What We Learned Framing the American Dream

Extreme Makeover- Home Edition Project

American Home Source was contacted by Extreme Makeover Home Edition to see if we wanted to help provide a new home to injured LAPD officer Kristin Ripatti and her husband LAPD officer Tim Pierce.  We made a phone call to Alman Homes who we were representing and they agreed to partner with us to build the wall panels for this home.  American Home Source also provided over 40 man hours of manual labor.  The services we provided during that home build was to help organize all of the materials that came in from the different vendors and many hole were filled up and also helped to organize and supervise the framing portion of building this home.


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16 Easy Ways To Make Your House Green

  1. Factory built components including walls panels, roof trusses and pre-hung doors allow more efficient use of raw materials, making the most out of every piece of lumber.  These products eliminate the need to cut wood at the job site, further reducing waste.
  2. In addition to natural wood, flooring choices include low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpets for better indoor air quality, laminates that successfully mimic scarce hardwood, and linoleum, a natural product making a design comeback.
  3. Foundations should be as well insulated as the living space walls for efficient home energy use and enhanced comfort, particularly if the basement is used as a family room or bedroom.
  4. Selecting more efficient, correctly sized heating, cooling and water-heating equipment saves money.  Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather then storing it, which reduces or eliminates standby losses.  Geothermal heat pumps work with the earth’s renewable energy and can also heat water.
  5. Covered entries at exterior doors help to prevent water intrusion, reducing maintenance and enhancing durability.
  6. Xeriscaping, or using native plants, significantly reduces the need for watering, fertilizers and herbicides.
  7. Incorporating passive solar design features like large, south-facing windows helps heat the home in the winter and allows for increased natural daylighting.
  8. Increasing the amount and R-value of insulation is a cost-effective way to save energy and help reduce heating and cooling bills, which account fro at least half of energy use in the home.  Sprayed insulation made of foam, cellulose or wool is and alternative to traditional glass fiber batting.
  9. Vinyl siding on exterior walls saves money on installation and maintenance; fiber -cement siding is termite and water resistant and warranted to last 50 years.
  10. Energy efficient windows incorporating advanced technologies like low-emittance (low-E) glass coatings,  gas filler between layers, and composite framing materials keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.
  11. More durable roof coverings such as steel and fiber cement reduce the frequency of roof replacement.  Lighter colors absorb less heat, reducing cooling costs in warm climates.  Now, solar roofing products integrate asphalt shingles, standing-seam metal roofing, and slate or concrete tiles.
  12. Oriented strand board (OSB) is an engineered wood product that does not require large trees for its manufacture.  It is resource efficient and enhances durability and is used to sheathe roofs and walls in 75 percent of new homes.
  13. Tree preservation reduces landscaping and future energy costs and helps provide winter wind breaks and summer shade.  Additional landscaping improves the environment even more: One tree can filter 60 lbs. of pollutants  from the air each year.
  14. New toilets have redesigned bowls and tanks that use less water, but function more efficiently that first-generation low-flow models.  Some use pumps for supplementary water pressure.  Advanced shower and sink faucet aerators provide the same flow regardless of pressure to reduce water use and the energy required to heat it.
  15. Recycled plastic lumber and wood composite materials reduce reliance on chemically treated lumber and durable hardwood for decks, porches, trim and fencing.
  16. The energy efficiency or refrigerators and freezers has tripled over the last three decades because they have more insulation, advanced compressors, better door seals and more accurate temperature controls.  Front loading washers use about 40% less water and half the energy of conventional models.  Energy Starâ rated appliances save and average of 30 percent over standard models.

Owner-Builder Services

Do you think you could be your own builder and save up to 30%?

The answer to that should be YES. And the team at American Home Source is the right company to help you through that process. American Home Source Owner Builder Services can best be described as a service that permits you to be a part of every phase of the construction process, from financing through construction. What our service gives you is the tools you need to educate yourself on the nuances of building In California. With California’s stringent building codes we have the experience to help you through the many hoops associated with building in the nations most stringent building code state. We provide you with the information you need to do it yourself. We will help you make sure the numbers are going to work before you go ahead. That way you have a good idea of what your new home will cost before you start to spend your hard earned money. Additional help we offer includes a large list of subcontractors and suppliers that will work with our owner builder’s at cost.

When you use a Builder they have a network of subcontractors that they can call on for their specific technical skills while all you may have is the telephone book!
But first let us back up a step. It may have already occurred to you that today’s typical builder isn’t truly a builder. In the old days, a builder did the hammering, nailing and was personally responsible for everything that went into your house. At the end of the job, he even did the painting. Today’s builder is nothing more than a person that knows the right people. He is in touch with the lenders who arrange the financing; he knows the foundation guys, framers and electricians, and he knows where to buy the materials at builder’s costs. In fact when you stop to think about it, the only important difference between him and you is that he has the technical information that you don’t possess. Specifically, he has a network of subcontractors that he can call on for their specific technical skills and all you may have is the telephone book. For potential clients that are too busy to manage their own project, we offer an optional construction management program where the project manger reports directly to you. But the important thing is that we’re never more than a single phone call away and the trail to success is clearly marked.

Our sole purpose at American Home Source Owner Builder Network is to give you the help you need to build your dream home yourself and save you money doing it.
Now, with The American Home Source Owner Builder Services you can have all the advantages that a builder enjoys. Our sole purpose is to give you the help you need to build your dream house yourself and save you money doing it. The people at  American Home Source Owner Builder Services will sit down with you one-on-one to discuss your project. The process begins with the all important financing process. We can also help you with plans, designs, and blueprints. You also have an incredible support group of other owner/builders that you will meet at our frequent workshops. Ask yourself: do I want to build my own home, get exactly what I want, and save thousands of dollars in the process? Am I willing to spend six to nine months of my spare time and exercise control of the project? If the answers to those questions are yes, then you owe it to yourself to give us a call and set up an appointment to find out how American Home Source Owner Builder Services can work for you.

What is a Panelized Building System

Panelized construction involves the building of individual walls, or wall sections of a new home (or new section of a remodeled home), in a factory- controlled environment.

Factory-built wall panelizing systems offer added efficiency and quality control…

Traditional “Stick-framing” is done outdoors with green lumber delivered to a job site; Panelized Construction (wall systems and framing) is done indoors using Kiln-Dried lumber, with the added efficiency and quality control provided by computer automation… state-of-the-art fabrication tables, production saws, automatic nail guns, forklifts, and engineering are used.

Volume purchasing cuts YOUR end line cost!
Factory building of panelized homes, cabins and buildings allows the manufacturer to purchase large volumes of lumber, sheathing, windows and doors, insulation, drywall, siding and roofing materials.  Volume purchasing offers significant costs savings as compared to materials purchased for individual “site-framed homes, and this cost efficiency is passed along to the individual home buyer/builder.

Putting the wall panels together on the job site is made easy…
As each wall section or panel is built, it is marked with a number code that corresponds with the individual home plan. This assures accuracy in placement when panels are delivered to the building site and assembled by the owner-builder, their contractors or framing crews.

“Lock-up Stage” can be quickly reached, saving time, labor and costs!
Since most of the framing and sheathing is done before the material is delivered to the site, a weather-tight panelized shell can finished in several days (time depends on the size of the building and the number of workers – usually a crew of 4), as opposed to several months with “stick framing”.  As a result, construction loan interest rates, labor costs, exposure ( to damaging elements such as rain and snow), material waste or theft and framing errors are greatly reduced.

The “Open Panel” is the most common panelized system used…
While several types of wall panels are produced, the ” open panel” is most common – it’s what we use with Pacific Modern Homes and Nelson Homes packages. Exterior walls typically have the plywood or OSB sheathing applied.  Having all of the time-consuming construction already completed substantially reduces the need for large job site labor requirements. Interior panels are left open for wiring, plumbing, heating and on-site inspection. An added benefit to ” Open frame panels” is that this method is conducive to custom designs and will accommodate on-site change orders issued during construction.

The “bottom line” is...
Panelization is a superb choice for Owner-Builders and private construction or building companies.

Buyers experience a shorter start-to-finish construction cycle time, with enhanced quality and substantial cost controls – including the opportunity to save on construction loan interest rates.

Since panelization uses standard “stick-built” frame construction, the home buyer has the freedom to customize the home to their specific needs.

The impact of material costs, material waste, theft, labor availability, construction errors and the damaging effects of weather is minimized during the construction process of a panelized building system.


The popularity and use of panelized construction has soared nationwide in recent years, and its use in all areas and types of construction is expected to grow even faster in the Twenty First Century.