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Build Your House Yourself University

Wish you knew more about the biggest investment you will most likely ever make? Build Your House Yourself University (byhyu) will teach you to save money and make smart decisions about the construction of the place you and your family will call HOME. We will help you understand residential construction— simplify and demystify the design build process. You’ll come away with successful strategies for building your own house, with or without a general contractor. Become an educated consumer, even if you prefer to buy, rather than build a new house. Complex construction jargon and best practices will be explained in easy to understand terms. It’s not the typical DIY (do it yourself) show. You will learn how to MANAGE the labor, not DO the labor for your new house. Join me, Michelle Nelson, host and fellow informal residential construction student. I’ll share the research I find on home design and building as I prepare to build my home. Together, our community of future home builders, will learn the tips, tricks and trends of experienced contractors and industry experts. I’ll interview owner-builders and construction professionals. During our mini lessons, I’ll inform you about framing, flooring, windows, insulation, kitchen cabinets and countertops…almost anything having to do with new construction homes. You’ll hear about energy efficiency and green building too. There will be product reviews in which you will be introduced to cutting edge, as well as, tried and true products and services. And in keeping with the university theme, episodes will end with short, fun quizzes. If we do our due diligence BEFORE we start construction, we will actually start construction with the most difficult part of the project behind us. Let’s put in the time, effort, preparation and research BEFORE we break ground and building our homes will be much easier and more enjoyable.
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Now displaying: 2016
Jul 6, 2016

For most families, the kitchen is the most important room in the entire house.  It’s not only a functional family space, but it serves as the central area for entertaining, as well. Today we’ll talk about 8 common mistakes to avoid when designing and organizing your kitchen.  Next week, we’ll have another kitchen-centered lesson when I give an overview of what to look for when choosing kitchen cabinets.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 29, 2016

What siding you choose for the exterior of your house will greatly influence the overall appearance and style of your home.  More and more, people are choosing not just one type of siding, but several.  It’s not unusual to see houses with a mixture of brick and stone, or stucco and stone, or even fiber cement siding with brick or stone.

While appearance is a very important consideration when choosing the type of siding, you should also consider the material's price, durability and maintenance. Siding is not simply an aesthetic feature, but it functions to protect your house from the elements.  In today’s mini lesson, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of the most popular siding options.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 22, 2016

Most people are not considering building a tiny house.  Most of us want homes that are larger, in fact MUCH larger, than a typical tiny home. Mobile, trailer-ready tiny homes are usually between 100 and 300 square feet and tiny homes with a permanent foundation can be up to 600 square feet.  To put that into perspective, according to reference.com, the average American bedroom in a new home is between 120 and 150 square feet.  And master bedrooms are typically larger, averaging more than 200 square feet.  That 200 square feet, by the way, does not take into account the master closet space or the master bathroom. 

The closest any of us will ever come to tiny house living will be the time that we spend in a stateroom, on a cruise ship.  The typical room on a cruise ship is 150 to 200 square feet.  So, if you can’t imagine your whole house fitting into such a small space, a tiny house is probably not for you.  But, even if you have no desire to live in just a few hundred square feet, there are many lessons that we can learn from the tiny house movement.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 15, 2016

If you are thinking of being the general contractor of your own home, today’s mini lesson will give you an overview of the different subcontractors that you’ll have to hire.  Even if you decide to hire a builder to oversee the construction of your dream home,  it’s helpful to have a general idea of what each subcontractors does. I’ll briefly describe the role of the major tradesmen in residential construction and give some tips and tricks on hiring and managing those tradespeople.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 8, 2016

When I was growing up, we were told to say “rooves", with a hard “V.”  These days “roofs” is the more common pronunciation.  I might say either or both today in our mini lesson about choosing the right roofing material for your home. 

When choosing the type of roof you want for your new home, you’ll need to consider how much money you want to spend and how often you want to maintain, and potentially repair or replace your roof.  The roof is first and foremost a functional structure, but don’t dismiss the importance of choosing a roof that is aesthetically pleasing.

We often give quite a bit of thought to the way the front of our house, or the front elevation, will look, but we sometimes fail to give the color and texture of our ROOF as much consideration. What roof you choose will have a big impact on your home’s curb appeal.  I recently read that if we think of the front of the house as your home’s face, then the roof is like your home’s hair.   And you know how important someone’s hair is to their overall appearance. 

So today I’ll give an overview of the 6 most common types of roofing materials.  We’ll talk about how they function, how much they cost and how they look.

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 1, 2016

People seem to really like the quiz questions at the end of each episode, so this week we have what I’m calling a semester exam.  The whole episode is dedicated to exam questions that are based on information that we’ve covered in episodes 1-19.  Most of them are original questions.  I repeat 2 or 3 previous quiz questions, but for the most part, these are original.  I plan to do a semester exam every 20th show, so let me know how you like the format.  Our exam today will have 35 questions.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

May 25, 2016

In this week’s episode, we’ll hear the final part of an interview I did with owner builders Chris and Shacuna Jones. I spoke with them recently about them building their new home.  They acted as the general contractor and have some great construction management and money saving tips for us.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

May 18, 2016

This week we have the first part of an interview with a Chris and Shacuna Jones who recently finished building a beautiful house for themselves and acted as their own general contractor.  They’ll tell us about how they managed the construction of their dream home and give us some great money saving tips. 

 

 

Show notes can be found at www.BYHYU.com

May 11, 2016

Most people know that the square footage of a house will affect the cost of construction, but many people don’t realize that how a house is designed and laid out will also affect the bottom line. And since many of us are unaware of what design choices we can make to reduce our construction costs, I’ve compiled a list 20 money saving design and layout ideas. 

The easiest way to save money DURING construction is to figure out how to reduce costs BEFORE construction even begins—during the design and planning phases.  The cost to build two houses with the same square footage can vary greatly depending on how the houses are designed and constructed.  Great savings can be hidden in small details, and a few dollars saved here and there can add up to thousands of dollars over the course of construction.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

May 4, 2016

One of the most important decisions that will made about the construction of your home is what type of framing it will have.  And granted, it’s not one of the most exciting decisions, but it is one of the most IMPORTANT ones. How your home is framed will significantly impact your wallet, both during and after construction.  The framing impacts the energy efficiency and comfort of your home and it has some impact on the environment, depending to how much material is used and wasted during construction.

My goal, of course, is not to make us experts, not to train us to go to the job site with a hammer in hand and act as framing carpenters (that’s what the framing crew is for).  My goal is to give you a good overview and foundation of knowledge that will help you intelligently converse with contractors about your construction options, in this case the option of advanced framing.

You know, I think it's such a shame that most people think more about the options on a car they are thinking about buying, or a vacation they are planning on taking than they do about the options for their new house, the biggest investments they will probably ever make. So, kudos to you for educating yourself.

 

 

See show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Apr 27, 2016

Today’s episode covers some different design features and construction practices that are suited for either a cold or a hot climate. My goal is for us to get a general background about the differences in building a home in these different climates. We don’t have to know every detail about regional climate design, but I want us to learn enough to make educated decisions about our construction choices.  Plus learn enough so we can ask about some cutting edge and common sense options that maybe our contractors might not typically offer.

 

Find show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Apr 20, 2016

As we plan to build our homes, I thought it would be a good idea to scour several blogs and forums to get advice from those who have built before.  I specifically wanted to find out what mistakes people had made in building their homes—what they would do differently if they were to build again.  So I’ve compiled an extensive list which details the things that homeowners would do and DID DO differently when building their second, third and even fourth houses.

Let’s learn from the experiences of others, so we don’t make similar mistakes.   Now, some of what others consider “misses” won’t matter to you in the least.  Some features you’ll hear about today should not be included in YOUR house plans because they won’t enhance the way you live.  And many of the suggestions are pretty luxurious in nature, so they may not fit everyone’s budget or style. Take suggestions that resonate most with you and the vision you have for your home.  But listen with your current AND future lifestyle in mind. Think about how you CURRENTLY live in your home AND how you might live in 5, 10 or even 20 years.

Our Pro Terms for today are Eave, Fascia and Soffit.  www.BYHYU.com

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Apr 6, 2016

In today’s episode we’ll go over the sequence and timeline of the major steps of building a home, so you get some idea of what to expect from the overall construction process.  This is a general overview and we’ll go into more detail of the major phases of construction in future episodes.  But today’s show is a broad outline of building a house.

It’s important to have an understanding of the overall project early in the planning phase, because when you know what to expect, you will know what to plan for.  And, like I’ve said this before, knowing what to expect takes away the fear to the unknown and decreasing the fear to the unknown, decreases the stress associated with any process, including building a house.  So you are super smart, to educate yourself and prepare BEFORE construction, so that building your home will be more enjoyable.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Mar 30, 2016

We have the conclusion of an interview with Ron Hughes, owner and president of HERS, inc., a home energy rating company.  He warns us about installing an oversized HVAC system and tells us more about making our homes more energy efficient and more comfortable.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Mar 23, 2016

Today we have the first part of an interview with Ron Hughes of HERS, inc.  He’ll tell us how companies like his can help us design and build more energy efficient homes.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Mar 16, 2016

Today we’ll explore some concepts of green building and sustainable building with Ben Adam-Smith, host of the podcast, House Planning Help— one of my favorites. We’ll talk about what basic things we should consider if we want to build green.

 

www.BYHYU.com

www.houseplanninghelp.com

 

 

Mar 9, 2016

Having a general idea about permits and inspections decreases some of the stress associated with building a new home.  Whenever you educate yourself about the homebuilding process, you take away some of the mystery, some of fear of the unknown and THAT decreases stress. This week’s mini lesson is about permits and inspections, which are definitely not the most exciting parts of the design build process, but they are extremely important.  Learn what to expect.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Mar 2, 2016

Do you know what things you should consider when choosing your home site? After deciding to BUILD instead of BUY a new home, many people are so focused on the house design and that they give little thought to the LAND on which they will place their future home.  But what lot you choose is a major factor in determining how much it will cost you to build AND maintain your home and how much you will ultimately enjoy it.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Feb 24, 2016

Today’s episode is for those of you who want to build your house YOURSELF, but not ALL BY YOURSELF.  Yes, you could hire a general contractor to build your home, but there are other ways to get help with the building process WITHOUT hiring a builder to manage the entire project.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Feb 17, 2016

Today’s episode is a combination of product overviews, mini lessons,  and interviews.  You’ll hear a couple of clips that I recorded at the 2016 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.  Marvin windows and doors tells us about what’s new and trending and we’ll learn about some things that we can do to make our homes stronger from the folks at Simpson Strong tie.

We start the show off with advice that Tom Silva of This Old House has for those of us planning to build our own homes.

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

www.marvin.com

www.safestronghome.com/highwind/02.asp.

Feb 10, 2016

We’ll go over 10 home trends that I saw at the 2016 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. 

They include:

  1. Multigenerational Home Design

  2. Flexible and Multipurpose Rooms

  3. Indoor Outdoor Living

  4. Aging in Place Features

  5. Energy Efficiency and Green Building

  6. Brass is Back!

  7. Practical Luxury

  8. Optional Formal Living and Dining Rooms

  9. Mix and Match, not Matchy Matchy

10. Laundry Rooms Near Bedrooms

 

www.BYHYU.com

 

 

Feb 3, 2016

Today you’ll hear the second and final part of an interview with structural engineer Phillip Lewis.  We’ll learn more about structural engineers and we’ll talk about some things we can do make our homes more structurally sound.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Jan 27, 2016

Today we have the first part of an interview that I had with structural engineer Phillip Lewis.  We’ll learn more about what a structural engineer does and who might need one.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Jan 20, 2016

We talk about one of the main ways you can save money when building your dream home… by being your own general contractor or builder.  But CAN you build your own home, are you allowed and SHOULD you?  Some pros and cons of being your own builder are outlined.  We’ll also discuss some things that owner builders can do to increase their chances of success.

 

www.BYHYU.com

Jan 13, 2016

This is the “About Us” and “What’s in for you” episode. The introduction.  The first day of school— where you will be told what to expect throughout the year.  You’ll find out who should listen to this podcast and why. 

In short, know that you will learn about residential construction so you can save money, become an educated consumer and build your dream house, with or without a general contractor. If you put in the time, effort, preparation and research BEFORE you break ground, building your home will be much easier and more enjoyable.   

Episodes might include:

-Pro terms— where complex construction jargon is defined and simplified.

-Mini lessons— about home design and building.

-Product reviews—  covering tried and true and cutting edge building materials.

-Interviews— with owner builders and industry experts.

 

www.BYHYU.com

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