As custom home builders, we’re frequently asked, “what are your standard finishes?” While this is a bit of a tricky question, in that no two homes we build are identical, there are certainly some very common finishes and features that could be considered, for the most part, to be “standard finishes.” So here we go, let’s delve into what, at a bare minimum, you will almost certainly always find in a Paramount Home.
2×6 exterior walls
This is a bit of a no-brainer – even most production builders include 2×6 walls these days. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that it’s the feature most commonly asked about.
R-23 wall insulation
This is achieved by utilizing blown-in fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation has very low air infiltration (which is a good thing) and a high insulating value.
R-50 ceiling insulation
This is achieved by simply filling the attic to a deeper depth than a typical blown-in attic. Insulation needs to be looked at as a system – part of a good system is making sure that the trusses have “energy heels,” which our homes do. An energy heel ensures that your ceiling insulation is not compromised at the far edges of the roof.
There are two basic types of stucco: cementitious and acrylic. Cementitious absorbs water easily, which creates staining over time, particularly at low lying areas where snow can build up and leave mineral deposits. It’s also much more likely to crack. Acrylic stucco is highly water-resistive and is much less prone to cracking and maintenance issues down the road.
While we’d like to say that we only install aluminum-clad wood windows, the reality is that many folks have a tough time making the jump to wood or even fiberglass windows, in that there’s a huge price difference. Nevertheless, a high-end vinyl window (we would not install anything less) is significantly better (particularly over the long haul) than a builder grade vinyl window in terms of air leakage and overall operation.
Class A, Impact Level 4 composite roofing
Class A refers to the fire resistance found in the roofing material, and as you’ve likely guessed, Class A is the highest. Level 4 measures the resistance to hail damage that the roof has, and a Level 4 roof will get you a reduction in your property insurance, as your insurer is much less likely to be dealing with a hail damage claim in the future.
Premium garage doors
Not all garage doors are created equal. Entry-level doors (commonly known as “builder grade”) are thin, uninsulated, and of low quality. A good garage door is well insulated, comes with a quality opener, and can be factory “stained” to create a beautiful wood look without the maintenance.
9’ basement ceilings
PVC wrapped composite decking, and zero maintenance, high-quality railing systems.
Combined with a cement-based fascia and stain grade fiberglass exterior doors, our homes are practically zero maintenance.
These come as either 92% efficient or 96% efficient, when used in conjunction with our insulation packages, create a very warm home with low energy bills. Our heating and cooling systems are designed to perform well, not just meet code minimums. Our typical home has two furnaces for efficiency and performance.
Recirculating hot water pumps
This eliminates the long wait for hot water at fixtures located a fair distance from the water heater.
High-end plumbing fixtures
Typically our master showers have multiple heads and/ or rain heads and/ or hand sprays on glide bars, in addition to our clients having a wide range of choices in secondary bathrooms as well.
Generous electrical packages
A typical electrical allowance affords the client one recessed light for every 100 square feet of living space, in addition to having multiple switching options and LED under cabinet lighting in the kitchen. Coupled with a very reasonable light fixture allowance, our “standard” electrical package is geared to meet our clients’ needs and wants.
Hand trowel drywall finish
This can be applied very lightly, moderately, or very heavy, depending on the clients’ choice. A hand trowel drywall finish immediately sets off a home as “something special.”
Multiple paint colors
We allow our clients multiple paint colors, including a separate color for their ceilings. There’s nothing custom about Navajo White throughout an entire house.
Solid core doors
Our clients are typically split 50/50 between stain grade interiors and paint grade interiors.
3 1⁄2” trim and 5 1⁄2” baseboards.
We typically assume a “six-piece kitchen” – double oven, cooktop, microwave, dishwasher, hood, and refrigerator. Our “typical” budget will allow for GE, Kitchen Aid, and often Jenn Air.
Granite counters in the kitchen, powder room, master bathroom, and secondary bathrooms
There’s a lot of variation in the levels of Granite (typically they’re classified Levels 1 – 5), our “average”l home will have a Level 3 granite in the kitchen, master bathroom, and powder, the secondary bathrooms will generally have a Level 1 or Level 2.
Generous flooring and wall tile allowances
Commonly, random width solid hickory wood floors are installed in the bulk of the main level. Carpet is high-end, and tile allowances afford for in-demand products like “wood look” tile, plank type tile (narrow and wide), accent bands in showers, and the like. Master showers usually have a tiled ceiling to create a steam shower effect without incurring the expense of a true steam shower.
Full height backsplash in kitchen.
Frameless glass in the master shower.
High-end bath hardware/ accessories.