Petrine Construction Build Your Custom Home in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:19:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Petrine Construction 32 32 How Much Value Does a Deck Add to a House? Fri, 21 Dec 2018 18:09:39 +0000 The post How Much Value Does a Deck Add to a House? appeared first on Petrine Construction.


As much as we love our indoor living space, it is wonderful to be able to enjoy our outside “living room” as well. Whether you have a patio, deck or yard, your outdoor area is ideal for relaxing, entertaining, and simply enjoying nature. If you are considering adding or remodeling a deck, there are even more benefits. 

Let’s look at how much value a deck adds to a house. 


Increased Value

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), along with the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) did a 2018 Remodeling Impact Study that reported that adding a new wood deck would recover 80% of the cost of the project when you go to sell your home. 

The cost of a deck:

Landscape professionals estimate that a 14’-deep by 18’-wide wood deck would cost about $10,000. REALTORS estimated the cost at around $8,000. 

Add to your home's resale value:

The REALTOR ranking put a new wood deck as #5 on the ranking of projects most likely to appeal to buyers, and #5 on the list of projects likely to add value to a home’s resale (preceded by landscape maintenance, landscape upgrades, lawn care service, and a new patio.) It scored much higher than adding an outdoor kitchen or new pool.

Additional Living Space

Although outdoor spaces aren’t counted in the square footage of your home, they offer additional living space where friends and family can gather. The biggest reason to build a wood deck, as cited by the NAR/NALP study, was to add features and improve livability. How much value does a deck add to a house? 

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they have a greater desire to be home since completing the project.


The second most common reason to build or remodel a deck is to upgrade an existing one. The finishes may be worn, or boards may be warped. Or a homeowner may just decide that they like a different material, finish or design to their deck.

Value of Wooden Decks vs. Composite Decks

A wood deck may add value to a house, but it does require regular maintenance of cleaning, staining and resealing. A composite deck, with boards created from a combination of recycled materials are generally warrantied against warping and fading, and require little to no maintenance up to decades after installation. They do need to be washed and kept free of mold and mildew. 

Building a wooden deck will normally cost less than erecting one made of a composite material which can cost 2-3 times more to build. It also has a higher cost vs. value ratio.

The more expensive the deck, the less of the cost is recovered when you sell your home. On the other hand, with the reduced maintenance, a composite deck can recoup its cost over time.


Want to Know How Much Value a Deck Can Add to Your House?

Contact Petrine Construction.

As builders of custom and luxury homes, Petrine Construction can answer your questions about building or remodeling a deck, and what value it can add to your house. We’d love to transform your outdoor living space with a new deck as well!

If you’re in the Northern Shenandoah Valley area, contact Petrine Construction today.

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Does a Bedroom Have to Have a Window? Wed, 07 Nov 2018 17:20:28 +0000 Building codes have certain requirements for what goes into a home. But does a bedroom have to have a window? Learn more from Petrine Construction.

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Building codes have certain requirements for what goes into a home and how it is classified. One of these rulings refers to “Does a bedroom have to have a window to be called a bedroom?”

The quick answer is “yes.”

The building codes were created (and enforced) to ensure the safety of all residents living within a home. Therefore, according to Larry Frank of the International Code Council,

“There are general requirements to all habitable rooms and specific requirements for other rooms including the bedroom.”

Why does a bedroom have to have a window?

The main reason bedrooms have to have a window is to create a means of egress, or a way to escape the room in an emergency, like in a fire situation.

According to codes, a bedroom must have at least two means of egress – normally a door and a window. And one of those means of egress must open to the outside.

Window size requirements:

A window must open to a minimum area of 5.7 square feet, and open to a height of 24 inches.

Ruling for how high the window can be from the floor:

It must be no more than 44 inches from the finished floor (under the carpet if you have carpeting), and the top of the windowsill, and no less than 24 inches from the finished floor.

This minimal height ruling was enacted to help prevent young children from tumbling out.

Other requirements:

You must also be able to open a bedroom window from the inside without using a key or special tool, or special knowledge on how to do so.

What classifies as a bedroom?

The legal definition of a bedroom in most states includes six features, according to They are:


A minimum square footage of approximately 70-80 square feet.


A minimum horizontal footage measuring at least 7 feet in any direction.


Two means of egress, with one leading to the outside.


A minimum ceiling height of 7 feet.


A minimum window opening size of 5.7 square feet in area.


An element to heat and cool (not a space heater).

Does a bedroom have to have a window and a closet to qualify? No. In most states, a closet is not one of the requirements for calling it a bedroom.

Related: What is a Bedroom? Make Sure You Know the Legal Requirements

Custom Home Building by Petrine Construction

The more bedrooms a home has, the more value is offers.

We like to meet with prospective clients looking to build a custom home and talk to them about how many bedrooms they need. We’ll answer all your questions, including ones like “Does a bedroom have to have a window.” Then we help you design and build a pleasing and functional space that works just right for your family.

If you are looking to build a custom home or a luxury home, call Petrine Construction.

We build beautiful homes throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley, and this is a great time of year to start creating your building plans so construction can begin in the spring. Contact us today to get started.

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How Much Does a Custom Home Cost? Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:12:22 +0000 There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to answering the question, "how much does a custom home cost?" Learn more from Petrine Construction!

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If there is one question we hear often, it is “How much does a custom home cost?”

As a premier custom homebuilder in Northern Virginia, we tell them there are a lot of factors to consider. Among them are size, materials, labor, design style, location, and siting.

How Much Does a Custom Home Cost?

According to a HomeAdvisor calculator,

the average cost for building a single-family custom home in the Front Royal area is around $175 per square foot.

But prices can range from the low $200s to more than $700,000 and higher, depending on the above factors. Expect to pay between about $200 and $400 per square foot for a custom or luxury home.

How to determine cost per square foot:

Builders and Realtors talk in terms of cost per square foot when speaking about how much a custom home costs. To determine your cost per square foot, take the total cost of your project and divide it by the square footage of the home.

Total project cost ÷ square footage = cost per square foot

If the total cost is $600,000 and the square footage is 3,500, your cost per square foot would be $171.86. You can use this number to compare costs to homes that are similar in nature.

You can expect to pay approximately two times the cost of a production-made house for a custom home with top-grade materials. In addition, you must add in the cost of the land.

What Factors Influence Custom Home Cost?

The complexity of a home has an effect on how much a custom home costs. The same size home could run vastly different in pricing if it contains complicated angles or truly custom features. 

Determine the style of your home, the level of quality materials you expect, and any special features you desire.


A two- or three-story home will have a smaller footprint than a one-level home, and requires less foundation work and roofing.

Building Materials

The materials you choose for your home can truly up the cost. Think of all the choices you must make in flooring, paint, roofing materials, cabinetry, countertops and surrounds, appliances, windows, and doors. If you want to add custom features like a spa in the master bath or surround sound throughout the house, these can increase the price also.

Home Features

Custom architectural features like a grand entryway, curved staircase, vaulted or tray ceilings, and roof pitches cost more than standard features.

When building a custom home, be sure to obtain complete architectural drawings.

If you purchase a custom home plan, it is wise to have a qualified architect review them before committing to building. He or she might find areas that either won’t work for your lifestyle, or ones where they can make improvements.


Hire an Experienced Custom Home Builder

For the best result, hire a home builder with experience in building custom homes. Although the basics are the same, the finesse of custom features is best left to a builder with the right qualifications.

In addition to being one of the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s most respected custom home builders, Petrine Construction sets the standard for customer service. We believe that two of the most important aspects of working with clients on a custom home are communication and collaboration, and we work together with our clients to create the home they want.

When you are considering building a custom home or a luxury home, contact Petrine Construction.

We can offer design ideas, review plans, and tell you how much a custom home will cost. Then we’ll get to work building you your dream home. 

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Digging Out a Basement Fri, 31 Aug 2018 03:56:18 +0000 Have you longed for a home with a basement and considered digging out a basement in your existing home? Explore these answers from Petrine Construction.

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Have you longed for a home with a basement and considered digging out a basement in your existing home? How do you go about it? Who does this type of work? Is the cost worth it? Let’s explore these answers.

Six Steps to Digging Out a Basement

  1. Establishing access to the basement
  2. Dirt removal
  3. Structural support & engineering
  4. New footers
  5. New walls
  6. New floor

Logistics of Digging Out a Basement

First of all, digging out a basement under an existing home is not easy. It involves either moving the house by sliding it off of its foundation or jacking up the house onto steel beams in order to provide access to the digging and landscaping equipment.


Cut off utilities first.

When moving an existing structure, structural problems can occur. Utilities must be cut off and re-established, and new extensions created. This can cause possible water and sewer problems in the future. Problems with the structure itself can also occur, with the added strain on foundational building elements.


Make sure your basement is dry.

Since many basements can flood, it is important that your new basement is dry. You will need to ensure that no foundation cracks are present, drains are properly installed and operating correctly, and that exterior landscape slopes away from the foundation. Waterproofing may be an option to avoid your basement being damp.


Plan out locations.

Considering how deep to install your sewer line will determine whether gravity will drain a basement bathroom or whether a pump is needed to route the water uphill. Plan out where the household mechanics like the furnace and water heater will go. They must be placed in a location where they can be vented vertically, most often near a mechanical or masonry chimney.

In addition to digging out a basement, certain foundational elements must be added, like a concrete slab floor, footing drains and foundation walls for stability. A basement must also contain an emergency egress, like a door or large window. Think about how much natural light you’d like to have in your basement to calculate the number of windows needed.

You will need to consider where to place the basement stairs as they intersect with the upper level. Both interior and any exterior stairs should be well-planned in advance.

Who Can Dig Out a Basement?

With the difficult access and multiple code considerations, you will want to seek out a qualified basement contractor, like Petrine Construction.

Cost of Digging Out a Basement

If you already have an unfinished basement and wish to add ceiling height, the cost of digging out a basement will be much less than if you want to completely add a new basement.

Digging out a basement is not inexpensive. It can run to $100,000 and higher, depending upon the size of the house and the basement, and the complexity of the job. You could be looking at approximately $50-$200 per square foot. Some say it would be easier to either purchase a home with an existing basement or create an addition to your house that includes a basement.

Related: How Much Does a Crawl Space Dig Out Cost?

Contact Petrine Construction

Adding a basement to your home will increase the square footage, improve the property, and offer a great new space for entertaining and enjoyment.

If you are interested in digging out a basement and live in Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, contact Petrine Construction. We’ll be glad to explore the logistics, costs and benefits of adding a basement to your home.

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Should I Build a House with Two Kitchens? Wed, 08 Aug 2018 18:58:10 +0000 Are you wondering whether to build a house with two kitchens? Learn more about reasons to have two kitchens with answers from Petrine Construction!

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When building a new home, or remodeling an existing one, you might ask yourself, “Should I build a house with two kitchens?” The standard answer is, “that depends.”

Having two kitchens can be a convenience, as when you want to cook in different areas of your home, or it could be a lifestyle choice, as when two or more family units are housed under one roof. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you might want to build a house with two kitchens.

The Number of Multigenerational Households is Rising

According to a Pew Research Center report, the number of Americans living in multi-generational households is rising. Now, more than 60.6 million people share a home with younger or older generations, or about 19% of the population.

“Multigenerational family living is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups, Hispanics, most age groups and both men and women,” the report states. “The most common type of multigenerational household…consists of two adult generations, such as parents and their adult children [ages 25 or older]. Households with three or more generations – for example, a grandparent, an adult child and a grandchild of any age—housed 28.4 million people in 2016.” 

-Pew Research Center

Commonly called a “mother-in-law suite,” a separate apartment can be created from a basement, a stand-alone or attached garage, or guest cottage with a second kitchen or kitchenette. You will want to check with your local building codes to see what permits are required, and with zoning ordinances to know whether building a separate kitchen in a single-family home is allowed in your area.

Read more about what you should know before building an in-law suite.

Builders Respond with Flexible Living Designs

As a result of this trend, homebuilders and remodelers are responding with building plans designed for flexible living. Home designs can include separate living suites with a living space, bedroom(s), and kitchen, with a separate entrance. These private apartments allow generations to operate separately and maintain privacy while living under the same roof.

However, multi-generational living is only one thought when you ask, “Should I build a house with two kitchens?”

Other Reasons to Consider Building a House with Two Kitchens



Convenience is another reason people are building homes with two kitchens. If the home has finished living space on separate floors, such as the main floor and a basement level, it can be easier to prepare snacks and meals in a separate kitchen area on each floor rather than having to run up and down stairs.

Outdoor Kitchen

Functional outdoor kitchens are also popular as places to entertain and cook, and don’t normally require the same zoning regulations as an indoor kitchen. As an expansion of the living space they offer an additional cooking area, drawing people out of the crowded kitchen to a more relaxed atmosphere. An outdoor kitchen can also increase the value of your home.

Items to consider for an outdoor kitchen include a grill, counter space, smoke, pizza oven, refrigerator, and bar. And don’t forget to include comfortable seating areas, entertainment systems, lighting, plants and décor.

Should I Build a House with Two Kitchens? Ask a Professional.

When you’ve decided to build or remodel a home, it’s time to speak to a qualified and experienced professional builder who can provide you with the options for building two kitchens – like Petrine Construction.

As a custom builder, Petrine Construction will explore your reasons for wanting to build two kitchens, explain pertinent zoning regulations, and offer professional recommendations on how best to design a second kitchen you’ll love.

Contact us today!

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Why Build a Custom Home? Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:54:52 +0000 Why build a custom home? From custom design options to custom location, click to read more about what to consider and the benefits of building a custom home with collaborators you trust.

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Finding the right home can be an arduous task.

So why not build a custom home? With a custom-built home, you can include all of your “must haves” and your “would loves” into one process that is a whole lot easier than searching through dozens (or more) homes to find your dream house.

Reasons Why You Should Build a Custom Home

Custom Rooms

If you want to include custom rooms, like a theater room, dance studio or indoor game room, building a custom home will enable you to incorporate these into the original design, which is much easier than trying to retrofit them into an existing home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, some of the new trends in custom homes include green building, multigenerational living, universal design, and amenities like yoga studios, fitness rooms, and even a bowling alley.

Custom Location

You may have your heart set on a particular property or view that just can’t be had in a tract home location. Building a custom home allows you to select your own piece of land and situate your home on that land to take best advantage of views and natural landscapes.

Custom Selections

When you build a custom home, you can choose exactly the appliances, finishes, surfaces and finishes you want, and have them incorporated into the original design. Perhaps you would like to have two dishwashers in a gourmet kitchen, or an upstairs and downstairs laundry. Knowing how you want to use your home can go a long way in creating a custom design that works for you and your family.

Custom Homebuilder

You can select the homebuilder with whom you feel most comfortable. When researching a custom builder, ask these questions: Does this homebuilder share your vision, and are they open to your ideas? Do they have experience in building the type or style of home you desire? Are they truly a custom homebuilder? How well do you feel you can communicate with them?
See these tips from to help answer your questions on why build a custom home.


Items to Consider:

Be Clear About What You Want and Expect

Go into the process knowing what you want in your custom home. Share that list with your builder and architect and make sure you are all on the same page before any construction begins. Be open to suggestions from these professionals – after all, they have years of experience building custom homes – and expect that you will have slight design changes as you hammer out the final design.

Be sure you can communicate with your design/build team, and make sure you do communicate throughout the building process. A good custom homebuilder wants to make sure you are happy with their work. After all, this will be your home for some time to come.


Building a custom home may cost more than purchasing an “out-of-the-box” home or a resale, but considering that you will get exactly what you want in your home, that extra expense may be worth it. Time and money considerations and extra expenses may be needed to create a custom blueprint, for covering specific construction design details or selections, or for additional land development or landscaping costs, for example. 

Contact Petrine Construction

To build a custom home, you will want to engage the services of an experienced custom homebuilder who shares your vision for your home.

At Petrine Construction, we help you design homes that not only include the living spaces you desire, we incorporate the views from the windows out to your natural surroundings, and ensure that your home will have plenty of sunlight as well as beautiful views. That extra care and thoughtfulness is something unique about Petrine Construction and the way we work with our clients.

If you want to build a custom home, please come talk to us at Petrine Construction. We are your custom home builder in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. 

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Which Custom Home Builder Blog is Right for You? Thu, 12 Apr 2018 21:23:21 +0000 Looking for more helpful articles on home building and renovation? Check out our guide to discover which custom home builder blog is right for you!

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We’re not the first custom home builder blog, and we certainly won’t be the last.

Reading articles from other home building professionals and contractors is a great way to get inspired with new ideas and stay informed on building trends, new technologies, and other tips and tricks.

We did the legwork for you, so just scroll below and click the links to check out these amazing custom home builder blogs!

Check out these custom home builder blogs!

Listed in no particular order, here are some of the custom home builder blogs we enjoy reading.

Alure Home Improvements Blog

The Alure Home Improvements Blog is a great resource for tips and advice on home building, renovation, and other improvement projects. With nearly seven decades of experience in the field of home construction, this Long-Island based company’s blog is both highly informative and easy to navigate.

House Renovation: How to Prevent Unexpected Damages

Lindus Construction Blog & Podcast

Lindus Construction has a five-star-rated blog as well as a Q & A podcast (their team spends an hour weekly answering questions at local Wisconsin radio station WCCO 830 AM), both with a rather large library of content on topics ranging from window replacement to how to best choose a roofing contractor. Though they are not a full-blown home building company, they have decades of experience in renovation and custom construction.

Fast Facts About Wood Flooring (Podcast)

“Field Notes” from Hammer and Hand

Hammer and Hand is a general contracting and woodcraft company in Portland and Seattle. In their blog “Field Notes,” they share monthly articles about their recent projects and tips in areas including home renovation, building new homes, custom woodworking tips, energy efficient homes, and more!

Unfinished Business: A Primer in Lower Level Additions

Devonshire Custom Homes Blog

This Tampa-based construction company that writes on topics such as local real estate and building trends as well as design ideas and constriction tips. With articles being published about four times a month, the Devonshire Custom Homes Blog is visually clear and easy to navigate. Take a look at their recent posts, 12 Point Spring Home Maintenance Checklist.

12 Point Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Adair Homes Blog

The Adair Homes Blog is a wonder resource for articles on areas including home building tips, real estate news, and company news. You can check out their website for weekly blog updates, or you can even digitally subscribe to their blog via email for updates and a weekly newsletter, highlighting home building tips and new design ideas. Here’s the link to their latest article, “How Much Does Building a Custom Home Really Cost?”

How Much Does Building a Custom Home Really Cost?

Housetrends Blog

While the Housetrends Blog isn’t directly from a custom home building company, they make this list due to the vast amount of guest content they publish from other contracting companies and home building professionals. This blog shares house building tips, design inspirations, landscaping, and remodeling. They publish even more content in their Housetrends Magazine. Their blog posts new articles frequently, sometimes as much as multiple times a week.


“Custom Home Builder’s Blog” from Jenkins Design-Build

This home builder blog from contracting company Jenkins Design-Build writes posts on new techniques and trends in building and architecture, style and design ideas, and other topics such as market costs and home styles. This business was ranked as one of the Top 10 for 2017 Custom Home Builders in Austin, TX according to the Austin Business Journal, and their expertise is certainly reflected in their blog content.

2018 Color of the Year

Time to Build: A Houseplans Blog

You may have heard of the company Houseplans but did you know they also have a killer blog? Not only do they provide a large multitude of house plans for home builders, they also write about design ideas and tricks of the trade. They share their expertise on so many subjects including floor plan optimization, architecture and design, and energy efficiency in home building.

What Make A Well Designed House Plan?

Mitchell Homes Blog

The Mitchell Homes Blog may be visually less exciting than some of the other custom home builders blogs on this list, but their content is of no lesser quality. Their articles not only discuss home building tips and ideas, but also the more business side of things, like how to effectively negotiate with clients and resources to use when building your dream home.

5 Tips to Negotiate with Your Custom Home Builder

Tiny House Blog

What constitutes custom home building more than a tiny house? The Tiny House Blog was started by Kent Griswold, a tiny house enthusiast and builder; Kent and his team of writers provide a myriad of articles with tips for smart building and optimizing space, best practices for building your own custom tiny house, and other resources to help you get started in the tiny house lifestyle.

Even if the Tiny House life isn’t for you, these houses are still fascinating to observe and the blog articles offering an informative perspective on custom home building.

Multigen Home: The Next Phase of Smart Building

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide helps you find the right custom home builder blog for you!

If you want more advice and tips on custom home building, contact us at Petrine Construction.

With over over thirty years of experience in the industry, our team offers a variety of home building services and is eager to work with you and answer your questions!

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Energy Efficient Home Plans Tue, 05 Dec 2017 15:40:16 +0000 Want to build a home that’s eco-friendly? Read more to learn about energy efficient home plans and some of today’s top providers.

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These days, it’s all about going green.

Having more energy efficient home plans are more than just fads; they’re beneficial both to the environment and your wallet in the long run.

There are many different ways to shrink your carbon footprint with energy efficient home plans. Though it can be more expensive to build energy efficient homes, they use fewer resources and are effective in the long run.

Eco-Friendly Homes

There is a difference between energy efficient, green, and “Net-Zero” homes, which go the extra mile with optimizing efficiency by making aspects of the home able to generate its own energy and therefore consume less external resources.
Here are three of the top sites we found online that offer energy efficient home plans:



Beyond energy efficiency, green building considers the environmental impact of the materials and techniques used in the building of the efficient home.

HousePlans offers over 40,000 different house plans in their online database that are all built using energy efficient techniques.

Not only does this company offer an impressive amount of environment-friendly designs, but they have a healthy variety of sizes, prices, and styles. The average price for homes from House Plans are $500-$2000.

Their website is clearly organized so buyers can easily navigate and customize their searches to find an energy efficient home plans that suit client’s aesthetic and budget.

In addition to having entire energy efficient home plans, also has packages that improve on specific areas of your house if you in the market for home improvements rather than an entirely new house. From kitchen appliances to front porch design to well pump systems, this site provides any service you could want for your energy efficient home.

The House Designers

Our energy-efficient homes are planned so that they’re affordable throughout the years, providing savings on utilities thanks to their environmentally conscientious designs and use of eco-friendly fixtures and other products.

The House Designers offer over six hundred energy efficient house plans that boast increased durability, comfort, and architectural style to suit different tastes. They have designs that utilize natural lighting and ventilation techniques that are sustainable, comfortable, and decrease the use of electricity. (You may even want to consider investing in home automation setup.)

The House Designers also have specific “green” house plans that meet strict standards that allow their homes to qualify as ENERGY STAR compliant. ENERGY STAR is an organization that helps companies protect the climate and save money with their superior energy efficient techniques. These ENERGY STAR homes are said to save buyers anywhere from 20%-30% on energy expenses. These house plans have a lower reliance on fossil fuels and can also be modified to be even more eco-friendly depending on the buyer’s preference.


Recycled-glass countertops, insulating wall systems, and non-toxic interior paint may have important roles to play in the building of your next home, but don’t forget that every sustainable home begins with a green design.

ePlans is perhaps the best online when it comes to detailing their system for producing their nearly 450 greenhouse plans. From using recycled materials to non-toxic paints, ePlans is all about compacting our carbon footprint and decreasing our environmental impact through intelligent design and using fewer resources.

Their website details their energy efficient home building process starting with valuing good engineering in their building plans. Next, they focus on creating flexible rooms that reduce wasted space and optimize functionality. By employing solar heating and other methods of passive heating, ePlans strives to offer housing plans that can meet the standards to become green certified homes.

Their most popular designs average between $800-$3000.

Find approved local roofing and remodeling contractors in my area.

We hope this help provide you with resources to learn more about energy efficient home plans and their positive impact on the environment.

Learn more ways to improve the functionality and efficiency of elements of your home and get started on your energy efficient home plan today!

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