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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: October, 2018
Oct 31, 2018

Last week I traveled to Austin TX for their Parade of Homes.  I like going to different parts of the country to see what new homes features are popular in different areas.  If we incorporate some of our favorite features from different regions, it can make the homes we build more interesting.  As you know, too often designers and builders tend to do what they have always done and that can translate into all the houses in an area looking the same, void of character and uniqueness. Sometimes the only way to incorporate fresh ideas is for us homeowners to make fresh suggestions.  A great way to get new ideas and inspiration is by looking at houses in areas outside our region. 

This year’s parade of homes in Austin Tx had only 5 houses available to tour, and one was a tiny house.  But even with such a small number of houses, it was one of my favorite Parades of all time. The homes were examples of casual, timeless elegance at its best.  There were light, bright transitional interiors (remember transitional is a balance between traditional and contemporary features). There were lots of  clean lines, both inside and out, but the houses weren’t so clean that they felt minimalistic or cold

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 17, 2018

Whether you believe in global warming or not, it seems that storms are becoming more and more prevalent and damaging.  And even if you don’t live in tornado alley or a coastal region that’s prone to hurricanes, you might want to consider adding some storm-proofing measures to your new house.   Storm resistant materials and techniques will not only make our homes stronger and more wind and water resistant but also more airtight and energy efficient, in many instances.

Since high winds and heavy rain can potentially occur in many regions outside of areas classified as “storm-prone,” it’s beneficial to learn about what we can do to protect our homes from even occasional, unexpected stormy weather.  Case and point: Hurricane Michael.  Not only did it bring hurricane force winds to coastal areas, but it also brought 155-mph winds and associated tornados to inland communities, far from the coast.  So take a listen to this week’s list of storm-proofing features to see if any of them makes sense for your new build. 

Before we move into our mini-lesson, a shout out goes to Trista, for giving me this great show idea.  Thanks, Trista.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 10, 2018

As we are continuing to prepare to start construction, I have been calling around for quotes for the insurance that will need to be in place before we begin work and I’ve run into some challenges.  There are two policies that you’ll need to protect yourself if you are acting as an owner-builder, one is builders risk insurance and the other is general liability insurance.  You may have trouble finding general liability insurance.  In this week’s episode, I’ll tell you how to overcome that trouble.

Show notes at  BYHYU.com

Oct 3, 2018

Building a tight house is the goal for most of us.  What that means is that the unintended openings, gaps, and holes in the home’s exterior shell and in the duct system should be sealed, to keep outside air from leaking in, and to keep inside air from leaking out. A tight house will be more comfortable and have increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills.  That’s because conditioned air produced by your HVAC system is less likely to escape and unconditioned outside air is less likely to sneak in through unwanted gaps.  A tight house is also quieter, cleaner, and has better indoor air quality because outside noise, pests and pollutants have fewer opportunities to enter the home. 

But if you’ve listened to past episodes, you know that if we build tight, we should also ventilate right.   You’ll hear old school contractors say that building a tight house is not a good idea because they argue that a house should breathe.  Modern building science has proven that old school contractors are wrong to avoid a tight building envelope.  But, that old adage that a house should breathe is actually right.  However, instead of house breathing through the uncontrolled air infiltration of a leaky house, we want a house with a tight building envelope that breathes through controlled ventilation.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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