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3 Pillar Blog

Blog Category - Building Success 101

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: January 23, 2018

Q: How do draw schedules work?

A: Lenders don’t want to pay for work that isn’t done yet. If it’s a big job and the contractor can’t complete it for some reason, the lending company will want to protect itself. Most lenders require that construction loans include a draw schedule that ensures they pay only for work that has been completed. For instance, if the foundation and framing are budgeted at $75,000, the check issued at the completion of framing cannot bring the total amount paid to that point to more than $75,000. A good draw schedule not only protects the lender and homeowner, but will be welcomed by a professional builder who does work on time and on budget.

Building Success 101

Categories: Build Process, Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: January 9, 2018

Q: Who is responsible for the work of subcontractors?

A: The general contractor (your builder) has the final responsibility for the quality and timeliness of all subcontracted work. That’s why a professional hires reputable subs with a proven track record. And that’s why you hire a pro to manage your job rather than trying to do it yourself.

Building Success 101

Categories: Build Process, Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: December 26, 2017

Q: Why do builders sometimes send another company on a service call?

A: Increasingly, new-home builders rely on a variety of trade (or specialty) contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, and heating and cooling experts, to help build your new house. Part of their contract is servicing their work; who better than the person who installed your faucet to fix a leak? While the builder is ultimately responsible for making sure warranty work is documented and performed, he will rely on trade contractors to make warranty service call on his behalf, to his standards, and to your satisfaction.

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Design, Newsletter | Posted: December 12, 2017

Q: Which cabinet door costs more?

A: Doors and drawers fall into two general categories. Overlay styles lap over the cabinet frame at the edges, and inset styles sit flush to the frame when closed. Both include high-quality products, but the tighter tolerances required by the inset method tend to raise costs by 10 to 20 percent.

Building Success

Categories: Build Process, Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: September 12, 2017

Q: What if you have a deadline?

A: Some homeowners come to the initial meeting wanting the job done by a certain date. They may want it finished in time to host a big event like a wedding or family reunion, or they may not want to pay construction loan interest any longer than necessary. These are important concerns, but making them the defining factor can cloud your choice of a contractor. It’s better to choose someone you have confidence in and trust, and then work together to establish a realistic schedule.

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Design, Newsletter | Posted: August 23, 2017

Q: What’s the difference between a wood window and a clad window?

A: Window frames can be made from a variety of materials, including solid wood, composite or engineered wood, vinyl, aluminum or steel. Wood windows are very popular because, from the inside, they show an attractive, natural grain pattern that can be preserved and enhanced using a stain and varnish. On the outside, however, wood must be diligently maintained to protect it from the elements. So, most wood windows are clad, or covered and protected, by an aluminum or vinyl material molded to the shape of the outside section of the window frame, thus reducing maintenance chores and costs.

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Design, Newsletter | Posted: August 8, 2017

Q: What is a cool roof?

A: A cool roof is just what it sounds like: a roof that stays cooler than a typical roof on a sunny summer day. This, in turn, keeps the attic from overheating and eases the burden on the air conditioner. Although many people think that a cool roof has to be white, new coating technologies let manufacturers build reflectance into a variety of colors.

Building Success 101

Categories: Build Process, Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: July 28, 2017

Q: What should I consider when evaluating homebuilding companies?

A: First, narrow your list of potential builders based on their direct experience with the type of house you want. Next, meet with each potential builder and be ready with questions that are important to you about their building process, communication skills, change order procedures, and past work. Make sure to get satisfactory answers. Also be prepared with a budget and a solid idea of what you want and share that information with each builder. Finally, look for a builder you like on a personal level; do your styles mesh? Do your personalities gel? It’s okay to go with your gut, as long as the company has the right skill set and track record to do the work.

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Newsletter | Posted: July 14, 2017

Q: What is SEER?

A: SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or the cooling energy output of an air conditioner divided by the electrical energy it burns. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. For example, a new 15 SEER unit uses 33 percent less energy than an older 10 SEER model. All systems sold in the United States must have a minimum SEER of 13 or 14 depending on the region. The most efficient units have SEERs of 20 or more.

Building Success 101

Categories: Building Success 101, Design, Newsletter | Posted: June 30, 2017

Q: Should I demand a low-VOC exterior paint?

A: There are an increasing array of high-quality exterior paints formulated with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can contribute to ozone depletion; in fact, VOC emission standards for paint started with exterior formulations. Still, VOC emissions indoors from paint and other finishes appear to be a bigger occupant health hazard than a quickly dissipated exterior paint is to depleting the ozone layer. Consult your builder and his painting contractor for recommendations.