Less maintenance,
longer-lasting materials

Maintenance and repair of our houses are reduced by the use of a number of innovative design features.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) walls require no maintenance. They are finished in real stucco, which never needs to be painted.

AAC wall systems also provide a real leg up in longevity by being fireproof and termite-proof .

AAC's superior performance is well documented in areas around the world that are prone to both earthquakes and hurricanes.

Conventional wood construction is very high maintenance; we hope to see the general use of wood radically diminished. The US is the only country to use wood so profligately in housing; this practice has resulted in a flimsy, fire-prone, maintenance-intensive housing supply, and in the mono-culture and clear cutting of forests. Wood houses do not last well without massive maintenance and luck.

Tinted poured-and-scored concrete floors are no-maintenance and last virtually forever.

Steel roofs can last one hundred years with very little maintenance; they far outlast conventional asphalt shingles.

Other design considerations

Exterior trim should be painted in light colors for long lasting adhesion of paint. For those who REALLY want to avoid painting maintenance, it is recommended that designs include hip roofs that have no framed and painted gable features to care for.

We often use natural pine interior trim because it is no-maintenance. While there are as yet no satisfactory latex urethanes on the market, oil urethanes are extremely durable and long lasting. Clear wood interior trim and doors that are finished in oil urethane require very little attention, unlike analogous painted features.

Radiant hydronic floors are still new enough that we must speculate about their longevity; however, they look like a good bet compared to conventional heating systems. Radiant floors use Pex tubing, which is oxygen impermeable, and is protected by being embedded in concrete floors. No joints are made in the Pex under-floor loops, so there is no chance of leaks.

Our houses, when properly made, do not "settle." Doors and windows do not rack in their jambs. Plaster does not crack and fall loose.

The less maintenance required in keeping a house sound, the more money and time we have available for other interests, perhaps gardening or resting. We expect our houses to last for hundreds of years which is why we call them Heirlooms.