Tag Archive for altoona contractors

Custom Home Construction (Excavation)

100_0071It’s an exciting week for Wilkins Contracting.  We’re digging in the dirt!  Our excavator has his equipment on the property and has started clearing the ground for the new custom home we’re preparing to build.

Prior to excavation, the builders take the plans, a laser transit and measuring tapes to stake out the ground.  This is done to show the exact locations of where the house will be built.  It will mark specific areas of the building, like where the garage attaches to the house, and any other details that designate areas for walls, plumbing, etc., and also the driveway or other roads around the house.

Last week, our excavator went to the site to dig test holes on the area that needs to be cleared.  This gives him an idea of what is underground and what obstacles he may run into while digging.  The land clearing equipment depends on the specific piece of ground they need to clear.  If there are trees, they need to be removed.  Depending on what’s under the ground’s surface (i.e., slate or large stones) will also determine what specific equipment is needed to clear the ground for building.

The excavator also pays close attention to how deep he is digging.  They have to be careful not to go too deep…but they also have to be sure to dig deep enough.  The laser transit is used to determine the correct depth.

After the bulk of the ground is cleared, the excavator will lay piping for french drains.  Pea gravel is then spread throughout as substrate for the concrete.

Now we’re ready for walls to be delivered and the floor to be poured and we will talk about that in our next blog post.

Custom Home Construction (Energy Efficiencies)

picture-windowsAs ground breaking approaches, now is a good time to begin thinking about energy efficiencies for your new home.  You want to think about the best options in windows and doors depending on the type and location of your home.

A lot of builders have a primary window vendor they work with.  A relationship is built with this vendor and the builder will know that he can count on this company to produce quality windows and stay on schedule.  More importantly though, your builder will know what is available to you as you begin window selection.

Some things to consider when selecting windows:

  1. Are the windows thermally efficient?  Do they have an Energy Star rating?
  2. Are there code requirements for the types of windows you will use in your home? (i.e., egress window requirements for bedrooms)
  3. What type of window will look best in each room (colors, wood grain, etc.)?
  4. What features will you want in each window (i.e., number of panes, grids or no grids, sliders, double hung, or casement)

Your builder will help you with window selection and will be aware of any code requirements.  Wilkins Contracting proudly uses Simonton Windows because of their great reputation for producing quality, energy-efficient windows.

The same things need to be considered when selecting doors.  Did you know that an interior door between the house and an attached garage is required to have a 20 minute fire rating?

In addition to the code requirements, you can choose different door styles.  Front doors come in many different designs and options and you want to make sure you get the door you choose the best door for the style and location of your home.  For interior doors, you have many choices including different colors and wood types as well as solid core vs. hollow and even panel or smooth.  Again, you will want to look for the best match to the other finishes in your home and a style that will complement the planned décor in your home.

Your builder should know all of the code requirements and can recommend the best options for your home.  They can also help you decide what will work best based on the plans for your home.