We Build Energy Efficient Custom Homes In Wilmington NC

Have you ever suffered the crisis of not knowing what to tell people you do when they ask what you do for a living?

I do.

“I’m a builder.” doesn’t ever seem to quite cut it. “What do you build? Bridges?”

“I”m a custom home builder.” Oh neat, we had a home built a little while back.” This doesn’t get the reaction I would like.

So maybe I will just say “I build energy efficient, high performance homes in Wilmington, NC” Maybe that will cover it.

If nothing else, that phrase gets me excited. There is nothing much more fun than crafting a home that garners a terrific HERS score. It is crazy fun to get a text from a home owner saying “we just got our first power bill, and it was only $120!” (this happened last week, from a homeowner I moved into a beach piling house last month). It’s also super satisfying knowing that what we are building excellent homes that are going to last a long time, and be an asset to the owners, both financially and in terms of maintenance (low maintenance, that is) and in comfort and durability.

What do we do to make our custom homes energy efficient? We insulate our slab foundations, we build our exterior walls using 2×6 studs (standard is 2×4) to allow for more insulation (as well as make the wall stronger), we insulate our headers, we seal our plates, we blower test our homes and our hvac systems to detect and fix leaks, we use low-e windows, we use radiant barrier sheathing, we use CFL or LED lights everywhere, we pay close attention to our hvac systems to make sure they are super efficient, to name a few of the things we do to make our custom homes energy efficient, low maintenance, and comfortable.

If you are interested in learning more about what I do for a living, and how it can benefit you and your family, contact us to start a conversation.

Why We Use Tyvek® Housewrap For Our Custom Homes

I’ve heard this question several times over the years building custom homes in Wilmington, NC; “why do you use Tyvek® on your houses?”

Good question.

In the past, we would only use felt paper (sometimes called tar paper). Felt paper was used for many many years as the go to choice for protecting wood walls from rainwater, and it was very effective.

So why did we switch to Tyvek®?

We actually resisted for many years when housewrap was first in vogue, because we were not convinced that it would work effectively long term, when we had proof that felt paper had long term staying power.

The impetus to switch initially had nothing to do with long term endurance, but was all about windows and window warranties. Window manufacturers began issuing official installation guidelines demanding housewrap and housewrap tape, or else the warranty would be voided, at which time we reluctantly switched from wrapping our houses in felt paper to Tyvek®.

Over time, as we began to learn more about the science of how buildings work, and about how to make our houses more comfortable, we began to see the advantages of housewrap. A smart housewrap will keep rainwater out while allowing some water vapor to pass through. This is super important in hot humid climates such as what we have in Wilmington, because we need moist air to be able to move through our walls without being impeded by a vapor barrier, which can cause rotten wood and mold inside our walls – something we as builders are constantly seeking to guard against.

Another question I have heard often, this mostly from building supply stores, is “why do you use Tyvek® when there are cheaper options?”

Another good question.

Two reasons:

1) Science: I saw a demonstration a few years ago by a leading building science expert who wanted to test whether the resins in wood sidings could break down housewrap, so he boiled cedar chips to create a resin “stew”, and poured it over several brands of housewrap. Only two of the brands held up to the test; Tyvek® and Typar®. Between these two, I judged Tyvek® to be a better fit for our climate due to it’s vapor openness (more open than Typar®).

2)Experience: My experience with every other housewrap I have used (other than Typar®), is that they had a tendency to stretch easily, which pulled the fibers apart (read: big holes), while Tyvek® stayed intact. I’ve also noticed that other housewraps, left exposed to the elements for a short while, begin to break down from the UV rays and fall apart. Not good.

This is possibly more information than anyone cares to know, but now you know why we use Tyvek® on our custom homes in Wilmington, NC.


New Website for Wilmington NC Custom Homes by Jernigan Homes

I am pleased as can be to announce the launch of a new website for Jernigan Homes, a premier custom home builder in Wilmington, NC.

Since 1987, Samm Jernigan has been building fine custom homes and pre-sale homes in and around Wilmington, NC. Today, Jernigan Homes builds homes in the $300,000 to $750,000 price range in select neighborhoods, and on our clients’ lots.

Jernigan Homes provides design, consulting, and home building services for it’s clients.

To get on board and begin a new home, contact us today! 

Our new website features a gallery of recent work we’ve done, as well as a snapshot of current custom home projects we are working on. Feel free to browse and ask questions. We love feedback, and hope to hear from you soon.