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2011 - Volume 1 Issue 2
Casas Bonitas
New Home Construction
Article: Joe Burgess
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Determining what you want from a home should always be the opening consideration for someone starting from scratch with new construction. The excitement of creating something unique that specifically represents you is a strong driving force, and indeed, that’s important for achieving the results that are emerging from your imagination. Planning, communication and followup with your architect, builder, interior designer and/or landscape designer will facilitate the decision-making process and the sooner the better for a successful outcome.

    "Planning stages are critical, because it is important to understand the lifestyle and habits of our client before starting their home. We even measure existing furniture and appliances that will be used in a new home and adjust the design as needed to accommodate them."

Wayne Suggs,
Classic New Mexico Homes
Define your lifestyle… or what you want it to be, from family and friends, travels, magazine articles or simply from your dreams. Then initiate the communication process with the designers and planners. Homes are big dollar commitments and the investment of time and effort on your part will allow you to reap the expected personal dividends.

Starting with the lot, keep in mind that valley locations can have too much clay in the soil for long-term stability requiring some soil replacement, and sloped lots can require costly leveling processes and retaining walls. Heavier roofing materials are suggested for windy hillsides and covenants often dictate exterior design styles, heating and cooling unit placement and landscaping, all of which can affect the design and construction of your home.

Energy efficiency and your level of commitment to green building practices are certainly factors affecting numerous decisions. Materials of exterior construction often classify a house and may affect your choice of building contractors. Any of the primary construction methods can achieve energy efficiency, but all of them require knowledgeable attention to detail that results in a tight, well-insulated home.

Several construction methods are discussed in the following pages and it may be helpful to understand the difference between thermal mass and thermal resistance (R-value). Thermal mass is influenced by the thickness of the material, such as mud or concrete, that forms a wall, and the thicker the mass, the slower the release of a given temperature. R-value is determined by a material’s resistance to temperature change. An inch of mud has very little R-value while an inch of fiberglass has a high resistance to temperature change. Combining wall construction materials to provide both thermal mass and resistance can produce excellent results. ///
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