If you have plans to build your own home and would like to ensure that it will still be standing several decades from now, read on for some advice on how to do this.
Invest in the best building materials
It's no secret that building a property can cost a lot of money. Because of this, many people choose to use cheap construction materials, in the hopes of lowering their expenses. However, this is a very short-sighted approach, which can cost homeowners a lot of money in the long run. Substandard materials can compromise the structural integrity of a building; in some cases, the extent of the damage may be so great that the house eventually becomes uninhabitable.
For example, low-cost wall cavity ties (fixtures which join the external and internal walls together) are often made from materials which tend to corrode quite easily; when this happens, the ties can weaken to the point where structural damage, such as collapsing or bulging walls, occurs. Likewise, plumbing pipes made from cheap forms of plastic are more likely to form leaks; if this leak goes unnoticed and the property does not have adequate waterproofing, the water can sink into the soil underneath the house. The soil may then expand, which will put additional pressure on the building's foundation, causing large, potentially irreparable cracks.
As such, if you want to build a robust house that will stand the test of time, it's crucial to invest in the best construction materials you can afford. Doing so could not only save you money on future repair work, as explained above, but could also make your home more energy efficient and thus help to reduce the cost of your monthly utility bills; high-quality insulation, for instance, will help to retain hot air in the winter and cooled air in the summer.
Use a reputable roofing contractor and top-of-the-line roofing materials
The way in which your roof is installed will determine, at least in part, whether or not your house withstands the ravages of time. A reputable contractor with several years of experience will take into consideration the specific requirements of each particular building that they work on and will closely adhere to their industry's best practices to ensure a roof lasts for years to come.
They will, for instance, closely inspect the ventilation and insulation plans for a house that is in the process of being built and base their decision to install roof vents on these plans (a lack of ventilation in a building with high levels of insulation can cause condensation and water damage, whilst excessive roof ventilation in houses with a lack of insulation can sometimes lead to too much air flow, which in turn can impact a property's heating and cooling systems).
The materials the roofer uses are also an important factor in a house's long-term durability; if the structural timber that is used is cheaply made and not pre-treated to prevent water damage, it may be more prone to rot; when this occurs, the roof can end up 'weighing down' on the rest of the house, placing pressure on the walls and foundation. This can lead to the lintels over the building's doors and windows breaking. If the roofing materials aren't up to par, holes might also appear in them, and the rainwater than falls through as a result of this could cause serious water damage.