Sunday, October 27, 2013

Designing and Building the home for YOU

A few weekends ago BuildSense was thrilled to host the Spring Residence on the 2013 AIA Triangle Residential Home Tour. Working as a tour volunteer at the home entrance, I was able to greet visitors when they entered the home as well as hear their feedback on their way out. The reception was great. I noticed one pattern. Visitors loved the home, with many making small talk about how it must be great if you have the money.

When speaking with one individual I could see that the house really struck his interest. We had a chat about the overall design noting that this particular house was larger than the typical scale of BuildSense’s work. We do not focus in any certain scale, but rather on quality of design construction and how a home will meet the needs of the specific client. We discussed how we have worked on homes from 600 square feet to 11,000 square feet but most fall in the 2000 to 3500 square foot range. As a full service architecture firm and a general contracting firm, we design and build homes that cater to our client’s aesthetic, budget, and size. Once we had that conversation, the individual got right on the phone with his significant other to discuss our company and what we could do for them.

The main reason I write this is to let all of our wonderful tour visitors know that we can create something beautiful for you that fits within your means. Take a look at the projects on our website for more on the wide range of work we do.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Window & Door Installation Tips

I recently attended a great window and door installation workshop put on by Restoration Woodworks and sponsored the Green Home Builders of the Triangle. The vendor shared some installation tricks for leak free and successful installations. Among the many recommendations, using a self-leveling cross-line laser level rather than a manual level jumped out as one of the most important. While these are little pricey, the efficiency of installation and the smooth operation of the windows/doors will be worth it. Another suggestion is to stop the house wrap at the exterior corner intersection of the jamb and wall (or just inside of the jamb), and complete the job with a full butyl wrap from interior to exterior. This will prevent any water that gets behind the housewrap from being directed to the interior of the home. Interestingly enough, while this does not follow most homewrap manufacturer recommendations, it allocates better additional resources to mitigate water infiltration. Last, your metal door pans should be bent with a hand brake as one continuous piece (yes, it is possible). If the installer cuts a slit to bend up the metal for the sidewall, then this defeats the purpose of a sill pan, even if that slit is caulked well. The pan should then be siliconed to the framing after the sill is leveled with no more than a 1/16" variance.  Before the door is set, place a generous 1/2" bead of silicone (toward the interior side of the pan) plus some short beads applied perpendicularly to fully glue and seal the threshold into place. These are a few tips offered by Restoration Woodworks that I found useful and interesting. Hopefully you will too.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Some Simple Considerations make for Better Site Safety

I’m big on safety whether it is in the field, in the shop, or in the home. My kids love to play and, as kids, tend not to want to take responsibility. If something breaks or someone gets hurt, the first thing I hear is, “I didn’t do it.” By that time it’s too late. Either his brother is crying, the dog is limping, or my wife’s favorite something is in pieces on the floor. So I talk to them about having awareness of their surroundings and considering the consequences of their actions. Amazingly, this is an ever-constant reminder to me for safety on the jobsite. We can’t have any “I didn’t do it” moments on the site. Granted, we are adults, so we can’t have any “oh my, what have I done” moments. We all know we are constantly and ultimately responsible for our own safety as well as the safety of everyone else on the jobsite. As such, I can take away two important items from my discussions with my children. It is no different. For consistent job safety one must always have job site awareness and consider the consequences of his/her actions. Keeping these two thoughts in mind at all times helps assure a safer site for everyone.