Your choice of flooring will have a definite impact on the overall look and feel of your custom home, and 2021 is all about bare flooring with premium finishes. 

Two of the most popular types of bare flooring available these days are concrete and hardwood. Both options come with their pros and cons. 

Our goal in this post is to measure both advantages and disadvantages these options offer, to be able to determine which option is best for you.

Concrete Flooring

While concrete flooring in a residential setting is a relatively new option, it can add value to your custom home construction because of its durability and affordability. In addition, this option provides a myriad of customization options, making it possible for you to add a unique touch to your dream home in Dallas. 

Pros

Concrete is Tough and Resistant

Concrete is used in sidewalks, roadways and construction because it is strong and durable. Concrete is tough and resistant to most damage, so it can be specifically beneficial for those areas in your home that receive high traffic regularly. 

Low Maintenance

Concrete floors are low-maintenance, as they need little to no upkeep once installed. Cleaning sealed concrete surfaces is easy and hassle-free as well. All you need to do is to mop the dirty surfaces, and you’re good to go. 

Also, when properly sealed and finished, concrete is highly stain-resistant so usually a few strokes of a mop with any quality eco-friendly detergent or floor cleaner is enough to keep your floor looking like new. 

Customization Options

Concrete floors are highly customizable. There are many types of stains and dyes that you can apply to give your custom flooring the look and finish of your choice, for example. Stamped concrete is another option that is a huge trend currently, and is created using rubber or metal stamps to add texture or designs to the finish.  It is hugely popular and provides practically endless customization options.

Heated Floors

Whether you’re building a custom home or adding concrete flooring to an existing slab, you can include a radiant heating system to make your floors feel warm during cold days. Adding this feature can be especially beneficial in North Texas, where winter temperatures often drop into the single-digits.

Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient

Concrete floors are both environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient. Their durability and insulation rating makes them an ideal choice for homeowners who want to build an energy-efficient, functional home in Dallas where temperatures can vary dramatically throughout the year.

Affordable

Compared to hardwood flooring, concrete floors can be incredibly affordable, with prices ranging between $2 and $30 per square foot depending on the type of finish and complexity of any added patterns you might choose.

Easy to Install

The installation of a concrete floor doesn’t require the cutting, nailing, joining, gluing and other installation challenges of hardwood flooring. Installation only requires pouring the concrete and leaving it to cure for 3 to 7 days (depending on temperature and humidity). 

It Adds Value to your Home

When finished properly, concrete flooring can improve the look and value of a home.  In fact, many realtors we know prefer to represent and invest time in properties that include concrete floors, as according to them, they can add to the overall value of the house. 

Cons

Slippery and Heavy

Concrete floors are heavy, and they’re not an ideal choice for floors connected by joists. Also, homeowners with kids may not prefer to install concrete floors as they can become glossy and slippery once polished. 

Concrete Floors Can Crack

Concrete floors can crack if the soil forming a home’s foundation settles or shifts, which is not uncommon in many areas around Dallas. Even if you get your concrete floor installed by a pro, the risk of cracking over time remains unless your foundation is rock-solid.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has been around for centuries and exemplifies luxury and class. But similar to concrete floors, hardwood flooring comes with its own pros and cons.

Pros

Timeless and Classic Look

Hardwood flooring is popular because of its timeless look and classic appeal. It adds opulence to the overall home decor. Because of its price, this type of flooring is generally chosen by owners who want to give a high-end touch to their custom homes.  

Improves Your Custom Home’s Resale Value

Since hardwood flooring is a premium flooring option, it automatically adds to the resale value of your house. 

Plenty of Design and Customization Options Available

Hardwood flooring is available in a wide range of options, making it easy for you to choose something that fits your individual needs and custom home requirements

Heated Floors

As with concrete, you can include a radiant heating option to make your wood floors feel warm during cold days. 

Blends with All Types of Interiors

A significant advantage of installing hardwood flooring in your custom home in Dallas is that it can be perfectly coordinated to blend with your home decor. Whether it’s the contemporary home aesthetic or a vintage design, specific hardwood flooring chosen to match will enhance the look of your home. 

Cons

It’s Expensive

Hardwood flooring is expensive when you compare it with concrete or other types of flooring. Depending on how premium the wood is, the cost difference can be huge.  Unless you have plenty of budget, this option may not be the most practical for you.

High Maintenance

Hardwood flooring is also relatively high-maintenance. You need to maintain it with regular care, and you may have to get it fixed by a carpenter every now and then to help retain its form and shine.  

Not Eco-Friendly

Real hardwood flooring comes from real trees, so it is not as eco-friendly as some other options, including concrete.   If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, then hardwood floors may not be your best option.

Hard to Install

Hardwood flooring is tough to install. There are several essentials involved, including nails, glue, manual labor and various tools needed to install wood flooring in your custom home. The installation charges are pretty high, too. 

Hard to Clean

Unlike concrete that you can clean with your mop and a vacuum, you have to pay special attention to cleaning hardwood flooring. Specialized cleaning products should be used, and using too much water to clean your wood flooring can cause moisture damage, buckling and damage to the finish, all of which can reduce its life. 

All in all, what you should choose for your custom home depends on your preferences, budget, and goals.

Today, we’ll be giving you an overview of the more significant differences between advanced framing techniques and traditional framing techniques. We’ll look at some of the pros and cons of each type of framing method, and help you determine why you might choose one (advanced!) over the other. So, let’s get started!

Advanced Framing and Why it is Better

Advanced framing is a green building strategy which uses a renewable resource (lumber) with maximum efficiency to achieve both cost savings and environmental sustainability. 

Also called optimum value engineering, it is a framing construction technique for homes that both reduces materials used and achieves a higher degree of energy efficiency vs. traditional framing. Homes built with advanced framing are structurally sound, provide more flexibility for interior design and wall placement, and generally require less labor and material costs when compared to homes constructed with conventional framing techniques.

The Biggest Difference

The most impactful difference between advanced and traditional framing methods involves the spacing of support members in the frame.  Advanced framing uses 2″x6″ vertical studs spaced 24″ apart, while traditional framing uses 2″x4″ vertical studs spaced 16″ apart. 

Because the spacing between the studs is both wider and deeper, advanced framing both reduces material usage (by about 30%) and creates additional spacing for insulation (roughly 50% more).

The added wall-cavity space allows more and better placement of insulation and minimizes the chance of insulations voids, which allow heat and cold to pass through the walls, reducing efficiency.

Additionally, the use of 2″x6″ vs. 2″x4″ lumber allows more space for more insulation and more efficient placement of insulation in corners, headers and around window and door frames.

The Best Difference (in our opinion)

In addition to improved energy and materials efficiency, perhaps the best advantage of advanced framing methods vs. conventional methods is flexibility in wall placement, which adds flexibility to design options.

Conventional framing methods require load-bearing walls throughout the house to support the structure and maintain balance. Homes framed using advanced techniques provide more flexibility to the architect/designer, as they do not require load-bearing walls to support the structure (this is usually true, but can vary with different house designs).

With an advanced framed structure your designer is free to place or not place the walls at all, because the structural wood panels, posts, beams, and trusses  do all the work to support the entire structure.

A final note in closing:  There is one component of advanced framing techniques that adds cost vs. some conventional framing methods.  That is, in order to achieve the structural integrity necessary to support the structure, advanced framing requires the use of structural wood panels in its construction.  While this is also an added energy barrrier which increases energy efficiency, depending on the cost of lumber at the time you build this may offset other materials cost savings provided by advanced framing techniques.  Also, please be aware there are a variety of other nuances and techniques which can be incorporated in advanced framing, with additional benefits not detailed in this article.  What we have covered here are the most obvious differences, so be sure to discuss any additional elements available with your architect, designer and builder.

 

Like this article? You can read more tips here.

Did you know finishing your attic can increase the value of your custom home in Dallas, while also providing additional living or recreational space and utility?

There are many ways you can transform an unfinished attic into a living space. We’re going to discuss a few of those fun ideas while sharing some of our tried-and-tested tips to help you build out your attic space with minimum hassle. 

Things You Can Make Out of Your Attic Space

Guest Bedroom

Need a spare bedroom for your friends and family? The attic is the perfect spot to construct one. You can even build a small and functional attached bathroom to ensure your guests’ comfort. 

Library

If you love reading and collecting books you can remodel your attic space into a compact library. Make sure you utilize space efficiently to maximize shelving for your literary treasures.

Playroom

Unless your kids are genetically engineered to be neat, they are likely to be messy.  Many parents would love to provide them a space to explore their creativity, and converting your attic into a lively playspace is an excellent way to contain their chaos.

Home Office

No space left for your home office while building a custom home in Dallas? Don’t worry. You can utilize your attic space to construct one where you can work from home without any disturbance. 

Sun Room

Yes, you can also convert your attic into a bright and beautiful sunroom. Install skylights and large windows, and invest in comfortable seating to soak up the sun. Add a few plants to make your place look more tropical and relaxing.

Home Theatre

Get a large TV or projection screen, install theater seats or add bean bags, and grab the popcorn. Yes, transform your attic space into a home theatre that you or your family members and friends can enjoy day or night. 

Now that you know some of the fun things you can turn your attic into, it’s time to have a look at a few tips you should consider before you start a custom attic building project in Dallas. 

10 Tips to Consider When Constructing the Attic for Your Custom Home in Dallas

1. Make Sure Your Attic Meets Local Building Codes

Don’t even think about converting your attic space without pulling a permit. It will become trouble for you to resell your home without a permit. To apply for a permit, you need to get your attic project designed and approved by a licensed architect. 

Even if you plan to remodel your attic by taking a DIY route, you should get some paperwork done by the pro to avoid future hurdles.

2. Have a Larger Staircase and Landing

Attics designed to store boxes and leftover stuff do not require a larger staircase and landing. But when you plan to transform them into a living space, you need to consider adding both. The stairs should be wide enough to accommodate furniture, while the landing should have enough space to handle the top-turn of the stairs.

3. Have Your Heating and Ventilation Needs Covered

The next critical step is to check the capacity of your HVAC unit. Bring an electrician to see if your current HVAC system can handle the load of another room. If not, you may have to get additional ductwork done or add a new unit. If you’re on a tight budget, you may consider investing in a multi-split system.

4. Keep the Cost Factor in Mind

According to Home Advisor, the average cost of an attic upgrade is $49,438. But it depends on your project requirements and the custom elements your project includes. If you’re taking a DIY route, while you may save a lot on labor costs you should still budget for your attic upgrade in your custom home building budget, to cover other expenses you may have to bear to convert the attic. 

5. Call in an Expert for a Structural Analysis

Keeping your attic space for storing Christmas decorations doesn’t need you to think about the floor capacity. But when you expect your floor to hold furniture and people, then this aspect becomes more crucial than ever. You can hire an expert structural engineer or a contractor to conduct a structural analysis of your custom construction. They can guide you through the steps you can take to enhance the capacity of your attic space to support heavy objects and people.

6. Ditch the Drywall Ceiling

While the drywall ceiling is cheap, it is outdated and boring. You can turn a typical attic ceiling into something exciting by opting for a custom look or even with premium wood ceiling options. 

7. Choose Lighter Colors to Paint Your Attic

The next idea to consider is the paint for the walls and ceilings of your attic. Because these spaces are often smaller with fewer window options, lighter colors lend to a more spacious feel while darker colors may make the space feel smaller.  If you’ve been able to add a skylight or large windows, lighter paint palletes will definitely complement the outside light and brighten up the space significantly.

8. Add a Bathroom

We know adding a bathroom to your attic space is a costly investment, but if you’re going to spend any time in the converted space, it is worth it. Especially if you have turned your attic into a bedroom, you need to have an attached bathroom to make your living space more livable. 

9. Install High-Density Fiberglass Insulation

Instead of using cheap and unreliable kraft-supported fiberglass insulation, install high-density fiberglass insulation alternatives. Spray foam is also a good option, as is mineral wool, an insulations which is easier to install and yields professional results. 

10. Install Attic Flooring

Congratulations! You’re about to finish building out your attic space. The next step is to choose the flooring for the space you have just designed and constructed. While you can choose from a variety of options your custom builder can work with, Carpeting makes a smart choice as it will make your living space more sound-proof and adds extra insulation. 

There you have it – 10 Tips to Consider When Constructing Attic for Your Custom Home in Dallas.

In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the more popular elements of modern home design that can be incorporated into your custom home in Dallas.

Essentials of Modern Architecture

Simplicity is Key

With modern housing architecture, less is more. From design to materials, from exterior finishes to interior floor plans, everything revolves around simplicity. 

Simple Floor and Roof Plans

Conventional homes tend to have traditional layouts, with floorplan designs constrained by load-bearing walls which are required throughout the structure.  Modern designs allow more flexibility. as those load-bearing walls are usually not required for advanced, modern architecture.

Modern homes are usually designed with clean, effortless layouts that provide a logical arrangement of rooms, parking spaces, and landscaping. 

Similarly, modern home designs tend to focus on simple roof designs rather than old-fashioned gabled and pitched roof designs. 

Clean Lines and Geometry

Modern housing architecture emphasizes clean and crisp lines with interesting geometry. It tends to incorporate horizontal and vertical elements and usually excludes unnecessary embellishments or outlandish ornamentation.

Vertical and horizontal elements create a form of hierarchy and bring balance to the overall look and feel of the design.

Bring Natural Light into Interiors

One of the more prominent features of most modern house designs is large, unadorned windows. Large windows tend to have beautiful curb appeal from the outside, and allow natural light to play a part in the interior aesthetic.

Open Up the Space

Unlike traditional homes which have interior floor plans requiring walls and doors for structural integrity, modern houses make use of the open spaces their advanced architecture allows. Traditional homes typcially include closed rooms and separated kitchens and dining rooms, while modern, contemporary architecture favors open floor plans.  One prominent example is that their kitchens are usually merged with living areas to create more space and add functionality. Such open floorplans lend themselves to comfortable gatherings and easy flow of traffic throughout the house.

Neutral Color Palettes

Neutral colors are the current trend when it comes to interior color selection for most modern houses.  Neutral tones add light and and a sense of “lightness” to the interior feel, especially when integrated with the natural sunlight provided by most modern designs.

You may, however, want to play around with textures to accentuate and draw attention to your house’s contemporary elements. 

Bare Floors in Eccentric Finishes

Bare flooring with premium finishes is the latest trend. Keep the look of your house interior modern yet minimal by choosing hardwood, vinyl, marble, glazed tiles or even concrete flooring. 

These materials may cost more than carpets or rugs, but they tend to be easier to clean and more hygienic in addition to looking beautiful.

Contemporary Exterior Details

Your house exterior is equally important to the overall look of a modern house. Open parking lots, plenty of greenery or xeriscaping, and dedicated patio space can all add to the look of the modern home exterior. 

There is a wide array of materials ranging from metals to synthetics to even bricks and wood that can be used both in the actual construction or as accents, to add to the exterior aesthetic of a modern home.

Another element that can be especially impactful with modern designs is exterior lighting.  Solar LEDs, perimeter lighting, landscape lighting and even tree lighting can make your custom home stand out.

We hope this post has offered valuable insights about modern custom home essentials. For more questions or to provide your feedback, you can reach out using the comments section below. We’d love to hear back.

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets for Your Custom Home in Dallas

When deciding upon what kind of cabinet you need to enhance the appeal of your custom kitchen, you might want to give a thought to what kind of cabinet you’re looking for. You may choose from the four basic types of cabinets including the base cabinet, bottle racks, corner cabinets, or standalone cabinets, which often serve a similar purpose to a pantry. 

When it comes to the kitchen, there’s no trouble accepting the idea that cabinetry is the heart of kitchen aesthetics. A cabinet that has the touch of contemporary designer style would not only shine as a standout but add more to the aesthetic value of your home. 

A kitchen with plain or poor functioning drawers or a cabinet of an outdated fashion would not motivate you to cook. Therefore, to help you install amazing cabinets in your kitchen, we’ve made this guide. 

The kitchen cabinet tips we have for you in this article are perfect for custom homes in Dallas. So, if you’re a big fan of custom homes or already own one, then you’ve landed on just the right page. Follow along.

1. Design with Grace with a Good Budget

While you move forward to design a custom cabinet, it is really important that you know the role budget will play in it. A good budget will provide you a range of options to choose from and get quality construction for the cabinet. Remember, the more you can apportion for cabinet construction, you can install cabinets of more contemporary designs. 

2. Choose Between Frameless or Framed Cabinet Construction

It’s always good to work with a framed cabinet. A framed cabinet adds more strength to the front door. Plus, with a framed cabinet you can select from a range of door options. You can go with either an inset or overlay design. 

On the other hand, if you choose to go with the frameless construction, which is the European standard, you may want to install the overlay doors only. The hinges for the overlay door will be attached directly to the side. You cannot install an inset door if you plan to have frameless construction. However, the frameless construction is really trendy and fashionable. 

3. Choose the Finish and Design for the Cabinet

We are far away from the time of oak wood cabinets. You no longer have to agree with your cabinetmaker on the finish for the cabinet. You are no longer restricted with options. It’s perfect if you want to have a light finish on the cabinet. Navigating dirt and stains on a light-textured base could be easier than on a cabinet with a darker finish. You can also choose from glazed, crackle, or distressing textures. 

When designing, you may want to check on a few popular styles. You can pick from the cathedral panel for the door, to shaker, and from the arched panel to slabs, especially if you’re a fan of plain cabinets. Arched and cathedral panels are really common. You may try the shaker design if you’re looking to have a touch of elegance. 

4. Give Thought to Beauty and Function

When you are in the mood for customization, it’s always important to give extra consideration to beauty. However, you may also want to do some intelligent discussions with the carpenter, if you want to craft something that is easy in terms of functionality. 

When designing, it’s really important that you have a clear idea of your use in the kitchen and what kind of stuff you want around. A mix of both casual and smart design may just do the trick for you. 

5. Decide whether Inset or Overlay Cabinet

Inset design construction is excellent if you want a classic cabinet. It may also do perfectly for a smart custom home. However, if you want to work more on aesthetics and have a lot of space, then an overlay door design for the cabinet could also be a fascinating choice. Remember, the design of the door totally depends upon your taste and use of the cabinet. 

6. Choose Material for the Cabinet

New custom homes in Dallas are using multiple materials for cabinet construction. Wood is not the only option you have. If you want simple, and budget-friendly cabinets, you may go with melamine, stainless steel, or even metal. 

However, none of these would enhance the aesthetic value of your custom kitchen other than solid wood. 

Solid wood is the perfect material for your custom cabinet. It’s classic. It’s perfect! So, stick to wood for the material. 

7. See Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

If you want to save yourself from the hurdle of designing customized cabinets, then you may just agree on buying Ready-to-assemble pieces from top furniture retailers. IKEA is a renowned supplier for ready to assemble cabinets. 

Though buying these cabinets is easier, it could be really challenging to install these cabinets. Therefore, if you’re planning to install fixtures in a custom home, we would recommend you hire a carpenter and get these constructed. 

8. Check out Custom Cabinets

Before you get started, it’s always good to check out multiple custom designs and how they fit in the layout of the kitchen. It would really help you to understand how you could utilize space better without compromising on the look of your cabinet. So, check out several custom cabinets and get your idea! It’s always good to spark up your creativity when you sit to design something. 

9. Check Out Semi-Custom Cabinets

These are generally more affordable in terms of price. You can get a semi-customized cabinet in a range of sizes. These are usually available for order-to-make. Semi-custom may be useful especially when you’re a little short with time. 

10. Choose Quality Cabinet Hardware

Lastly, we recommend that you invest your time in choosing the quality of cabinet hardware. Get the most fashionable doorknobs for the cabinet. Solid steel handles that are long and durable look elegant on a wooden cabinet with a glazed texture. It’s really important that you get quality hardware.

The technology has shifted the focus of luxury homes towards energy-efficient custom homes. Architects are now designing homes that are energy-efficient and affordable. 

People prefer a home that reduces cost while building it and affordable to own in the long run. This approach has been admired by many homeowners as well. Technology is pretty expensive, but if we make a cost-benefit comparison, then it wins every time. 

We have created a general guide that can help you build an energy-efficient custom home in Dallas without breaking your bank. So, let’s get right to it.

Choose a Smart & Functional Design

The first step of building a custom home starts with a design. These days designers, architects, builders, and homebuyers all work together to come up with cost-effective zero net energy home designs. 

Since there are a lot of gadgets and devices that need to be placed within the walls and roof, they all have to be involved in the design. 

Once a smart home is designed, the builders and subcontractors should keep in mind the basics and the implementation of such details as effectively as possible. 

The builder and architect should have open communication about what they want to build and how it can be managed given the area. Everyone must share the idea of constructing a customized energy-efficient smart home.

Use the Sunlight

Sun is a powerful source of energy and light. Countries are wasting billions of dollars on producing electricity, and still, it isn’t enough. But you don’t have to rely on electricity only because now you can use solar plates that absorb the heat and help you run many devices on solar energy. 

Today, all luxury houses include solar plates in their smart home design because they achieve maximum passive solar heating. To maximize the benefits of natural sunlight, try placing south-facing windows, and you can get enough sunlight to keep your house warm. 

It also helps you lower the cost of heat in the winter season. Those same windows can be shaded in the summer season to keep the house cool.

Optimize Energy Consumption

When a home is planned, you also plan how many lights, air conditions, HVAC, and security systems you want. But you need to optimize the net energy consumption in energy modeling software. 

This can help you realize where you are going too much or too little. It can also help you maintain a balance while ensuring you a goal of net-zero energy. You can modify your design by adding a better option. Optimizing energy consumption beforehand can help you make the right decision in construction as well.  

Energy Efficient Lighting

The whole world can agree that we rely on electricity too much because we have things that run with electricity. But sometimes, we are wasting electricity and that is something we can control. 

So, while you are designing an energy-efficient home, minimize your energy use for lighting but opt for LED lights. They are energy-efficient, last longer, and have no mercury. Another cool thing about them is that they come in bright white, soft, and warm shades so using them strategically all over the home can improve your energy-efficiency impeccably.  

Super-Seal the Net-Zero Building Envelope Concept

There is a new super-seal Net-zero building envelope concept that is believed to be the most cost-effective solution to seal off any climate conditions.  This way a building is supposed to improve the energy efficiency of a zero-energy home. 

Let’s say if you live in a rainy climate, your home will stay dry and won’t let the moisture get into the house. In the same way, warm or cold weather can be handled with air-sealing approaches. Choose the option that works well with your climate and budget.

Insulation

If we talk about the house being airtight from the outside weather, another concern is insulation. If you optimize the insulation levels for your ceilings, walls, and floors, you can select framing that will suit your smart home design

There are various options for it depending on the elevation and you can choose the one that suits well within your budget.

Insulated Windows and Doors

Insulation goes a long way and home windows, and doors are a very big concern. They are letting warm air go out and bringing cold. But if you choose to use the energy-efficient highly insulated low U-value frame and low- E glass windows and doors, your home is going to be more airtight than ever. 

It is a cost-effective solution. However, choosing the window size, direction, location, style, blinds, and even curtain can contribute to its effectiveness.  

Consider Fresh Air Supply

What is the point of having a luxury home if you don’t have access to natural and fresh air? 

Although smart homes are supposed to be airtight, there is a need for a fresh air supply in every smart home. If fresh air doesn’t come in or the moisture doesn’t go out, there is not much to consider. 

So, smart homes come with a continuous source of fresh filtered air through a highly energy-efficient ventilation system. They expel used air while recovering its heat and returning that same heat to the home with the fresh air. This ventilation system is healthier and more comfortable than regular homes.

Heating and Cooling System

Just like any other advanced machinery, technology has introduced us to highly efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling systems. They are essential for every custom energy-efficient home. They can be customized according to your smart home architecture.  They consume less power and meet the net-zero energy goal.

Water Heating

Water heating and good water pressure are both important concerns in a bathroom. Considering that water heating also consumes energy, many architects and builders use more advanced water heating technology in which water heats up in seconds as you use it. It only warms water as you use it and then turns off when you stop using water.