When building your new home, there is a one time opportunity to build things right, especially when it comes to the energy efficiency details. Mike understands this and uses the right products for the correct application and installs them correctly. This will ensure comfort, beauty and longevity in your new home.
Many times it’s not just the finishes such as the windows, siding and roof, or the flooring, cabinets and countertops that determine the quality of your home, but the things that you don’t see. Mike believes that, “What you don’t see matters”, and builds to a higher level of quality. Below are some of the products, techniques and other details that go into making your new home the best home possible.
1. Air sealed attics: Our attics are air sealed with foam prior to adding R50 attic insulation. This step greatly adds to the energy efficiency of your home by eliminating air leakage and drafts.
2. Air sealed fixtures: Another important step in energy efficiency is to seal light fixtures and bath fans from the attic side.
3. Back bracing system: This foot lock back bracing system offers superior strength and holding power to keep the foundation walls from cracking during the backfill process.
4. Blower door testing: All of Mike’s homes are very energy efficient and are tested and certified. The blower door test instantly measures the amount of air leakage in a new home. Mike’s homes routinely in the top 20% for overall efficiency in new homes.
5. Door bell: Although a door bell is a small thing, it is ideal if it can be located between the door and sidelight. With this door, the wire was concealed in a specially cut groove and hidden behind the door trim.
6. Drain tile gravel: A drain tile system is very important for any home as it can be used to pump out ground water and can evacuate radon gas if it is present. Mikes takes great care in this step and brings in the gravel need via cement trucks that is spread by hand with a wheel barrow and rake. While this method is more time consuming if provides for a uniform gravel thickness and clean installation.
7. Foundation coating: While there are many different foundation coating products, Mike’s installs a gray colored, 100% polymer product. This product is rubberized and offers the best protection against any potential water intrusion.
8. Foundation insulation: Because energy efficiency is so important to Mike’s, the foundation walls and basement floors are always insulated. Typically basement walls are insulated with fiberglass batts the can hold moisture and lead to potential mold problems. With Mike’s, the unfinished basement walls are insulated with Thermax brand, white faced foam. This foam not only offers a good R-value and reduces any mold potential, but is also a white color that will keeps your basement storage spaces brighter.
9. Great looking drywall: We work hard to achieve a smooth, defect free finish on your walls and ceilings. Your walls and ceilings are inspected with bright lights to highlight any defects that can then be easily sanded out. Your ceilings are primed twice, this helps to eliminate shadowing.
10. In-floor heat: While in-floor heat systems are not installed in every home, they do offer a warm consistent heat, especially in lower level living spaces. Pictured is a circulating hot water system that gets imbedded into the concrete floor.
11. Insulated attic access: Typically a fiberglass batt is installed in this area.
They are dirty, cumbersome and impossible to position correctly to seal the space. We use insulated foam panels with a foam rubber seal to guarantee air tightness.
12. Kick out flashing: Kick gffgout flashings are a must. They are installed at the bottom of the roof where it intersects the siding on a wall. If this area is not flashed correctly, water will leak in behind the siding, rot the wood and create a mold issue. Many times the home owner is not aware of this problem until it is discovered years later.
13. Laser: We use lasers to square in your foundation, level, and plumb your walls to tolerances less than 1/16″. This important process takes more time but will assure your flooring, cabinets and millwork all fit properly to give you the best quality job possible.
14. Millwork sanding: Mike’s inspects your new doors and interior millwork and sands out small factory defects or mill marks before finishing.
15. Newel post anchor: Have the stair posts come loose in your current home? Mike’s orders extra long newel posts for your stair system so they can be anchored through the wood floor or into the concrete floor. This assures that they stay solid for the life of the home.
16. Organized mechanical rooms: Much thought goes into the layout of the mechanical room during the plan design phase. There are a many mechanical systems and components that are installed in a new home. A pre designed mechanical space allows for all systems to be located in one area which optimizes space management, and allows for easy access for future maintenance and repair.
17. Pressure blown insulated walls: This system offers an R23 value, but will perform much better than that. As this product is installed under pressure, the insulation is packed in more dense that standard fiberglass batts. The higher density installation restricts the air convection current that is present in a typical wall cavity, thus improving the overall efficiency.
18. Quality equipment: We bring in the right equipment for the job. Whether we are removing trees, installing your driveway or compacting around the foundation we use the right piece of equipment for maximum efficiency.
19. Spray foam: Spray foam is a great product and is used for insulating and especially air
sealing. Mike’s uses spray foam in the box joists, attics and in the 2 x 4 walls built in front of
concrete walls. Spray foam add strength and seals out air, moisture and bugs.
20. Tyvek house wrap: While Tyvek brand house wraps cost more than other house wraps on the market, Tyvek will out perform them in the long run. Most house wraps help with air infiltration, but Tyvek works especially well to keep out wind driven rain that can push in behind the siding and will keep water from getting to the wood portion of the structure.