Sidebar Photo

Good news!  All indications are pointing toward an encouraging uptick in median home prices and the custom home inventory is shrinking.  More good news — school’s out and summer has officially started; many families are traveling.  Please remember to keep your home safe during your travels.  This is also a great opportunity to take advantage of a remodel project you’ve been thinking of but haven’t had the time.  We have a great team of professionals who can provide the quality you are looking for regardless of the size of renovation.  We have a reputation for delivering the absolute highest level of craftsmanship, and we are a leader in green building practices and an expert in energy efficient construction methods. That said, we are most proud of our reputation for integrity and honesty and have completed more than $50-million worth of
construction in Las Vegas on handshakes. Our team always keeps the construction site clean and provides protection against hazards during remodels and new home construction.  Remodels are typically stressful on the homeowners as they are living through the chaos, but Merlin Custom Home Builders can help alleviate that stress by keeping your home protected and maintained during all stages of construction.
An update on our new remodel website:  We have almost completed the site and are putting on the final touches, the August newsletter will include the website for all of you to take a look and pass on to friends and family who might be interested in a remodel contractor who is well respected within the construction community.
The Merlin Custom Home Builders Team wishes everyone a safe and Happy Fourth of July, the day of independence for all

Building Success 101

Q: Should I be worried about my homes foundation?

A: A good professional builder will follow all the right steps to assure that your new home’s foundation sets the tone for a successful and properly built residence. What makes a good slab? There are many components necessary for a good solid foundation. Engineering, proper soils compaction, third-party concrete testing to assure that all engineered specifications for strength are met, site survey and civil engineering are necessary to get the slab and grades spot on. Good supervision and a licensed concrete crew that is properly outfitted with the latest tools necessary to guarantee a flat well-troweled slab ready to receive framing and floor finishes. Merlin Custom Home Builders has the perfect team of professionals who work well together and know how to set the stage for building your dream home that you can be proud of. Contact us today to discuss all your options regarding a new
custom home or remodeling an existing home.

The word “foundation” evokes thoughts of strength, permanence, and solidity — the basis for everything that follows. A home’s foundation is simply the most important part of its construction and overall performance, if not top of mind among homebuyers and owners. The very best way to start your home and it’s strong foundation is the choice you make when you select your general contractor.

The reason there are different types of residential foundations has to do with the soil and other conditions of the lot, regional building materials, the skills of the local labor force, and, where possible, needs and personal preference may play a part in the design.

Almost all single-family home foundations in the U.S. are built with concrete or masonry blocks or some close variation, such as precast concrete panels or insulated concrete forms; a few are built with steel or treated wood, but those are rare occurrences and for special conditions.

Regardless, a new home has one of the following three types of foundations:

Slab, most commonly found in the Las Vegas valley. A slab foundation is a lot like it sounds: a monolithic, horizontal block of poured concrete. The slab is usually supported by relatively shallow perimeter footing that runs along its entire boundary just below the ground. The center of the slab rests on or is embedded with a steel mesh over well-compacted and level ground.

The beauty of a slab foundation is its low cost and fast construction, especially for a simple house footprint or layout. Once the footings are excavated and the formwork and reinforcing steel mesh is placed, it takes only a few men and a few hours to pour the concrete, tamp and level (or “screed”) it smooth, cut control joints to accommodate surface cracks, and embed any connectors for the next phase of construction. Within a day or so, the slab is ready for the structural frame.

Crawlspace, more commonly found in colder climates and poor soil conditions. Also called a pier-and-beam or raised-floor foundation, a crawlspace creates a shallow area between the structural frame and the ground using a short perimeter wall of poured concrete (called a “stem” wall) and strategically located short support posts (or piers) in the middle. Combined, the wall and piers hold up the structural beams and joists of the wood-framed first-floor platform upon which the rest of the home is built.

This creates a 3- to 4-foot space allowing easier access to plumbing and electrical conduits and central air ductwork serving the house. It is critical to insulate the underside of the first-floor platform (and also the inside of the stem walls, if possible) to maintain the desired comfort level of the living space above; a moisture barrier on the raw ground and vents embedded in the stem wall will help keep the crawlspace dry and free of water-related damage.

Full or Walkout Basements have been gaining popularity here in the last 20 years. A basement foundation is basically a combination of the two other types. Excavated to about 12 feet below the ground, it features a concrete floor (essentially a slab) and concrete, masonry block or insulated concrete forms perimeter walls with as-needed support posts. The first-floor frame is built slightly above finished grade, creating a platform for the rest of the house.

Accessible from the rest of the house above, so-called “full” basements create at least an 8-foot clearance between the slab and the floor frame above. This full-height area can therefore be finished as living or storage space, utility area (such as the heating and cooling equipment and laundry), as well as mechanical and duct runs.

Most are “daylight” basements, with deep window wells along the perimeter that allow natural light and emergency egress. “Walk-out” types, meanwhile, take advantage of a slope on one side of the basement to create more conventional outside access to the basement … and perhaps even an outdoor living area, such as a patio or garden.

Regardless of the type, a foundation is literally the basis of a home’s strength and performance, from energy efficiency to withstanding high winds. A well-engineered and well-built foundation allows the rest of the home’s construction to go as smoothly and quickly as possible, and maintains its structural integrity. It may not be visible or sexy, but a strong foundation is arguably the best way to maintain housing value.

Start your custom home building dreams with a contractor who’s foundation is honesty, integrety and strong building practices.

Warm Regards,



Steve Jones & Bart Jones
Merlin Custom Home Builders
6408 S. Arville Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118

702.257.8102 – Phone