September 21, 2017

Construction

As the construction partner, John is on each jobsite every day supervising a select team of workers, solving problems, preventing delays and ensuring construction quality. We asked him what goes into a better built home.

John, how is your construction process different than others?

Sometimes, you'll encounter a common construction practice that isn't quite right. Subcontractors might say, "That's the way it's always done." Not with me. For me, nothing is cookie-cutter. If we find shortcomings -- something I wouldn't want to have in my own house -- we change it. Better construction requires the ability to adapt and change when it's apparent something isn't good enough.

If you were a buyer looking for signs of construction shortcuts, where would you look first?

Frankly, most shortcuts are covered up, and the most important one is at the very base -- the foundation. Here in Texas with our unstable soil, the quality of your foundation is the most important feature of a well built home. Before any home is started, a geotechnical engineering survey is done to evaluate the existing site and recommend the foundation design. This is key to our process and we often go beyond its recommendations. Most homes that we build have a structural slab, which costs more but provides our homeowners with a better product.

There are ways to cut corners on a foundation, but I won't do it. It's that important. In 10 years of remodeling homes in Houston, every home we touched had to have major foundation work done. That's what we aim to prevent for our buyers.

What are some of the visible signs of construction quality?

If a home seems cheap on the surface, it is probably cheap underneath. So you should trust your perceptions as you go in and around a new home. Look at the fixtures. Look at the plumbing. Look at the doorknobs. A $25 doorknob doesn't feel like a $100 one. Open and close cabinets. Look at the hinges. Open and close doors. Feel how solid they are. Turn every faucet on and off. Come back to the house at different times of day to see how sunlight impacts the exterior finish and whether the windows are properly placed. When you take stock of the little things in a home like this, you are your own best judge of overall quality.

I consider myself a very driven high achiever, and a more difficult than usual client. yet given the choice, I would do this all over again with John at my side.

~ Memorial Park Area Homeowner


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