Frequently Asked Questions
The plans in your catalog don’t fit my needs. Can I modify or change the plans?
Absolutely! We will also custom design a plan for you.
What does it cost to modify or custom design a plan?
Some simple modifications can be made at no charge, as we wouldn’t need new plans to price these modifications. More complex modifications, or custom designs are drawn at an hourly rate. We start with a plan retainer. Often times this is more than enough to do floor plans and an elevation to generate pricing. If your design takes additional hours you can continue to place retainers until you are ready to have your design priced. This is a tremendous value to you, compared to outside architectural design costs. Keep in mind, however, that unlike outside architectural design, our drawings remain the property of Connor Homes at all times, for the sole intended purpose of a one-time build on your site. Once you decide to go ahead with the project, and make your initial deposit, you may continue to have modifications made to the design at our hourly rate. Once you are satisfied with the design we will provide you with a full set of custom construction drawings as part of your package cost.
How do I convey to you, the changes I want to make to the plans?
Simple changes can be made by phone, or you can fax or send rough sketches and descriptions.
More complex changes or custom designs may better be addressed by meeting with us
to discuss your design requirements. We also have a design questionnaire, “Getting
Started”, for help in thinking through your needs. Please call us to receive a free
I don’t see the style of home in your catalog that would be appropriate for
my area. Do you build other regional vernaculars?
For vernaculars or styles not found in our catalog we are happy to work directly
with you. We have a talented design team with experience in other vernaculars such
as Southern Colonial, Colonial Revival, Mid-Atlantic Styles and Shingle Style. To
initiate such a project we can schedule a time to meet or talk on the phone and
the placement of a plan retainer is all you need to get started.
Do you have plans not shown in your catalog to choose from?
We are always customizing existing plans and designing new homes. We will
add these homes to the catalog as they are completed. In the meantime, let us know
what you are looking for and we may have a plan that fits your description that
we can send to you.
What if I have my own architect, and want to involve him/her in the design
We work with architects all the time, and are happy to have their input.
Conversely, architects who work with clients who are interested in historic designs
are happy to work with us as they know that we can properly produce the kind of
architectural details that their clients want.
My local building department tells me that I need “stamped” plans to submit
for approval. Do you provide me with “stamped” plans?
Our plans are drawn to meet or exceed most national building codes. However,
you may have some local code requirements that we are unaware of. Therefore, you
will need to have our plans reviewed by a local architect or engineer for local
code compliance. We will redraw our plans at no extra charge to accommodate local
codes. You will then hire your local architect/engineer to “stamp” our plans indicating
that they are in compliance with local codes. Our own in house structural engineer
will review and stamp all plans with a Vermont Stamp as well.
What about mechanical and electrical plans?
Mechanical and electrical plans are not included in our set of drawings. These plans
are typically provided by your local mechanical and electrical subcontractor, or
are drawn by a qualified mechanical/electrical engineer. We will gladly provide
you with additional sets of floor plans and sections that your local mechanical/electrical
designer can use as a template at no extra charge.
Can I make changes to the standard materials and specifications in your house
Yes. We offer many options to the materials listed in our standard specifications.
We will, however, advise you as to the appropriateness of various materials to specific
styles of houses, to ensure that the historic character of the house is not compromised.
Feel free to call or email us to inquire about a material you may not see listed.
What kind of framing lumber is used in the construction of a Connor Home,
and what are the design criteria?
We use kiln dried lumber for all studs, floor joists and rafters, because it is
known for its strength and resistance to warping. Like the historic houses that
we replicate, we intend that our homes will last for hundreds of years and be passed
on from generation to generation. For this reason we use only top quality materials
in our homes, and use strict design criteria intended to enable our homes to withstand
the rigors of the Northeast climate. Our exterior walls are 2x6, 16” on center (all
our framing is 16” on center or better), we use rafters, not trusses, and all our
sheathing is fir plywood, not composite sheathing.
Your specifications call for simulated divided lite windows, but I have heard
the authentic divided lite windows are more traditional for a reproduction home.
What is the difference?
There are so many window manufacturers, offering so many options, that this may
be one of the most confusing issues in a new home. In spite of the many choices
offered, windows can be classified into three basic categories. The first is authentic
divided light windows. This is the least sophisticated, but most closely mimics
an historic window sash, (as it consists of a piece of glass puttied into muntin
bars, the wood dividers). In order to give this type of window a creditable energy
rating, a second layer of glass is added. This second layer is in the form of either
a storm window, or an applied energy panel, both using low “e” glass to increase
energy efficiency. Since most people do not wish to struggle with the seasonal task
of changing storm windows, they opt for the applied energy panel. This serves the
same function as the storm window, but is applied as a separate clip-on sheet of
glass over each individual sash (upper and lower) of a double hung window. Because
it is applied separately to each sash, and moves up and down with each sash, it
does not need to be removed seasonally, but stays in place year round. This is the
authentic divided lite window. We are happy to offer this window to any of our customers
who wish to use an authentic divided lite window. With the advent of “insulated
glass” (a sealed, double layer of glass), window companies began to phase out the
old system of individual panes of glass in favor of the new system which was one
large piece of insulated glass covering the whole sash. In order to mimic the look
of the muntin bars which were rendered useless in this system, manufacturers provided
removable grilles, that snapped in place on the interior surface. The removable
grille system has long been recognized as an aesthetic step backwards, as the wood
grille on the interior was at best a marginal replication of the interior muntin,
and a complete “no show” as a replication of the exterior muntin. We do not offer
this type window. A few years ago, the third type of window sash was invented, called
the simulated divided lite or SDL. The SDL sash again utilized the technology of
insulated glass, but addressed the muntin bar issue by applying permanently affixed
muntin bars to both the exterior side and interior side of the insulated glass,
thereby restoring, for the most part, the muntin bar definition that was missing
in its predecessor, the removable grille. A few companies have taken great pains
to replicate historic window profiles so that these windows are now a reasonable
substitution for the real thing. One such company is Green Mountain Window, a small
high quality manufacturer based here in Vermont, and is our window of choice for
the SDL option and our standard package window.
Your specifications call for wooden doors. When these doors have glass, such
as French doors, how are they insulated?
All our wood doors that have glass are top quality insulated glass with SDL muntin
bars. They do not require storm doors.
I notice that you use vertical grained Hemlock primed and backprimed clapboard.
I’ve been told that Cedar clapboards are superior because they are more rot resistant.
Why is Hemlock used instead of Cedar?
We use primed and backprimed Hemlock because most of our customers intend to paint
their houses, and Hemlock is far superior to Cedar in holding paint. Furthermore,
the Tannin in Cedar bleeds through the surface for many years, and will stain a
light colored finish. It is a common misconception that Cedar is the only choice
for wood siding, when the species of wood is not nearly as important as the manner
in which it is milled. Vertical grained clapboards in softwoods other than cedar
have been known to last well over a hundred years without failure, and indeed are
what are found on historic houses of this area, as red cedar is not native to the
Northeast. For those customers planning to stain their homes in the red/brown family,
Cedar is still an option, and is about the same cost as the primed Hemlock. We also
offer a natural cedar shingle for siding for about the same cost as well.
What can I expect in terms of longevity for the treated wood roofs that are
standard with your houses ?
A wooden roof is the roofing of choice on our homes as it is unquestionably a defining
charateristic of a true reproduction home. Our treated roofs are a terrific
value, as they carry a 50 year warranty, and are milled to a thickness and texture
that closely mimics an authentic roof.
What about energy efficiency?
The construction of our houses, and the insulation details called out in
our plans, along with the use of proper energy efficient light fixtures, and heating
and ventilating equipment, will allow you to achieve a Five Star energy rating and LEED certification with our homes.
How far from your manufacturing facility will you deliver a house package?
While most of our homes are shipped within the Northeast, we can and do deliver
around the world!
Doesn’t it cost more to deliver to a further destination?
Yes, but the freight cost is such a small part of the overall house cost, that even
the additional freight for extra long distance is still cost effective. The cost
is easily offset by the savings in labor over a site built house, along with the
many other efficiencies to be realized in a factory prebuilt home.
Who puts the shell package together when it arrives at my site?
In some locations, Connor Homes offers on site shell package installation services. If your site is not in one of our on site installation locations, you will need a local contractor (unless you are serving as your own general contractor and builder) to erect our shell package. We can sometimes recommend a local contractor for you. Contact your Connor Homes sales consultant for more information regarding our on site services.
Do all the materials come at once?
No. We will deliver the house in stages so that you will have minimal storage
requirements at your site. Should you wish to have all the materials delivered at
once, and have storage available on site, we are happy to accommodate you.
What kind of support materials come with the house to assist me or my builder?
In addition to the “Builder’s Guide”, you will receive a highly detailed
set of drawings that include foundation plan, floor plans, sections, rafter plans
, floor joists layouts, plywood layouts, elevations, and more. Also, because our
trim detailing is so important to our homes, we include details of all cornice work
, and any other architectural details that pertain to your house. We tie all of
this together with our shipping schedule, which accounts for every piece that we
ship to you, and includes color code notations to the differentiate various pieces.
Our goal is to make it possible for you to achieve a high level reproduction home
with relative ease, even if you or your builder have no experience with a true reproduction
home. To that end we prebuild as much of the exterior detailing as is practical
to make your job easier. Our exterior trim package includes prebuilt doorways, corner
boards, window heads, pediments, returns, and much more. Lastly, we are ready to
answer any and all questions before and during the construction of your home, and
will send a qualified technician to your site if you are unable to work through
any portion of the construction.