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3 Inexpensive Must-Haves That Could Save You Thousands

These three simple and inexpensive additions can ensure you're getting the most out of your new home, and help prevent potential problems down the road. Let's jump right in:

1. Caulking the countertop-to-backsplash joint

Whenever two dissimilar materials meet, or when there is a change of plane, they will move throughout the year differently as the seasons change. Grout will crack, while the caulk allows for this movement. This applies to any joint where two different materials meet: tile to cabinets, tile to the bathtub, etc. You will also want to use caulk for shower corners (as opposed to grout) as different walls will move at different rates, as well as the wall-to-floor joint in tiled showers. Most grout manufacturers make a matching caulk to whatever grout color you select, and is usually around $10 a tube.

We were lucky to catch a seam that wasn't caulked (or even grouted!) in a recent Project Partner customer's walk-through and are sure glad we did, as this could have been a big problem. Be sure to discuss this with your builder as early in the process as possible:

2. Kick-out flashing

This is so important! Whenever a sloped roof meets a wall, you want to divert as much rain water away from the building as possible. This small piece of metal added right before the gutters does just that. Depending on your builder's order of operations, this may be the roofer's responsibility, the framer's, or the siding crew's, so be sure to have the discussion early and to ensure it is included. Available for around $10.

And this is what can happen when kick-out flashings are not used.

3. G-Tape for your deck joists

We want to prevent as much standing water on horizontal unfinished wood surfaces as possible. With composite decking becoming more and more common to help prevent rot on the decking, protecting the exposed and unfinished top edge of the joists (as well as stair stringers, girders, etc) will help add years to the structural integrity of the framing. Also called joist tape, and generally available in several widths, usually around $20 per roll.

Communicate With Your Builder Often

As world-class custom home builder Erin Stetzer mentioned in our recent conversation, it is very important to have frequent, scheduled meetings with your builder or GC along every step of the process. She recommends meeting at least weekly to set expectations for the next-steps, milestones, and to address any templating or samples that need to be made for approvals (as we say a lot, you can't un-toast bread... it's really difficult to undo something that has been done incorrectly, so let's make sure your builder and subs get it right the first time!). If you would like unbiased, personalized expertise for your project, we are excited about our new our Project Partner service where you receive unlimited 1:1 messaging and video consultations with your Expert for complete support along every step of your building or remodeling process.

Also, be sure to check out our other blog posts to be as informed and prepared as possible for your project. Here's to empowered homeowners!


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