Posted by: Jim Blahut | February 18, 2010


The term “sustainable” has come to reference the renewable qualities of the raw materials being considered.   A biproduct of “green” thinking.  For me sustainable construction is quite different when considering present construction. Generally speaking, after a homeowner finishes paying off a 30 yr. mortgage, it is not uncommon for the house to be in a state of disrepair.  Further, it is not uncommon for homes to be demolished rather than renovated under such a scenario.   I have seen this first hand in the neighborhoods I grew up in built in the 1970’s.  Think about that the next time you consider the long-term environmental impact of a building.

Sustainable to me has to do with a building’s ability to endure.  It has to do with how well it is designed, the materials used, and the quality of the installation.  It is a concept defined in years not dollars.

It is important for the interior finishes of a home to look nice but in reality, given a generation or so, it will be viewed as outdated an most likely replaced with something more current.  The exterior on the other hand is a different story.  Windows, doors, siding, roofing, and trimwork don’t only need to look nice, they create a protective envelope for the home, shielding it from exposure.  Further, exterior elements don’t change over the years like its trendier interior counterpart.  The concept of the Perennial Home embraces this reality and uses it as the central principle of home design.   The exterior is designed and built for a purpose, to look good and last a long, long time.

Posted by: Jim Blahut | February 17, 2010


There is little doubt where my passion lies.  It is an understatement to say I enjoy what I do.  People’s passions are as wide ranging as people are themselves but I believe all people can relate to building or otherwise creating something of their own.   Further a relationship exists between a home and its owner.  For example, like playing an instrument is to the craft of a musician, he is not satisfied with simply imitating what others have already accomplished, but rather he is driven to create something unique and new.  This analogy can be made regarding the innovation that takes place with almost anything people take an interest in.  For me it has always been “building stuff”.  My passion was apparent; always willing to help Dad on his latest project around the house or whatever I could involve myself in.  It seemed a path in the field of construction was to be my future.

Although my formal education is in commercial/industrial construction engineering, I have always been drawn to residential architecture and construction, especially that of older homes.  Upon graduation I chose to pursue my own business as a homebuilder hoping to make some contribution to the industry along the way.  My objective was to develop a new comprehensive approach to building exteriors; one that allows for quality and substance like that of older homes without the costly upkeep generally associated with them.  However, limited options of today’s materials hinder the ability to craft a building’s architecture.

A truly custom home is designed and built to reflect the taste of its owner.  It should be part of their legacy to be passed on to future generations to enjoy.  Unfortunately, the modern convention of home construction produces less durable buildings.  It is not uncommon for a home built 20 or 30 years ago to be in need of considerable repair and upkeep.  However, houses built 60 or more years ago seem to be doing just as well if not better.  That should not be.  A solution to that shortcoming has been the focus of my passion to improve the status quo of the custom home construction industry.

Posted by: Jim Blahut | February 1, 2010


For about twelve years I have been building vacation homes on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, mostly in the quaint town of Beach Haven.  From the beginning my purpose was to explore the concept of durable construction methods reminiscent of those from the past.  The sticking point however is finding ways to maintain the authentic look and feel without the costly upkeep.

This is reflected in everything I have done as it relates to my passion as a builder. To start with, the naming of my company, Perennial Homes was rooted in this mindset.  The word perennial refers to something that is continual, enduring and never failing.  Over the years, the product I have developed is the “perennial home”.  It is my answer to durable construction along the Jersey coast.

The historic town of Beach Haven had been my summer vacation destination from the age of 4 or 5.  There is no doubt that experience shaped my appreciation for residential homes and their construction.   It was obvious these older Beach Haven homes were different from my home and those I was most familiar with and I always took a liking to them.  It seemed to me most people also appreciated a certain charm to them and it was further understood they were from a time past, one very different when considering how a home was built.  When I was older, I could not help wondering how and why they fell out of favor, no longer being the norm.

The answer to that question has been the driving force behind my development as a builder and is discussed further in the postings to follow.