For the next ten weeks I am going to be following Paradigm Building Group as they work on completing a new build for the homeowners. Paradigm is a custom home builder here in Fairfax, VA and they have been voted Best of Arlington for the last five years. I am truly grateful to Tim and Brandon for allowing me and my partner in crime, @DESIGNERSOUP, for allowing us to come and visit and learn all about construction!
Our first visit was awesome, and I have already learned so much that I am excited to share with you guys! The design process started back in March and the building began in April. When we showed up yesterday, the solid pour concrete slab had already been laid and all the framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and windows had been put in. They have passed all of their inspections and are getting ready for drywall!
I learned from Brandon, that as a custom home builder is typically takes them three to four weeks to complete the framing process. I also learned that there are production builders who only take a week or two for framing because they are doing the same floor plans over and over again. In my opinion, this is an important distinction because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the same cookie cutter house that everyone else has!! Some other things I learned about framing are that you never want a vertical piece of wood to be directly touching the slab. You also want to make sure all your boards are straight because warped boards can lead to failure! We’ve all been to Home Depot in the lumber section trying to find at least ONE straight board. There are different grades of lumber and Home Depot typically gets the B and C grades and that’s why it’s always hard to find a straight piece. These pieces are generally warped because they weren’t dried correctly and there is still some moisture left in the wood causing it to warp. So it may cost a little more, but if you’re building something you want to last a really long time-like your house-it’s important to make sure you are getting quality lumber. Let’s talk about framing around door and windows for a second. You will find a header above your windows and doors like in this photo below. Depending on whether or not it’s a load bearing wall, determines the type of header you need or if you need one at all!
You can also see in the photos below that they spray paint what each room is on the floor. I found this very helpful to differentiate the rooms before drywall is put in. I also liked how they wrote down important information on the studs too. As a designer, it was exciting to see plans taped up around the house because it really gives you a feel for what the space is going to look like in the end.
I just have to say that I love this house all ready. The walk-in closet is the size of my kitchen and the master bathroom is going to be gorgeous. I am also super excited to see the kitchen and how that turns out. I can’t wait to show you guys the photos of how this all progresses. Please comment below with any thoughts or questions or if there’s a certain construction topic you would like me to cover!