5 tips for selecting the right light fixtures for your home

Whether you’ve built a custom home or remodeled an existing, every homeowner knows selecting the right light fixtures for your home is one of the toughest stages of a project. Not only are there endless options of light fixtures to choose from,  light fixture trends and technology are ever-changing and therefore makes it difficult to keep up with the latest. Where does one even start? Based on our deep experience of helping clients with the selection process, we have put together the following 5 tips for selecting the right light fixture for your home.

SIB lighting 7

Tip #1 – Stay on theme

If you are working with a good custom builder, chances are there is an overarching theme to your custom home. If your theme is a whimsical beach house, you should not put in an edgy modern light fixture. That would simply confuse the house’s theme. If you don’t have a theme, pick a theme, and stick to it. Light fixtures are what everyone who walks in your home will see. Select the right light fixture for your home by sticking with the theme of your house and your guests will be impressed.

SIB light 2

Tip #2 – When in doubt, stick to the classics

If you’re having trouble selecting the right light fixture for your home, stick to the classics. Regardless of your home, there are classic light fixtures for every type of architecture. Light fixtures tend to be expensive so if you aren’t 100% certain about the new light fixture for your home, research some of the classic light fixtures people have used in the past for the type of home you are building, and go with it. Don’t worry about copying others, they weren’t the first ones to purchase that particular fixture and you won’t be the last.

SIB lights 5

Tip #3 – Ask your builder for help
One of the most common  mistakes people make when trying to select the right light fixture for your home is trying to do it all by yourself. With retail sites like Amazon, Wayfair and many others readily available, many people think they can save money by selecting and purchasing the right light fixtures on their own. There are simply too many variables involved with selecting the right light fixture for your home to try and go at it alone. Variables like scale, ceiling heights, lumen output, and insulated or non-insulated ceilings are just a few. Again, light fixtures are expensive and the last thing you want is a tiny little fixture on a large wall because you thought the dimensions were large enough when you clicked “purchase.” When selecting the right light fixture for your home, ask your builder, designer or architect for help. We are here to make sure you don’t make those mistakes.

SIB lights 1

Tip #4 – More is more

Another common mistake people make when selecting the right light fixture for their home is simply not having enough of them! Seeing the number of light fixtures on a plan is completely different then seeing them lit up in the actual finished space. Don’t try to save money but cutting back on the number of light fixtures for your home. You won’t be a happy camper when after building your beautiful new custom home, you have dark house at night. When in doubt, add that extra fixture.

SIB lights 4

Tip #5 – Keep in mind functionality

Are you the type that can’t stand a speck of dust? Well then an intricate light fixture with many places for dust to collect is probably not for you. Do you hate getting on a ladder to change light bulbs on a high ceiling? Then you should probably put LED bulbs in those particular rooms to decrease the frequency at which you have to change the light bulbs. When selecting the right light fixture for you home, think about the functionality of each light fixture. Look past the beauty and make a rational decision based on your needs and preferences.

SIB lighting 8

We hope this helps! Light fixtures can truly make an ordinary house extraordinary. Follow our 5 tips for selecting the right light fixture for your home and we promise you’ll be happy with the outcome.

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5 tips for building a new coastal home – a must read

Building a new coastal home? Follow our 5 tips for building a new coastal home and we are confident you will have an enjoyable experience.


A beautiful coastal home situated on the marsh in Sullivans Island

In 2016, Sea Island Builders was voted the #1 custom home builder in Charleston. Much of our success has been due to the happiness of our clients so we wanted to share with you our 5 tips for building a new coastal home.


A house that was recently awarded the best new coastal home in the Charleston area

#1 – Hire the right team. Sounds easy right? Believe it or not, this where most people go wrong – right from the onset. When building a new coastal home, hiring a trustworthy contractor is critical to your project’s success. Check their references, visit their job sites, check their reviews, and interview them extensively. You can’t bug them enough! Do your personalities match? Do they understand your goals? Are they budget conscious? Do you trust them? These are important questions that you need answered prior to building a new coastal home. Having experience in building coastal homes is a MUST if building along the coast! You do not want to be the guinea pig for an inexperienced contractor in learning the hard way.

#2 – Get the entire team involved early. Having your team assembled and involved when buying a property and in the early stages of designing a new coastal home will pay huge dividends. A qualified design-build contractor should take the lead to help you maximize your lot’s potential and take advantage of it’s greatest assets. Where does the sun rise/set? How do you see your family living on a daily basis? Where are the views? On top of this, your Contractor will provide invaluable costing information to aid in the decision making process. How much should you put into building a new coastal home given the real estate trends? Are there any building constraints to the site or soil conditions that affect structural design and construction? Eliminate potential mistakes and the chances of incurring rework and redesign by getting the entire team involved early.


Jason guides clients through every step of the selection process

#3 – When building a new coastal home, design should be timeless. People change and so do trends. Keep this in mind when building a new home. Have your design-build team design a home that will stand the test of time and not only look good a year from now, but look good 20 years from now. New homes that have timeless design offer greater long term value to the homeowner, both emotionally and from and return on investment (ROI) perspective. The materials used on coastal homes are ever the more important given the extreme conditions they are exposed to in Charleston’s coastal climate.


Custom home completed in 2016 by the best custom home builder in Charleston.

#4 – When building a new coastal home, if you’re going to splurge – splurge on the kitchen, master bathroom and laundry room. These are the 3 areas that a buyer will focus on if/when you decide to sell your home. A spacious kitchen, stunning master bathroom, and a functional laundry room will make your house shine above the rest.


A beautiful white kitchen in a recent coastal home featuring Circa lighting throughout

#5 – When building a new coastal home, have regular site meetings with your project team. Site meetings allow for more communication and keeps everyone accountable. Proper and constant communication from the subcontractor level through the contractor and with the ownership will ensure that there are no schedule surprises, budget surprises, and generally lead to a more positive building experience. Site meetings should be regularly scheduled. Budget and schedule update meetings should be performed no less than monthly. Just like any relationship, the more you invest in it the more fruitful it will be. When building a new coastal home, suggest regular site meetings and general project schedule and budget update meetings at least on a monthly basis. Communication is CRITICAL to a project’s success!

Sea Island Builders has implemented many quality controls including extensive plan review checklists and procedures that ensure every design is build ready BEFORE construction begins. This includes full HVAC design and implementation into the structural plans. Figuring it out on paper ahead of time always saves a bundle of time and money over figuring it out in the field. This is just another aspect that differentiates Sea Island Builders and makes us the Best Custom Home Builder in the Charleston area.

There you have it! After many years of building some of the Charleston area’s finest homes, we believe these 5 tips will help you achieve great success when building a new coastal home! Best of luck!



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Best Custom Home Builder Charleston

Title: Sea Island Builders – Best Custom Home Builder Charleston Official Press Release

Subject : Sea Island Builders wins the Post and Courier’s 2016 Best Custom Home Builder Charleston award.

Recently minted as the “Best Custom Home Builder in Charleston,” we feel obligated to share with homeowners what makes Sea Island Builders  different than our competition. What made us Charleston’s Best Custom Home Builder? The answer is clear – we have a unique design-build approach that is tailored specifically towards the homeowner. There are many run of the mill contractors but few design-build custom home builders take time to understand our clients as much as we do.



It all starts with the homeowner. What are their greatest needs and priorities? What is their personal style? How big is their family? What personality type are they? What is their budget? What gets them excited and what are their greatest pet peeves? As Charleston’s Best Custom Home Builder, we go through a long series of questions with our client’s in order to truly understand who they are what they are trying to accomplish. Put simply – they talk, we listen – not the other way around.

After developing a full understanding for our client’s project requirements, we then proceed to create the best design team for the project; often this involves bringing the architect, structural engineer, interior designer, landscape architect, client, subcontractors, and construction together near the outset of projects. We don’t pair clients with just any architect, we pair them with the architect whom we think best meets their personality type and who will best meet their needs, both from a design vision and overall project budget and goals perspective. In other words, we provide them with choices. If our client doesn’t feel as though they mesh well with one prospective team member, we are happy to introduce new potential members to the design-build team. We do this until we are 100% certain we have established the right project team. A design-build project can take years from design conception to construction completion so finding the right team is very important. These are the people you are likely to be working with for the next two to three years! Bringing people together to sit on the same side of the table and work toward a single unified goal brings clients a level of satisfaction that is not attained through other project delivery methods and through most other firms.

Finally, we execute on our promises. As Charleston’s Best Custom Home Builder, we believe execution is what matters the most. We perform all of our work just as we planned and stand behind it 100%. Planning a nice project is one thing, but having the ability to execute the project to the highest of standards and see every last detail through to the end is another. As Charleston’s Best Custom Home Builder, a majority of our work is from word of mouth. Word of mouth referrals don’t happen unless you plan and execute very well. From design through move in day, Sea Island Builders is here to guide and act as a single point of accountability and responsibility for all aspects of your project.

We are very proud to be awarded the award of Best Custom Home Builder Charleston. We invite you to reach out to us to learn how Sea Island Builders might be able to help you on your next design-build project.


Click the picture below for a link to see more of the projects we have recently completed.

Best custom home builder charleston award winner

Custom home completed in 2016 by the best custom home builder in Charleston.


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Shiplap – Charleston’s handcrafted material of choice for custom homes

Shiplap! We won’t say it started in Charleston, South Carolina but this rustic, handcrafted look is more prevalent in the Charleston beach communities than most areas of the US.

Where does the shiplap come from? Shiplap is a material that was originally used in the construction of antique wooden boats, barns, and sheds. It is a fairly inexpensive product and is more durable than sheetrock. For many craftsmen in the past, using shiplap was an economical way to build their structures. Most shiplap boards are made of pine and it’s easy to identify shiplap because of it’s parallel grooves. Today, poplar is another common wood used as shiplap. Poplar is less grainy and finishes smoother than pine, although poplar material costs twice as much as pine. The wood finish gives rooms a handcrafted look and adds texture and warmth to any space. Shiplap can also be used in many different ways: ceiling paneling, wainscoting, kitchen backsplashes, wallboard, niches, or even on the faces and backs of custom built-in cabinetry.

SIB shiplap blog 2As Charleston’s premier design-build firm, we love using shiplap! It has gained nationwide attention through Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, but shiplap has been around long before the popular HGTV show. Not only is it a easy product to install for DIY people, but it also looks great and adds interest to any room in a custom home because of it’s handcrafted and clean look.

SIB shiplap blog 3Above is a picture of shiplap installed in a recent beach house powder room. Here we used it as bathroom wainscoting and against the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, we think it looks great!

SIB shiplap blog

As a custom design-build home builder in Charleston, using shiplap is a fun and easy way to add interest to our homes. Homeowners love the custom, handcrafted look and we are always getting compliments and requests for more of it. In many cases, we build budgets around using a certain number of square feet inside the home. Once budgets are approved, it becomes the design team’s job to allocate the shiplap in the most aesthetically appealing manner throughout the home for use on ceilings, walls, or a combination of the two.

Whether you are going for rustic, farmhouse or coastal, shiplap is a great way to achieve your interior design goals.

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Home Remodeling Made Simple – Design Build

“Home Remodeling Made Simple – Design Build with Trust”

Home Remodeling made simple? What construction company truly has the audacity to say that? Answer: any design-build firm that has a long track record of being trusted and success!

Everyone has heard the horror stories about homeowner’s having bad experiences in their home renovation projects. You really don’t have to go far to find them.  There is something about all of these stories, however, that is incredibly redundant – with each story, there is a questionable contractor. And usually this contractor provided a price to the homeowner that was just way too good to pass up. At first glance, the proposal looked thorough, the contractor seemed like he knew what he was doing – he was licensed, he was insured, he was available – BUT, did you really trust him? From  speaking with many homeowners over the years, the cold-hard answer to this question is most often, “no, I didn’t have complete trust in him.”

Simply being able to answer “yes” to that question would probably clear up 95% of the bad stories floating around. Whether it is a bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, whole house renovation, or construction of a new house – there is always a business transaction taking place and most importantly, a relationship is being started. If all a homeowner had to do was simply swipe a credit card and like magic, her new house was built, then trust wouldn’t matter. But in the residential construction industry, a project takes form over the course of time and the transaction can last several months and sometimes several years. This is why trust is your contractor or design-build firm is so important. It is imperative that the contractor you are inviting into your home, your lives and your kids lives is someone you trust is looking out for your best interests. After all – for many people – a home renovation will likely be one of the largest monetary investments one will ever make. If you think about it from an investment standpoint, would it be smart for someone to give their 401-K plan to someone they didn’t entirely trust? I sure hope not! The same thing applies with a contractor.

So how can you determine if a contractor or design-build firm is truly trustworthy? I would always be able to answer a resounding “yes” to all of the following questions:

1. Are they licensed/insured?
2. Do they have a nice website with an extensive portfolio?
3. Were they responsive to my inquiry?
4. Did they listen to me more than they spoke?
5. Were they genuine, respectful and polite?
6. Did you feel comfortable around them?
7. Have they been in business for 5+ years?
8. Have my friends or neighbors ever heard of them?
9. Do they have references and were they more than willing to provide them for me?
10. Did they allow me to tour a recent project of theirs?
11. Was their proposal thorough and did they break out the project my individual line items?
12. Do they take a collaborative design-build approach to projects?

If you can answer “yes” to all of those questions, then I’d say you’re dealing with a solid company.

On a side note – family businesses are usually the safest bet and the most trusted. A family business – especially with a younger generation working in the business - will most often always put a client’s feelings and satisfaction first because they naturally tend to treat everyone like family and since the younger generation wants to ensure a future in the business, they are more than happy to go above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction.

It sounds so simple and it really is – do you trust the contractor you’re interviewing? If the answer is a resounding “yes!” then there’s a 95% chance you’re dealing with a great company. Don’t be fooled by the low prices, gimmicks, promises, discounts, or ads – take your time to make an informed decision by asking yourself the twelve questions listed above. You are making a very large investment and you should look at it that way. You and your family have worked very hard to get to this point and you deserve an excellent project delivery.


Home remodeling made simple design build

Home remodeling made simple design build

“Home Remodeling Made Simple – Design Build with Trust” was created as fresh content for potential homebuyers or owners looking for good advice on what to look for in a contractor or design-build firm.

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The Advantages of Design Build

There are many approaches that homeowners take to construction projects. Two of the most common are the design-bid approach and the design-build approach. Each method has its pros and cons. The design-build approach has been gaining in popularity due to the many advantages this process presents over the design-bid approach.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, design-build is a method of construction where one entity or team is responsible for both the design and construction phases of a project. Design-build construction has become increasingly common over the last 15 years, overtaking the traditional design-bid-build method, where a client has to hire two entities to manage the design and the build. This always leads to poorer communication and less exchange of information, which ultimately costs clients time and money.

Sea Island Builders Design Build Process

Typically, a design-build project is managed by the contractor, who serves as the owner’s representative for the project. The contractor will then work directly with the architect, engineer, and subcontractors to serve as a single point of contact to the owner in managing the project.

The Design Build Institute of America [DBIA] describes the design-build process as “Taking singular responsibility, the design-build team is accountable for cost, schedule, performance, under a single contract and with reduced administrative paperwork, clients can focus on the project rather than managing disparate contracts.”

Contractor-Led Design Build Organizational Chart

Below are some of the main advantages of using the design-build approach for your home construction, addition, or remodel project.

Single-source management. With the design-bid-build model, homeowners have to invest time and money in hiring and coordinating separate architect and construction contacts. With design-build, however, the design-build company manages both architect and construction, minimizing the administrative work the client must handle. The contractor acts as a single point of contact, and is responsible for coordinating workers, solving problems, and delivering the project.

Accountability. A design-build team is responsible for all aspects of your project, from costs to scheduling to the quality of the final product. For this reason, a design builder has extra motivation to ensure timing and pricing is accurate during the design stage, since this will affect their own productivity during the construction phase.

Teamwork. With design-build, the design and construction staff are on the same team and working towards a common goal. While traditional construction methods encourage contention and finger pointing between separate design and build entities, design build encourages collaborative problem solving.

Continuity. A design build company manages a project from beginning to end, from the initial planning stages to post-construction cleanup. Because of this, design builders are able to work more efficiently, and the opportunity for things to be lost in translation is greatly reduced.

Experience. Design builders have extensive experience in both architectural design and construction. As such, they have a uniquely hands-on understanding of what it takes to turn a plan on paper into an actual new structure or addition.

Time saving. With design build, the bidding process is eliminated and the design and construction phases are overlapped. As a result, projects can move along more quickly and seamlessly, which translates into lower costs and earlier access to the homeowner.

Money saving. Similarly, with design-build, cost-saving methods are utilized continuously throughout the design and construction process. For this reason, design-build projects can end up saving homeowners up to 10 percent of the overall project costs.

Overall quality. With design-build, singular responsibility drives quality and performance in every stage of the process. During the design phase, design builders are highly motivated to generate plans that are accurate and error-free. This motivation continues throughout the construction process, since design builders alone are accountable for the quality of the final product.

If you are considering hiring a design-build team for your construction project, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Sea Island Builders. As seasoned design builders, we can help you draft quality architectural plans for your project, and then bring them to life through expert construction. Call Sea Island Builders today at 843-883-7430 and experience the best process and experience in the Charleston construction market.

Learn more about Sea Island Builders and our design build services on Facebook, Instagram, or Houzz.

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Sea Island Builders Receives 2015 Guildmaster Award for Exceptional Customer Service

Guild Quality Guildmaster AwardAs a family- and community-oriented business, we at Sea Island Builders value the care of our clients and their families above all else.

That’s why we were both proud and incredibly grateful to have received a 2015 Guildmaster Award for our unparalleled delivery of customer care and service. The award recognizes Sea Island Builders as a customer service leader among North America’s many builders, remodelers, developers, and contractors.

Excellentiae Laboremus Logo Guildmaster AwardThe Guildmaster Award was created by an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, GuildQuality. To select winners, the company considered the percentage of customers who would recommend the business to their friends and families, as well as the percentage of customers who responded.

We are humbled to receive an overwhelming 90 percent recommendation rate from our customers. As a business, we make it our mission to exceed our clients’ expectation through superior customer service and professional project management. We feel this award is a testament to the work we’ve put into creating the best building experience possible for our clients, and we want to thank our community for this tremendous honor.

Sea Island Builders, LLC 

Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
(843) 883-7430

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Galvalume Roofing versus Copper Roofing: Pros and Cons

Galvalume Roof on a Sea Island Builder Home in South Carolina

Galvalume Roofing on a Sea Island Builder Home

When you’re remodeling your home, deciding what to do with your roof is generally considered to be one of the least glamorous questions you’ll have to ask yourself. But the truth is that roofing technology is advancing at a surprising rate, and new trends in roofing styles are starting to turn this once-humdrum topic into something that can be really exciting. When they’re done right, roofs can add a great deal of aesthetic value to your home.

Lately, metal roofs have been coming back into vogue across the United States. Metal roofs are great options because they’re durable, eco-friendly, and available in a number of styles. There are countless metal roofing options available for you to choose from, but two of the most popular right now are Galvalume roofing and copper roofing. Both of these materials have their advantages and disadvantages.

Galvalume Roofing

Galvalume is a great option for a number of reasons—it’s stylish, it’s durable, and perhaps most excitingly, it’s energy efficient. Galvalume does an exceptional job of reflecting heat, which means that a Galvalume roof is great for keeping cool on hot summer days; it will essentially act as a giant umbrella to shade your house during sunny days.

The breakdown on Galvalume roofing:

  • Materials: Galvalume roofing is steel coated in a special alloy (45% zinc and 55% aluminum).
  • Cost per Square Foot: $8
  • Lifespan: Unpainted, a Galvalume roof should last somewhere between 30 and 40 years.
  • Warranty: 20 to 30 Years. Properties near the coast or salt water sources may not be eligible for a warranty.
  • Aesthetics: Galvalume is best used in situations where the material does not have to withstand too much bending or reshaping. While Galvalume can be installed unpainted, most homeowners do opt to paint Galvalume surfaces for aesthetic reasons.
  • Additional info: Galvalume roofing is resistant to rust, the effects of the elements, fire, and most corrosion. However, it can be susceptible to staining in areas where the material is cracked or bent, and can be susceptible to corrosion around the edges. Galvalume is also especially good for reflecting heat, which makes it a great option for homes looking to save on energy costs. Galvalume should not be used on or near concrete or mortar, as these materials can cause significant corrosion.

Copper Roofing

In the metal roofing world, copper has been a longtime favorite for builders and homeowners alike. Many architects love copper roofs simply because they’re gorgeous, but another added benefit is that they are virtually maintenance-free.

The breakdown on copper roofing:

  • Materials: Copper roofs are available in 12-, 16-, and 20-ounce copper sheets.
  • Cost per Square Foot: $16
  • Lifespan: An unpainted copper roof should last at least 60 years and will sometimes last much longer than that.
  • Warranty: 30 Years to Lifetime Warranty
  • Aesthetics: When it comes to metal roofing, copper is traditionally considered to be the most aesthetically appealing option. It has been used on residential houses and buildings (including government buildings) for hundreds of years. But because the material is so expensive, copper is generally used for accents or trims rather than to cover an entire roof.
  • Additional info: Copper should not be used with aluminum or steel, since it can cause these materials to deteriorate. Water runoff from copper can also stain just about any other material, including brick and concrete.

Both copper and Galvalume are great options if you’re looking to make the switch to metal roofing. Both options are durable, gorgeous, and eco-friendly.

Another alternative metal material to consider is a solid aluminum roof. They fall in the middle price-wise at $12 per square foot and offer a solid warranty.

If you’re ready to begin your new roofing project, or if you just want to discuss your options, get in touch with the professionals at Sea Island Builders today.

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A Guide to Engineered Flooring

Engineered Flooring

Engineered Flooring

From high-heel scratches to muddy animal tracks, our floors go through a lot of wear and tear. That’s why it’s so important that flooring is made from top quality materials. When deciding on flooring for your home, engineered flooring is both a smart and aesthetically appealing choice.

What is engineered wood flooring?Unlike conventional solid wood flooring, engineered hardwood is more complex, comprised of 3 to 12 layers that are glued and pressed together in a cross-grain construction. The inner layers are typically crafted from hardwood and plywood, while the top face is made up of hardwood veneer from your chosen type of wood. Engineered wood can be found in a broad range of wood species and styles.

Advantages of Engineered Flooring

Appearance. Engineered wood and solid plank flooring have virtually the same appearance—even the most seasoned experts have trouble distinguishing the two upon sight alone. Engineered wood floors are available in different surface effects and both domestic and exotic types of wood, including oak, bamboo, and walnut. You can find engineered flooring in many different sizes and colors.

Environmentally friendliness. Because engineered flooring uses half as many trees as solid wood floors, it helps conserve wood and protect our forests.

Durability. When compared to solid plank flooring, engineered wood floors have the advantage of being more stable and resistant to changes in temperature and high moisture levels. This makes them particularly well suited for use in homes in areas with high levels of humidity. Engineered flooring does not warp or swell, making it a low-maintenance flooring choice. Because of their thick wear layer, many brands of engineered wood flooring can be sanded and refinished up to five times, ensuring they will last for decades to come.

Allergy friendliness. Unlike carpeting, engineered wood does not trap dust and pollen, making it an ideal choice for those with allergies.

Versatility. You can install engineered flooring over other floors, such as dry concrete, tile, and vinyl. It can be installed at any grade level, whether below, above, or at ground level. Since engineered wood does not expand or contract as much as solid wood, it allows for a much wider plank. Solid hardwood, on the other hand, is more sensitive to moisture and shouldn’t typically exceed five inches in plank size.

Cost efficiency. In general, engineered wood flooring is less costly than solid wood floors. Since it only requires a thin slice of genuine wood, you are able to install more exotic and valuable species of wood for a fraction of the price.

Choosing the Right Type of Engineered Wood Flooring

If you are thinking of installing engineered wood flooring in your home, you should compare manufacturers carefully. Quality engineered floors have thicker wear layers made of genuine wood, enabling home owners to sand and refinish their floors to keep them looking attractive for up to 100 years.

If you need help selecting the best style, brand, and type of flooring material for your home, do not hesitate to contact Sea Island Builders. Pulling from our years of experience, we can help you choose the flooring that will best suit your needs before guiding you through the installation process.

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Choosing the Best Roof for Coastal Homes

This coastal home has a 5-V Galvalume roof.

This coastal home has a 5-V Galvalume roof.

While coastal homes come with unbeatable views and easy ocean access, they also take quite a beating from the elements. From severe winds to torrential downpours, there are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a building material that offers adequate protection and durability.

Choosing the right roof for coastal homes is particularly important, since the roof material acts as a barrier from rain and wayward debris, while contributing to the overall attractiveness of the house. To help you decide on the best roofing for your Charleston-area home, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of some of the most common materials.  Items to take into consideration also include the pitch (or slope) of the roof. Shingles are not suitable for anything less than a 3:12 slope, and even in these cases Sea Island Builders chooses to use an Ice and Watershield underlayment whenever applying a shingle roof. A 3:12 slope means 3 inches of fall for every 12 inches of horizontal distance.

Slate roofs. Slate roofing’s distinctive, attractive appearance makes it a perfect choice for Colonial, French, and other exotic revival-style homes. Slate boasts a long lifespan and low-maintenance requirements, and is virtually fireproof. However, this type of roofing can be quite expensive, and usually requires specialized installation from an experienced professional.

Copper roofs. While copper’s expensive price point makes it less popular, it is one of the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials. Copper roofs have been known to last for centuries—the oldest copper roof in the United States was installed on the Olde Christ Church in Philadelphia in 1742! Copper naturally resists corrosion, and its light weight puts less structural stress on homes. As copper ages, it changes color and develops a striking greenish hue.

However, this type of roofing material is fairly soft, and can easily dent and scratch in thunderstorms and hail and require repair. Standing seam copper roods can be installed on roofs with pitches as low as 2:12. A standing seam copper roof normally runs 20% more than a comparable standing seam aluminum roof.

Architectural Shingles. Shingles are one of the most popular types of roofing among contemporary builders due to their low price and durability. Asphalt shingles typically come with a 30-year warranty, though the shingles themselves often last longer. Shingles are offered in a wide array of colors, complementing a large variety of housing designs and styles.

However, asphalt shingles can rot if inclement weather persists, and require periodic preventative maintenance. Shingle roofs are limited in application by the pitch of the roof to which they are being applied and should only be installed where a slope greater than 3:12 is present. This type of shingle normally runs 50% of the cost of a galvanized steel roof.

Galvanized steel. Galvanized steel, or also known as Galvalume, is a relatively inexpensive metal roofing material that can last more than 60 years if properly installed and maintained. Galvanized steel roofing comes in many different colors and styles, such as painted steel or stone-coated steel. Made of alloyed steel with a protective zinc coating, this type of material is resistant to rusting, strong winds, and rain. The protective zinc coating helps protect steel roofing from rust, but this needs to be reapplied every 20 years or so.

Extra care must be taken during the handling and installation of Galvalume roofs because any scratch in the protective finish will lead to discoloration and corrosion within a couple of years. Most galvanized steel roof manufacturers will not warranty their product in coastal applications if within a mile of the ocean or other saltwater source.

These types of roofs, as with most metal roofs, come in two types of panels: standing seam and v-crimp. A Standing seam metal roof normally costs around 20% more than the same metal roof in v-crimp. V-crimp roofs also have exposed fasteners, while a standing seam metal roof does not. Both are extremely water tight and durable when properly installed.

Solid aluminum. Aluminum has grown in popularity as a roofing material over recent years, since it is low maintenance, corrosion-resistant, and energy efficient. Since aluminum naturally reflects light and emits heat, this type of roofing can help you save on heating and cooling costs. It’s lightweight and sturdy, though not as durable as galvanized steel. Most aluminum roofs last 40+ years depending upon the thickness, or gauge, of the paneling being used. Solid aluminum roofs carry a very good warranty for coastal applications.

Wood shakes. While wood shakes are not as common as other roofing materials, this kind of roof can give a home a classic, traditional appearance. A high quality, properly installed wood shake roof will generally have a 20-40 year life expectancy. However, without routine care and maintenance, this type of roofing is highly susceptible to mold, rot, and mildew. Cedar shake is the preferred choice by Sea Island Builders, and normally we install a shake that is 5/8” thick. It is very important to make sure that the shake shingles are properly sealed and protected prior to installation to ensure the longevity of this type of roof.

Sea Island Builders generally uses the best method possible when it comes to the materials and means of installation on our projects. There are many other aspects of roofing and installation that need to be considered when selecting a roof for coastal homes and the roofing underlayment. Most builders use 30# felt paper as their roofing underlayment. Sea island Builders uses an ice and watershield underlayment on more than 90% of their projects. Feel free to call the Sea Island Builders team at 843-883-7430 to discuss roofing in depth with a construction professional.

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