In the News

Paladino Homes Installs Engineered Floor Joists:
i.e. I Joists, TJI Floor Systems or Silent Flooring As A Standard In All Of Our Custom Built Homes.

How Floors Are Supported

The three most common methods used to support a floor are traditional 2-by-10-inch or 2-by-12-inch lumber, engineered I-joists and floor trusses.

2-by-10-inch lumber
Traditional floor joist, now 1 ½ by 9 ¼ inches, used with 1-by-3-inch wood braces.
Frequency: About 80 percent of subdivision houses in metro Detroit, less common in custom homes.
Pluses: Lease expensive, familiar to carpenters. Best used in houses not more than 24 or 28 feet from front to back.
Minuses: Can change dimension as wood dries, stressing walls, increasing nail pops. More likely to squeak or bounce. Can require more supporting posts in a big basement. Requires the milling of large, mature trees. Often stolen from job sites.

Engineered I-Joists
Very high-density OSB (onenled strand board) braces in two 2-by-3-inch strips of black spruce.
Frequency: Less then 20 percent of metro Detroit subdivision houses, more common in custom homes.
Pluses: Very stable; doesn’t change dimension, creating less squeak, bounce, wall shifting. Can carry longer spans with fewer basement posts. Uses small, second-growth “weed trees.” Little job-site waste because I-joists are ordered to fit.
Minuses: Costs about 20 percent more than 2-by-10 joists.

Floor Trusses
A supporting structure built from wooden beams, bars and ties, with corners often secured by metal plates.
Frequency: Less than 5 percent in metro Detroit, most often used in large, repeating structures like apartment houses or condos, or in expensive custom homes.
Pluses: Extremely stable. Light weight for its strength. Plumbing and heating can pass through without holes being cut out. No job-site waste; rarely stolen.
Minuses: Costs twice as much as an I-joist. Each truss must be custom built.

Bundle of joists
So be it. New ways to streamline and standardize house building are an important trend that house buyers should know about.

One of the reasons the Free Press chose RDK Homes for the House Chronicles is that the company works with engineered woods, which will become more common in the future.

These new products are in addition to the simple wall sections assembled in the local lumber yard. Engineered woods are made by national companies like Boise Cascade Corp.

They are pieces of house structure made not from conventional lumber, but from dense blends of smaller chunks of wood with heavy glue.

Take for example, I-joists used in the House Chronicles home. These are very stable floor supports that replace traditional 2-by-10-inch or 2-by-12-inch lumber. They line up vertically 16 inches apart to support the plywood sub floors under our carpet or tile.

In southeast Michigan’s new homes, only about 20 percent of floors are supported by I-joists, estimates Chris Mello of Boise Cascade. But in more progressive building areas like the Pacific coast, he says, about half the new houses have them.

Three big arguments for I-joists are similar to the arguments for most engineered wood.

The environment: It takes a lot of very large, old trees to create a house full of 2-by-10 or 2-by-12 boards. The engineered wood equivalents are made from second or third growth “weed trees.”

Supply: With the number of large, old trees declining, conventional lumber gets ever more expensive at the same time carpenters complain the quality of lumber is going down. New tariffs on Canadian lumber are the latest squeeze on the availability of lumber.

Quality: Conventional lumber is delivered to your house with about a 19-percent water content, which dries to 8-10 percent. Meanwhile, it shrinks and shifts. I-joists are engineered stronger to start with and change little as they age. In addition, the criteria for I-joists are usually more exacting than for conventional lumber. I-joist floors are said to never sag or squeak.

More Pluses: I-joists are half as heavy as lumber. They’re usually purchased in ready-made lengths, not cut on the job, so they’re not often stolen from the work site. Theft, unfortunately, is a continuing problem when you’re building a house.

What are the drawbacks? Engineered wood costs more, in this case 20 percent more than lumber. A few people are allergic to the glues.
Because I-joists are stronger than conventional lumber, some building codes let them be spaced wider than the conventional 16 inches on center – perhaps 20 inches, says Boise Cascade’s Mello.

RDK doesn’t do this, but a few builders do. Unless your floor has a very short span, you might not want the wider spacing, as it could negate the advantage of I-joists – a perfectly solid floor. It’s one of the many construction details you can check when you’re choosing your builder.


Paladino Homes Uses System Platon Foundation
Protector To Insure a Dry Healthy Basement

A fully finished lower level can double the size of your home. With the ever increasing cost of construction it makes sense to use the basement for more than just storage. Whether you finish it now or in the future, be sure to join over 75,000 discriminating home buyers who have specified environmentally friendly System Platon Foundation Protector to insure a dry healthy basement.

Damp basements promote the growth of unhealthy spores, mold, mildew, fungus, and musty odors. As well as being unpleasant, these can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Damp basements also cause damage to walls, floors and finishes and certainly affect articles kept in the basement. Platon Foundation Protector not only keeps water out, it also dries out the foundation in a way that spray on products can’t match.

System Platon, a thick, tough, waterproof plastic membrane, hold wet soil ¼” away from the foundation wall. The air gap thus formed eliminates water pressure at the wall. If punctured, water finding its way past the membrane flows to the footing drain, not into the basement. Because Platon is mechanically fastened, the wall can shift, crack and settle without affecting its remarkable performance.

Better Than Spray Applied Coatings
Coatings applied directly to the wall do nothing to relieve water pressure. If applied unevenly or damaged, water lakes into your basement! Concrete moisture also evaporates into the basement. Bituminous tar, the minimum requirement of most building codes, just doesn’t work. Tar cracks with the concrete and can assimilate into the soil in just a few short years.

Elastic coatings are expensive and must be applied by specialized crews under ideal conditions in order to be effective. Protection board is recommended to protect the coating. Even then, elastic coatings do not have System Platon’s exceptional ¼” crack bridging ability.

Platon Subfloor Makes a Big Difference
Concrete floors, especially those that lie directly on the ground, will always contain moisture. Floor coverings laid on concrete, without an adequate damp proof membrane, will be affected and damaged. Laying polyethylene directly over concrete traps the moisture in the concrete and creates an alkaline environment that breaks polyethylene down.

Platon covered with plywood or laminate flooring meets the challenges concrete floors pose. The membrane forms a damp proof barrier that is unaffected by moisture and alkaline environments and the air gap allows water and moisture below the Platon to dry without mold or odor. There is very little loss of headroom and the floor is now room temperature, not slab temperature, minimizing humid summer condensation and damp carpet odors.


Page 6 The Macomb Daily Sunday,March 16, 2003
By Maureen McGerty

Three premier Macomb builders - Anjo Construction, Distinguished Homes and Paladino Homes - have allied formidably talented forces to create a new luxury subdivision: Tuscany Grove, in Shelby Township.

Just inside the landscaped entrance with a beautiful fountain, some 59 lots ranging in size from 100 feet by 200 feet up to three-quarters of an acre are located just off 24 Mile Road, west of Schoenherr Road, in the Utica school district.

Anticipating the design and construction of 15 custom homes in their first major development, Paladino Homes is owned by Filippo Paladino, 59, of Shelby Township, a former cement contractor, and his son, Phil Paladino Jr., 25, of Macomb Township.

"We have some of the larger lots left in Shelby," said Phil Paladino. "We pride ourselves on being a hands-on custom home builder who will provide our customers with the personal attention they deserve. Our goal is to build quality custom homes which suit our customers' needs."

Now open, Paladino's model home, "The Michelangelo," is a 3,800 square foot 4-bedroom, 4.5 bath split-level with standard and upgraded elevations. The plan offers a variety of options, such as a grand staircase, courtyard, built-in cabinets in the library, built-in china cabinet, wet bar, skylights, bay windows and bonus room.

"The Michelangelo" model's upgraded brick exterior displays the type of nuance aesthetic detail that Paladino is proud to show his clients.

A few other Paladino models include "The Bellini," a 2,900 square foot 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath split-ranch home; the 2,500 square foot "Bernini," a 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath ranch home with a study, three-car garage and optional central vacuum system; and "The Botticelli," a 3,400 square foot 4-bedroom, 3.5 bath split-level home with optional wine cellar, fireplace in the master bedroom and cone-ceiling in the breakfast nook.

Also building in Tuscany Grove is Distinguished Homes, owned by Frank Agrusa, 35, of Sterling Heights. Frank is a custom builder who prides himself on being an on-the-job builder that is always there to help the customer out in making the right decisions on their home.

"We customize to our customers liking," he said. "As long as it's possible, we do whatever we can to make them comfortable. We try to build the house of their dreams, and make the process as easy as possible. We offer many options built into the base price."

Building 13 homes in the sub, Agrusa offers oversize and pie-shaped lots on which stunning homes such as "The Bordeaux," a 3,480 square foot 4-bedroom, 3.5 bath split level, which comes standard with two high-efficiency furnaces, two air-conditioning units, double-stack wood bay window and full-brick octagon; "The Cabernet," a 2,850 square foot split-ranch with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths featuring a hearth room, walk-in pantry, brick octagon and plenty of walk-in closets; and "The Merlot," the smallest split-ranch sized at 2,500 square feet, with three to four bedrooms, including an optional loft, and 2.5 baths, will be custom built.

Agrusa's floor plans include Kohler plumbing fixtures, featuring a built-in pasta and veggie steamer adjacent to the kitchen sink.

Tuscany Grove's third builder in the exclusive subdivision, Anjo Construction is owned by architect/builder Onorio D'Agostini.

"We're customer oriented," said D'Agostini. "We'll design from scratch. We'll also build from prints [the customer] has. We all have control of the subdivision. You won't have wild things happening that may upset another's investment."

With one model currently open, Anjo is building two others, and the floor plans include ranches, split ranches, split levels and colonials.

"We'll start at 2,450 square feet and build up to the customer's preference," D'Agostini said.

Anjo's floor plans to be built on wooded, daylight, standard, overside corner and cul-de-sac lots include: "The Barcelona," a 3,450 square foot split level with a library and optional stepped ceiling; "The St. Tropez," a 3,250 square foot split level with an optional pyramid ceiling in the breakfast nook and a 2-story great room; "The Riviera II," a 2,950 square foot split level; and a colonial, "The Monte Carlo," a 3,200 square foot plan with an optional fourth bedroom on the second floor.

All Anjo Construction's homes are custom-designed by Onorio, and he makes sure that they all have certain amenities, such as walk-in pantries off the kitchen, lofts overlooking the first floor, butler's pantries and wet bars, just to name a few. Prices at Tuscany Grove begin at $399,900