People sometimes comment “they don’t build them like they used to”, referring to houses that were built decades ago.  And I usually think to myself – Thank God!!

There are alot of charming older houses in the DC area, but the fact is design and construction methods today have advanced over homes that were built 10, 20 and over 50 years ago.

Here are some benefits today’s advanced methods and technologies bring to homes built now:

* Designed for You You can get a custom home, designed with your needs and tastes in mind. Or, if you’re buying a newly constructed home, you can have your builder add personal touches, such as higher countertops or a preferred bathtub style.
* Greater Safety There is less risk of fire in today’s new homes. Many new homes have hard-wired smoke detectors, with battery-powered backup. Wiring systems have been improved, and new homes have more outlets.
* Easier Maintenance Many new homes are constructed with siding, window, and trim materials that never need painting. New roofing materials are denser, longer lasting and many have fire-retardant features.
* Greater Energy Efficiency Improved heating and cooling systems and better insulation techniques offer efficiencies. Many homes built before the 1950’s had no or hardly any insulation. Today homes have a minimum R13 in the walls and R30 in floors and ceilings.  Additionally, there are many other options today to add more and denser types of insulation if you want.
* Structural Strength In areas subject to inclement weather or earthquakes (yes even the DC area has some of these design requirements), builders now use extra bracing and framing systems to better withstand exterior stress. Soils are tested and foundations engineered to resist or accommodate movement. New drainage devices collect rain from gutters and slopes, then deliver water directly into storm drains. Roof and floor trusses enhance structural strength and create new interior design options.
* Better Health – Today, asbestos and lead have been completely eliminated from materials used in new construction. Formaldehyde emissions from products such as particleboard and plywood have been substantially reduced as well. And new control systems are available for areas where radon could be a potential problem.