Jeff Pearl Homes AR Blog: Choosing Builder for New Home Construction in Northern VA

Choosing Builder for New Home Construction in Northern VA

 Choosing a builder can be difficult. If you have plans to hire a builder, it's a good idea to shop around. If you don't already know a lot about what's involved in building a house, a builders reputation over several years is a good place to start looking. Many builders are hands on, and choose their subcontractors carefully. Others hire whoever they can find and whoever is cheaper. Choosing by cheapest price isn't always the best way to go about it.

Many trades are involved, and each one of those trades should be professionals. If a builder uses these same subs for years, you can bet they have performed well for that builder. From bottom of foundation to top of chimney, there are right and wrong ways of doing things. If you aren't experienced in building homes, you probably won't notice if you see something that isn't being done correctly if you visit your home during the construction period.

 Here is just one example involving the brick veneer being added to a house. Many people will just say something like " the brick looks good" and assume it's being done correctly.


 If you had experience in brickwork, you would know what to look for. If you didn't, knowing you chose a reputable builder will give you peace of mind. Here is a list of often overlooked masonry items when someone visits a site to see how their house is coming along.(1) You just assume the mortar is being mixed correctly with the proper amount of sand to each bag of mortar. (2) The back vinyl flashing in this photo is suppose to be folded into the top of 4th course of brick, then the 5th course is laid on top of the flashing. The flashing also needs to be attached and sealed to the house correctly. (3) In the head joints of the 4th course, there should be weep holes every 24" to 32" usually. Those weeps holes allow air in and water out from the space between the back side of the brick and the house sheathing. (4) in this case, the sheathing is Zip System which comes with protective coating. If the builder used standard wafer board or plywood, that wood would need to be covered with a house wrap like Tyvec or Typar or felt paper before the brick is laid. (5) Those corrogated metal strips you see nailed to the house to left of window on front are "Wall Ties". They come in many gauges, but any guage is better than none. The stronger the better. They tie the brick walls to the house framing. They should be nailed to house studs every 16" or 24" using the proper nails. As the brick are being laid, the wall ties are folded into the mortar bed joints. (6) Steel angle irons are normally used to cross over the tops of all windows and doors. The irons should bear at least 4" on both sides of the windows and doors. So if you have 40" windows ( outside of brick mold to outside of brick old in this photo), your angle irons should measure a minimum of 48".

 So you have to trust your builder and the subs your builder hires. There are right and wrong ways to do things in every trade. Inspectors don't and can't catch every shortcut a sub takes to save time and money on the job.

 Jeff Pearl

Remax Distinctive


Homes | Land | Farms | Historic

Comment balloon 1 commentJeff Pearl • July 30 2016 12:25PM


This is very good information to share.

Have a great Sunday and a most productive week.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago