Home Improvement

New Home Construction Techniques

If you’ve hired one to produce a custom home plan with your builder and your architect, it’s crucial to determine the most refined construction technique for your new home.

Although conventional timber (traditional stick framing) is used to frame most new homes in the U.S., various construction methods, such as light-gauge steel, indoor modular homes, structural insulated panels, and concrete, can be used instead.

New Home Construction Techniques

An overview of the most popular new home construction techniques is provided here. With this knowledge, you and your builder are prepared to choose the best construction method for your new house from an Interior fit-out company in London.

Old-fashioned stick framing

When constructing a new home, “stick framing” comes to mind. Assembling the skeleton of the house, including the wall studs, floor and ceiling joists, and roof trusses or rafters, stick-by-stick, typically on the Jobsite, gives this construction method its name.

Because workers construct the first-floor platform on the foundation, stick framing is sometimes referred to as platform framing. The first story walls are then framed, the second level platform is added. The double story walls are constructed, and finally, the roof framing is finished.

The insulation is then stuffed between the external wall’s frame components. The inner walls are often coated with drywall after this passes inspection. A weather-resistant cladding, such as stucco, siding, or brick veneer, covers the house’s exterior.

Panelization as a Technique

Wall panels are stick-built of wood manufactured in a manufacturing plant and then trucked to the building site and assembled. There is a limited but rising number of dwellings. Panelization proponents point out that complete wall systems can be built in a factory environment, away from weather, rain, or other harsh elements. The overall wood-framed structure of the home is the same whether walls are stick-built on-site or in a factory.

The Most Popular Building Technique for New Homes

Over 90% of all new homes built in the country each year are stick-built. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center. This building model is well understood by all parties engaged in residential construction, including builders, carpenters, other trade contractors (often known as sub-contractors), and architects. To accommodate this style of new home construction, a vast supply network for building materials has grown throughout the nation.

Negative Aspects of Stick Framing

Despite being almost universal, stick framing has certain disadvantages. Overly wet framing lumber may shrink and warp as it dries, resulting in drywall cracks. Additionally, it might be challenging to properly air seal and insulate the numerous crevices between structural members using regular fibreglass batts. There are solutions to these problems to ensure high-quality housing, such as employing properly dried lumber. One or more carefully built insulation systems.

There are alternative ways to build the framework of a home, even though this site-built stick frame method of building new homes using wood and timber dominates. These techniques may also offer greater energy efficiency or storm resistance. Steel, modular structural panels, and concrete are the substitutes. Each is contrasted with the conventional wood-framing construction technique described above as follows:

Steel, Light-Gauge

Consider a stick-built house, but with metal sticks instead of wood. The benefit is that steel won’t burn, shrink, rot, or serve as termite food. Steel can outperform a wooden frame in strength when it is correctly constructed. And there is little concern about drywall fractures because it neither shrinks nor warps.

There is a well-established supply chain since light-gauge steel is employed in commercial structures for internal walls. Due mainly to cost and familiarity, steel frame has a smaller market share. Few residential builders have the equipment or expertise necessary to deal with steel, which increases the cost of constructing a steel home by about 3%, according to most estimates.

Because steel conducts heat, steel studs also present unique issues for plumbers and electricians. The insulator must take measures to isolate the frame from the sheathing, typically by enclosing the house in rigid foam insulation.

Modular and Manufactured Homes

The same building regulations apply to site-built homes apply to manufactured or modular homes, which also use standard stick framing and maintain their value. (A mobile home, a depreciating asset built on a steel chassis and subject to the Federal HUD construction code, should not be confused.) Inside and out, modules are finished in a factory. They are trucked to the location, where a crane sets them in position. They are put together by a local builder who adds finishing touches like decks.

Although you’ve seen a modular home roll down the highway, they don’t tell the whole picture. These homes are often two parts of a plain box. There are many different types and pricing ranges of modular. Some manufacturers mix custom-built modules in novel ways to produce intricate designs with cathedral ceilings and other common architectural characteristics.

Although the product can vary, the factory setting theoretically affords superior control over everything from the structure to the insulation. Some modular home builders offer quality on par with site-built homes, and some businesses have created “green” homes. Other modular builders have a reputation for cutting costs, such as having thin inner walls that provide no noise isolation. As you would with any home, thoroughly examine the product specifications, seek references, and ask lots of questions. Expect higher quality to cost more money.

insulated structural panels

An oriented strand board (OSB) and rigid foam insulation sandwiched together to form a structural panel is known as a structural insulated panel, or SIP. SIPs include a conduit for electrical wiring and pre-cut window and door apertures. They can be mixed to create almost any home design and are used for ceilings and walls. On the Jobsite, specially trained teams put them together. They may sustain themselves, but they’re frequently used to cover a conventional timber frame or post-and-beam construction.

Since SIP homes often have excellent insulation and no draughts, they require less energy to heat and cool than conventional stick-frame homes. As a result, you might need a more compact heating and cooling system.

Concrete

The most common building material in the world is undoubtedly concrete, although aside from foundations, only a tiny portion of single-family homes in the United States contain it. When used, either insulated concrete forms or concrete masonry units (CMUs) are used to construct the walls of the homes (ICFs). Floors, ceilings, interior walls, and roofs all use a wood frame.

Units of Concrete Masonry

Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) are hollow concrete blocks placed on location and wrapped with foam insulation board on the interior or exterior. The home’s interior remains cooler on hot days because the thermal mass of the blocks inhibits the flow of heat. The South, particularly Florida, where CMU homes are priced competitively with wood framing, is where they are most popular.

Concrete Aerated via Autoclaving

A variation on the concrete masonry units mentioned above are autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks, which are made of a mixture of Portland cement, aluminium, and fly ash (a byproduct of coal power plants), and other additives. Microscopic air bubbles are created from chemical reactions between the materials and serve as insulation. Costs will be a little higher than with conventional CMUs.

Forms for Insulated Concrete

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) are stiff foam forms, like Legos, that are put together on-site and then filled with concrete and steel rods. The forms remain in place to act as insulation for the house. ICF walls give thermal mass up to R-25 in insulation values, which is more than most wood-framed walls can offer. They are so suitable for any environment.

Which Construction Type Is Best For You?

Next, talk with your builder about a method from the list above that you find interesting. Make sure your builder and his trade contractors have extensive experience in the construction style you picked if you decide to utilise a technique other than the conventional stick-building approach. Make sure your architect is skilled in the type of construction you choose if you’re working with one and want to use a technique other than stick-framing.

What feature unites the construction above techniques? A skilled builder, architect, and group of trade contractors will all work together to provide you with a new home that is high-quality, sturdy, and energy-efficient, ready for many years of enjoyment.

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