Concrete Masonry Home Builders in North Carolina
If you’ve traveled through Europe, you’ve no doubt noticed that homes and structures are built quite differently overseas than they are in the United States. Their materials are different. Their construction methods are different. Their history: unique.
We’ve spent years studying the art of the European home, and continue to return to the fundamental difference between how Americans build homes, and Europeans build theirs. Europeans build their homes out of concrete, Americans out of wood.
Mangum Design-Build, with our own crews of masons, builds homes out of concrete masonry, authenticating the art of the European home, here in the United States. Concrete home construction provides many benefits over traditional home construction, and the custom home builders of Mangum offers the best in concrete home construction.
The Advantages of a Custom Concrete Home
It’s authentic. It’s affordable. It’s sustainable. It’s environmentally friendly. It’s more energy efficient than the same home with wood walls. Building a concrete masonry home makes sense for those looking to invest in a home rather than simply purchase one.
What Makes a Concrete Home Different?
We are often asked this question in trade shows and meetings with clients, and we are always happy to answer it. Simply put, a Concrete Masonry Home is built to much higher standards of energy efficiency, durability, and environmentally-conscious design. The home is 20%-30% more energy efficient (than the same home built with wood walls), maintenance is minimized because the walls are made of concrete, and it’s a healthier house to live in due to the reduction in mold problems. For the homeowner, it’s a windfall of benefits that encompass many different aspects of homeownership.
How Are those Masonry Walls so Efficient?
Concrete Masonry Walls are recognized for their thermal efficiency, meaning they are able to store and emit energy as the temperature rises and falls. If you ever walk by a masonry wall after sunset, you’ll see that the outside temperature has fallen, but the masonry wall continues to give off heat. It may take 3-4 hours for that wall to return to the same ambient temperature outside, whereupon it has stored enough cool thermal energy that it begins the same process again when the outside temperature rises.
Concrete Masonry Walls have a relatively low R-Value. Even without any added insulation though, the masonry wall is still more efficient than a wood framed wall with insulation. To further capture the benefits of energy efficiency, every home we built has expanding foam insulation injected into the hollow cores of the concrete block, further capitalizing on R-values.
Hence, a masonry wall benefits dually from Thermal Mass and R-Value, making it a very efficient means of energy savings.
Why Build A Concrete Masonry Home?
We recognize that homebuilding should be a needs-driven market. A concrete masonry home is about as maintenance free as you can achieve with conventional materials. The exterior walls are made out of concrete, which does not rot or mold. The stucco is also made out of Portland cement, which, when integral color is added, (a Mangum Design-Build standard feature) does not require painting. With this, we use either aluminum or PVC clad windows, which do not rot, and carry 20 year warranties. We also generally use limited lifetime (which really means 50 years) asphalt shingles.
What we’re trying to do is build a home not only for the first client, but for the second, third, and fourth family that lives there. Built just like a European home, it’s designed to last hundreds of years.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Masonry Home?
The cost difference between most homes is negligible at best. When comparing a masonry framed home with a hard coat stucco exterior, it is usually within 2-5% of the same home with wood walls and a brick veneer. When comparing to a wood home with Hardi-Plank®, some cedar shakes, or a little bit of stone, it’s within 5-6% of the cost.
Due to the energy efficiency of the walls, we’re typically able to downsize the HVAC system load requirements, further saving more money.
What About Clients With Allergies?
If you’re looking for a home that is more sensitive to the needs of clients with allergies, a Concrete Masonry Home is a great resource to have due to the lack of building materials able to host mold. Mangum Design-Build has the capacity to build homes that utilize many hypo-allergenic products like starch-free sheetrock, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, and allergy specific carpeting to help the client benefit from living in a cleaner home. “Well living at it’s best.”
Why Are Concrete Masonry Homes “Green” Homes?
One of the more focused benefits of building a Concrete Masonry Home is that it can be called “Green” due to the use of inert compounds and the reduction in wood.
These Homes use recyclable materials such as concrete block, steel, and Portland cement. Due to the use of such materials, the home is designed to last much longer than conventional wood framed homes. The primary covering in these Masonry Homes is stucco, a cement-based material that, when integral color is added, is not painted. Building Concrete Masonry Homes in combination with other environmentally friendly materials allow us to deliver to the client a “Green” home that is both affordable and durable.
Much of the materials used in homes today are petroleum-based products, or require the use of VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compound). In this, we refer to Vinyl Siding, Wood Shakes, Hardi-Plank®, and other synthetic exterior finishes. Bear in mind though, that the net effect of building one house out of these materials isn’t necessarily bad for the environment, but the culmination of thousands of these houses and the construction waste they generate is.