Saturday, March 30, 2019

Proper Water Management Around Your New Custom Home

When you are planning to build a new custom home or put an addition on an existing home something that a lot of people don't think about is the finished grade that will be around the home.

I have seen a lot of homes that are either built into hills or in area's that have water runoff that didn't think about the grading and ended up with water problems after construction was finished.

What makes it worse is that these water problems only show up at certain times of the year. Usually when there is a large snow melt, or an extremely heavy rain storm.

Now some people can live with a little water penetration into there garage or basement or crawlspace once a year or once every two years when you have some freak weather. But what if the weather becomes more freakish all the time. Well with climate change the weather has been changing and becoming more freakish every season, we are breaking records every year for extreme weather and it only looks like its going to get worse not better. That means that the little bit of moisture or water penetration that you handle with a dehumidifier starts to become a constant wet area.

When something becomes a constant wet area then you start to get mold issues, you get wood starting to rot, you get water freezing because of the extreme temperature changes, when water freezes inside concrete or concrete block you have structural damage that starts to happen. Concrete will crack and start to crumble. The more that happens the more water is able to get in and the more damage occurs.

Overtime you don't have a moisture issue you have a major water damage problem. That will cost you a significant amount of money to rehabilitate. A lot of times insurance will not cover these problems.

All of this because you didn't spend enough time considering how the home can best shed water. Now a lot of people do the simple thing like not going deep in the ground with their lower levels, that's a good start but if your house is on any type of grade then water will hit the foundation of your home like water hitting a dam in a river. The water when it is stopped starts to spread out until it finds a path of least resistance, sometimes that's into your home.

Now the simple thing to do is to slope all the area's away from the home, except that if your are on any kind of grade the water can build up enough force that it will travel up the slope and stay against the foundation. The other factor that most people do not consider is that in the spring when you have had a lot of snow fall over the winter, that snow falls off the roof, then the snow can build up freezing and creating a dam near the house. This dam will hold water against the foundation until it penetrates it.

How do you stop this? You need not just positive grade away from the home but you need large sections where the snow can spread out away from the home, weepers in the ground to help take the melt water away from the home. One other thing that you can do is design the roof of the home so that it sheds most of it's water away from the higher grade, this eliminates the snow from piling up on the uphill side. This can be achieved by turning the pitch of the roof, adding dormers or building a different type of roof like a low slope roof that slopes to the downhill side.

This type of thing though must be thought about before your new build or addition starts to be constructed, it goes back to the planning stage with your architect. Doing these types of things will ensure that you don't have a lot of problems later with water and a lot of clean up bills.

Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spring Construction Season Has Arrived

The sun is shining, birds are signing and soon the framing guns will be ringing. That's right it's the official start to construction!

Now construction never actually stops anymore in this area but this time of the year is when most people start thinking about their own construction projects.

Whether you are thinking about building a;
  • New House
  • An addition to your home or cottage
  • Renovating your home or cottage
  • Adding or repairing decks or porches
  • Building a treehouse for the little ones
  • Adding bathrooms
  • New kitchens
Or a combination of any of the above, if you are planning on any of these then you best get started with your plans and budgeting soon. Because soon all the contractors that you are interested in talking too might be either booked up for the rest of the summer or so busy quoting other projects that they can't quote yours in a timely manner.

To avoid this you need to make sure that you start the process early and focus on what you really want in a contractor. You need to find someone that you can work with, someone that doesn't just know what you are doing but also works well with you the homeowner. Because depending on the size and scope of the project you could end up working with this person for a while and if you don't get a long then your project will not be enjoyable.

One thing to remember about the spring is that the real estate market really picks up, with the increase in home sales comes the increase in demand for contractors to help repair, renovate or add to homes that have just recently been purchased. These projects usually come about quickly and start just as fast. They can take a contractor in the spring from being available to completely booked for most of the spring and summer. The hotter the real estate market the worse this problem becomes. 

In a lot of cases contractors can find themselves booked all the way until next year with the work they pick up in the spring from people buying and selling real estate.

All of these market forces can affect your efforts to get your project priced and completed, that's why the number one thing I tell people is to start early and keep at it until you find what you need to get your project completed.

If you have a project that you are wanting completed this spring/summer send us an email at and lets see if we can help.

Village Builders Inc.