Building Success 101

Q: What’s the difference between engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring?

A: Unlike solid wood planks, engineered wood flooring features a main section or substrate made from thin sections of solid wood that are set in a cross-hatched pattern and laminated together. A thin veneer of solid oak, maple, or other wood on top of this base provides the appearance of a solid wood floor. Engineered wood flooring does not react as dramatically to changes in temperature or humidity and requires less maintenance than solid wood.

You may have heard the term ‘customization’ in your research for your new home. It typically means the process of making alterations to the floor plan or exterior appearance of a home to reflect your particular taste, lifestyle, and location.

But a subtle yet equally important variation on that term is emerging within the home design and building communities. Put simply, this newer usage of ‘customization’ expresses that new homes today are—by design—better able to adapt to the changing needs of their owners after they’ve moved in and for years to come.

This kind of customization has its roots in architectural features like the great rooms and so-called ‘flex’ spaces that many builders now offer. But true customization requires a more thoughtful approach to the floor plan, materials choices, and future lifestyle changes than simply including a room that allows flexibility in its use.

Obviously, rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms are spaces dedicated to a particular use. But there’s no reason that a dining room can’t eventually become a home office, then switch back or become something else down the road, depending on what the family wants and needs.

More dramatically, consider a back room—properly designed—that could evolve from a simple bedroom into a den, home office, or studio apartment, and eventually into a first-floor master suite as the owners age and tire of climbing stairs to their bedroom.

Similarly, a storage area next to a second-floor master suite could, over time and if properly designed, become another bedroom or swap with the master bedroom, which could turn into an upstairs family room or office, private sitting room, or home gym.

These examples are practical and can also be cost-effective… if your builder has the forethought to ‘rough in’ plumbing and other mechanical systems. This level of customization could set the stage for a future rental apartment with a small kitchen and a private entry. Another smart option: leave sufficient room for a staircase or design the roof frame to accommodate dormer windows to finish an upstairs area adjacent to the master suite.

The possibilities of being able to ‘customize’ a home you already live in are inspiring. As much as we want to build new homes (it is our business, after all), we also like the idea of creating long-lasting communities of people who can build tight neighborhood bonds—which proper home design and planning allows.

We also like providing homes that serve our clients now and in the future, reducing ongoing maintenance needs and extensive remodeling costs. The built-in flexibility also helps make the house easier to sell when the owners are ready to move on to another new home.

This newer kind of customization works best in new homes. As professional custom home builders, we specialize in working with you to design the floor plan and construction process from the beginning to accommodate your family’s changing lifestyle needs.

Warm Regards,



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

702.257.8102 – Phone