Building Technology

Appliances

2010: Dishwasher technology improves significantly. Dishwashers operate almost silently and require less preparation (rinsing, scraping) before putting dishes in.

Architecture

1970s: Standard ceiling height is 8 feet, and has been for most of the century as lumber sizes became standardized.

1990s: Home design evolves from "McMansions" to more effective use of space that family members can enjoy. This includes significantly bigger closets and more flexible spaces.

2000s: Home design moves from the typical "living room, dining room, kitchen and family room" to open floor plans with the kitchen at the heart of the home. This provides better flow for family living and entertaining, with accompanying home office, "away room," or other personal spaces.

2001: Baby Boomers continue to change the homebuilding market as they require more features to accommodate their aging bodies. Eagle Construction brings its experience in residential building to the "Active Adult" market. Homes incorporate first floor living with barrier free, fully accessible universal design so that owners can continue to enjoy their home and neighborhood as their needs change.

2010: Ceiling heights regularly set at 9 to 10 feet as manufacturing technology advances to allow taller structural framing and longer sheets of wallboard. This higher ceiling makes rooms feel more spacious and airy, increasing the livability of today's homes.

Electrical Code

1980s: Number of available circuits is limited, based on the expectation that users will have few home appliances. Typical kitchen includes only a toaster along with an occasional crock pot and hand mixer. Microwaves are uncommon. Where they exist, they are countertop models.

1980s: Home lighting is simple: primarily incandescent bulbs used in table lamps and the occasional overhead fixture, with tube-florescent bulbs in kitchens.

2000s: Expanding use of home appliances requires upgraded circuits. Typical small kitchen appliances include microwave, coffee maker, food processor, flatscreen TV, computer/smartphone docking station. Instead of one TV, most homes have multiple high definition TVs plus wireless routers, game stations, and other "always on" appliances.

2000s: Home lighting moves to "layered" look, with mood lighting, task lighting, and general lighting sources in each room. Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFBs) take the place of incandescent bulbs in ceiling fans, lamps, and recessed lighting fixtures, with LED bulbs making strong inroads, as well. While requiring more robust circuitry, these lighting options provide measurable energy savings.

Evolution Of Siding

1960s: Most siding is wood clapboards. Regular painting is required to maintain the life of the boards.

1980s: Masonite is the most commonly-used siding material. However, masonite is very sensitive to moisture and early clapboards could be prone to manufacturer's defects that compromised their integrity.

2000s: Vinyl siding becomes more popular as advances in technology allow for better quality. "New Generation" vinyl siding holds its color longer, is more rigid, and more natural in appearance. Insulated vinyl siding protects the home from moisture, compared to masonite or wood siding which relies on a thin layer of paint for protection from the elements.

2010: Fibercement siding gains in popularity among higher-end residential construction. Fibercement is long-lasting and takes paint beautifully, giving homeowners many of the benefits of wood and vinyl siding combined in one siding option.

Exhaust Systems

1980s: Kitchen and bath exhaust fans vent moist air to the exterior of the house (prior fans generally recirculated moist air).

2000s: Kitchen and bath exhaust fans become more powerful and therefore more efficient at venting moist air and cooking odors.

2010s: Quality builders realize that stronger exhaust fans were depleting fresh air supplies in the home. Fresh air intake vents added to replace air and keep interior environment healthy.

Foundations

1970s: Standard practice for foundation work is to dig a footer and pour concrete, then build on top of that, without evaluating soil conditions and other environmental factors.

2000s: "Don't touch dirt without an engineer's inspection" becomes more common as a result of compromised foundations due to shrink/swell soil and other ground conditions. The result is stronger foundations in houses built.

Innovation

2009: Housing industry goes into steep decline during economic recession. As a result, builders are motivated to create innovative designs and offer more choices to attract customers. The benefit to purchasers of new homes is better technology, increased options, and a home designed for the way families live today.

2011: Structured wiring becomes available in better-built homes. This enhanced wiring "future-proofs" the home, allowing for easy installation of wiring including low voltage lines for TV/cable, phone, high-speed internet, and other media. Wiring installed behind the walls means homeowners don't need to install new wiring (or jerry-rig unsightly wiring) to take advantage of new technology like the installation of flat screens, for example.

Insulation

1970s: Energy crisis forces many to look at conserving energy through better home insulation. "Triple track" storm windows and storm doors become more common. Insulation between heated spaces and unheated spaces like crawlspace & attic is considered innovative.

1980s: Attic space starts to become insulated in high-end homes as part of "Super-Insulated" movement.

1980s & 1990s: Blown-in insulation becomes popular, both in new construction and renovations. Replaces roll insulation as best option especially in high-end homes, because it can be blown into smaller crevices in the home's outer walls. Some experts express concern about the insulation settling over the years as gravity takes its toll, compromising the energy-efficiency.

2009: Eagle Construction initiates effort to become the market leader in Virginia for energy-efficient/green technology.

2009: "Conditioned crawlspace" becomes more common and an Eagle Construction standard. A vapor barrier is installed across the bottom of the crawlspace and up the wall, which becomes more common and an Eagle Construction standard. The walls are insulated to keep moisture at bay, reducing energy loss as well as the risk of termite and water damage.

2011:All Eagle Construction HVAC units must operate in a conditioned space, which allows it to perform at peak efficiency.

2012:Eagle Construction makes spray foam an included feature in all Eagle homes. Spray foam has the advantage of going on wet, expanding to fill every nook and cranny for superior energy-efficiency without the risk of settling presented by blown-in insulation.

Lumber

1990s: Lumber used for structural purposes (floor joists, etc) engineered for greater strength and stability. Warping is eliminated. Floors and walls "feel" more solid.

2000s: 4x8 sheets of plywood replaced by tongue-and-groove engineered plywood to provide gap-free installation and smoother finishes.

Roof Shingles

2000s: Industry standard increases to 30-year warranties. Improved production technology provides greater architectural detail and greater variety of choice.

2000s: Shingle requirements become much more stringent, exceeding FHA minimum standards for the '80s and '90s.

2010s: True architectural shingles replace more costly and higher-maintenance wood shakes as preferred roofing for upscale homes.

Window Technology

Early 2000s: Operation technology advancements make opening and closing windows easier and smoother, and create a more weather-tight seal between window sections. New technology replaces outdated "rope and pulley" and "spring-loaded" technology.

Late 2000s: Window frame installation improved to virtually eliminate air leakage around the window frame.

2009: Low E windows become an Eagle included feature. Low-E glass windows are coated with a nearly invisible metal or metallic oxide layer that helps suppress the transfer or radiative heat flow, keeping the outdoor climate where it belongs - outside.