Sterling Specifications: Exterior and Framing

August 14, 2017

Sterling Specifications: Exterior and Framing Featured Image

Finding a builder that suits your new home needs can be a tough call when you’re unsure of their standards. In fact, many builders avoid broadcasting their standard specifications in hopes of getting you in their show homes.

While this is standard practice for many builders, Sterling Homes doesn’t believe in making you work to figure out what we have to offer. In fact, we believe very strongly in being up front with prospective home buyers in terms of how we build and the materials we use – in this case, when it comes to your home’s foundation and exterior.

But before we go any further, here are a few terms you need to know:

  • MPA (Megapascal) – This refers to the compressive strength of concrete in terms of how much pressure it can take before it breaks. Measured in force per square inch, the higher the MPA, the more resilient the concrete.
  • Type GU (General Use) – This an all-purpose cement manufactured specifically for construction in Alberta as well as other Western Canadian provinces.
  • O.C. “on centre” – During the framing process, this refers to how far apart framing studs are placed. This ultimately means a strong frame with more room for insulation.
  • OSB (Oriented Strand Board) – This a versatile engineered wood panel. Their strength allows them to resist warping and distortion from the wind and other elements.
  • Low E glass – This refers to a coating places on glass (windows) to reduce heat loss in the winter and UV rays in the summer – all while maintaining the same amount of natural light.
  • Argon Gas (filled spaces in windows) – Good builders will often choose windows with argon gas sealed between the panes. Non-toxic and odourless, argon is known to boost energy efficiency, improve soundproofing and prevent frost build-up.

Sterling Specifications: Exterior and Framing Concrete Image

The Sterling Exterior

Concrete Finishing

Your foundation is the primary source of your home’s strength and durability. For this reason, every inch of your foundation is surveyed by an engineer to ensure maximum solidity and reliability.

  • Footing and Foundation Walls: Both are minimum 20 MPA Type GU concrete and eight inches thick. They’re reinforced with two rows of ten mm rebar; a double row at the top of the wall and a double row at the bottom of the wall.
  • Basement Floor: Three inches thick, minimum 20 MPA Type GU concrete over 6 mil polyethylene – this acts as a moisture barrier over a sand or gravel base. The basement floor features a steel trowel finish and includes a rough-in for future radon mitigation as per code.
  • Garage Floor on Attached Garages: Our floors are typically four-inch concrete slab with a curing agent applied; over compacted sand base with 10mm rebar at 24” O.C. The garage floor will also be sloped towards the overhead door to help with drainage.

Sterling Specifications: Exterior and Framing Construction Image


Your home’s frame should be made of highly durable materials as it is also essential to its structural support. This needs to be put together by a skilled carpentry team, designed by a proficient builder in order to maintain the best standards possible.  Here’s what you should expect:

  • Exterior House Walls: 2×6 spruce studs at 24″ on centre.
  • Exterior Garage Walls: 2×6 spruce studs at 24” on centre.
  • House and Garage Wall Sheathing: Sheathed as per building code requirements
  • Roof Sheathing: 3/8″ OSB sheathing
  • Interior Walls: 2×4 spruce studs at 19.2”on centre, except for kitchen cabinet area walls, which are 16” on centre.


Exterior finishes apply to the “shell” of your home, including windows, doors, shingles and siding. Here’s what we offer:

  • Roofing: 25-year fibreglass base shingles or equivalent
  • Vinyl Siding: Vinyl siding in supplier standard colours with the option of upgraded/darker colours.
  • Exterior Corners: 3” vinyl corners or 6” aluminium as per plan.
  • Eavestrough: 5” pre-finished aluminium downspouts.
  • Fascia: 8” pre-finished aluminium
  • Soffit: Pre-finished aluminium.
  • Windows: White PVC, venting windows are sliders or casement (as per plan) with screens.
  • Window Glazing: All windows are maintenance free, triple pane with Low E glass and argon gas filled spaces.
  • Front and Rear Doors: All doors are fibreglass insulated with deadbolts. Exterior door slabs painted with two coats to match siding or clad trim, and the interior of the door is painted to match the interior trim colour. Our doors offer maintenance free jambs & casings in white.

When it comes to researching your builder options, we believe you should know exactly what to expect – upfront. That’s why we have our Sterling Advantage specifications clearly outlined for all home buyers. We invite you to take a look at the high-end standards we have to offer first and then visit it us at one of our many show homes. We guarantee you’ll like what you see.

Click here to download 7 Reasons Why Sterling Homes is Not Your Average Home Builder now! 

Photo credits: framingconstructionconcrete

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