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3 Pillar Blog

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.

Friday FAQ – Continuous load path

Categories: Friday FAQ | Posted: December 11, 2015

Q: What is a “continuous load path”?

A: A continuous load path is an engineering term and building method that creates a structural frame that better resists various forces (or loads) placed upon it. Using a variety of metal connectors at key areas between framing components, such as bolting the walls to the foundation and strapping one floor to another, the entire house can function as one unit to resist a force placed upon it at any point. For instance, a continuous load path enables the walls and foundation to combat the pressure caused by high winds trying to lift the roof structure.

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’s FAQ – “Zoned” Heating and Cooling

Categories: Build Process, Design, Friday FAQ | Posted: December 4, 2015

Question: What is “zoned” heating and cooling?

Answer: As a way to lower energy costs and enable a more comfortable and healthier indoor living spaces, builders separate areas of a home into smaller zones rather than one big space to heat and cool. In this scheme, smaller, more efficient heating and cooling equipment (furnaces, air conditioners, etc.) are responsible for smaller zones within the house; the warm or cool air generated by the equipment is distributed through metal ducts (or chases) only to its designated zone, thus reducing energy use and enabling more control over temperature and comfort in different areas of the house.

Stay tuned for a future blog on the Nest thermostat that 3 Pillar Homes uses in its model homes!


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.

Why Builders Must Be Learners

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: December 2, 2015

Continuing education is no longer optional.

What do today’s best builders have in common? Although the answer includes many items, there’s a common thread running through each of them: a commitment to ongoing learning. The know-how needed to build high-performance, durable homes is evolving faster than ever. That’s why top builders commit to continuing education in a variety of disciplines, including architecture, engineering, law, materials science, and management.

Here are three examples.

Processes. A custom building company assembles a massive product with thousands of interrelated parts: the finished home. That home is far more complex than most things people buy, except perhaps their car, and today’s customers rightly demand that it be completed for the contracted price, on the agreed-to schedule, with few or no defects.

Builders actually face steeper hurdles in meeting customer expectations than do carmakers. Not only must they coordinate and motivate teams of independent contractors to get the job done, but they have to do it outside in all types of weather including snow, rain, and summer heat. Keeping things on track under these circumstances demands bulletproof management and quality control, all of which must be continually honed.

Products. Building products and processes are changing more rapidly than at any time in human history. Industry trade journals showcase a seemingly endless stream of new materials and technologies, from engineered framing components, to high-tech windows, to security systems and smart appliances. The builder has to know how to evaluate these products and, if they’re worth adopting, how to make sure they’re installed correctly and in a manner that fits into the workflow.

Regulations. Governments are exerting more control over what types of homes can be built, how they get built, and how they perform when finished.

Zoning, building, and mechanical codes govern where the house is placed and how it’s framed, plumbed, and wired. Energy codes attempt to reduce the amount of heating and cooling the home uses, with the latest codes mandating that new homes be built nearly airtight. The need to satisfy energy codes while avoiding moisture problems and maintaining a healthy indoor environment has helped spawn the field of Building Science, which maps and quantifies heat and moisture flows through the structure. Every builder needs a working knowledge of how to apply its principles.

Work crews are also more regulated than ever. Federal agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency write new work rules each year, and states impose additional rules. Most of these rules include work process and recordkeeping requirements, both of which are increasingly enforced. To stay compliant, builders have to learn the regulations and keep current with annual changes.

Keeping up with this expanding web of new products, processes, and regulations is just half the battle. Builders who want to stay in business have to adapt to these changes in a way that controls costs and keeps customers happy. Seat-of-the-pants management doesn’t cut it any more—the builder needs a commitment to continuing education.

This education is widely available. Professional associations offer classes and certifications in a variety of disciplines. Private training companies show builders how to comply with new codes and regulations. Trade shows introduce new products and technologies, and most shows also include seminars on design, construction, and management. Where a builder and its staff get their training matters less than the commitment to getting it. Advanced training is one sign of a professional, so it’s a fair subject to ask about when evaluating a prospective builder.

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 – Lifecycle Assessment

Categories: Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: November 27, 2015

Q: What is Lifecycle Assessment?

A: Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is a way to evaluate and estimate the value of a particular building product or system across its usable life. LCA considers a product or system’s cradle-to-grave environmental impact, from its raw material source to its capacity for recycling and reuse. LCA is a tool for design and building professionals, providing their clients a better, more thorough understanding of the materials being used to construct a project.

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.

Got stuff? Consider these storage options

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: November 25, 2015

One of the by-products of a consumer-based society is that we all collect “stuff”. This ranges from sports equipment and garden tools to holiday decorations, craft and hobby gear, and clothing. In some cases, people have so much stuff that it commandeers their closets, outdoor sheds, and garages to the point of overflow and disorganization.

Homebuyers want relief from their storage woes. To that end, a variety of products and organizational ideas that can add convenient capacity have cropped up for every nook and cranny of the house.

Overall, the most popular trend in storage is the use of modular, adjustable systems that can easily be manipulated to accommodate changing storage needs. In any storage setting, be it a garage or a walk-in master suite closet, these systems employ a simple backbone of tracks or channels secured to the walls on which you can hang a wide variety of components without any penetrating fasteners.

In a clothes closet, for example, the system can include open shelves, door and drawer cabinets, tilted shoe racks, hanger poles, hooks, and laundry hampers. These pieces and parts can be arranged based on a homeowner’s particular needs; as those needs change, the components can be moved, replaced, or supplemented.

The garage is another area well suited to these storage systems. There are now wall-hung cabinets, shelving, hooks, and other handy components with the ability to be moved to any point along tracks or channels secured to the wall. Garage storage systems feature cabinets and work surfaces with lock-in-place castors that allow owners to easily bring those elements out into the open, or even to the outside, for better, safer, and more convenient access to their “stuff.”

In both of these settings, the storage system typically raises the wall-hung components above the floor, making it easier to vacuum the carpet or sweep out the garage. Doing so reduces the perception (or reality) of clutter.

In the kitchen, cabinet and appliance manufacturers offer several options to increase storage capacity. In addition to handy drop-down drawers and roll-out shelves, many of the latest cabinet companies provide in-drawer organizers, dedicated trash and recycling bins, and adjustable shelving to suit a variety of needs.

In the laundry room, pedestal drawers set underneath the washer and dryer provide additional and convenient storage while raising the height of the washer and dryer, making them easier to use, as well.

Today’s modular storage systems are available in a wide variety of styles and price points, from luxurious, all-wood components that enhance any master suite to ventilated coated wire sections that make sense for kids’ rooms and utility areas. Even if there is enough land and ample budget to build a large house with plenty of closets and space for stuff, it’s only smart to make those areas, and the entire house, as space-efficient and valuable as possible.

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’s FAQ – Communication

Categories: About Us, Build Process, Friday FAQ | Posted: November 20, 2015

Question: How will you communicate with me during construction?

Answer: The real issue isn’t so much “how” as “how well.” The particular channels a company uses to communicate with customers-text versus email for instance-have less impact on the customer experience than how often and how effectively it uses those channels. Does the company have a reputation for keeping customers in the loop? That’s the real question to ask, of the contractor and its past customers. Please see our reviews on Houzz, on how our customers felt about their buying experience!


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’s FAQ – Leaky Basements

Categories: Friday FAQ | Posted: November 13, 2015

Question: Should I be worried about a leaky basement?

Answer: Professional builders use a variety of methods and materials to help ensure that full basements and crawlspaces won’t leak. The key is to mitigate what’s called hydrostatic pressure—ground or surface-water build-up against the foundation walls that eventually causes cracks. Rubberized waterproofing membranes, drainage boards, and perimeter subsurface drainage all help keep incidental water away from the foundation and protect the foundation from cracks and leaks.


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.