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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: 2017
Jun 14, 2017

This week we’re talking home automation with Carley Knobloch.  She’s a digital lifestyle expert who serves as a home automation consultant for HGTV and she’s worked on several of HGTV’s Smart Homes.  Carley also talks technology on CNN and the Today Show.  She’ll give us some insight on exactly what home automation is and tell us about some of her favorite technology for the home.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Check out Carley’s blog at www.CarleyK.com

Jun 7, 2017

Most people want a quiet, peaceful home— one without a lot of outside noise and one where sound within one room doesn’t transfer to another room.  Controlling noise involves reducing the movement of sound waves from one place to another. The best way to minimize noise within a room is to combine a number of different sound-blocking and sound-reduction methods.  This week I have 10 quick tips that you can use to help sound proof different areas of your house.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Windows 102--BYHYU 042

May 31, 2017

This week I have a meeting with a house designer. So in this episode, we’ll talk about what you and I should do to prepare for those initial design meetings.   What documents and information we’ll need for those meetings to be less time consuming and more successful.  Now I’m not going to talk a lot about how to choose a designer or architect.  If you’ve listened to this show for a while, you can probably figure that out.  Ask friends and family and contractors for their recommendations and get several references before settling on a house designer or architect. What we’ll concentrate on today, is what you do after you’ve decided on a specific design professional.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

BYHYU 039--Practical Luxury For Your Master Bath That's Totally Worth the Splurge

BYHYU 052--See What Your House Will Look Like Before You Build It

May 24, 2017

Together we’ll learn the basics of home design and construction and demystify the building process, so we communicate with designers, contractors, and suppliers more effectively and build quality dream homes, with or without a general contractor.

Most people think of their pets as members of the family.  So, it only makes sense to consider them when designing your new home.  This week I have 9 quick tips for designing a pet-friendly home.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Follow us on Facebook   www.facebook.com/BYHYU/

May 17, 2017

In cold, northern states of the US, most homeowners really don’t have much choice of what type of foundation their house will have.  Most cold climate foundations are basements.  That’s because of the footing, which is the lowest part of the house, right beneath the foundation, has to be placed below the frost line.

If you live in a moderate or warm climate, you’ll have a choice to make.  Today’s mini lesson will cover the pros and cons of the different types of foundations.  It will help you decide whether a basement, crawl space or slab foundation is the best choice for your house.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

May 10, 2017

The house that my husband are planning to build will be our forever home— the first and last house that we’ll ever build.  At least that’s the plan. Eventually, everyone of us will either rent, buy or build our last home- the one that we’ll will grow older in. The one where our adult children and grandchildren will spend holidays.

 

This week’s quick tips will give you some ideas about how to design a forever house.  The list includes universal design elements, meaning features that will allow anyone of any age or anyone with any level of mobility to enjoy and live in the house.

 

But a forever house shouldn’t just be physically accessible to us as we age, it should also accommodate changes in lifestyle, habits and traditions as we progress from busy, working people to retirees.

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

May 3, 2017

This morning, when I was on my knees scrubbing my small, framed, fiberglass shower stall, I thought to myself, “What would I do to make this shower better?  How would I design the perfect shower?”  One that would be a pleasure to use everyday and one that would be easy to clean and maintain.  In  this week’s episode, I’ll share with you some of the things I came up with.  We’ll go over some quick tips for designing the perfect shower. 

 

Now, obviously, what a perfect shower is for me, might be the perfect shower for you.  But I think you should be able to get several good ideas from this week’s perfect shower quick tips.

 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 26, 2017

Solid hardwood floors are on the wish list of most people that I know who are planning to build a home.  Wood floors are warm and welcoming, but they’re also expensive and they don’t hold up well to moisture and humidity, pets, rowdy children and heavy foot traffic.  


Fortunately, wood flooring alternatives have now entered the residential market in the form of wood look tile and wood look luxury vinyl flooring. They provide the warm look of wood, without many of the downsides that go along with hardwood flooring.  


What gives these alternatives the look of hardwood is an high definition wood image that’s applied to the surface of the tile or vinyl. In this week’s mini lesson,  I’ll give you the pro and cons of wood look tile, plus some buying tips.  Last week we went over the pro and cons of luxury vinyl flooring.  Take a listen to episode 65 if you missed that.

 

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

Apr 12, 2017

Listen, I know what you’re thinking when I say vinyl flooring…inexpensive, unattractive linoleum-like floors.  Not something that you would consider worthy of a new, custom built home.  I used to think the same thing.

I always assumed that I would definitely put hardwood flooring in my dream house. But now I’m not entirely sure.  I’ve seen more and more wood look alternatives that look exactly like solid hardwood.  And what’s really intrigued me is that I’ve seen these wood look alternatives in several luxury model homes. Plus, in doing a bit of Google research, I’ve read that many homeowners are specifically requesting wood look alternatives, even in high end custom homes. 

This week, I’ll tell you about the pro and cons of wood look luxury vinyl floor planks and next week we’ll cover wood look porcelain tiles.  Both are great options for the look of wood, without the cost and maintenance associated with solid hardwood flooring. 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

BYHYU 030-- Spray Foam Insulation and Rigid Foam Insulation

Apr 5, 2017

Kitchen islands.  They’re one the most requested kitchen features in new homes.   This week’s quick tips will cover how to best organize your kitchen island and what type of island storage might work well for you and your family.  You should customize your kitchen island to reflect your habits, needs, and desires.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 29, 2017

Lots of people like the idea of building green, or a least a greener.  But, although the term green building is often used, many of us are not quite sure exactly what green building is, or where to go to get easy to understand information about green building options. 



This week we have an interview that will help explain what green building is and why it’s important.  We’ll hear from Sheridan Foster, founder of Elemental Green, a great online educational resource for green and sustainable building products and techniques.

 

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

www.Elemental.Green

Mar 22, 2017

Have you ever gotten out of the shower, dried off and just had to get out of the bathroom for a few minutes because it was so hot, humid and uncomfortable?   I mean, you can’t get dressed when you’re hot like that.

You know what could help minimize that problem?   A powerful, bathroom exhaust fan.  Powerful, but quiet, because if the fan is annoyingly loud, you won’t use it regularly. 

Choosing the right fan for your bathroom is more important than you might think.  Without an appropriately sized exhaust fan, not only can your bathroom be uncomfortably hot and humid, not to mention smelly, but over time, you risk causing moisture damage to your bathroom drywall and cabinetry.  Plus you increase your chances of developing mold and mildew on your shower walls, drywall, and even on the wood framing beneath the drywall. Not good!

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 15, 2017

One of my least favorite household chores is cleaning grout. But I recently learned about a type of grout that stays beautiful and virtually stain free for years.  You heard me right… years.

Take a listen to this quick tip that will help save you time, energy and effort in cleaning your bathrooms and floors.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 8, 2017

This week we’ll talk about the second half of our list of things you can include to increase your home’s curb appeal.  Last week we talked about the first part of the list.  It included:

1. Combining contrasting, but coordinating colors

2. Adding Dimension

3. Making a Statement with Your Front Door

4. Selecting Unique Address Numbers

5. Adding Lighting

Take a listen to episode 59 to hear more detail about that list. 

This week we’ll briefly discuss:

6. Great Garage Doors

7. Softscape Elements

8. Hardscape Elements

9. Driveways

Before moving on to the mini lesson, let’s go over this week’s pro terms

Pro Terms:  Landscape, Softscape elements, and Hardscape elements

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 1, 2017

Last week, we talked about creating wow factor on the inside of your home.  This week we’ll delve into what we can do to our home’s exterior to add curb appeal. Now remember, you shouldn’t include features in, on or around your home to just impress others. Instead, design a home that inspires you and your family and build one that you’re proud of. And just By doing that, you’ll often increase your home’s value.  We’ll go over the first part of our list this week and finish the list next week.  Before we go any further we need to define this week’s pro terms.

Pro Terms: Portico and Porte Cochere

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 22, 2017

Even if you want a simple home, without over-the-top features, adding surprising, or unique elements will make your home more interesting and distinctive.  All homes should have some degree of the wow factor.  Things that make your house different from your neighbors’. So, in this week’s mini-lesson, we’ll cover a list potential wow factor features that you can include in your house.  But, only consider adding those things that resonate with you.  Don’t feel any pressure to add something just because it’s on trend, impressive or popular.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 15, 2017

Pipes and plumbing fixtures are found everywhere in a new house.  Pipes run out of the house, under the house, within walls of the house, and finally arrive at many different fixtures, like sinks, toilets and tubs. Some pipes carry water and others carry gas.

Pipes are made different materials, either metal and plastic, and each material has its pros and cons.  We’ll talk about the pros and cons of different pipe materials and I’ll tell you what you can request from your plumber to keep your pipes quiet and to eliminate the noise of an upstairs toilet flush that can be heard by you and your guests while you’re sitting downstairs.  I’ll also give you a list of some things to consider to help improve the quality of your plumbing job.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 8, 2017

Because your home’s plumbing is used every day, several times a day, you want to make sure that you get quality products and materials and that those materials are installed by a reliable plumber. 

This week’s mini-lesson help you give you a basic overview of your home’s plumbing system and it will give you some advice on what type of plumber and plumbing fixtures you should choose for your new home— whether brand name fixtures really are better than off-brand ones and whether it’s ok get your plumbing supplies from a big box store.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 1, 2017

This week, I’ll tell you about the home design trends that I saw a couple of weeks ago at Design and Construction week in Orlando.  In preparing for this episode, I reviewed episode 5, called Home Trends 2016.  All the design features that I mentioned last year are still relevant in 2017, so talk a listen to episode 5 to hear what those features were.  But, 2017 brings with it some additional home design trends that you may want to include in your new home.   Plus I’ll tell you about a pro secret that I learned from a seasoned builder.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 26, 2017

This week you’ll hear from HGTV star Chip Wade. He tells us what 3 things he suggests homeowners include in their new homes. We’ll also hear from some exhibitors (Armstrong Flooring, Feeney Inc, Phantom Screens, True Residential, and Rangecraft) who showed off their products at the combined International Builders Show and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. That show was held couple of weeks ago in Orlando, FL. I was there to get the scoop on both new and tried-and-true products for new homes.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Show Links:

www.chipwade.com

www.armstrongflooring.com

www.feeneyinc.com     

http://www.feeneyinc.com/ShowUsYourView

www.phantomscreens.com

www.true-residential.com

www.rangecraft.com

Jan 18, 2017

If you decide you want move to another house, one of the first decisions you’ll  have to make is whether to buy an existing house or build a new one. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. Today’s mini lesson will explore the pros and cons of buying a house versus building a house.   We’ll also talk about building allowances.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

https://www.facebook.com/BYHYU/

Jan 11, 2017

If you’re anything like me, you like to actually see what you’re getting before you pay for it. But, what do you do when you’re building a house? I know you’ll have blue prints, but for some of us blue prints are difficult to read and visualize.  For some reason, my brain has trouble translating blue prints into a good mental image.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a 3D, photograph-like image of what your house will look like before you build it?   To have a color picture and maybe even an animated aerial video of the outside or inside of your house? Then you could show it to contractors and suppliers to ensure that they know exactly what you want to build? 

Today, you’ll hear from Rob Clasby, CEO and Founder of Viz Source, the Rendering Company.  Since 2006, Viz Source has been in the business of providing photorealistic 3D images and animations for all types of projects, including new homes.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

www.vizsource.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BYHYU/

Jan 4, 2017

Many DIYers have successfully painted their new homes inside and out. But it’s hard work and it takes some skill. Before you decide to do the painting in your brand new home, consider the painting projects that you’ve done in the past? How did they turn out? Was the trim smooth, without excess caulk?  Were the walls uniform and free of debris and drip marks? If your past results haven’t met the standards that you have set for your new home, you may want to hire a professional painter with good references.  For some advice on what to look for and expect when hiring a painter, take a listen to last week’s episode, episode 50.

Whether you choose to do your own painting or not, you’ll have to decide what paint finishes are best for your house.  This week’s episode will cover what paint finishes that work well for the different areas of the house.  We’ll also cover some quick painting tips for those of you who want to do the painting yourself.  Not a full tutorial, but some helpful tips.  If you have little or no experience painting, first and foremost, I suggest hiring a professional painter.  But if you’re determined to save those labors costs,  in addition to listening to the quick tips in this episode, go over to YouTube and take a look at some painting tutorials.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

https://www.facebook.com/BYHYU/

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