Custom Home Care Specifications
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Monogram Specifications

Voted Lehigh Valley 's "BEST HOME BUILDER - 8 times and winner of 50+ awards for professional excellence"

Award Winning Specifications & Designs

  • Design/Plans: A custom home isn’t a custom home without an amazing design and floor plan. Monogram’s designer’s plans have won hundreds of design awards over the past 25 years and our attention to detail and the ability to make your home “yours” is second to none.

But a good design is only as good as the “buildability” of the plans. Because Monogram’s designer was also a homebuilder, he understands how to design a house that is not only unique, but also buildable without “breaking the bank.”

When you choose Monogram as your builder, you can rest assured that we manage the ENTIRE design process and ensure that you end up with the house of your dreams while still staying within your budget. All costs of blueprint design and construction drawing are included in our building contract, so you won’t have to incur any extra expense hiring your own designer/architect.

  • Foundation & Concrete:

    • Foundation Walls: Nominal 9’ height poured concrete basement walls, 10” wide
    • Drainage: Exterior drain pipe around foundation; interior drain pipe connected to sump pit; sub slab radon preparation
    • Waterproofing: One coat of asphalt foundation coating on basement walls
    • Floors: 4” concrete basement slab on stone base; reinforced concrete garage slab on stone base
    • Front Porch: Brushed concrete
    • Floors: Steel beams as per plan with concrete filled steel columns
  • Excavating:

    • General: Monogram will set house elevation, strip top soil, excavate, backfill, and complete final grade around house

Notes: Monogram always builds with taller, thicker foundation walls. We also include both exterior and interior French drains to GUARANTEE a dry basement. Our steel beams are oversized so you don’t need extra columns and our concrete garage floors are always reinforced to minimize cracking.

  • Framing:
    • Exterior Living Space Wall Construction:2” X 6” - 16” on center - all #2 and better dry hem fir or s.p.f.
    • Ceiling Height:9’ first floor; 2 story in foyer and living room
    • Floor Joists:2” X 10” - 16”
    • Ceiling Joists: 2” X 6” - 16” on center or per plans
    • Rafters: 2” X 10” - 16” on center or per plans
    • Roof Deck: 1/2” CDX plywood
    • Wall Sheathing: 1/2” oriented strand board (engineered, stronger than old fashioned plywood or particle board, guaranteed, and won’t delaminate and cause bubbles)

Notes: Monogram never uses cheap “Green/wet” lumber in our houses. Most builders don’t use dry lumber, so their houses get exponentially more drywall cracks, creaks, and squeaks. Our expensive, dry lumber combined with the 4000+ screws that are used to screw down the floor system guarantee a squeak free house that won’t settle as much as houses built with cheaper, non dry wood.

  • Windows:
    • Pella Tilting Double Hung and casement with Pella screens and white grills as per prints; choice of white, tan, or brown; Low E and Argon included; skylights and basement windows as per plan included
  • Exterior Doors:

    • Front Entrance Doors: Pella 6 panel steel with dual sidelights
    • Interior Garage Door: Thermatru or Equiv. steel insulated, fully weather-stripped with threshold
    • Other Exterior Hinged Doors: Thermatru or Equiv. steel insulated, fully weather-stripped with threshold and window
    • Sliding Patio Doors: Pella Pro Line, if applicable
    • Garage Door(s): Premium HAAS 660/760 series in carriage house or 680/780 in raised panel with openers
    • Deadbolts: Included on all exterior doors

Notes: Monogram uses Pella tilt to clean or casement windows in all of our houses. And we always order them with low E and argon to improve energy efficiency. Pella windows aren’t the cheapest, but they are the best. We also use oversized garage doors and included deadbolts on all exterior hinged doors.

  • Roofing:
    • Shingles: Certainteed architectural shingles with lifetime year guarantee, over 15 pound felt paper with continuous ridge vent; ice and water shield included

Notes: We don’t use the cheaper, 30 year shingles, and we always include ice and water shield on our roofs to eliminate leaks. These are both usually options for other builders.

  • Exterior Wall Finish & Trim:
    • Stone veneer: Quality brand stone veneer in stone area with standard joint. Real stone veneer also available based on plans.
    • Stucco: Sides and rear of the house. Acrylic finish multi layer stucco
    • Soffitt & Facia: Aluminum facia and Vinyl soffit
    • Gutters & Downspouts: Seamless aluminum

Notes: You will never see EIFS or synthetic stucco on a Monogram home. We use time tested, proven, multi coat cement based stucco with an acrylic finish. This costs more than regular stucco, but won’t stain like non acrylic stucco. You also won’t have water problem like are so common with EIFS system. Our gutters are seamless and custom made so they don’t leak, and they are color matched to your soffit/facia.

  • Electrical:
    • Service: 200/400 amp service with outlets as per code
    • Ceiling Light Rough Wiring with Switch: Included in foyer, halls, kitchen, breakfast nook, laundry room, dining room, study or den, garages, and walk in closets
    • Special Outlets: Washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, front door chime
    • Switched Outlets: Included in family room, bedrooms and living room
    • Ceiling Fan Box and Wiring: 3 included
    • Telephone Outlets: 5 – category 5 (8 pair per room) wire – homerun installation (computer network ready) – double cat 5 run to each location
    • Television Outlets: 5
    • Smoke Detectors:1 on each floor and in rooms to meet code - hard wired in series
    • Exhaust Fans/Light Combination: 1 provided in each bath controlled by 2 switches
    • Exterior Outlets: 2 included - GFCI
    • Exterior Light Wiring and Switch: 1 provided at each exterior door
    • Basement: Ceiling lights and 1 outlet by circuit panel included

Notes: Our electrical panels look like a surgeon built them since they are so neat and clean. We also give you a generous amount of outlets, switches and circuits so you won’t need to spend any more money upgrading.

  • Heating & Air Conditioning:
    • Heating/Cooling: Ultra energy efficient dual fuel heat pump/oil or gas boiler backup for ultimate efficiency and warmth. 2 systems, 3 zones – master bedroom suite, rest of first floor, and second floor. Heat pumps will operate above 45 degrees and oil hot water coil will operate below; boiler heated hot water (boilermate); larger houses will have more zones.
      Geothermal or other fossil fuel options available

Notes: Monogram has won 8 awards for our energy efficient houses and we have been featured in numerous magazines and TV shows. NOBODY builds a more energy efficient house, and our dual fuel muti zone heating/cooling system is the ultimate.

  • Plumbing:

    • General: Pex tubing with home run installation. Fixture allowance based on house size

Notes: Monogram’s plumbing package consists of the top name brands – Moen, Jacuzzi, and Kohler. We never use cheap “builder” grade fixtures, and our extra deep sinks, tile shower, and stylish faucets all are usually upgrades for other builders.

  • Insulation:

    • Exterior Living Area Walls: RR-21 as needed; house wrapped in Typar; Superseal package included
    • Main Ceilings: R-30/38/50 batts and blown where possible or max thickness as per joists
  • Drywall:

    • Living Areas: 1/2” sheetrock, glued, nailed and screwed
    • Garage: Walls and ceiling adjacent to living areas to be 5/8” fire code sheetrock; other areas 1/2” sheetrock

Notes: Monogram not only fully insulates the house, but we include a superseal’s package to seal all corners, nooks, crannies, electrical outlets, and other areas that usually aren’t insulated. We also wrap the entire house with typar/tyvek and perform a blower test to ensure that all penetrations are sealed.

We also, never, ever use cheap Chinese drywall that corrodes pipes, makes people sick, and puts off bad smells.

  • Interior Doors & Trim:

    • Interior Doors: Colonial arch or 6 panel, hardboard, - painted 1 3/8” thick
    • Interior Trim: 5 ¼” oversized base and 3 ¼” casing to be paint grade colonial –
    • Interior and Exterior Door Knobs: Schlage F series - choice of lever or knob;
  • Stairs & Railing:

    • Main Stairs: White Oak treads with painted risers and carpet runner with double bullnose starting tread as per plans
    • Railing: Colonial oak handrail with painted colonial 5015 balusters
    • Basement: Unfinished boxed pine

Notes: Monogram’s team of trim carpenters are really the “superstars” of our organization. They have even been flown to California to work on carpentry projects on celebrity houses in Hollywood for Monogram. Our father/son team of craftsman truly exemplifies the old world approach to finishing a house. Whether it is a simple crown molding, or a complicated full cherry library, our carpenters can handle it…and do it better than anyone else!

  • Cabinetry and Counter Tops:
    • Cabinets: Custom cabinet allowance based on house size.
    • Kitchen and Master Bathroom Countertops: Solid 1 ¼” custom granite with full bullnose; Choice of color in price groups 1-3; 3” granite backsplash
    • Other Bathroom Countertops: Solid granite with drop in porcelain sinks in choice of white, biscuit or almond

Notes: Monogram kitchens have won countless awards for their amazing designs. And the beauty of building a house with Monogram is that you don’t need to worry about cryptic allowance accounts! Cherry…oak…white…your kitchen, complete with solid granite countertops, is included in your price. We include 42” high wall cabinets, an enormous amount of doors selections, and even Cherry as a standard option. Granite is even included in all bathrooms. NOBODY beats our buying power for kitchens. Whether it is a $50,000 remodel up to a $4,000,000 house…our kitchens are dramatically superior to everyone else’s “builder grade.”

  • Appliances:

    • Allowance at builder’s cost for labor and material

Notes: Monogram is set up a direct dealer for GE Profile/ Monogram /Jenn Air, and lots of other high end brands. Our allowance dollars go a lot farther because of the way we buy direct. Whether you want a standard cooktop, or a crazy built in 60” wide range, we can get them all for you…and we buy them direct and pass that savings on. Our amazing buying power also extends to outdoor kitchens and grills as well (including Lynx, Fire Magic, and other top brands.)

  • Driveway:

    • TBD based on lot
  • Painting:

    • Walls & Ceiling: 2 coats, rolled in choice of 1 color throughout house
    • Trim: Painted in semigloss - up to 2 shades darker or 2 shades lighter than walls