There are a lot of reasons that make Curtis Homes different from other builders. The main reason is that we are building your house for you. We are out on the job site every day watching over each phase of the building process – we do it all, and we don’t cut corners. Here are just a few of the reasons why Curtis Homes stands out from the rest:
We don’t rely on the approval of only the building inspectors on footings, we have every one inspected by a Geotechnical engineer. They perform a comprehensive inspection of the ground, the size of the footings and pier pads including steel rebar. We even pour solid concrete walls with steel rebar on houses with crawl spaces.
FOUNDATION DRAIN TILES
County codes requires us to put either interior or exterior drain tile around the foundation that takes the ground water to a sump pump, but we do both. The county also does not require a sump pump if you have a walk out lot, but we put a sump pump in every house, crawl space, or a walkout basement.
We don’t damp proof our houses, we waterproof them. Most builders use a tar product, then cover it with plastic and backfill. If you have ever found a piece of plastic that’s been in the ground for a year, it will crumble in your hand. That’s what most builders use as separation to keep water out of your house. We start by broom sweeping the footing then spray a rubber membrane to fill in all of the crevices. You can actually pull on it 24 hours later and it will snap back into place like rubber – now that’s what we call waterproof.
We triple plate the foundation. Why is this important to a homebuyer? All standard foundation forms are 8-foot tall. When you pour a 4-inch basement slab, your head height in your basement is 7 foot 8 inches, and with the steel beam and duct trunk line it gets even lower. We put down a triple plate (when possible) that elevates everything by 4 inches so you’ll have a true 8 foot basement height.
We use steel beams as our major support beams in our basements, not wood or aluminum.
We not only use OSB on our exterior (its more durable than plywood – you can’t cut through it with a drywall saw), but we also install Tyvek, which has an R-value rating. We put it in the gables of the roof, floors, anywhere to ensure weather and wind proofing.
We not only caulk our windows against the house before they are installed, but we use a rubber adhesive tape that is installed from bottom to top. We cut the Tyvek at the top, tape it, put the Tyvek back down over the window and then put the Tyvek back down and then tape it a second time! We have not had a window leak since we started using this installation method.
Code requirements on two-story homes or rancher styles state that you can install two-foot on centers with a single top plate. We install all of our bearing walls, first or second floors, 16-inch on center with double top plates.
Other builders are still using conventional framing on their floor joist. Using 2×8’s and 2×10’s, and what happens is that they crown the joist up (crowning up means where all joist have a natural bow in them). The problem is that at certain areas such as two-story foyers, stairway openings, large load bearings, ceramic floor areas, and large tub areas, they have to double the floor joist to get the proper support. You will never have level floors. We use a TJI Floor System that is engineered to carry more, be straighter, have areas that can be cut, (for plumbing, HVAC, etc.) all without hurting the structural integrity of the joist. We also air stop all exterior joints inside the house. Although it’s not required by code, we know that it seals all of the joints at ceilings, floors and plywood joints.
We do not allow siding to go onto our houses until after drywall. Drywall is the heaviest product that goes into the house, and when you wait, this allows for most of the settling to occur. If your siding was put on first you would notice a “buckle or wave” in the siding. The other builders will tell you that they put it up first so that the drywall doesn’t get wet. We believe that your house should not leak before you put the siding on. That way we know your house will be weather tight.