The Finer Details of the Building Process
When building a new custom home all details and features in a construction project must be carefully designed, planned, organized and built. It takes a highly organized general contractor to carefully plan ahead and manage both the construction timeline and the construction process. On our website, instagram, houzz and facebook we often post pictures of finished new custom homes, custom renovations, and custom additions, but don't showcase the process and hardwork that goes into making every dream home a reality. Below is a few process photos from a new construction project we recently completed at Fairfield Beach.
Many new home builds in Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY start with the demolition of an existing house. This demo project was particularly challenging as the existing home was located at the beach and very close to neighboring properties. The demo process needs to be planned very carefully and extra precaution is needed to ensure there are no hazardous materials such as lead or asbestos requiring abatement or any risk to disturbing site utilities or neighboring properties. This particular home was very close to neighboring properties and we needed to plan taking down structures that could damage neighbor's homes. Chimneys can be particularly dangerous and must be demolished so they carefully fall piece by piece into the existing structure.
Sometimes the smallest details in a project can require the most careful planning, organization and artistry. This set of brick stairs was carefully designed to integrate custom rails, radiant heat and step lights into a multi sided arched stairway. This picture details the templating required to build the arch. After building a template out of wood the brick is laid to make the arch. The brick is also carefully placed and mortared to ensure the archway is self supporting. The technique of using the engineered stone arch to be self supporting has been around for nearly 4,000 years.
A top arch, center arch, bottom center arch and three side arches were carefully engineered and designed to provide front to back and side to side water flow during a storm while maximizing structural integrity. At quick glance if can be easy to miss the amount of design, engineering and artistry that goes into a feature like this. It requires an experienced custom home builder or general contractor with a proven track record of building structurally sound beach houses and water front homes to ensure all aspects of a construction project are built to stand the test of the time and built to stand up to some of Connecticut's biggest storms. If you look closely you can also see how the concrete is formed to provide a shelf to house the brick.
After forming the concrete foundation and templating the arches bricks are carefull placed to provide the veneer the outside of the stairs will showcase when complete.
As you can see in the above photo the arches are carefully built to self support their own weight. The bricks are also hand picked to provide the texture, color and look of antique brick.
After forming the shell of the custom built front stairs rebar is placed in the foundation and concrete to provide additional structural support. Conduits are run within the concrete to provide housing for the electrical wires for future step lights and radiant heat. The step lights illuminate the steps in the dark and the radiant heat ensures the stairs are never icy. Both features provide additional safety for the homeowners. After this step the bricks and stairs are carefully custom built on top integrating the radiant heat and steplight features.
This is the beach side of the house above. As you can see the roof is in the process of being installed and most windows and doors have also been installed and properly flashed. The roof is Galvalume, a material known for durability, resilience to mold and a sleek sheet metal look. The windows are from Lincoln windows and doors and were supplied by Northeast Building Supply. During this phase of construction it is important to close the house in from inclement weather and provide a conditioned space with controlled humidity conditions. Wood is very susceptible to moisture in the air which can cause swelling or shrinking causing major home issues. Safety should be the number one focus on every new custom home, renovation or addition. As you can see in the photo temporary railings are installed to ensure workers or subcontractors are not at risk to fall. The attic is also closed off to prevent entry and all roof work is carefully done with supporting safety equipment.