Construction methods have changed over the years, making homes more bright, efficient, and spacious. Innovations like modern insulation materials and dual- or triple-pane windows are indispensable. At the same time, we have become more environmentally conscious. We want our homes to be healthy for our families and for the planet. So air-to-air heat exchangers, on-demand water heaters, and geothermal heating and cooling systems have become increasingly important. When looking to the future, we also want our homes to be able to keep up with emerging technology, so that we won't be at a disadvantage when it comes time to sell.

At Rock Solid Builders, we embrace new technology that benefits our customers. We are also wary of newfangled gimmicks that don't improve on the tried and true. You won't see us recommend plastic pipe for your main waste stack. Sure, it costs a little less. But when you use old-school cast iron, you won't have to hear it throughout the house every time someone flushes or takes a shower.

Have you ever wondered why the builder put your windows so close together that there's no room for your dining room furniture? It's because the architect was thinking about curb appeal and not how you would live in your home. Knowing how to choose materials and methods -- and having decades of experience implementing them -- makes your home not only look good, but also function well.

Stick-Built Construction

Stick Built construction simply means built from scratch. It is the most familiar, traditional building method using two-by-fours hammered together with nails. Although we have a great deal of experience using this method, and the cost is slightly less than SIP construction, there are usually better alternatives in our modern world. The cost of heating and cooling our homes isn't going down any time soon, and our planet won't get any healthier without smart choices. It is undeniably true that the techniques have improved incrementally over the years, but the nature of the beast results in homes that do not live up to our modern standards. We recommend considering other options as we move toward greener methods and greater energy efficiency.

SIP Construction

Brad likes to refer to SIP construction as "Adult Legos®," and the concept is similar to the familiar child's toy. SIP stands for Structural Insulated Panels. This modern construction method has several important advantages. We send the manufacturer a CAD drawing of your plans, and the panels are built and sent to the site according to our specifications. Once the panels are hoisted into place with a crane, the home's structure is contained in the panels, so there are no beams or columns to interfere with the interior design. That means the design can be more flexible than with other building methods, and you get a custom home. It costs a bit more, but you get a return on your investment. Because SIPs are sealed so tightly, air infiltration is reduced to a minimum. That means your home is warmer, less drafty, and more energy efficient. The foundation is made using a similar process. Pre-cast concrete panels, also known as Superior Walls, are assembled on site. They are built at the factory to be watertight, so your basement stays warm and dry.

Click the play button below to watch us build this gorgeous Craftsman style home using SIP technology.

Modular Construction

In Modular construction, whole sections of the home are built in a factory and shipped by rail and tractor-trailer to the site. With this method, a building can be assembled in just a few days. Modular construction is an excellent choice where cost is a primary concern, and the design of the home is fairly simple. Rowhouses are an example of a perfect application for this technology. As you can see from the photos, modular has come a long way in the last few decades, and the finished product can look as good or better than its historic neighbors.

Click the play button below to watch us build an entire row of beautiful townhomes in one afternoon using modules that came off an assembly line. You can see the original structures on the block to the right of the blue ribbon. Modular homes have come a long way, don't you think?
"Rock Solid Builders does some of the highest quality work I have seen."

Mike Kupritz, Baltimore, MD