Tough Enough-The Ipê Deck

Deck built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, INToday we are featuring a deck made from Ipê (pronounced E-pay). Ipê originates from countries in Central and South America. Ipê decking has natural properties that make it the toughest and longest lasting decking materials available. As you read some of the features and benefits of Ipê wood decking, you’ll quickly see why architects & designers around the world prefer Ipê wood decking.

Ipê Decking Features

Ipê decking is world renowned for its superior characteristics and properties. Ipê wood decking has an extremely dense and tight grain. The grain of Ipê wood can be both wavy and straight. The color of Ipê heartwood is a rich brown with red and amber hues. Due to the wood’s fine texture and interlocking grain, Ipê offers superior slip resistance.

Ipe deck built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen,  INIpê Decking Benefits

An Ipê deck will be one of the strongest structures on your property. Its strength can be attributed to the natural oils and highly concentrated density levels contained in the wood. This combination is what will make your Ipê wood deck stand the test of time. Your new Ipê deck will be able to:

  • Provide extreme insect resistance
  • Stay cool because it doesn’t absorb heat
  • Repel wood rot & decay
  • Hold up under extreme traffic & heavy use
  • Resist mold & fungus
  • Outlast composite materials
  • Resist scratches & slivers
  • Have increased slip resistance

This particular deck has the added benefit of lighting and a fireplace. Imagine warming yourself next to the lovely limestone fireplace in the fall and winter months or taking the chill off on the chilly spring evenings. Contact Martin Bros. Contracting for your deck project or your next home building project!

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1998 River Estate

Custom Built Home

We are throwing it back to 1998 for our Martin Brothers Monday feature. This 8,443 sq. ft. home along the St. Joseph River took a little over two years to build and boasts 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. This home has everything from hidden doors to custom painted ceilings. This is a true luxury home.

Custom Built Bar in Luxury Estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN  Custom crafted staircase in Luxury Estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN  Amazing details in luxury estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN  Great Room in Luxury Estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

For additional photos of this beautifully, crafted home. Visit the Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. Facebook page.

Boom…Out Go the Lights!

Standby Generator
Standby Generator

Power outages can happen anytime, anywhere. Typically associated with severe weather, power loss can happen for a myriad of reason. It’s easy to forget how much we depend on power, until we are without it. Electric powers your heating, cooling, security, refrigeration, lights, well pump, sump pump, garage door openers, gates, entertainment systems and many other vital components in your home. For that reason, Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. recommends to our clients that they invest in a residential standby generator.

Residential home standby generators offer many features not found on portable generators, such as

  • More sophisticated control system
  • Fully weather–protective enclosures
  • Quieter operation
  • More capacity so you can power more conveniences
  • Runs on Natural gas, propane or diesel
  • Some offer Web-based remote monitoring

It goes on automatically when you need and it shuts down automatically once main power is restored. It is connected directly to a fuel system and your home’s electrical system so you won’t have to fill a gas tank or manually transfer power from the utility to the home standby unit.

Once the unit is installed, we further recommend that the client set-up a service agreement with a local vendor so that their generator unit is serviced bi-annually.  If you are interested in having a residential generator installed in your home, please contact us at 877-862-2142.

Advantages of Using Composite Building Products

Azek Beadboard
Azek Beadboard

In both new construction projects and renovation work there are advantages to the use of plastic composite building products. They are durable, lightweight, corrosion resistant, strong and require little maintenance. These plastic materials obtain much of their versatility because they can be engineered to provide specific performance characteristics. Technically known as fiber-reinforced plastics or fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP), plastic composites generally comprise two components: a reinforcement fiber and a polymer binder (often called a matrix). For more information, please visit: Green Building Solutions. To see additional Martin Bros. Contracting projects that use composite building products, please visit our Facebook page.

Home Storage Tips & Tricks

Rieth StorageWhen you first move into your new home, you wonder how you are going to fill up the large, empty space. Pretty soon life takes over — and before you know it, you are wondering where all of that space went.

If you find yourself struggling to find room to store everything you’ve accumulated over the years, see if these storage options might work for you.

Do An Audit
Before you invest a lot of time deciding where things should go, look through your closet, files and drawers to determine what can be thrown or given away. For clothes, it is a good rule of thumb to get rid of items that you have not worn in more than 12 months.

A lot of your household financial documents and papers may be available online through the provider company’s website. If that is the case, discard old financial statements or bills that you can more easily access electronically. Invest in a paper shredder for these documents to protect your identity and accounts. It is very easy to allow cabinets and drawers to become cluttered over time, especially when you have to do a quick cleaning of your home when you have surprise visitors. Declutter those drawers periodically to keep from accumulating outdated flyers, menus, magazines and newspapers. This will open them up so you can store more day-to-day items that you need to quickly reach.

Buy Furniture That Doubles as Storage
If you are looking to replace old, worn-out furniture in your home, buy pieces that also can serve as storage. Consider a coffee table that has drawers or an ottoman that can open up and double as a spot to store your blankets.

Make Use of Wasted Square Footage
In closets and in the kitchen,use all of the space that is available to you. Often homeowners are giving up valuable square footage if they don’t install cabinets or shelves that go up to the ceiling. Store items that are either out of season or that are rarely accessed — such as holiday decorations — on the higher shelves where they are out of the way. This will free up the lower shelves to allow you to get to the things that you use on a regular basis.

Bed Risers
By simply raising the height of your bed a few more inches, you can gain a lot more storage space that is also hidden away. Bed risers can be found in home design and improvement stores in different shapes, styles, textures and colors to complement your current bedroom furniture. They are inexpensive and not only give you added storage space, but will also give your bedroom a new look.

For more information about this item, please contact Gwyn Donohue at 800-368-5242 x8447 or via email atgdonohue@nahb.org.

Thank you to Gwyn Donohue and the National Association of Home Builders for this information.

Natural Wood Flooring Care

Hickory Hardwood

According to the National Association of Home Builders all-natural wood flooring has a life expectancy of 100+ years, as long as you maintain it properly. Today we thought we would share some of the beautiful hardwood floors installed in our projects and maintenance tips from the National Wood Flooring Association.

With today’s advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris. You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product recommended by a wood flooring professional. There are other steps you can take to minimize maintenance and maintain the beauty of your wood floors as well.

  • Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  • Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
  • Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Do not over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace these often as dirt and debris can become embedded on the pad and act like sandpaper on the flooring surface.
  • Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  • When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to prevent scratches.
  • For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps or cracks.

Martin Brothers Contracting, Inc. is a general contractor specializing in the building of fine custom homes and remodeling projects of all kinds. We serve an area within a one-hour radius of our rural Goshen, Indiana location. We are licensed to build in both Michigan and Indiana. As a full-service builder and remodeler, we offer one of the most comprehensive project-management packages in Michiana. Our trained staff is on site daily to oversee every aspect of the project, sparing our client’s from typical nightmares others have experienced. With the benefit of over 48 years of true custom home building experience, we have the knowledge it takes to build today’s complex home.  Thinking of building a new home or perhaps remodeling? We invite you to experience the Martin Brothers Difference, where every home we build is a true reflection of the homeowner.

Are You Thinking About Remodeling?

Kitchen Remodeled by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN
Remodeled Kitchen

Let’s say you’ve decided to remodel your home. You’ve chosen a couple of remodeling companies to bid on your project. The bids come back, but the prices are all very different.  You might find yourself tempted to hire the company with the lowest price. However, choosing a project based solely on price does have its disadvantages.

Completely Remodeled Home
Remodeled Home

With every remodeling project there are three elements to consider – PRICE, QUALITY and SERVICE.  You, the homeowner are in charge of picking two of these elements. In other words if quality and service are important to you, you should expect to pay a fair price for the quality and service.  If price is your main consideration, quality and service may not be perfect. In fact, many homeowners that chose a contractor because of their low price come to realize, after their project is complete, that they should have chosen the quality-minded contractor.

Are inferior products being used to save money?Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering bids?

  1. Was something left out of the bid that will cost me money later?
  2. Will the project be managed professionally?
  3. Will Lead-Safe work practices be followed?
  4. Will the company stay on time and budget?
  5. Will I be happy with the finished result?
  6. Will the renovation look good long after the project is complete?
Bob Miller
Large Addition

Martin Brothers treats our remodeling projects in the same manner as our new homes, with the utmost care. Large or small, our projects have one thing in common Martin Brothers’ quality, through and through. Each project is assigned a project foreman to ensure the project meets Martin Brother’s quality and service standards. As an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, we have several on-staff Certified Lead Renovators. As such, we are equipped to handle renovating and remodeling homes built prior to 1978.

Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards

Indiana Quality Assurance Builder

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. is an Indiana Quality Assurance Builder. For every home we build or remodel in Elkhart County we meet or exceed the Standards set forth in the Indiana Quality Assurance Builder guidelines. 

What the Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards Are:

A series of performance guidelines that all members can use to establish their customer’s expectations regarding the building/remodeling process.

The Standards address the most prevalent issues that arise between the builder/remodeler and the customer, before, during and, most importantly, after the project is completed.

A Measurable Difference…

The Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards provide new home buyers and remodeling customers a way to measure their builder and the project against an industry approved set of standards.

These Standards have been developed as a service to a new home consumers and remodeling customers.

These Standards create a series of performance standards that builders and customers can use to communicate and understand each other’s expectations regarding building/remodeling projects.

The Standards address the most prevalent issues that arise between the builder and the customer before the project, during the project, and most importantly, after the project is completed. All too often it is the unrealized or undiscovered expectations that create the majority of the problems encountered in the building/remodeling process. The Standards will help eliminate these problems before the project even begins.