Southwest Commercial Addition Construction

The Unique Building Style Of The Southwest

Grail Construction Uncategorized

Welcome to the Southwest! Behold our beautiful architecture!

If you're new to this part of the U.S. and you've come from nearly anywhere else in the U.S., you've likely noticed the obvious structural differences with how homes and buildings are built here. Some of it is form and some of it is fashion. With both aspects, a builder and architect's knowledge of common practices along with cost of materials can play a very big role in the final product. There are also other factors to consider before even beginning to build!

Where does water go in the desert!?

What? It rains in Arizona?
Before putting a house anywhere on a piece of land, it's important to know where the streams will run when it rains. While Tucson is nice and sunny for most of the year, late summer monsoons dump INCHES of rain and all that water moves quickly and with volume through any wash. Building any structure or even leaving anything near a wash or arroyo is a bad idea. 

Flat Roofs, Where's the slope?

Well, our weather conditions don't really require for water in the form of ice to run off quickly, so the style of flat roofs has been continued as was the case for pueblo revival architecture. This is allowing for easier solar installation throughout the Southwest, as well. An added tip for many homeowners is to ensure that your rooftop is a reflective color to lower cooling costs.

There is a shortage of basements in Arizona

Where are the cool, damp wine cellars, dark and smelly game rooms and in-home speakeasies?
In other words: Where are all of the basements?
It breaks down to this: the expansive and hard soils create challenges for basements to be easily built, and that can often make them expensive. Many basements found throughout Arizona are often built before World War II. A big trade off to this is not having rotting walls, accidental flooding, having to run up the stairs all the time!

Stucco Walls and Tile

Stucco is a mixture of marble in powder form, glue and dehydrated lime that provides weather-resistant coating on homes. It's a common fixture in the Southwest, and for good reason!
It has the ability to enclose either warmth or coolness during the changing seasons. Because of the shell-like exterior, stucco homes require much less energy during hot or cold months.

Tile also plays into the ability to keep a home cool and is a natural partner to Southwestern style. For one, the material itself mirrors that found in many of the trinkets and cultural artifacts found throughout Arizona. Furthermore, ceramic and terracotta tile flooring is also a great reflection of the types of minerals found throughout the Southwestern desert.

Temperature Swings!

Arizona in particular experiences some of the biggest daily temperature swings. While many places in the midwest and out East might see 15 degrees or so difference in a day, but Arizona regularly experiences swings of about 40 degrees between the day and night and this means materials must be able to withstand the changes. Make sure your builder doesn't skimp on those materials!

Is this everything I need to know?

Of course not! But this gives you a general idea of some topics to cover in your building process.
The team at Grail Construction has much more knowledge that we can happily lend to your project.

Call now for a FREE QUOTE!
(520) 790-1715