Arthur Rutenberg Homes Blog


Construction Secrets of Luxury Homes

Posted on April 22nd, 2015

construction secrets of luxury homesAny building can appear high quality, but its construction tells the true story. Take one luxury home plan. Build it two ways and you have two completely different structures: a luxury residence that can last for a century, or a house that will quickly deteriorate. True luxury homes hold quality construction behind their walls. Quality fixtures and finishes can mean the difference between comfortable living and costly repair bills. So, how can you be sure your potential home lives up to your luxury expectations? Before you sign on the dotted line for your new home, learn the secrets behind the highest quality luxury homes on the market.

1. Anti-cracking underlay for tile floors

Cracks are the last thing discerning homeowners want to see in their kitchens and bathrooms. Cracked tiles are not only unsightly, they can be difficult to repair and trap dirt and other particles. When combined with high-quality tile, anti-cracking underlay helps floors stand the test of time, moisture, and foot traffic. These adhesive mats can also help dampen sound, making them ideal for second and third-story floors.

2. Heavy-duty fascia

Often overlooked by home buyers, the fascia is a crucial structure that shields the rafters and protects the beams and other components of the roof. Experienced builders construct exterior fascia from mildew-resistant composite-wood material engineered to withstand damage and minimize maintenance and repairs. Quality fascia holds up even in extreme weather, and can significantly reduce home electricity costs.

3. Stain-resistant exterior paint

Generic exterior paints can crack, rust, and peel over time. High-quality luxury homes are coated with “superpaints” such as Sherwin-Williams brand 100% Acrylic Latex coating. These paints are carefully mixed to retain color and sheen and resist aging.

4. Synthetic fiber concrete

Synthetic fiber is one of the strongest and most durable materials used in reinforcement. It’s used to construct bridges, corporate offices, and other large structures. Ask your builder about 3000-psi concrete slabs reinforced with synthetic fiber. Lower-quality materials can threaten the integrity of your home and warrant costly repairs.

5. Horizontal blocking in walls

Most wood frame walls are supported by vertical studs with some spacing in between. Horizontal blocking refers to 2-by-4-inch blocks of lumber set between studs to keep them from warping and twisting, which helps prevent nail pops and cracks that can occur over time.

6. Cement-based backer boards

Cement-based backer boards are the optimal choice for interior wall reinforcement. These pre-constructed concrete sheets install easily and perform substantially better than standard greenboards. Cement boards resist rotting, deterioriation, and warping that can afflict walls in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms.

7. Carpet padding

Quality carpet cushion can greatly extend the lifespan of your carpets, improve comfort and durability, absorb force and sound, boost thermal insulation, and save money on maintenance. You’ll feel better walking on a cushioned carpet, and the added support can help protect children from injuries when playing, making them ideal for living areas and bedrooms. Studies show that padded carpets retain up to 50 percent more height and thickness than unpadded carpets. The noise-reduction properties also make carpet padding a smart choice for home offices.

8. Pre-wired rooms

Adding and rearranging wires can be costly and intrusive. The highest-quality modern luxury homes are equipped with structured wiring ready to support a variety of appliances and electronics. Ask your about pre-wired rooms to support ceiling fans, which are a staple in luxury homes. Bedrooms and living areas should have structured wiring with multiple media outlets to support TVs, computers, phones, gaming systems, and other electronic devices.

9. Ultra silent bath fans

Bathroom exhaust fans can remove unpleasant odors without making a racket. Fans with a higher cubic feet per minute (CFM) measurement are more powerful and generally noisier. Experts recommend a ratio of 1 CFM to 1 square foot for most bathroom fans. High-quality bath fans can provide well over 100 CFMs while remaining ultra silent.

10. Energy-efficient HVAC system

A high-quality HVAC system provides a comfortable and balanced air flow that minimizes temperature fluctuations across rooms. Old or low-quality HVAC units can break down during the summer, paving the way for mold growth, poor air quality, and moisture damage to wooden structures. Luxury home builders will choose systems with the highest energy efficiency rating and a size fit for the home. Larger units may offer faster heating and cooling, but can break down due to frequent short operation intervals. Energy-efficient models can help reduce energy costs without sacrificing performance, creating constant comfort especially during the summer and winter months. Save on energy costs, breathe easier, and get peace of mind by investing in a top-of-the-line HVAC system.

11. Double-pane windows

Double-pane insulated glass windows improve insulation and help protect furniture and floors from harsh UV rays. Window experts report that a double-paned wood or vinyl-framed window can cut energy costs between 18 and 24 percent in hot summers and cold winters compared to single-pane windows. The highest-quality, state-of-the-art models can easily double the savings. Look for an ultra-reflective, Low E coating. Double-paning also helps filter outside noise, helping keep your luxury home quiet and peaceful.

12. Home automation

Luxury and convenience go hand in hand. A home automation system lets you easily control lighting, appliances, electronics, and even security in your home. For example, you can schedule the lights in the living room to turn off at 10pm, or program your TV remote to dim the lights for a movie. Perhaps the greatest advantage of home automation lies in remote accessibility. You can easily keep in touch with your home through a network-ready computer, tablet, or smartphone. Activate your heating system 10 minutes before you get home, unlock the doors for a dog-sitter, or turn off an appliance that you forgot about in the morning rush. Ask your builder about adding home automation, which can be as simple as replacing a few switches and plugging in network modules.

Luxury home buyers know the value of quality. Often times the things you can’t see, be it carpet padding, concrete backer boards or synthetic fiber reinforcement, can be just as important as the things you can. Work closely with your builder and make sure the home meets your expectations before you commit to buy.

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