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by Cardinal

A few words from the boss lady. 


Why Brick is Better.

Why brick is a better choice for exterior wall covering than other traditional siding options.

You are finally ready to start building your new home.  You’ve looked at a thousand house plans and photos but you are still not sure which exterior material will bring your personal vision to life. There are so many options to consider– brick, stone, siding, stucco… it’s easy to get lost in it all.  

I am a general contractor in Kentucky and have been building homes for seven years.  I have built spec homes and custom homes at various price points.  Choosing an exterior finish for your home is one of the very first decisions you must make when building.  Today I will help you consider the options and explain why I believe brick is the better choice.

The first thing to consider is aesthetic.  It is important to define your style early in the building process so that your overall design will flow throughout the home.  Hiring a designer to help with this process can be priceless because it gives you someone to define your style and guide you to achieve your goals.  

Here are a few examples of on-trend exterior styles: 

  • Traditional- classic red brick

  • modern farmhouse- white brick with black accents

  • country cottage- white brick with red brick skirt or porch

  • Coastal- white brick with pastel accents


If you do not know your design style, try searching these terms and see which characteristics jump out at you the most.

One of the things I love about brick is that it comes in so many color options, it can fit into any exterior design style.  

If you like a more traditional look then a classic red brick may be a great fit for you.  If you prefer a modern farmhouse look, a white brick with black windows and wood accents might be the perfect fit.  If you like a country cottage try using a white brick for the walls but add character and charm by adding a red brick foundation skirt or porch.  If coastal is your dream, try using a white brick and mixing it with pastel colored siding and shutters.

The second thing to consider when choosing an exterior finish is climate.  It is immensely important to think about what kind of weather and elements your home will be exposed to over the years.  You want your home to stand the test of time.  

One of the reasons you see so many structures built with brick is because brick is such a strong material.  It is strong enough to hold up to winds and flying debris in the event of a tornado or wind storm.  In fact, according to, brick laid in a traditional pattern with cement mortar can last for hundreds, if not thousands of years with little to no maintenance.  

Which brings me to my next point– brick is virtually maintenance free. It is made of clay which is a natural material from the earth.  Once the clay is mixed and formed into a brick, it is baked at over a thousand degrees fahrenheit until the brick is very hard, even stronger than concrete.  Over time brick does not break, rot, or need to be painted.  Brick will not be eaten by termites or other insects.  Once your home is bricked you will be able to enjoy its natural beauty for years to come. 

The final thing to consider when choosing your exterior finish is cost.  Brick is not the cheapest option but the value is unmatched.  If you choose a less expensive option like vinyl siding, you are risking damage from natural weather events and taking on the commitment of maintenance with cleaning the entire house every year.  

Even the more expensive option of James Hardie cement siding is susceptible to damage from winds and debris, and has only proven to last up to fifty years with proper install and regular maintenance.  It is hard to put a price on peace of mind that your home will withstand the test of time without repeat cleanings or repainting every few years.  

In conclusion, brick is the best exterior finish for residential buildings.  It is strong, stylish and maintenance-free.  Brick companies are now offering a wide variety of colors so there is a brick for every occasion.  Whether you are building a modern condo in the city or a rustic retreat on a lake, there is always a perfect brick option.  

Dogwood Manor Mini Farm

June 23, 2019

When we were looking for our next spot to build, Brandon and I knew we wanted at least two acres.  He would have loved having some wooded hunting land, and I just wanted enough grass for a dog yard and a vegetable garden. 

We looked at some properties with as many as 12 acres, some with old farmhouses and some without, some with woods and some without.

We found Stone Trace, a subdivision of ten "mini-farms" only a couple miles southeast of Bowling Green, in Alvaton.  With about 3.5 acres, we fell in love with the rolling hills and scenic farmland views.  

While I loved the idea of renovating an old farmhouse, I was ecstatic at the thought of building for ourselves again.  A homebuilder should certainly build their own home, after all!

Brandon and I purchased the piece of property in 2017 and started planning.

The first thing we agreed upon was the exterior of the house.  Brandon and I went to the Masters golf tournament in 2016 and (not surprisingly) fell in love with Augusta National Clubhouse, so when he suggested we build a version of the same house, I jumped all over it.  (If you aren't familiar, go google search "Augusta National Clubhouse" real quick, then come right back.)

It's basically a simple square house with double-decker porches wrapping all the way around.  (insert drool here)  It's really not that fancy, but it is oh so fantastic.

While I love many, many things about this sweet Southern gem in Georgia, I obviously have a lot of updates to the design to make it our home in Kentucky.

I'm calling it a modern plantation.  It will be a white brick home with black windows and wood accents.  Simplicity is key, and everything is balanced. You'll see clean lines and classic finishes carried from bottom to top.  

Brandon and I spent a lot of time at the lot during the fall of 2017.  We would visit at different times of the day and spend hours walking around, just getting to know the land and the views. This was a huge advantage for me as a designer, because it was incredibly easy for me to be inspired there.  I was able to develop such a clear vision of what we would build.

The following Spring we planted sixteen dogwoods lining the first 200' of our future driveway.  From then on, it would be called Dogwood Manor Mini Farm.

Before we knew it, we had broken ground on the garage and sold our home.  We packed everything up, filled four storage units plus a two car garage with our stuff, and moved with our four dogs into 600 sq. ft. on June 1, 2018.  

Introduction: Boss Lady

June 16, 2019

Hi friends! My name is Tera Loague and I'm the boss lady around here.  Cardinal Construction Services, LLC is the company I started in 2016 with help and encouragement from my husby, Brandon, and I've been building spec homes for the last three years in Bowling Green, KY.  

Since I was a little kid, I have always dreamed of designing homes; I used to ride my bike through new neighborhoods so I could walk around in the houses as they were being framed.  I loved analyzing the floorplans, learning how rooms should flow together and imagining what I would make them look like if it were my home.  

When I moved to college in 2006 and quickly realized that pre-med was not the route for me, I knew interior design was calling out to me.  

I considered going to design school, but decided to go to business school instead.  I could write an entire chapter on the reasons I chose business over design, but now I realize its as simple as this- God knew way back then that I needed an education in business more than I needed it in design.  He had plans for me.

I earned a degree in business management and marketing and graduated from the University of Louisville in 2010.  

I moved to BG in 2011 when I landed a job at the Fruit of the Loom corporate headquarters.  I worked in global sourcing for about four years, eventually becoming unhappy there and left to pursue something I could be more passionate about. 

While I was figuring out my next move, Brandon and I built our first home on his late grandfather's family farm.  I cannot overstate how much I enjoyed building our house on Chicory Way.  It was an absolute dream come true for me.  We worked very well together and both genuinely enjoyed the building process.

Fast forward to 2016- Brandon and I started Cardinal Construction the same year we were married. He was the experienced builder-type with the contacts in town and knowledge of schedules, and I was the designer/eager-to-learn project manager.  

As time has progressed over three years, Brandon has become less involved in Carinal Construction as I have developed more knowledge and experience of my own.  He has a full-time job for a steel manufacturer, so I try to need him as little as possible for work.  Maybe someday he'll get to play a bigger role for CCS again, but that's a different post all together!

I opened my retail shop, Home by Cardinal, in February 2019 with hopes of expanding my design reach and increasing my client-base.  I've had an absolute blast buying and selling, and have met dozens of inspiring people and new friends.  

My little shop has become a place for me to flourish creatively, and I am thriving here.  I am looking forward to hosting craft nights this summer and fall with some local artist, and I recently picked up my first custom-build which is SUPER exciting for me!! 

Cardinal Construction will be building a modern farmhouse in Scottsville for a sweet couple who is moving home from Louisville with their three young children.  I am thrilled to get started and will be sharing our progress every step of the way. 

During the week I work on designs, plans, construction schedules, managing subcontractors, job site visits, and anything else that comes up for CCS.  I spend my weekends at the shop which is open Saturdays 10-4 and Sundays 1-4.

Brandon and I are currently also building a house for ourselves again.  We sold our flagship home in 2018 and have been living on our 3.5 acre mini-farm in Alvaton since June of 2018.  We built a garage on the property with a 600 sq.ft. apartment where we live with our five dogs while we build the house.  We're hoping to move into the new house by Thanksgiving 2019 :)

I've always loved classic finishes like red brick and rich stained woods, and my favorite way to fill a wall is with a window.  I am solar powered, so there is no such thing as too much natural light.  Which leads to my favorite home accessories- plants!  In fact, my husband often refers to me as a crazy plant lady and compares me to Poison Ivy from the Batman comics.  I take it as a compliment. 

I'll be sharing design, plan, and build progress reports for all my projects, so stay tuned!

Follow along with me here on the blog, and be sure to like/follow me on facebook and Instagram @homebycardinal

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