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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: 2019
Apr 17, 2019

As I go through my homebuilding process, I’ll be letting you know what I learn in my preconstruction and construction meetings and what tips I pick up on the job site from contractors.  Last week I met with my architect and construction manager to clear up a few last details before sending plans off to more subcontractors for bids.  Although my experience and my house will obviously be different from yours, I’m hoping what I learn through my process will help you with yours.  So this week I have a short list of quick tips that I picked up in my meeting.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 10, 2019

Well, we’ve made some progress.  We finally got our foundation and structural plan from the engineer and our building permit has been approved.  Hallelujah!

I’ll tell you more details about our progress, plus review a couple of construction terms.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 3, 2019

Putting in some time and effort to get organized before we break ground will help the construction process go more smoothly and be less stressful, for us and our contractors.  It’s important to get information out of our heads and out of our numerous piles of magazines and papers and off of our scattered sticky notes and instead, organize all of our design and construction information into an easy to use system. This week we’ll talk about how we can organize all the information we’ll gather before and during the construction process.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Mar 27, 2019

During Design and Construction Week, the International Builders Show (IBS)and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) come together for one huge trade show that showcases the newest products and materials for residential design and construction.  This year the show was in Vegas and despite the very cold weather, I made my way to the convention center to check out most of the exhibitors.   If you go to the show every year, as I’ve done in the last several years, you’ll see many of the same tried and true products on display each year. But there are a few things in this year’s show that caught my eye.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 20, 2019

Radiant heated driveways, also called snow melting systems, are installed just beneath a driveway’s surface and used to melt snow and ice without having to shovel, plow, snow blow or salt the driveway.   They keep the pavement warm enough to melt falling snow so it doesn’t accumulate.  They also keep the driveway too warm to allow water to freeze into slippery, dangerous ice. 

Even if you don’t live in a region that gets lots of winter storms, you might consider a heated driveway if the limited amount of snow and ice you do get causes unsafe passage to and from your home— if you have a sloped driveway that would be difficult and dangerous, to drive on or clear, or if you have a sun-starved, north-facing driveway where snow and ice might not melt for many days, or even weeks. For those who get any amount of snow and ice, but don’t have the time or physical ability for adequate removal, you might at least consider a heated driveway.  Keep in mind, in areas that get less snow, it’s harder to find someone to hire for snow and ice removal.  A heated driveway could even be considered an aging in place feature.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 6, 2019

Last week, we went over 8 things you should never say to your contractors.  I’m a little hoarse this week, but I want to do a brief episode so we can complete our list.  This is, by no means, a comprehensive list.  If you can think of some other things we should never say to a contractor, let me know in the comment section of the show notes at BYHYU.com.

Feb 27, 2019

Although communicating with our contractors is an important part of successfully building our homes, there are certain things that we should never say to them.  This week, and next week, we’ll discuss some of those taboo phrases and questions that should never be uttered to our contractors.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 20, 2019

Last week we talked about whether a buying an extended home warranty is a smart idea. Those home warranties are offered by third party companies that will help pay for repairing, and, if necessary, replacing, covered appliances and home components, such a

Feb 13, 2019

If you’re like me, you’ve been seeing commercials for extended home warranties and wondering if they’re a good investment.  These home warranties are supposed to go beyond the coverage that you get with the usual homeowners insurance policy.  They are warranties that are offered by third party companies that will pay for repairs, and, if necessary, replacing, covered appliances and home components, such as plumbing, should problems arise.  So are home warranties a good idea? 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 6, 2019

The information in this week’s episode comes from an article that was recently posted on Houzz called 32 Home Design Trends That Will Rule in 2019.   Houzz chose those 32 design trends after analyzing data from photos and articles that have been saved on the site, plus interviewing professional designers.  The trends are those they think you can expect to see a lot in 2019.   Many of them are features we’ve seen over the last several years but are still popular in new homes.

Now, To clarify, design features that are on trend can be very different than features that are trendy.    A trend is defined as a general direction in which something is developing or changing.  A design trend is often classic— something that will look good many years or even decades from now, like white or light colored walls. Something that’s trendy, has faddish appeal.  It may look very interesting and current in the next year or two, but it will probably look dated in a decade— think of sponge-painted faux finishes on walls from the early 2000s.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 23, 2019

I was trying to wait until we actually started construction before I did another project update, but I know you guys have been wondering what’s been going on since my last update back in September.    Well, as you know from the title of the episode, we still haven’t started construction. 

Our site has been cleared and leveled, and it’s ready for construction.  The floor plan is complete and Keith, the builder I hired as my construction manager, is ready to go. But, for several months, we’ve been waiting on the structural engineer to complete the foundation plan and the other portions of the plan that need to be engineered. 

ShoShow notes BYHYU.com

Jan 16, 2019

As with most features in your home, the way you design your kitchen island should be a matter of functionality, personal taste, your budget, and your lifestyle.  This week’s quick tips will help you design an island that is not only on trend style-wise but also functional and comfortable.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 9, 2019

You may or may not have heard of central vacuum systems, also called “central vac”.  People who know of them generally love them or hate them.  This week we’ll talk about the pros and cons of putting a central vac in your new home.  We’ll also go over the cost of the system and who would benefit from it most.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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