When you think about building a custom home you may dream of ideal floor plans, unique design details, or exclusive landscape architecture you want to include to personalize the home. What may not be foremost in your mind are the less glamorous but no less important facets that go into the construction of a new home—elements from the ground up that contribute to the construction of a strong and secure home. An experienced builder will guide you in the selection process, having many such specifications already in place, helping you determine the best application for your particular project and location.
Arguably the most important part of your home, the foundation supports the weight of the entire structure and must be built with strong materials. Common foundation materials include poured concrete, concrete blocks, and insulated concrete forms (ICFs). Poured concrete is the most popular choice, as it provides a strong and durable foundation that can withstand extreme weather conditions.
The framing of your home determines its shape, size, and layout, and is done according to structural and architectural plans. The most common framing materials are wood, steel, and concrete. Wood is the most popular choice in residential construction because it is affordable, readily available, and easy to work with. Steel and concrete, used more frequently in commercial building, are more expensive but offer superior strength and durability.
As one of the most visible parts of your home, roofing plays both important aesthetic and functional roles, as it keeps the elements from entering and also compliments other exterior components such as stucco, paint, masonry, and siding. Common roofing materials include asphalt shingles, metal, clay or concrete tiles, and slate. Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice due to their affordability and versatility. Metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular due to its durability and energy efficiency. Check wind and fire ratings of the roofing materials you’re considering, as they affect both price and overall efficiency.
While your builder’s specifications for foundation and framing may offer few options, the exterior of the home allows greater customization. Some of these choices may be based upon by style preference, and others by the long-term maintenance required. Exterior finishes should be chosen carefully, as they make an immediate statement and can dramatically add to or detract from curb appeal. Common exterior materials include brick, stone, stucco, vinyl siding, and wood. Brick and stone provide a classic and timeless look, while stucco and vinyl siding—also attractive—may be more affordable. Brick, stone, pigmented stucco, and vinyl siding won’t require repainting, while wood siding and non-pigmented stucco require repainting every 5 – 10 years, depending upon climate conditions. Weigh the pros and cons before deciding on the type of exterior materials used.
Another big-ticket, personalized item—flooring—contributes greatly to the overall look, feel, and function of your home. Similar to the selection of exterior materials, you’ll want to consider upkeep as well as cost and aesthetics when making interior flooring selections. Hardwood is a popular choice for main living areas for its timeless appeal and classic look. Many homeowners are opting to install EVP (enhanced vinyl plank) flooring, which has the look of wood flooring and the durability of vinyl. Another great option—tile—comes in many styles, shapes, and sizes, and works well in wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry and mud rooms. Carpet is always a great choice underfoot for common living areas and bedrooms, though it will likely need to be replaced more often than hard-surface flooring.
Choosing the right materials for custom home construction is a big decision, but it needn’t be overwhelming. Work with an experienced builder, carefully consider your lifestyle and preferences, and create a beautiful and functional home that you’ll love for years to come.
Sheffield Homes has been building custom homes in the Denver metro area and in northern Colorado for nearly 50 years. We have the expertise, knowledge, trade relationships, and project management systems in place to build the home of your dreams. Call us today and let’s start designing your new home! 303-420-0056.