The basic differences in contemporary home renovation can be broken down into two categories. Those with a concrete frame and those without. Those with a concrete frame are called cement frame homes. Those without, are called wood frame. These two different types of building methods both lend themselves to other sub-designs that have all kinds of names. If the name refers to colonial or traditional American home it will probably have a wood frame. Modern architecture opts more for the European designs because of the sleeker look and straight lines. Features can look pretty impressive and may look like they’re one of a kind, but it still gets down to these same two ideas.
When people go to shop contractors at www.homeadvisor.com or www.friendlycontractor.com, the names and models of building materials have taken on a whole different meaning than they had twenty years ago. Is there any basics a person can rely on when choosing between models? Many traditional styles and names have become generic because there are so many styles out there. However, there are some basics in design that translate through the names and styles and tell you what you are dealing with.
What’s with the cement frame?
Traditional thinking is that the cement homes are sturdier because the frame helps prevent the house from racking. This concept is prone to mistakes but is alleviated by taking other measures like reinforced blocks and by stacking and fastening them to the other blocks. Wood frames tend to have a slew of door options including glass, and they will have names like Colonial, Manhattan, or country style. These make certain areas like entry way conversion popular because of their distinctive style and hardiness.
European houses are designer favorites
European houses have the edge in the modern design market. The doors are usually smooth and flat. Though they can have handles in the regular spots, or screwed on to the bottom of the doors, they often have a wood or metal rail to use as a handle that give a nice accent line when looking at a row of them. Exciting colors look good on these, where stains and varnish look good on face-frame units.
The nuts and bolts difference
The hardware, which includes entry way doors, handles and hinges are usually drastically different on these two models. Traditional frames go from attaching to the inside of the wooden frame to the inside back of the door. European frames have guides that attach to the interior sides of the door. Hinges are also different out of necessity, because some attach to frames and some do not. Knobs are interchangeable between these designs, however they do have a look that favors longer handles attached to the top or bottom. Knowing the hardware differences is part of the skill of custom contractors.
Unless you’ve worked in contracting you won’t be familiar with these distinctions. As time moves on, these styles will borrow from each other until it’s hard to tell a difference. It’ll be a lot easier to sort through brand names when you know about these basic two styles.