""

3 Pillar Blog

Friday FAQ – Markup vs. Profit Margin

Categories: Friday FAQ | Posted: January 29, 2016

Q: What is the difference between markup and profit margin?

A: Markup is what a builder adds to the price of a given item, such as an appliance or lumber order, to cover his overhead costs and achieve a reasonable profit margin on the project. The profit margin is what he actually makes on that item after he pays his overhead, such as office space, cell phone bill, vehicles and labor.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – “Housewrap”

Categories: Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: January 22, 2016

Q: What’s the paper-like wrapping I see on new homes before the exterior siding goes on?

A: It is increasingly common for quality-conscious builders to add an extra layer of weather protection around the outside of the house. Called an air barrier or “housewrap,” this layer is installed as a continuous material just behind the siding, stucco, or brick finish. The housewrap provides a barrier blocking the exchange of air through the structure, thus reducing heating and cooling costs. Housewrap also blocks moisture from getting into the walls where it can damage the insulation and framing.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

New Technologies are Lighting the Way

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: January 21, 2016

Remember the old center-of-the-ceiling light fixture? You entered a room, hit the wall switch, and a couple of light bulbs behind a semi-transparent plate shed general, flat light over the whole room. All features of the room, good and bad, got the same emphasis. There was enough light to avoid tripping over the dog, but not enough light to read by.

Things have changed. Lighting is now a sophisticated design element of the modern home, whether that home is traditional or contemporary in style. Every aspect of lighting—placement, function, control, style, energy-efficiency—has evolved to offer exactly what is needed in each room.

The thoughtful placement of lighting fixtures with specific function can make a dramatic change in a room. For example, instead of a big overhead fluorescent panel, new kitchens now feature task-specific fixtures such as recessed spot lights over the sink and other work stations, strip lights under wall cabinets, or dropped fixtures over work islands or eating areas. Other examples of task lighting include automatic bulbs in cabinets and pantries, up- and down-lights that showcase landscaping or artwork, and fixtures positioned to throw light on stair treads.

Lighting controls have also come a long way from the simple wall-mounted switch. Homeowners can program or manipulate lighting schemes to create custom ambiance for a casual dinner party or an intimate evening at home. Timers, remote controls, dimmer switches, and motion sensors enhance the flexibility, beauty and convenience of a lighting design using both wired and wireless technologies.

Besides increasing the technical sophistication of their products, lighting manufacturers have had to keep up with current styles and fashions. Pendants, wall sconces, chandeliers, and domed fixtures are available in an almost endless array of styles and finishes. In addition, lighting suppliers have developed a greater range of compatible fixtures to achieve a coordinated look for all lighting products in the house.

Security lighting has also grown in popularity in recent years. Inside the home, high tech wired and wireless timers can be programmed to create the illusion of activity while the owners are away. Outside, motion-activated lighting is a basic feature, especially at entries. Outdoor fixtures can highlight house numbers to assist emergency services. Lights in the garage and house can flash on and off as part of a security system that alerts neighbors or police of an unauthorized intrusion.

Outdoor light fixtures are increasingly powered by solar energy and light sensors to save even more electricity. Small photovoltaic cells are built right into path and landscape products to power them only at night. These systems require no wiring or current from another source, making them safe and easy to replace as needed. Homeowners enjoy the added convenience and beauty of outdoor lighting, whether or not they remember to turn them on or off.

Professional builders incorporate modern lighting design and products in their new homes, adding long-lasting value while enhancing style, convenience, comfort, security, and efficiency.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – Safety hazard

Categories: Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: January 15, 2016

Q: What’s the most common job site safety hazard?

A: In residential construction, the most common hazards relate to falls, namely from roofs or areas that are more than six feet above the ground. OSHA reports that scaffolding, fall prevention, and ladders are among its top 5 most-frequently cited violations. They recently tightened standards to further mitigate those hazards.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – Insulated Windows

Categories: Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: January 8, 2016

Q: What is an “insulated” window?

A: Newer windows are often referred to as “insulated” because of technology that retards, blocks, or slows the transfer of air through the unit. Most people are familiar with fiberglass or other types of insulation material in a wall cavity. In a window, the “insulation” is a combination of several factors. Most common are windows with at least two panes of glass enclosing a ‘dead’ airspace between them. The airspace may also be sealed to contain a clear, odorless gas (commonly argon), which is heavier than air and thus an even more effective insulator. Better yet, one or both inside surfaces of the glass can be permanently laminated with a clear coating that further retards thermal transfer and protects the home interior against solar heat gain and damaging ultraviolet rays.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

The New Science of Building

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 6, 2016

Creating a durable and efficient home is no job for amateurs.

There’s a common but flawed perception that older homes are more durable than contemporary housing, with fewer mold and moisture problems. While it’s true that some newer homes have had well-publicized mold issues, they are by no means the rule. These moldy homes do share a common denominator, however—they were built by people who didn’t understand how to get the most out of contemporary materials and construction practices. That takes an educated professional builder.

In ancient times—30 or so years ago—someone with basic construction knowledge could build a serviceable home. No more. Today, the combination of contemporary building materials and code-mandated construction practices have made homes more complex with less margin for error.

First, consider the evolution of materials. Suppliers used to sell framing lumber cut from mature trees that could absorb a lot of moisture without problems, a quality known as hygric buffer capacity. Builders put that lumber into drafty walls where any moisture absorbed by the wood could escape before it caused problems.

But those mature trees have all been harvested. Today’s homes use a combination of engineered boards and dimensional lumber cut from fast-growing species—neither of which can store and release as much moisture as old-growth wood could. To complicate things further, energy codes mandate that those materials be put into well-insulated, nearly airtight walls.

These are not drawbacks. Engineered wood offers real structural advantages, and well-insulated walls make homes more comfortable and efficient. No modern builder or homeowner would want to do without them. The materials and insulation aren’t the problem; the problem is builders who don’t know how to work with those materials.

That makes it crucial to hire a builder who understands the basic principles of moisture-related building science. Yes, good design and construction is now a science as well as an art.

Professional builders use bulletproof roofing, siding, and flashing that keep water out of the structure. They also know how to craft an efficient wall system that can handle the large amount of moisture put into the home’s air by a typical family (from activities such as cooking and showering) without problems.

These builders understand that drying potential is as important as moisture resistance, and that wall systems must be optimized for the local climate. For instance, if any of that airborne moisture works its way into a wall, it needs to dry primarily to the outside in a heating climate but to the inside in a cooling climate. The educated pro knows how to make sure that happens.

The bottom line is to build the home so that its structure stays dry no matter how wet the weather or how many long, steamy showers the occupants take. A lot of older homes did that on their own, so builders and designers could get by without much knowledge of building science. That is no longer the case.

Does your builder understand this?

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – Home loans

Categories: Friday FAQ | Posted: January 1, 2016

Q: How are loan draws figured?

A: A good draw schedule balances the contractor’s need to get paid for work done and materials purchased, with the homeowners’ and bank’s desire to not pay too far ahead of what has been completed. On a new home, payments are usually matched to completion (or “substantial completion”) of a particular phase: foundation, frame, drywall, and so on. On a remodel, payments often depend on percentage of completion. It’s important that the homeowner communicate with the contractor to ensure there are no misunderstandings about how and when funds will be disbursed.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – R-value

Categories: Friday FAQ | Posted: December 25, 2015

Q: What is R-value?

A: R-value is a measure of energy efficiency. The higher the R-value of the insulation, windows, and even a home’s structure, the better the house is able to block the transfer of unwanted hot or cold air through walls and ceiling. Residents of homes with high R-value experience far less variation in temperature-and enjoy lower energy bills-by not having to run a furnace or air conditioner continuously to keep the house comfortable.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Friday FAQ – Warranty

Categories: Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: December 18, 2015

Q: What does your warranty cover?

A: Surprisingly, a lot of homeowners forget to ask this question. But it’s as important to examine the warranty when choosing a contractor as it is when buying a car. Of course that’s only possible when the warranty is in writing. A homeowner should never accept a verbal warranty, which is worth about as much as the paper it’s not printed on. A written warranty should detail what is covered and how long it’s in force. Although a year minimum is a good rule of thumb, some items installed in the home may carry longer warranties.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

What Quality Looks Like

Categories: About Us, Newsletter | Posted: December 16, 2015

Builders are always talking about “quality,” but few can explain what that means to their new-home clients. This should not be a mystery; construction quality is easy to see when you know what to look for. As a professional builder, we not only take pride in creating high-quality homes, but also in making sure that our homebuyers experience quality and understand the difference it makes.

The building process is relatively foreign to those outside of the industry. The best way to help a homebuyer understand the construction process and appreciate the value of the high-quality materials and methods we employ is to schedule visits to the job site at key milestones. Walking through a newly framed home, for instance, allows us to point out the tight tolerances we require from our framing crews. On-site, we can show examples and explain why these standards help to ensure reliable performance and comfort in the finished home.

After framing, homeowners can watch the ways that we install the home’s wiring, plumbing, and mechanical systems. Our exacting specifications make sure that those systems perform as designed and promised. As construction continues, we encourage new homeowners to schedule similar walk-throughs so we can showcase the high-level materials and methods we use to build homes. What is difficult to articulate in the office becomes clearly demonstrated as the house takes shape.

We also consider the conditions of our job sites as an indicator of quality. We expect, for instance, that our crews and trade partners maintain a clean site. Disposing of trash and scrap materials not only makes for a professional work environment, but also a safe one. We believe that our insistence on a professional looking job site translates to professional, superior-quality workmanship.

As a new home nears completion, quality is even easier to see and understand from a homebuyer’s point of view. Again, adhering to tight tolerances, we work hard to make sure that walls are smooth, that cabinets, trim, and other fixtures fit snugly into place. We make certain that windows and doors operate smoothly, and that flooring and other finishes are installed to meet the expectations of our discerning clientele.

But the true test of quality construction is occupancy. New homeowners will understand what we mean by quality after living in their home for a while. How our homes stand the test of time and the rigor of everyday living is a testament to the quality we strive to achieve from the foundation to the rooftop.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.