log cabin located in virginia
Written by Deborah Hawkins

Log Home Building in Virginia Is Thriving

Log homes are very popular right now in Virginia. Throughout the earlier periods of American history, log homes were one of the only home building options for people who wanted to build good strong houses. However, even though many other methods of home building have come along since then, log home building is still extremely popular in Virginia.

 

There are many reasons why this is the case. Here are some of the top reasons why log home building is still a very popular home construction method.

  1. Beauty

 

The natural beauty of log homes is something that is very difficult to replicate with other materials and building methods. Log homes have a very pleasing aesthetic appeal that many people are quite fond of. They are both rustic, and strong looking. Many people value this look for their homes.

 

  1. Energy efficiency

 

In addition to their great beauty, log homes are very energy efficient. In fact, they are often constructed to have 30 percent more energy efficiency than is actually required by government regulations for home building. Part of the reason why this is the case is because log homes have something called “thermal mass.” Thermal mass is a property that allows logs to gather heat and radiate it back into the house. This means that log homes can be extremely cozy in the winter!

  1. Longevity

 

If a log home is constructed properly, it can comfortably last for hundreds of years. So, if you decide to go with a log home for your new property, you can rest assured, knowing that it will most likely last for a very, very long time. For many people, longevity is a very important aspect to consider when building a home.

 

  1. Peacefulness

 

Log homes often provide a sense of peacefulness and comfort that is difficult to replicate with other construction methods. There are several reasons why this is the case. First, log homes tend to be very good at muffling sound, which means that they can be very quiet and tranquil on the inside. Also, because log homes are made from logs that are often sourced in nearby forests, they can provide a sense of organic connection to the surrounding environment. This too, can help to increase the peaceful feeling associated with these homes.

  1. Strength

 

Strength is one of the single most important features of log homes. Log homes can be significantly stronger than homes made with other construction methods. This is because logs are very dense and thick. This makes them very durable and strong. Because of this, they can be very resistant to storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Log homes do not have hollow walls like many other types of homes do. There are even reports of the epicenter of an earthquake occurring just one thousand yards away from a log home, and the log home suffered no damage.

 

 

A trend that is likely to continue

 

Despite the fact that log homes are one of the oldest types of homes, they are likely to continue to be favored well into the future. All of the reasons listed in this article contribute to the strong log home trend in Virginia. Log homes have sheltered many American families since the country was founded in 1776.

 

It is very likely that they will continue to do so for centuries to come. If you are interested in building a log home on your property, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Spear Builders today. We can build an amazing log home for you to live in and that you will cherish into the future.

 

Other popular log home articles:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/06/07/todays-log-homes-arent-just-rustic-theyre-upscale/?utm_term=.834d807996d7 (Log cabins are now more modern and upscale than ever before)

http://mentalfloss.com/article/502292/one-americas-oldest-log-cabins-market (Americas oldest log cabin is up for sale!)

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/rustic-university-of-mary-washington-campground-provides-different-kind-of/article_31646aa7-566c-5ab6-8cac-6af6dfb16930.html (Students built four log cabins as part of a summer project)

living-room-with-cherry-wood-flooring-1100px
Written by Deborah Hawkins

Three Types of Flooring : The Pros and Cons of Wood, Carpet, and Tile

If you are about to put a new floor in to your home or other property, then you may be wondering which type of floor would be best for you. Wood, carpet, and tile are all great options when it comes to flooring. However, there are also a few cons to each of these flooring types. Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of wood, carpet, and tile flooring.

 

Wood Flooring

 

Pros  

  • Beauty – Wood floors have an impressive natural beauty that can help to make a building look very aesthetically pleasing.

 

  • Easy Maintenance – Wood floors are very easy to care for and maintain. They can be easily swept or vacuumed. Also, spills are very easily cleaned on hardwood floors. They are very simple to care for in most cases.

 

  • Longevity – These types of floors can last a very long time. In fact, original wood flooring can still be found in many houses that are over 100 years old. Wood is a strong, durable material, and it can stand the test of time.

 

Cons

 

  • Price – Wood for floors can often cost between $3-$12 per square foot. This can be quite expensive if you have hundreds of square feet to cover with wood flooring.

 

  • Scratching – Wood can be more susceptible to scratching than other types of floors. The softer the wood, the more that this is the case.

 

 

Carpet Flooring

 

Pros

 

  • Softness – Carpet floors tend to be softer than other options. This can make your home more comfortable. It can also be good if there are young children in the house who run around a lot and are susceptible to falling. Softness is a big part of the reason why carpet is 51 percent of the total U.S. market for flooring.

 

  • Sound barrier – Carpet floors muffle more sound than other types of floors such as wood. This can be very helpful if you live in a building where people live above or beneath you, such as a high rise apartment complex.

 

  • Heat retention – In the colder months, carpet floors can help to prevent heat from escaping. This can help to save you on energy costs.

 

Cons

 

  • Stains – Unlike other surfaces such as wood or tile, spills are not easy to clean on carpets. In fact, when a liquid such as red wine is spilled on a carpet, it can be very difficult to clean.

 

  • Shorter lifespans – The average lifespan of a carpet can be significantly less than other options such as wood. This is because carpet simply is not as durable as wood.

 

 

Tile Flooring

 

Pros

 

  • Beauty – Like wood, tiles floors can help to create a very beautiful and natural feeling. Tile floors can be very beautiful and installing one can actually boost the resale value of the house.

 

  • Great for allergy sufferers – Tile is completely non-toxic, and it does not trap dust and danger like a carpet floor can. So, tile floors can be an excellent option for those who have severe allergies.

 

  • Longevity. – Like wood, tile is very strong, and can last for many decades without needing to be replaced.

 

Cons

 

  • Hardness – Tile floors are not soft like carpet floors. They can be very hard and unforgiving. So, if you slip and fall on them, it can cause significantly more pain than if you were to slip and fall on a carpet floor. Tile floors can be even harder than wood floors.

 

  • Sound – Tile floors do not offer sound barriers like carpeted floors do. This means that sound can travel through them much easier. If you live in a building where there is a lot of noise, then this can be an issue. However, tile is still a great option, and that is why it is used in millions of homes in America.

 

 

 

Red Hardi Plank Siding on Side of Barn Shed
Written by Deborah Hawkins

Hardi Plank Siding: Understanding the Price

Hardi plank siding is a very well made siding material that is frequently used on houses. Hardi plank siding is made of finely ground sand, premium cement, water, and natural wood cellulose fibers.

This material is very high quality, and is often preferred by people who are looking for a higher end siding option for their buildings and structures. However, hardi plank can also be more expensive than other materials.

 

Benefits Of Hardi Plank Siding

 

  • Durability
    • Hardi plank siding is made to last. In fact, in most cases, hardi plank siding comes with a 50-year warranty. That is a lot of peace of mind for property owners who invest in this material. Hardi plank siding is very strong due to its composition.

 

  • Resistance to Fires
    • Unlike other materials such as wood, hardi plank siding is resistant to fire. This is because it is primarily composed of sand and cement. Having fire resistant siding on your home can be important not only for preventing fires that may occur within your own home, but it can also help to prevent fires spreading to your home from adjacent buildings. This is very significant.

 

  • Aesthetic Appeal
    • Not only is hardi plank siding very appealing in its own right, but it can also be adjusted and altered to resemble a wide variety of other materials. For example, hardi plank siding can be made to look like cedar shingles, wood shake siding, wood lap boards, and other options. There are also many different options for color. Due to the versatility and wide range of color options, hardi plank siding is often viewed as a great option for people who want to make their buildings attractive.

 

  • Resistance To Weather Events
    • Hurricanes, hailstorms, tornadoes, and other weather events can all cause severe damage to properties. Because hardi plank siding is made up largely of concrete and sand (very small rocks), it is very strong, and very resistant to bad weather. It can take many beatings from hailstorms and be completely fine. It also has great resistance to stronger storms.

 

Rear of Home with Hardie Plank Siding

Rear of Home with Hardie Plank Siding

 

Hardi Plank Pricing Information

 The average cost to install hardi plank siding on a building is roughly $4-6 per square foot. This is comparable to other good siding options such as brick, granite, and cement board. All of these materials are very strong and can last for many years. However, if you are going to invest in hardi plank siding for your property, then it can be a significant investment.

To apply hardi plank siding to average sized properties, it can cost roughly $13,000-$17,000. However, this investment can be well worth it. The reason is because hardi plank siding can last for decades. It also protects your home from damage in ways that other materials can’t.

For example, hardi plank is much stronger than vinyl, and it is much more fire resistant than wood. So, even though vinyl or wood siding may be cheaper to install initially, hardi plank can save you money in the long run because it can prevent you from having to re-side your house if there is a fire or a bad storm.

 

Hardi Plank Siding on Charlottesville Log Cabin

Hardi Plank Siding on a log cabin in Charlottesville, Virginia

Our Final Thoughts On Hardie Plank Siding

Hardi plank may not be the cheapest siding option on the market. However, it is a great option for anyone who wants a strong, beautiful, and long-lasting siding on their property. Installing hardi plank siding may be an expensive upfront cost, but this investment can provide you with a beautiful siding that can last for well over fifty years. After you install hardi plank, you may never have to install another siding on your property for your entire life. In fact, the next residents of the building may not have to either!

Pole Barn Metal Roof
Written by Deborah Hawkins

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

 

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost? That is the question I get asked all the time by clients when looking to install a new roof on their home. When it comes to roof materials, there are many different types. For example, roofs are commonly made with composite or asphalt shingles, rolled roofing material, and slate shingles. There are even green roofs, which have moss or plants growing on top of them. However, one of the most interesting and trendy roof materials in the modern market is metal.

 

metal roofing on the post office cabin

 

Benefits of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs provide a classy, strong look that makes a building look durable, yet upscale. Metal roofs are also fire resistant. This gives them a distinct advantage over other types of roofing materials. Considering that there are roughly 358,300 home structure fires in the United States, this is quite significant.

 

Another great benefit of metal roofs is that they are not appealing to termites, carpenter ants, or other insects that use wood and certain similar materials for food. This means that metal roofs will never receive termite or carpenter ant damage. This is a major advantage.

 

Metal roofs also have a high degree of longevity. Typically, they can last 40-70 years. Asphalt roofs often only last for 12-20 years. This means that if you decide to go with metal roofing that it can last up to 4 to 5 times longer than an asphalt-based alternative. Finally, metal roofs are also environmentally friendly. This is because they are often made with 25-95 % recycled material. Further, they are typically completely recyclable after they are taken off the structure.

 

Costs of Metal Roofs

 

The cost of metal roofs is usually about 2-3 times as expensive as other options such as asphalt shingle roofs. For example, asphalt shingles typically cost $3 - $4 per square foot. However, metal roofs often cost $5.50 to $12.00 per square foot. So, if you are going to purchase a metal roof vs. an asphalt shingle one, it can be a significantly larger investment.

 

The exact cost per square foot to have a metal roof installed depends on which type of metal roof you would like to have installed. For example, a metal shingle roof is typically cheaper than a standing seam metal roof.

 

However, even though metal roofs are usually more expensive, there are some metal options that are comparable to asphalt shingles in terms of price. For example, corrugated metal, and ribbed steel roofs cost less than other types of metal roofs. Corrugated and ribbed steel roofs usually cost between $3 - $6 per square foot.

 

So, if you opt for a corrugated metal or a ribbed steel roof, then you can face installation costs that are comparable to asphalt shingles. In some cases, the costs may be slightly higher, but these are still good options for metal roofs. They will be very durable and last for many years.

 

Outlook

 

Metal roofing may be a bit more expensive in many cases than alternatives. However, if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, then the metal roof cost can be well worth it. This is because a metal roof will have to be replaced significantly fewer times than roofs made with other materials such as asphalt shingles.

metal roofing on the bedford cabin

So, if you are going for cheap and non-long lasting, then asphalt shingles may be your best option. However, if you are going for longevity, durability, protection for insects, and fire resistance, then metal roofs are the better option. Metal roofs also provide a very nice modern feel to your home or office building. This can be important when it comes time to sell your building in the future. Unless you are planning to keep your structure in your family indefinitely, resale value is a variable that should definitely be considered.

Written by Spear Builders

How much will it cost to build your home?

Now that you know what type of home you're going to build, the next task is to figure out how much it's going to cost. You'll need a rough cost to determine whether or not the home site and house will fit your budget. The total cost of your home is made up of two components: soft costs and hard costs.

Soft costs are any costs that are not directly related to construction, things like permit fees, impact fees, utilities, taxes, loan interest, and tap fees. Soft costs are found by working with your lender, municipality, and local utility companies. Your bank will give you an estimate of the loan costs and loan interest. The municipality will help you with permit fees, impact fees, and tap fees.

Hard costs are materials and labor to build your home. For example, roofing should be about three percent of the total house cost. These percentages will give you some guidance for putting together your budget. As always, remember prices can vary depending on materials and location. An asphalt roof in Fredericksburg, VA, isn't comparable to a tile roof in Charlottesville, VA. But this should still give you a good standpoint.

For hard costs, you don't want to spend a whole lot of time and money at this point bidding the house out to subcontractors. Instead, there are several decent sources for estimating residential construction based on a square foot.

Take the sales price of a new home similar to the one you want to build and reduce it by twenty percent for land and then another twenty percent for builder profit. This will give you a very rough estimate for the cost of building your home. Keep in mind this is only a rough estimate. The quality of materials and finishes you choose will affect the cost in a big way.

With your rough estimate of the cost of building your home, add your lot price to it to get the actual total rough estimated cost. If this falls within your budget, you're ready to continue. At Spear Builders, we have the best custom home builders in Virginia. Contact us today.

Written by Spear Builders

5 tips for dealing with contractors

So you've succeeded in getting the home of your dreams by working with home builders in Virginia. Now that the crews have packed up and left, that's the end of dealing with contractors, right? Wrong. Inevitably you will have to hire workers for a job in the future, whether it be refreshing a paint job or landscaping your property. How do you ensure that you get your money's worth without a lot of headaches? Here are five tips for dealing with contractors that will make everyone's life a little easier.

1. Do your research to find a contractor

Don't just pick up the Yellow Pages or rely on advice from a neighbor. Do your homework; there are many websites expressly for this purpose (AngiesList.com is one of them). A good source of information is the manager of your local hardware or home improvement store. Above all, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.

2. Have a plan

Know what you want from the get go, and communicate this clearly to the contractor. Changing directions in the middle of a job can be very time-consuming and costly to you in the long run. Have a vision of the work you want to be completed and impart this to the foreman at the start of the job. Putting it in writing can't hurt.

3. Anticipate mess

Many homeowners are shocked by the amount of dust, fumes or piles of materials that accumulate during a project. You may want to consider staying somewhere else for a few nights while the work is done, particularly if you or a family member suffers from a health problem like asthma.

4. You aren't the center of the universe

Recognize that you are not the contractor's only client, and behave accordingly. Making unrealistic demands will only create resentment and a tense work environment, so be respectful of their time and workload.

5. Get ready to wait

If you spend a lot of time watching the home fixer-upper shows on television, you may be surprised that work is not completed in an hour - or even a day! TV productions fail to show all the assistants behind the scenes and clever editing makes jobs seem effortless. Lots of factors can cause delays, including the contractor's other jobs and weather may have a significant impact on your project.

If you bear in mind these five basic rules, you and your contractor will have a much better working relationship overall.

Written by Spear Builders

3 fantastic reasons to custom build your home in Fredericksburg, VA

Making the journey to new home ownership is one filled with anticipation and excitement. Often times the searching process is the most difficult. Just when you think you have found your dream home, you discover some particular detail that isn’t to your liking. Or maybe the neighborhood is not what you hoped for? The kitchen is not updated to your taste? However, finding the perfect home has never been easier when securing custom home builders in Fredericksburg, VA. Here are three benefits of building a new home that will inspire you to action.

Custom creation

When you make the decision to move to a new place, why not have things the way you want them? Work with a custom home builder to create the kitchen that fits your family’s style and needs. You decide the way the rooms are laid out when custom building a home. From the countertops to the bathroom fixtures and everything in between, you choose the colors, textures, and styles you love. You do not simply need to settle for what is already there when you start from scratch.

Save money

Unbelievably, you actually save money when you build your home. Older homes have much more maintenance and upkeep costs than new homes and that continues adding up. On average, a home approximately ten years old costs around 580% more to maintain than a new one. Another factor people may not think about is the time spent taking care of needed repairs and maintenance on an older home. Every hour spent dealing with unforeseen issues is time that could be spent on other things.

Modern conveniences

Today custom-built homes boast many modern features. Updated construction methods and stronger materials used in the fabrication of the home means it lasts longer. Also, many energy efficient options make your home environmentally friendly while saving you money too. According to statistics, new homes increase efficiency by 30% over older homes. Here are just a few of the updated features on new homes:

• More durable trusses on roofs.
• Special house wrap fights mold and mildew.
• Windows with multiple panes keep out the air more effectively.
• Security options are available to protect you and your belongings.

If you are ready to begin the journey of owning your dream home, then custom home builders in Fredericksburg, VA is your answer. Connect with Spear Builders today for more information!

Written by Spear Builders

5 reasons to add a loft to your open floor plan custom home

Open floor plans are still all the rage and for good reason. Large rooms with high ceilings and fewer walls provide a breezy and welcoming atmosphere while remaining flexible enough to use in practically any way. Lofts are a great feature to discuss to your custom home builder in Charlottesville VA for these five reasons.

1. Better climate control

High cathedral ceilings look great, but they can make it harder to stay warm in the winter without big bills. Cutting down the vertical height of at least part of a room by adding a loft traps more heat close to the floor where you can feel it. Many people find the spaces under a loft to be a cozy place to relax or even sleep in the winter.

2. Maximize space use

When you've already completed your custom home design but discover you'd really like another room for a crafting space or a home office, a loft is the most convenient way to add that extra space. It's a very popular renovation project because it's a lot easier and faster than adding onto the structure with an external addition. Cutting one room into two makes the most of the vertical space that would otherwise be wasted.

3. Smaller footprint

Building on a small lot is a challenge when you have a big family or host of a lot of guests. Going vertical is the best option, but extra floors cost a lot too. Lofting a few rooms adds the space you need while keeping the total footprint of the house as compact as possible, including vertically.

4. Higher home value

Since space for new real estate development is at a premium in the UK, loft additions have become one of the highest valued renovation projects because of the demand for new space in existing structures. In high demand areas, a loft renovation adds up to the US equivalent of $25,000 in home value. While your home value varies based on a lot of factors, the extra space of a loft will definitely help your home's future selling price.

5. Simple design

Finally, lofts are easier to build than second and third stories. These structures fit within the existing architecture and rarely require any structural changes, especially when they're added during new construction.

If you're interested in adding a loft to your home, contact Spear Builders today to start the discussion.

Photo: Plastered by humbert15 licensed under Creative commons 2
Written by Spear Builders

5 traits of superior home builders

In the market for a new home? Make sure you choose the right home builders for the task. These five traits should guide your search from beginning to end:

1. Experience

The more familiar your home builder is with homes like your own, the more confident you can be in the final product. While everyone needs to start somewhere, there’s a lot of value in a tried, tested, and true team of home builders. Make sure to look at more than just the number of years in service—look at the reputation and check the references.

2. Professionalism

A home builder shouldn’t be difficult to contact, should never be rude, and shouldn’t show up late to meetings. It may be difficult to make hard promises on timelines, especially if something unexpected occurs—but that doesn’t give a builder cart blanche to make things up and give halfhearted excuses later. You want the people building your home to take their jobs seriously and perform their work earnestly.

3. Familiarity with new technology

Modern home building involves a lot of new technology, from the architectural software used in design to the new techniques used to effectively put together energy-efficient homes. While it may be appealing to work with a team of builders who still do things the old-fashioned way, it’s not optimal for your home. You want people who have an old-fashioned work ethic and plenty of experience married with an appreciation of new technology and opportunities to enhance the final home. If your builder doesn’t know what low-e windows are, for example, how efficient will your home really be?

4. Confidence

Or, to put it more bluntly, warranties and guarantees. There’s a lot of advertising and branding value in strongly worded contract-backed promises—any company which hesitates to make those sorts of promises and thus skips on those benefits should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Guarantees make money for good companies and lose money for bad companies—food for thought.

5. Transparency

You should always be able to understand what you’re paying for and what you’re getting—whether you’re buying a candy bar at the store or a custom-built home. Obfuscation of expenses, materials, or any other aspect of the building process should be taken as a bad sign. A good home builder has nothing to hide and will be glad to communicate with you consistently, clearly, and thoroughly.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic or inquire about custom homes, you can contact Spear Builders of Virginia today. As award-winning custom home builders in Virginia, we can answer all of your questions thoroughly and accurately.

Written by Spear Builders

Energy efficiency: the marriage of historic architecture and today’s high-tech features

Custom home builders in Fredericksburg, Virginia, are fortunate to be working in one of the most architecturally historic cities in America. Founded in 1728, Fredericksburg was on the frontier of Virginia’s western expansion. Its substantial historic district pays homage to the beauty of the buildings of its past. Buildings of the past, however, should be valued by more than just their beauty. They teach us that green home design is really nothing new.

Smart, pre-modern architecture

One of the most interesting aspects of pre-modern architecture is just how smart it was. Long before interactive refrigerators and talking toasters, smart home design was just a way of life; it was a necessity for surviving the elements in an off-the-grid world.

Prior to the 20th century, homes were designed to provide utmost efficiency and protection in their local climate. East coast homes were cleverly designed to be as warm as possible in the winter, while being as cool as possible in the summer. They were built with thick walls that stored and dispersed heat slowly and heavy doors and window coverings that kept wind and harsh weather out. Windows were shaped and placed in such a way that would optimize the availability of natural light and fresh air. Spaces were small and sources of heat were cleverly centralized and optimized to circulate effectively throughout the home. The laws of nature were prevalent in early house construction, as were natural and sustainable building materials.

Combining the new and the old

If you’re looking for a custom home builder in the Fredericksburg-Charlottesville area who understands the benefits of historic home renovation and retro-greening, you are looking in the right place. Virginia has more than its share of historic homes. Custom home builders with knowledge and experience in this area can offer great insight on restoring old and unique, hand-crafted wonders to their ultimate state of artistry, efficiency and inherent value, as well as implementing modern and energy efficient technologies.

The best custom home builders in Virginia, while in the business of infusing brand new, state of the art beauties to its historic landscape, also know how to apply the best of current technology and building techniques to treasured historic homes. Contact us today for more information.

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