How to ask the right questions to make sure that your builder includes the products and systems that are right for your home.
The reality is that many home buyers don't know enough to ask the right questions and assume that the builder is going to do the right thing, only to find out later that better options were available but never discussed. It's our intent to educate and inform you so you will have the information you need to make the best decisions for you, your family and your home.
Aluminum soffit is a good example. Aluminum soffit is common for tract or production housing but I often wonder when I see it used on a custom home. Did the builder have a discussion with the owners about better alternatives or are they just trying to build the house as cheaply as possible?
Aluminum soffit is usually perforated to allow air (and bugs) to get into your attic. This allows the attic to ventilate itself along with help from vents installed along the top of the roof. This is an out-of-date construction practice that dates back over 50 years even before insulation was required in homes. As you know, the attic gets super-heated in the summer time which in turn heats your AC ducts. All of the homes we build now have sealed attics with the use of spray foam insulation, which is also much more energy efficient.
Additionally, aluminum soffit is frequently an access point for racoons or rats to get into your attic. If you have trees that hang over your roof, you can almost count on it. Further, all of the recessed can lighting installed into the ceiling allows the nasty attic air to leak into the house. When you swing open an exterior door it creates a vacuum that pulls air right out of the attic. We prefer solid soffits with a sealed attic that will eliminate these problems.
As a group, most builders are really set in their ways and resist change. Construction techniques are always evolving and there are great new products and materials coming into the market all the time. We enjoy learning about building science and products that improve the performance and functionality of our homes. Hopefully this is a discussion with can have with you.
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Little is more meaningful and personal than a home, and the experience of designing and building your own home should be rewarding and enjoyable. Choosing a builder is difficult. The process of designing and building a home involves numerous decisions about components, systems and services selected from criteria that includes price, quality, appearance and performance. How can you possibly understand everything unless the builder is willing to share all of the information?
Allow us to introduce you to The GCH Way of building your next home. Please let us know if you have any questions. Keith Groninger