsing, cracking, and staining remains a favorite choice for most driveways.
A better solution would be a permeable gravel driveway. Not only does the natural stone play well with many exterior design themes, but innovative grids help hold the gravel in place to ensure that severe weather does not lead to clumping and rutting in the gravel. If you do choose to go with concrete, make sure that you install a pre sloped trench drain so that moisture does not accumulate and undermine the drive’s foundation.
When building a new home, it is important to construct with innovative materials that will limit future maintenance and repairs. By choosing any of the aforementioned options, you can help ensure that your home retains its structural integrity for years to come. To help navigate you through the material selection process contact the professionals at TimberCraft homes today!
Todd Gillman is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.