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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: November, 2016
Nov 30, 2016

Together we’ll learn the basics of home design and construction and demystify the building process, so we can get the biggest bang for our buck and build our dream homes, with or without a general contractor.

“Build tight and ventilate right.”  That’s a mantra that I’ve heard since I started educating myself about home design and construction.  A tight house is a house with minimal air leakage.  Building a tight house is important so you can save on energy costs and make your home more comfortable.  A tight house also protects the structure of your home.  Here’s how:    If a house is built tightly, it prevents warm, moist air from entering or exiting the home.  The unwanted flow of warm, moist air can lead to moisture within your home’s walls and roof, causing structural damage. Building tight can alleviate that potential problem.  You’ll also need to ventilate right.  We’ll discuss ventilation systems in a future episode. Today, we’ll concentrate one of the first steps needed to build a tight house, which is adding a continuous air barrier to your house to reduce air leakage. 

The Zip system by Huber Engineered Woods is a continuous air barrier that many contractors are using to build tight houses.  Most of them agree that the Zip System outperforms traditional building methods using house wrap.  Today, I’ll review Huber’s Zip System.  I’m not affiliated with the product or company, and have no personal experience with it, but I’ve noticed that over the past several years quality builders in my region consistently choose the Zip system over traditional methods, like house wrap.  Plus I’ve read many contractors’ forums and home building websites for a consensus on the Zip System.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 23, 2016

We’ve made it to episode 45 of Build House Yourself University (BYHYU). I’m Michelle Nelson, your host and fellow student, and together we’ll learn the basics of home design and construction and demystify the building process, so you can build your dream home, with or without a general contractor.

So, what exactly is a Zero Energy Home?  To quote the folks at zero energy project. org, “Zero energy homes are just like any home—except better.”  They are air-tight, well-insulated, and extremely energy efficient homes that produce as much energy as they use, over the course of a year. That means that for heating and cooling, electricity, and water heating, your net payment to the power company would be zero, zilch, nothing!   You’d have no net utility bills with a zero energy house.

Zero energy houses also have very little negative impact on the environment.  If all that sounds good to you, but you’re weary of looking into a zero energy house because you think that it has to be a super modern, minimalist white box of a house, think again. 

These houses can be built in a variety of sizes and styles and for any climate.  If you want a zero energy house that looks very unique and unconventional, that’s fine.  But, you can also build a zero energy house that looks like any other home—like a traditional colonial or craftsman, or a Mediterranean or bungalow.  You could build a large estate house or a tiny house, or something in between, and you could make any one of those a zero energy house.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Nov 16, 2016

Deciding whether to choose a heat pump or a standard heating system and air conditioner for your new home will significantly affect your family’s comfort and your utility bills. That’s why it’s so important to be an informed consumer.  Today’s mini lesson will give you a good foundation for understanding heat pumps, including the commonly used air-source heat pumps, geothermal systems and mini split systems.  It’s a complex subject and you can get much more detailed information online or in books.  But my goal today is to give you enough knowledge so you partner with your HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) consultant to determine whether a heat pump is the right choice for you. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 9, 2016

The mudroom is one of the most utilized rooms the entire house.  It gets used daily by most family members, but it’s often designed only as an after thought.  The mudroom is the family foyer.  It’s an area where you prepare to face the day and where you’re welcomed back home.  Plus, it’s a place that will serve as the entrance for more than a few guests as they follow you from the garage into your house. So today’s episode will discuss some design features that you may not have thought about, but that you should definitely consider, when planning your mudroom.  Yes, we’ll talk about cubbies, lockers and benches, but we’ll focus on some practical and unexpected things that you can include that will make your mudroom more functional and more attractive.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 2, 2016

This week we have our second mini lesson on windows.  Last week we went over the different window styles.  If you don’t know the difference between a single hung and a double hung window or what a casement window is, take a listen to last week’s show, episode 41. 

Today we’ll learn about the energy efficiency of windows.   A window's energy efficiency is dependent upon all of its components—the window frame, the glazing and the coatings.  We’ll talk specifically about each of those components, including the different materials used for the frames, double and triple glazed windows and low E windows.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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