“You’ll just love these two homes!” Tiffany exclaims, as your SUV rolls down the tree-lined street in your dream neighborhood. Both are hip-pockets, freshly updated and looking their best. With good schools nearby, you plan on staying here at least 10 years until the kids graduate. Your favorite realtor was right, they both look fabulous. But in the back of your mind you remember Dad’s warning – “paint makes everything look great”. So, if you could turn the clock forward, what will these two houses look and act like in 10 years? How would that help you decide which house to buy today?
Good Bones. For most folks, houses are viewed as long-term appreciating assets, worthy of 15 to 30 year mortgages, upkeep, modernization and long-term preservation. In Dallas, it is considered a high mark of quality for builders to strive to construct a “100 year house”, though Europeans may scoff at such brevity. Promising fixer-uppers are often described as having “good bones” if the foundation and structure are intact (even though the flesh may be atrophied and wrinkled!). So how do you look beneath the paint on these two charmers? Do they have good bones? What is that paint covering up?
What Could Happen in 10 Years? I imagine on move-in date, the house built on rock and the house built on sand looked equally inviting (especially in Dove White). Who knew when the rains would fall, the floods rise and the wind blow? Almost certainly within the first 10 years! Good craftsmen and builders know that they are battling against the ravages of time and defending their work from the onslaught of water, sun and wind. Quality and durability are brothers. Good work, by definition, will withstand the test of time. But how discernible is quality to the untrained eye?
Cutting Corners. Everyone knows that cutting corners saves money and time. Though a good paint job may be 80% prep and 20% painting – one could save half with 30% prep. How will that paint look in 10 years? No. 2 pine siding nailed to the sheathing is a fraction of the cost of vertical grain Doug Fir, back-primed and properly installed with rain screen. Fast-forward a decade. Inexpensive treated pine decks look pretty good for the first few years, but compare that to how a TimberTech deck will look and perform after full exposure to the elements until 2029. I guess the corollary to cutting corners is – doing it right costs more money and time. Is it worth the investment to you?
Satisfaction of a Well-Built Home. These next 10 years of life will be beautiful days – waking to fresh-brewed coffee, hustling off to work and school, helping with homework, friends for dinner, pool parties, staying up late for kids’ curfew, weekend soccer tournaments, and much more. What is it worth to you to live that life with the peace of mind and security of a well-built, comfortable, high performing home that stays beautiful and preserves its value?
Labor, Materials, Knowledge and Plans. So how do the great builders achieve that kind of quality?
- Experienced, dependable subcontractors who care (yes, they cost more)
- Proven, durable and beautiful materials (pricier than cheap materials)
- Knowledgeable, trustworthy and organized general contractor (worth their fees in gold), and
- Beautifully detailed architectural and structural plans (where a beautiful home must start).
Quality is planned and demanded at the architect and general contractor level, and it is executed at the subcontractor level. It takes a great team and a great leader (GC) to build the home you will enjoy for 10 years to 100. We hope you pick the right home. We’re here at Davis-Hawn to help build it to last.