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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: Page 5
Nov 6, 2019

This week we’re going over a list of features that many homeowners are requesting in new homes that they’re buying or building.  This is according to an article in Professional Builder magazine where builders, architects, designers, and other industry experts were asked about must-have features that today’s homeowners want.  Take a look and see how many things on the list will be included in your new home.  You may not want to include all these elements, but consider the ones that are best for you and your family. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 30, 2019

How should you coordinate your backsplash and countertop?  Should they be a match or contrasting?  What should you choose first?   And how much influence should your flooring and cabinet choices have on your choice of backsplash and countertop?  This week I’ll give you a few quick tips to help with making choices for these two major surfaces of the kitchen.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 23, 2019

It’s one thing to see small samples of countertops, tile, paint, and flooring in a showroom or retail space, but to see those design features displayed in new houses is so much more helpful. Not even full-sized samples such as doors, plumbing fixtures, and lighting fixtures have the same impact in a showroom or a photo as they do up close and personal in real-life applications.  That’s why I take as many opportunities as I can to go to new homes around the country.  I want to stay on the pulse of what's new and trending and what design features seem to be here to stay for the foreseeable future— the ones that emerged several years ago, but don’t seem to be going anywhere, like linear fireplaces.   

I recently went to 2 parades of homes— in Kansas City and one in the Memphis TN area.  I visited about 30 different brand new homes— about 6 in Memphis and the rest in Kansas City. Many of the features that I saw, we’ve talked about on other design trend episodes, but I think it’s important to keep revisiting the topic of home design so we don’t build and decorate a brand new house in a way that looks dated soon after we move in.  Here are some of the top design elements that I saw in those parades of homes…

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 16, 2019

The Energy Information Administration says that home appliances produce the third-largest energy expenditure in the home, representing about 9% of the typical energy bill.  Only heating and cooling, and water heating use more energy.   

Specifically, refrigerators and clothes dryers have the highest operating costs per year.  To decrease the amount of energy used in our homes, we can choose Energy Star appliances and products.  This week, we’ll learn more about the Energy Star program and how much more efficient its certified appliances are.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 9, 2019

Because most of us want not only a beautiful, well-designed house but also one that is energy efficient and/or sustainable, over the coming months I’ll be doing several episodes where we’ll talk about noted high-performance houses that have been covered in the media.  I’m a big believer in learning from others and may able to incorporate into our own projects some of the design elements and materials used in other recognized green, energy-efficient homes.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 2, 2019

Because of the popularity of white interior walls, and white backgrounds in general on blogs and social media posts, we have grown accustomed to thinking of white as a go-to backdrop for many of our interior spaces.  White is familiar, bright and offers a clean background for highlighting home furnishings and features.  The fresh, clean background is why most museums and galleries use white walls to showcase artwork. White can be a great choice for traditional and contemporary spaces. But to some people, white can come off as cold, boring and overdone.  This week we’ll talk about the pros and cons of white walls.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 25, 2019

Did you know that the average home build produces about 8,000 pounds of waste?   And with increasing landfill and building material costs, reducing job site waste could both help the environment and save you a significant amount of money.  The less you have to throw away, the less money you have to spend getting rid of your construction waste.

When renting a dumpster for a construction site, you’re charged based on the size dumpster.  The more waste you accumulate, the larger and more expensive the dumpster you’ll need. In addition, the weight of the debris will also have some bearing on waste management fees.

This is an unexpected line item that ideally we want to avoid.   In this week’s episode, I’ll give you some quick tips on how to reduce job site waste so those overage fees are less likely to occur. Plus we’ll hear from Angela Phillips of ZTERS, the waste management solutions company that I’ve been working with.  Angela will give us a little more insight into how we can manage our waste more efficiently.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

ZTERS.com

ZTERS DUMPSTER SIZING TOOL

Sep 18, 2019

This week’s episode is based on an article that I read in Houzz called “10 Home Design Trends on the Rise”. They made this list based on trends that they see in photos that designers and homeowners have submitted and based on their conversations with design professionals.   This list includes things that I too have been seeing in the past few years that I think we’ll continue to see in new homes as we go into 2020.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 11, 2019

Don’t call it a comeback, marble’s been here for years.  But in the last decade, marble has become more popular than ever, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.  But… how good of an idea is that?  In this week’s mini-lesson, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using marble in our new homes and the difference between 2 of the most widely requested types of marble: Calcutta and Cararra marble.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

BYHYU.com

Sep 4, 2019

For decades, the standard ceiling height was 8 feet tall—a dimension that resulted from two 4-foot-wide drywall sheets laid together horizontally.  But homes are now being built with standard 9 or 10-foot ceilings on the first floor, and ceilings at 8 or 9 feet tall on the second floor. 

With today’s taller ceiling heights, the potential space above standard upper kitchen cabinets has become larger and we’ll have to decide how far up we want our cabinetry to go.  Should we leave an open space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling, or should we fill that space with a soffit or with additional cabinetry?   This week we’ll talk about the pros and cons of cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Aug 28, 2019

Last week, we began a mini-lesson on the pros and cons of different exterior door styles. We went over 2 of the most common styles—single, standard doors and French doors.  Plus, we talked about a new kid on the block, bifold doors. In this second part of our list, we’ll discuss some more old school and new school door styles, including sliding doors, pivot doors, and dutch doors, and we’ll be answering the burning question “Are storm doors still a thing?”

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Aug 21, 2019

Whether you’re deciding on the style of door you want for your main front entry, or to your patio, or to any other area that leads to the outdoors, there are several door styles to consider. It’s not just a matter of choosing a traditional single or double, French doors for your main entrance. You could also install a pivot door or a dutch door.  And for patio doors, there are French doors, sliding doors, and bifold doors.  This week, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of each style of exterior doors. 

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

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Aug 7, 2019

In part 1 of the mini-lesson, we talked about how many homeowners and house designers pay too little attention to roof overhangs because they think of them as purely aesthetic. But overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and exterior walls from rain and snow; they can shade windows from hot summertime sun rays, and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry by directing rainwater away from the main structure of the house.

This week, we’ll go over whether you need deep roof overhangs for shading on the north, east and west sides of your house.  Plus I’ll tell you what you can do to protect your house from the sun’s heat and rain if you either don’t want overhangs or can’t have them because of building code.  Yep, building codes in some areas don’t allow overhangs.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Check out ZTERS Waste Solutions, your one-stop source for job site dumpsters, portable toilets, fencing, and storage units.

Jul 31, 2019

Although you may have thought about the color and material you want for your roof, the typical homeowner puts little thought into the actual design of their roof.  And roof overhangs specifically, forget about it.  Roof overhangs haven’t even crossed most people’s minds.    

In this week’s mini-lesson, I’ll tell you why overhangs shouldn’t just be an afterthought.   And why almost every new home should include them, where possible.

Check out ZTERS.com  for all your construction site services 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 24, 2019

Where you place your dishwasher can increase or decrease your kitchen’s functionality and flow.  And although there is no one exact right place that dishwashers should universally go, this week I have a list of quick tips that you should think about before deciding where to put your dishwasher.  If you haven’t heard our Dishwasher Buying Guide Quick Tips, you might want to go to episode 80 and take a listen.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 17, 2019

In recent years, homeowners have been opting for fewer upper cabinets to give their kitchens a more open, airy feeling.  Some people want completely empty walls, maybe with a window, where traditional upper cabinets would have gone.  But many homeowners are requesting open shelves, sometimes called floating shelves, in place of some or all of their upper cabinets.

People are typically either adamantly for, or adamantly against open shelving in the kitchen.  You’d be surprised how much emotion is stirred up by the subject of open shelves. Some people claim they are one of the most beautiful and most functional features you can put in a kitchen, and others say that open shelves are not only unsightly but unsanitary.

So let’s get a bit more insight about when open shelves are a pretty and practical solution for a kitchen, and when they should be avoided.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 10, 2019

I have a couple of pocket of doors planned for my new house and when I was talking to a contractor about them, he said: “I hate pocket doors.” That is not an uncommon statement.    Some people love pocket doors because they’re sometimes the only small space door solution available, but pocket doors also have some problems.  So let’s talk about the pros and cons of pocket doors and let’s briefly discuss some pocket door quick tips.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 3, 2019

One of the first things you’ll have to decide when building a house is whether you want to want to be an owner-builder or use a general contractor for your project.  If you are considering building the home yourself, episodes 2 and 7, called “You Can Save Money, Lots of Money, But Should You Build Your Own House?” and “Build Your House Yourself, But Not All By Yourself” will give you some insight on acting as your own general contractor. 

If, however, you want to use a builder to construct your new home, you’ll have to choose between a custom home builder and a production builder.   Much of your decision will rest in how many choices you wish to make and how much input you’d like to have during the construction process. In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about the differences in production home builders and custom builders and I’ll give you the pros and cons of each.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 26, 2019

Really quick episode this week about something I recently learned about that can make our lives easier, make our homes safer and help us to save on our electricity bills:  Smart outlets or smart plugs.

They allow you to remotely control and automate the electricity going to that smart outlet or plug.  Smart outlets and plugs work pretty much the same way, but smart outlets are built-in and electricians can easily add them to newly built houses.  Smart plugs might be a better option for existing homes.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 19, 2019

If like me, you’re a fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines, I bet you remember the Barndominium episode.  They restored an old barn into a beautiful family home.   Although barndominiums have been around for decades, that episode of Fixer Upper and the popularity of modern farmhouse and rustic chic decor have made many homeowners decide to build a barndominium for themselves.

They are an alternative to traditional stick-built new homes for homeowners who love a barn aesthetic and who want to live in an unconventional house.   And although this style house is not for everyone, there are a few homebuilding practices and features of barndominiums that most of us can incorporate into our homes and homebuilding experience,  no matter what style we choose.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 12, 2019

Last week we talked extensively about water softeners and conditioners.  Water softeners and conditioners help to alleviate many hard water problems, including limescale build-up in your plumbing. But water softeners and conditioners are ineffective in removing chemicals and contaminants that can cause less-healthy, bad tasting and foul-smelling water.  For those issues, you’ll need a water filtration system.

Although city and county water systems typically do a good job of removing harmful quantities of contaminants from tap water, they leave behind small amounts of substances that most of us would rather not drink. Some tap water contains the residue of treated sewage, industrial waste, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, toxic metals like arsenic and mercury, plus fluoride, disinfectants, and storm runoff. 

Other contaminants that might be found in tap water, or especially in well water, include illness-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, as well as Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).

In this week’s mini-lesson, we’ll get into the different types of water filtration systems and what sort of certifications we should be looking for before you buy one.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 5, 2019

If your area has hard water, you’ll usually notice.  There will probably be whitish, yellowish or grayish deposits on shower heads and faucets and around drains, and sometimes even in toilet bowls.  These deposits are called limescale, scale or scaling, and are usually deposits of calcium and/or magnesium.  This scaling is a tell-tale sign of hard water. 

It’s said that about 85% of all households in the US have some degree of hard water.  Some of the hardest water in the country is found in the midwest.  Take look at the show notes at BYHYU.com to see a map showing the level of water hardness in different areas of the country.

In this week’s mini-lesson, we’ll discuss what hard water is, what problems it can cause, and what solutions we can add to our new homes to decrease those hard water problems.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 29, 2019

To commemorate our 100th episode, I want to give you some of my favorite homebuilding and design tips that I’ve learned over the past 2 years of this podcast. I’ve learned so much, but these are some of the most relevant things.

We’ll go over 50 tips in this week’s mini-lesson, but since this is the 100th episode, it only makes sense that I give you a list of 100 of the most important pieces of homebuilding knowledge. So we’ll go over 50 tips today and I’ll send you 50 more tips and tricks if you email me at info@BYHYU.com.

All you have to do is type the number 100 in the subject line and as a thank you for helping me get to episode 100, I’ll send you a PDF of a list of 50 bonus tips, plus the 50 tips that we’ll cover in today, so you won’t have to take notes while listening to this.

You’ll end up with a list of 100 of my favorite bits of homebuilding information. Now don’t worry about me spamming you. I wouldn’t do that. So just email me at info@BYHYU.com and put the number 100 in the subject line and I’ll send you the list of my 100 favorite homebuilding and design tips.

Before we get to the first 50 tips, I want to sincerely thank you for your loyalty and support and for encouraging me to keep the podcast going with your awesome reviews and kind emails. I especially want to thank you for sharing the show with friends, family, and coworkers by text, email and on social media. You are the reason the show is doing so well. Since I’m not great with social media, I’ve been counting on you to spread the word about the podcast and you’ve done that, so thank you.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

info@BYHYU.com

May 22, 2019

Did you know that most water heaters use more energy than all other household appliances combined? According to the US Dept of Energy, water heaters account for almost 17% of a home’s energy use. Other sources say it’s up to 30% of a home’s energy. This week’s mini-lesson will help you decide if a conventional, storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater is the better choice for your new home. And the choice is probably not as cut and dry as you think.

Conventional, storage tank water heaters are still the most common type of water heaters found in new homes. But tankless water heaters are steadily gaining popularity. We’ll go over the basic information about how conventional water heaters and tankless water heater work, plus the pros and cons of each system.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 15, 2019

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 8, 2019

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. Two of the main parts of the eave are the fascia and the soffit.

Go to www.byhyu.com for show notes.

May 1, 2019

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.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 24, 2019

Most of us want to get the biggest bang for our buck, and, if possible, we prefer making purchases when items go on sale.  And that goes for things that we’ll need for our homes. So, I read a few articles on the best times to purchase certain homebuilding and household items. 

To be honest, after reading many sources on this subject, I found no solid agreement as to the exact best times to find sales prices on different items.  One source would say sales occurred most often in May, and another article would say November, but what I’ve compiled for you in this week’s episode, is a list of the most often sited best times for buying things for the home.  Although there will be sporadic sales throughout the year for different homebuilding and household items, there are certain, predictable times of year when specific products and materials can be bought for significant discounts.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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

Dec 26, 2018

This week we’ll talk in more detail about a rain screen, which is a moisture control measure that can be used in new construction.  I briefly introduced you to rain screens in episode 134 called “Learn to Control One of Your Home’s Biggest Enemies:  Moisture”. But in this week mini-lesson, we’ll have a more in-depth discussion of rain screens and talk about when they are recommended.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 19, 2018

Hardware refers to all the metal knobs, levers, latches, pulls, hinges, and handles in a house.  When building a new house, we’ll need to decide what style and color hardware to choose for the cabinets, windows, drawers, and doors.  So, in this week’s episode, we’ll go over what’s trending in hardware and metal finishes.  And we’ll talk about whether mixing metals is still ok.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 5, 2018

Most of us will include tiles in several rooms in our homes.  Tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms are most common, but new homes today might have tiles as the main flooring in our living rooms, on fireplace surrounds, as feature walls, and as outdoor flooring. 

As a material that will be used repeatedly in our homes and as a material that can be potentially pretty expensive, the last thing we want to do is invest in a tile that’s no longer in style.  As with everything, going for classic favorites that have stood the test of time is always a safe bet, but choosing materials that are classic, interesting and current, all at the same time, makes the most sense for the longevity of your design and for the resale of your house.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 28, 2018

For those of us who want to make our homes as safe possible, incorporating some fire resistant features is a smart idea. Interestingly, many ordinary, everyday homebuilding materials are either naturally fire resistant or they can become fire resistant with a few tweaks. Although most building materials are not 100% fireproof, many materials that we’ll talk about today will give your house a fighting chance if it’s ever threatened by fire. Homes built with the right materials, the right landscaping layout, and smart detailing have a far better chance of escaping a fire with less damage.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 21, 2018

Since windows are one of the most important design features and expensive line items in our new homes, it’s important that we know what window trends are current, so we don’t make the expensive mistake of purchasing windows that will take away from our homes curb appeal and resale value.  We want windows that will make our homes feel current and interesting and not tired and dated.  This week we’ll briefly discuss 7 window trends that you might consider for your project.

Show notes at  BYHYU.com

Nov 14, 2018

You can’t beat the durability and the low maintenance advantages of synthetic, faux wood materials. But  I’ve seen lots of synthetic, wood look materials, and although a few of them look pretty realistic, some people feel like no synthetic material can match the natural beauty of real wood.

And for those people, that beauty is worth the extra maintenance required to use authentic wood for the exterior of their homes.  So, for those of us considering using real wood on our new homes, whether as decking, or as exterior wall cladding, fences or garage doors, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular wood species used for exterior applications to help us decide which wood might be best for our projects.   We’ll also briefly consider composite and plastic wood alternatives.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 7, 2018

Soffits and Fascia are parts of the house that don’t often get a lot of thought or attention from homeowners planning to build their dream homes.  But they’re important not only as design elements for your home but also because they protect your house.   And choosing the right materials for your fascia and soffits can reduce the required maintenance for your home. This week we’ll briefly talk about soffit and fascia options so you can make the best choice for your home.  Let’s start by establishing exactly what and where soffits and fascia are.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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

Sep 26, 2018

Uncontrolled moisture, in the forms of liquid water and water vapor, is huge enemies of any home.  If not controlled, moisture can cause heating and cooling inefficiencies, resulting in an uncomfortable house and higher utility costs.  Uncontrolled moisture can also lead to rot, mold, structural damage,  and poor air quality. 

What specific methods you use to control moisture will depend on the climate in your region and the design and construction of your home.  This week we’ll go over some moisture control strategies that will work for the majority of us, but always consult with local contractors to a make sure these strategies will work for your project. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 19, 2018

I’ve gotten lots of emails from many of you stating that you love the show but that you decided to hire a builder.  It’s almost as if you were apologizing for hiring a builder, but this podcast is for anyone building a house, so we can all build a quality dream home with or without a general contractor. 

Some people just aren’t interested in contracting their own homes.  They don’t have the time or interest to make all the decisions that builders have to make.  They don’t feel comfortable hiring and managing subs, and, in that case, hiring a general contractor is the best course of action.   There should be no shame associated with hiring as much help as you need to build your house. 

The purpose of this podcast to help all of us make informed decisions and better understand the construction process, whether we use a builder or not.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 12, 2018

So, should you hire an interior designer?  Well, Interior designers will tell you that you should absolutely hire them to help you decorate your new house. But ask a barber if you need a haircut and you know what he’ll say.  Whether or not you hire an interior designer is an incredibly personal choice.  There’s no right or wrong answer.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 5, 2018

According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, only 17%  of houses in the US have a security system.  Many people have avoided home security because of the costly, long-term monitoring fees and annoying false alarms that plagued home security systems decades ago.  But systems today have improved. Systems are both simpler to use and more sophisticated than ever before. 

Homes that are targeted for crime are usually unoccupied homes with lots of cover, such as lots of tall bushes around the house. Homes with easy escape routes and easy access through unlocked or unsecured doors or windows are also favorites of criminals.  Home security system deters criminals. Think about it, When an alarm sounds and interior lights come on in response to an alarm and when exterior lights start flashing or a voice comes through a video doorbell when a potential intruder approaches, the bad guys are more likely to leave your house alone and go after an easier, quieter target.

Homes without alarms are three times more likely to get burglarized according to The National Council for Home Safety and Security. Some say that statistic is overstated since overall crime rates have dropped over the last several years. But whether that number is inflated or not, I don’t think anyone can argue that home security systems, at the very least, give criminals pause when they are considering which homes to violate.  And for many people, especially as they age, a home security system brings peace of mind.

This week, I’ll give you the basics of home security systems.  You’ll be able to find lots more detail on the websites of specific brands, but this mini-lesson should help you decide whether you have enough interest in home security to seek more information.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 29, 2018

After discussing outdoor cooling methods, including outdoor fans, in last week’s episode, I realized we haven’t really talked about indoor ceiling fans.  So, this week, I’ll give you some quicks on how to select, use and maintain your ceiling fans.

The right sized ceiling fan will keep you cool and save you money. Ceiling fans cost very little to run as compared to air conditioners. Running a fan will allow you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature when it’s hot outside so you can save money on your monthly electric bill.  According to Energy Star, you can save 3-5% on air-conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat.

Unlike air conditioners, ceiling fans don’t lower a room’s temperature or remove humidity from the air. But what we learned last week is that fans make us feel more comfortable by blowing humid air away from us and allowing the moisture on our skin to evaporate more readily.  That’s what cools us down, making us feel 4-8 degrees cooler.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 22, 2018

In this week’s episode, I have some helpful strategies that we can use to keep the inside and outside of our homes cooler and more comfortable during the hot summer. I did some research on what we can add to our homes that will make high outdoor temperatures more bearable.  I’m talking about things we can include in and around our homes beyond an energy efficient air conditioner for our houses that have been sized according to Manual J calculation.  We’ll discuss things like awnings, outdoor solar shades, solar screens and other shading products, outdoor fans, misting systems, swamp coolers and outdoor portable air conditioners.

And since not all cooling systems work well in all climates, I’ll tell you which ones are best for dry heat and which are better for hot, humid climates.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 15, 2018

This week’s episode is inspired by one of my favorite resources for homebuilding and design ideas and advice: Houzz. Houzz is spelled and it’s short for House buzz.  That site not only gives you access to thousands of inspiration photos, but also short blog posts and a helpful forum called Gardenweb. 

When I was looking through the “building a home” section of the forum and saw a couple of valuable discussions that inspired this week quick tips — one discussion having to do with the inclusion of a job site visitation policy in the contract and one discussion regarding deleting items from the initial specifications list.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 1, 2018

After I finished last week’s episode, I thought of a few more design features you should consider for your home if entertaining friends and family is important to you.    If you didn’t get a chance to listen to last week, check out episode 126 called Designing your Home for Entertaining and Family Gatherings.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 25, 2018

Most of us building custom homes are not just doing it for ourselves, but so our friends and family can enjoy the space too.  Even if you don’t plan on being the central hub for regular cocktail parties, game nights and potlucks, your nice new house will probably be the spot for holiday dinners and casual family barbecues at least once or twice a year.   So, in this week’s episode, I’ll give you some quick tips on how to design a home for entertaining— with features that will make your parties run more smoothly, make your guests feel comfortable and features that will help you enjoy more time with friends and family during get-togethers.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 18, 2018

In addition to the suggestions and tips that I gave you episode 125 called “Consider These Things for Your Electrical and Lighting Plan”, I’m giving you 21 bonus tips that I’ve curated from past BYHYU episodes. So that you can easily access our lighting and electrical tips for your own lighting plan, I’ve put them all together in one and a half episodes.  You’ve heard these 21 bonus tips before, but I think this will serve as a nice refresher for many of you, plus it will save you the trouble of having to listen to several episodes to find lighting tips that that scattered around in different places. If you haven’t listened to episode 125, you’ll definitely want to do that too, as the lion’s share of the lighting and electrical plan suggestions are in that episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 18, 2018

After giving a general overview last week of what’s needed for the specifications for the plumbing, mechanical and electrical subs, I thought it would be helpful to go into more detail about the lighting and electrical plan that you will need to give to the electrician.  There is so much to consider.  I’ll give you a list of 50 suggestions that you can use as a checklist that will help you develop a pretty complete electrical and lighting plan before you even meet your builder or electrician for the lighting walkthrough. 

The lighting walkthrough typically happens in the rough-in stage, after framing is complete and before the drywall goes up.  Usually, the homeowner will walk through the framed house with the electrician and/or builder and discuss where fixtures, outlets, and light switches will go. 

But thinking through the electrical and lighting plan well before you do the electrical walkthrough will allow you more time to consider exactly what features and outlets we want, and where. This decreases the chances of you forgetting an outlet or light switch somewhere.  It will also give you an opportunity to develop more detailed specifications so you can get more accurate electrical bids. 

I’ll give you some suggestions in list form.  50 suggestions here and 21 more tips in the bonus episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jul 11, 2018

I just came back from the Tulsa Parade of Homes. The real estate market in the Tulsa area is pretty underrated. There are beautiful homes and neighborhoods there and I love their parade of homes. This was my third or fourth year going there for the parade.

Like always, this parade of homes allowed me to see what features are popular in new construction, at least in that part of the country. But I also saw some features in houses that gave me pause. Features that we should definitively think twice about before putting them in our new homes. That’s what I want to talk about in this week’s episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 27, 2018

I just came back from the Tulsa Parade of Homes.  The real estate market in the Tulsa area is pretty underrated.  There are beautiful homes and neighborhoods there and I love their parade of homes.  This was my third or fourth year going there for the parade. 

Like always, this parade of homes allowed me to see what features are popular in new construction, at least in that part of the country. But I also saw some features in houses that gave me pause.   Features that we should definitively think twice about before putting them in our new homes.  That’s what I want to talk about in this week’s episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 20, 2018

How much storage should we build into our new homes? What I read over and over again was that you should include more storage than you think you need for your family’s current and future needs.  That ample amount of storage will not only make living in your new house more pleasant but it will also make your house more appealing when it’s time for you to sell it.  This week we’ll talk about the one rule of thumb that I came across, plus I’ll tell you about a few storage spaces that some people forget to include.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jun 13, 2018

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the bidding process, mainly as it pertains to owner-builders bidding for subcontractors themselves.  This week I’ll give you a quick overview of the different types of contract agreements you might decide on if you ’re going to hire a general contractor to build your house.  We’ll briefly discuss fixed price contracts and cost-plus contracts.

Choosing which type of contract to use is almost as important as choosing which general contractor to hire.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 6, 2018

An outdoor kitchen is a space that used to be thought of as a luxury but is now regarded more as a must-have amenity in many areas.  Even if you only have a small space and a not so big budget, you can put your grill in a small outdoor kitchenette.  An outdoor kitchen will increase your home’s value, so it’s a great investment. This week, we’ll discuss some outdoor kitchen design features— some are practical for almost any budget and some are more luxurious.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 30, 2018

After last week’s listener question episode about what to do when your bids are coming in above expected, I thought that a more in-depth mini-lesson on the bid process would be helpful.  Bids… that’s what we’re talking about this week.

Once we have a detailed plan for our project, in the form of accurate architectural drawings/house plans and written specifications, the bid process can begin. Our goal in going through the competitive bid process is not just to get the lowest price for the job, but to get the best quality work for the lowest price.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 23, 2018

Recently a listener emailed me with a question that I thought would be good to answer on the podcast.  It has to do with the bidding process. 

Getting bids is the process of getting cost proposals from subcontractors.  To get an accurate bid, at a minimum, we need to give each subcontractor a set of house plans and specifications.  The specifications describe the specific materials needed for the job and the methods for construction.  We’ll talk in more detail about the bid process next week in a mini-lesson.  But right now, let me read you the question that I got, then I’ll give you my answer.

I've enjoyed listening to your podcast as we are in the pre-construction phase of planning to build our own home. However, in the past couple of weeks, our subcontractor bids have been coming in and we are starting to get concerned. I sent MULTIPLE bid requests to subcontractors for each trade, and even though all of them haven't come in, we are trending well above what it would cost to go through a builder. What am I doing wrong? Do general contractors have some underground network of cheap laborers that I'm missing out on because I'm not a GC? Any advice would be helpful!

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May 16, 2018

So when exactly is the best time to build a house?  I always assumed it was the spring or summer because that’s when everyone seems to start construction.  And depending on what your goals are, spring and summer are the best times.  However, fall, and rarely winter, could be a better time to start. Again, depending on your goals.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 9, 2018

This week we have the second part of an owner builder interview that I did with Juan Catano. He and his wife are remodeling their duplex and making it into a triplex.  In this part of the interview, Juan tells us what he wishes he had known before he started his project, what surprise costs he ran into and what mistakes he would warn other owner-builders about.   

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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May 2, 2018

Juan Catano works in industrial construction and is currently remodeling his home.  He and his wife are changing their duplex into a triplex and recently, they’ve taken on the role of general contractor.  This week, you’ll hear the first part of a 2 part interview that we did.  He’ll tell about their experience so far and about some of their challenges.  He also shares how he’s finding and managing his subcontractors.

Before we get into part 1 of the interview, I want to make sure that you know that BYHYU.com has a search box where you can search for different topics or past episodes.  The search box is at the top right of each post if you accessing the website from your tablet or computer.  If you’re on your phone, you’ll find the search box all the way at the bottom of each post. I just wanted to make sure you knew about that.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Apr 25, 2018

I often see gutter systems on homes, but I was unclear about whether gutters are a necessity or not.  So I did a little research and I’ll tell you what I found in this week’s episode.  We’ll talk about who needs to add gutters to their house and why, and we’ll briefly cover the basic types of gutter systems and the approximate cost. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 18, 2018

I thought I could fill out my building permit application in just a few minutes, but I couldn’t because I didn’t have all the information I needed.  Learn what information is needed for a building permit application and how I went back and forth with the builder I wanted as my consultant.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 11, 2018

When choosing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, you already know you’ll need to consider material, cabinet sizes, paint or stain colors and style. But what about the cabinet sheen or finish? Have you thought about whether you’ll choose flat, matte cabinets or shiny, high gloss cabinets?

No matter what material your cabinets are made of, you have a choice of whether to go with a glossy, matte or semi-gloss finish for the end product. What sheen you should choose for your cabinets initially seems like a trivial decision that is based purely on aesthetics. 

But the sheen of your cabinets can not only dramatically affect the way your kitchen and bathrooms look, but also how well the cabinets function and how durable they’ll be.  Plus the amount of cleaning they’ll need. So, this week we’ll compare and contrast flat, matte surfaces with shiny, high gloss surfaces.   And we’ll end with some facts about semi-gloss finishes.

Before making any final decisions about the sheen of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets, it’s a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the pros and cons of each.  That way, we can make an informed decision and prepare ourselves for the cleaning and maintenance requirements of our selection.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Apr 4, 2018

This week I have a few quick tips for dealing with contractors.  These tips come from a 2017 article written in Consumer Reports called “Home Renovations without Aggravation—Learn how to combat shady contractor practices and avoid common and costly mistakes many homeowners make.” 

Although the article addresses home renovations, most of the information in the article is also relevant for those of us who will be building new homes.   

That consumer reports article highlights information from a recent survey of 300 general contractors from around the United States.  The survey was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

In the survey, contractors admitted to some shady practices that are found in the construction industry.  Some of the shady industry practices include:

-contractors using unskilled laborers to carry out their work

-winning jobs with lowball bids and then jacking up the cost later with “unforeseen problems”.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Mar 28, 2018

The kitchen stove is a visual and functional focal point in many kitchens. And there are several options from which to choose.  This week’s mini-lesson will give you an overview of many of those options, including, ranges vs cooktops, plus electric, gas, induction, convection, and dual fuel cooking.  This lesson should help you choose the best stove for your new kitchen.  We’ll also talk about the very basic differences between cooking with gas versus cooking with electric.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 21, 2018

I’ve been wondering for a while now about the current trends and rules for crown molding, baseboards and other types of interior trim and molding. In my internet search, I didn’t find a lot of articles on the subject.  There’s some information defining the different types of trim, but not a lot of hard and fast rules to go by.  In this week’s episode, we're going over the few rules that I did find, I’ll cover whether it’s acceptable to paint the trim in different parts of the house different colors and I’ll discuss some less traditional trim options that you may not have heard of or considered. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Mar 14, 2018

This week I want to give you a quick update on the status of my project.  My structural engineer finally completed my foundation plan (kind of), I got the official plot plan done and my POA approved my design.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Mar 7, 2018

I’ve hesitated to do an episode on the cost of construction because homebuilding costs can vary greatly from house to house and region to region.  But, “How much does it cost to build a house?” is a question that comes up a lot.  So I decided to give you some information collected by the National Association of Home Builders.  They did a cost of construction survey which asked builders from around the United States to break down their construction costs for the typical home they built in 2017.

This week’s episode will cover a lot of numbers that you cant possibly remember, but I want to give some points of reference for our own project. 

I’ll not only share the average cost for each major category of the building process, such as site work, framing and the foundation, but I’ll also tell you what percentage of the total cost of construction each segment represents. 

Here are some quick averages: 

The average single-family home built in 2017 was 2,776 square feet, so almost 2800 square feet.

The average lot size was about 11,186 square feet.

The average construction cost of a typical single-family home in 2017 was $237,760. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 28, 2018

This past week in my area, it rained almost non-stop for 3 days.  And although I haven’t started building, I was thinking I’d pretty nervous if I had started and my house was being framed and exposed to all that water.

It got me to wondering… Is it ok if it rains while your house is being framed before the house is dried in?  If it’s not ok, what can you do if it does rain?  Do you need to wait for the lumber to dry?

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 21, 2018

Outdoor living spaces are more important than ever.  Most folks building new homes want a deck, porch and/or patio where they can entertain or just relax as a family. 

When choosing the materials for the construction of your porch, deck or patio, the style of your home and your personal preference should definitely be considered.  A traditional colonial-style home would look nice with a brick patio, for example, whereas a more contemporary house might look better with an outdoor space made of poured concrete or sleek pavers. 

But, in addition to aesthetic considerations, we should also think about maintenance, cost, and the pros and cons of each material.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 14, 2018

This week I have a quick episode telling you about 7 house layout mistakes you should avoid when designing your home.  Most of them are mistakes that I almost made until I mentally walked through the house.  Some of them are mistakes that my architect didn’t even see until I brought them to his attention.  So do your due diligence, even if you are working with a professional, and literally study your house plan before you finalize it.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 7, 2018

I love lighting fixtures.  I’d have a beautiful chandelier in almost every room of the house, if I could.  But there’s more to lighting than pretty fixtures.  Lighting is first and foremost functional.  I briefly covered lighting in episode 25 called “8 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid”.  Mistake #6 was “Going Light on Lighting.”  That’s not what we want to do in the kitchen or any other place in the house. 

In this week’s mini lesson, we’ll go over the basic rules to follow when choosing lighting for your new home.  Now,  an electrician or lighting designer will be invaluable in making specific suggestions your project, but today we’ll cover some general guidelines. 

As with most guidelines, experts sometimes disagree.  I noticed when doing my research that one website might have slightly different guidelines and advice than another.  So the tips and rules that I’ll outline today may be just a little different from what you read or hear elsewhere, but this information should help give you some basic, practical tips that will get you on the right path to a well lit home. 

We’ll talk about the different categories of lighting, where to put warm white light as opposed to cool white light, and we’ll go into what size recessed lights (can lights) are best and how you should space them.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 31, 2018

Although I haven’t started the fun, exciting part of the building process yet, I made an important phone call this week and introduced myself to the head building inspector.  In this week’s episode, I’ll give you a quick project update.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 24, 2018

Many of the trends that I saw at this year’s Design and construction week are a continuation of the what I saw in 2016 and 2017. I’m finding that homebuilding trends don’t typically change abruptly from year to year. So the trends that I talked about in episodes 5 and 55 still hold for this year. But this week we’ll talk about a few new trends for 2018.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jan 17, 2018

To commemorate our 100th episode, I want to give you some of my favorite homebuilding and design tips that I’ve learned over the past 2 years of this podcast. I’ve learned so much, but these are some of the most relevant things.

We’ll go over 50 tips in this week’s mini-lesson, but since this is the 100th episode, it only makes sense that I give you a list of 100 of the most important pieces of homebuilding knowledge.  So we’ll go over 50 tips today and I’ll send you 50 more tips and tricks if you email me at info@BYHYU.com

All you have to do is type the number 100 in the subject line and as a thank you for helping me get to episode 100,  I’ll send you a PDF of a list of 50 bonus tips, plus the 50 tips that we’ll cover in today, so you won’t have to take notes while listening to this.

You’ll end up with a list of 100 of my favorite bits of homebuilding information.  Now don’t worry about me spamming you.  I wouldn’t do that.  So just email me at info@BYHYU.com  and put the number 100 in the subject line and I’ll send you the list of my 100 favorite homebuilding and design tips.

Before we get to the first 50 tips, I want to sincerely thank you for your loyalty and support and for encouraging me to keep the podcast going with your awesome reviews and kind emails.  I especially want to thank you for sharing the show with friends, family and coworkers by text, email and on social media.  You are the reason the show is doing so well. Since I’m not great with social media, I’ve been counting on you to spread the word about the podcast and you’ve done that, so thank you.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Jan 10, 2018

“Solar energy" harnesses the energy of the sun to power your house. A 2017 report from the International Energy Agency says that solar energy has become the world’s fastest growing source of power– marking the first time that solar energy’s growth has surpassed that of all other fuels.

Most people who want to install a solar panel system are motivated to do so either because saving the planet is important to them and/or because saving money on their utility bills is important to them.  Either way, solar panel systems are tremendously beneficial.

This week’s episode will give you a basic overview of solar power systems, including the pros and cons of the different types of solar panels, the average cost, and the amount of maintenance needed.  We’ll also talk about leasing solar panels.

Before our mini lesson, we’ll go over a few pro terms:  On the grid, zero energy homes, and off the grid.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 27, 2017

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working, most used appliances in a house. Back in the day, all we had were refrigerator units with freezers on top and the main choice we had to make was color.  Remember harvest gold and avocado?

Today, we have so many choices in refrigerators that I thought I’d do a quick episode covering the pros and cons of each style of refrigerator to help us choose the best fridge for our new homes. 

We’ll talk about top freezer refrigerators and bottom freezer refrigerators, french door refrigerators, side by side refrigerators, counter depth fridges and full refrigerator columns. Plus I’ll tell you the rule of thumb for the amount of fridge space you need in cubic feet.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 20, 2017

A few weeks ago I had to go to my architect and tell him I had completely forgotten to add a very important space to our new house.  It hadn't even crossed my mind until I saw my husband putting up our Christmas decorations.  He’s the Christmas decorator, not me.  And he is quite the decorator.  He goes all out, so we will definitely need a dedicated space for our Christmas decor.  Just a couple of weeks ago we added a Christmas nook to our attic in our house plan. 

The episode this week will give you a few quick tips to help you design and build a house with the holidays in mind.  Putting in a little extra thought and planning before we build will make holiday decorating a lot easier and more enjoyable for years to come.   Now, I’ll be referring to Christmas for most of these tips, but these ideas should be helpful for those celebrating Hanukkah and other seasonal holidays.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 13, 2017

If you’re like most of us, you’re dreaming of a spacious, well-organized master closet.  A walk-in master closet is what most people will opt for, but if you’re limited by space or budget, you might have to go with a reach in closet, also called a wall closet. In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about the advantages of walk-in closets vs reach-in closets, whether flat shoe shelves, slanted shoe shelves or shoe cubbies are better, and we’ll go over the different materials used to fabricate closets. 

Plus we’ll go over pro terms:  Wall hung closet systems and Floor mounted closet systems

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 6, 2017

I want to give you an update on my project and the private Facebook group and give you a few things to think about when designing your house.   This week we briefly talk about window design and how I got a second opinion on my house plan.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 22, 2017

I recently wrote a guest blog post for a home improvement site called Kukun.  I thought you might like to hear the tips that I gave them for finding good subcontractors. I’ve covered many of these tips in several previous podcast episodes, but  I want to go over all those tips in one single show so you can reference this week’s show notes when it comes time for you to search for your subs.  Plus I’ll give you a couple of new suggestions.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 15, 2017

Most of us have to consider budget when making decisions about our dream homes.  And some budgets are tighter than others.  So in this week’s episode, I’ll give you some tips on the best places to save when building a house versus areas where you should splurge.

Before we get to those tips, we'll define a pro-term: Value engineering.

Value engineering is a term that you might hear some architects and contractors use when talking about saving money when building a house. Value engineering is an economical way of building that removes excessive costs but preserves good design. In other words, value engineering aims to lower the cost of building without lowering functionality.  That’s achieved by spending in some areas and saving in others.

So, our lesson this week will focus on value engineering.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 8, 2017

Since we compared front load washers and top load washers in last week’s mini-lesson, it only makes sense that we cover dryers this week. We’ll talk about gas dryers versus electric dryers and cover some of the more popular dryer options, such as steam settings and moisture sensors. Plus we’ll go over some best practices for installing the dryer vent system— practices that will decrease your risk of a dryer fire.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 1, 2017

Too often I hear homeowners talking about washers if they are solely decorative items. I’ll often hear questions like “Do you like the Burgundy or the navy blue washer better?” Listen, I like beautiful appliances as much as anyone else, but I think it’s also important to strongly consider functionality and performance when purchasing an appliance that’s as hard working as a washer. This week we’ll compare traditional top-loading washers with front-loading washers and I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of each.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 25, 2017

I’ve spent more time away from the internet and library this month and done more research out in the field. 

At the beginning of the month, I went to the Kansas City Parade of Homes and this past week I had some time off from work and ventured out to different homebuilding job sites in an attempt to gather names and contact information for some subcontractors who I could potentially hire for my project. So this episode will cover some lessons that I’ve learned this past month. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 11, 2017

This week we’ll learn some interior design basics, especially as it pertains to new and remodeled homes. You’ll hear my conversation with Betsy Helmuth, owner of Affordable Interior Design and host of her own interior design podcast called Big Design, Small Budget. It’s one of my new favorites. I just love it and here’s why: In the same way this podcast simplifies and demystifies homebuilding concepts, Betsy, on Big Design Small Budget, simplifies and demystifies interior design. So, to go along with BYHYU’S tips and tricks for building your dream house, Betsy gives strategies for decorating your dream house.

 

Today you’ll hear Betsy's expert opinion on what to do and where to start when designing rooms from scratch. She will tell us what fixtures and finishes should stay consistent throughout the whole house, and when it’s ok to add in different color palettes and styles. We’ll also hear why Betsy says that investment furniture and all-neutral rooms are no-nos.

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

Oct 4, 2017

I recently got a request from a listener named Don. He asked me to discuss home generators. On the heels of so many storms that have affected the United States and the Caribbean, we definitely need to at least consider installing a home generator. They can provide power during the outages that often accompany major storms. Thank you, Don, for a great show idea.

We’ll discuss the 2 general types of generators that can be used during power outages— permanent, standby generators (also called whole house generators) and portable, backup generators.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 27, 2017

So this week I have a project update. I told you about the trouble that I had getting my house plan started a few weeks ago in BYHYU 079-- My House Plans-- Back To The Drawing Board (Literally!)

But now, I have a good report. I’ll tell you about the treasures that I’ve found since recording that episode, including a markup tool that I used to tweak my house plan and the person that I’ve got helping me.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 20, 2017

You’ve probably dreamed of having a fireplace in your living room, master bedroom, outdoor living space or even your master bathroom. Fireplaces these days are far more than a practical source of heat. That’s why people not only in Vermont and Michigan want them, but those building homes in California, Texas and even Las Vegas plan to have fireplaces installed in their dream homes. Fireplaces add beauty, character, coziness, and drama to almost any space and they also add to the perceived value of a house.

This week, I’ll give you the pros and cons of the different types of fireplaces, including wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces and alcohol burning fireplaces.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 13, 2017

Last week we talked about the pros of cons of the different types of pool construction. After you decide what type of pool structure you want, you’ll have to decide want type of sanitization system you’ll use to keep your pool free of bacteria, viruses, and algae. The most common systems are chlorine, saltwater, and ultraviolet light. We’ll briefly go over each system and discuss the advantages of each.

Cost, maintenance, and health concerns are the main reasons to choose one sanitization system over another. When making your decision, be realistic about your budget and your sensitivity to chlorine and your willingness to perform or pay for maintenance.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 6, 2017

This week’s episode will give you the pros and cons of different types swimming pools in hopes of helping you decide whether your dream house should even include a swimming pool, and if so, what kind.   We’ll compare vinyl pools, fiberglass pools and concrete pools this week and next week we’ll talk about sanitation systems, including chlorine, salt water, and ultraviolet systems.  We'll begin the lesson by briefly discussing how a pool might impact the resale value of your house. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 30, 2017
Even if, like me, you want hardwood, tile and/or vinyl flooring throughout most of your house, many of us love the warmth, style and soft surface that carpet provides, especially in bedrooms.  Carpeting also muffles sound, so it can be especially practical in kids bedrooms or playrooms.  
 
This week’s episode will give you a better understanding how to choose quality carpeting.  Carpeting that should last you at least 15 or 20 years.
 
Shownotes at BYHYU.com
Aug 23, 2017

This week we have the final part of my interview with Sue Burkett of Owens Corning.  She’s educating us about how we can make a statement with roof color using Owens Corning roof shingles. 

If you think of the front of your house like a face, then the roof is like hair.  And roof color, like hair color, can drastically alter the overall appearance and reflect your personal style.

What I love about Owens Corning shingle colors is that they have so much dimension.  In keeping with our hair analogy, their shingles aren’t just flat, uninteresting colors.  Instead, the roof shingles have depth, kind of like highlights and low lights in hair color. 

Take a look at Owens Corning.com for inspirational photos of their roof shingles and design tools that will let you test out different roof colors on photos of sample houses that they have on their site or on house photos that you can upload yourself.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 16, 2017

Too often we think of our home’s roof as only a structural element, when, in fact, choosing roofing that’s also stylish and unique is a great opportunity to make your house stand out from others in the neighborhood.  On average, a roof accounts for 40% of the home’s exterior appearance.  So choosing the perfect roof color is vitally important in building a distinctive and attractive dream home.

This week and next week, we’ll hear about Owens Corning Roofing. Now, you probably know Owens Corning’s insulation by its signature pink color.  But they also produce other products for the home, including roofing.  Sue Burkett will tell us about Owens Corning roof shingles, which come in beautiful hues that are tasteful, but far from ordinary.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 9, 2017

This week we're talking about dishwashers. We’ll cover some of the newest and most popular options that you’ll have to choose from when selecting a new dishwasher.  Since most of our homes already had a dishwasher installed when we bought them, many of us have never had to shop for a dishwasher.  I’m hoping these 12 quick tips will help you narrow your choices. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 2, 2017

Welcome to episode 79 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 we can ask the right questions and build quality dream homes, with or without a general contractor.

This week I’ll give you the surprising update on my project.  I’ve hit a stumbling block (actually two).   But, I’m working through it.  No one said the road would be easy. 

Show notes at  BYHYU.com

www.facebook.com/BYHYU

Jul 26, 2017

If you’ve decided to hire a builder to be a general contractor, site supervisor, or even a consultant for the construction of your new house, there are a whole slew of questions that you’ll want to ask him before you commit to working with him.  There’s the basic list of questions that you’ve probably heard before.  These are questions that most people ask when they are vetting, or investigating, a builder.   I bet you can guess many of them:

Are you licensed and insured?

How many years have you been building?

What kind of warranty do you offer?

How do you handle change orders?

So, there are also a few other questions that I came across last week that go beyond what the average homeowner typically asks. This list of questions is from one of my favorite websites, energyvanguard.com.  That blog post was called “10 questions to ask your prospective builder.”  We’ll cover 9 or those 10 question today.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

www.facebook.com/BYHYU

Jul 12, 2017

I know what you’re thinking… Really, Michelle? A full mini lesson on kitchen sinks?  White or stainless steel.  What else is there to think about?  What’s the big deal? 

Well, even if, like me, you don’t cook most days of the week, you do probably use your kitchen sink every single day, and probably several times a day. 

The kitchen sink is one the hardest working fixtures in the entire house.  So, we need to choose the best sink for our kitchen routine and our kitchen design.

Some sink materials are tougher than others.  Taking the time to become familiar with different sink features and materials will help you find a sink that will make your kitchen look great and function well. This week we’ll go over the pros and cons of the most common kitchen sink materials, then I’ll give you a few tips for choosing the best sink size and style for your home and habits.  Plus we’ll go over our Pro Term: Farmhouse sink.

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

Jul 5, 2017

Learning about kitchen faucets probably won’t be the most exciting thing you do today, but it’s important that we get a basic understanding of the features we should be looking for.  Because we use our kitchen and bathroom faucets so often, we’ll want to choose those that will last for a really long time without problems and that work with our house design and preferences.  Here are 12 kitchen and bathroom faucet quick tips.

Show notes at http://BYHYU.com

Jun 28, 2017

What’s up with house shaming people for wanting a larger house?      That's so judgy.  When researching this post, and just talking to people in general about new houses, I’ve run across tons of derogatory statements about larger houses and people who want to live in them.  House shaming people for living in, or building larger houses, is far more common than house shaming folks who like small houses. 

Just like smaller houses, larger houses have some disadvantages, but there are also advantages to living in a larger house.  My feeling is… to each his own.  If you like a smaller house, cool.  Build a small house.  If you want a larger house, and you have the budget to build it, that’s okay too.   

Last week we talked about the pros of living in a smaller house.  This week, we’ll go over the pros of living in a larger house.  Yes, despite what you’ve heard in the media, there are advantages to living in a larger house.

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

Jun 21, 2017

Small is a relative term.  You might think of a tiny house when you hear someone using the term “small house” or you might think of an 1800 square foot home.  Wherever you fall on the spectrum, there are some definite benefits of building a smaller house.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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/

Dec 28, 2016

Painting is one of the tasks that many DIY’ers tend to take on when building or remodeling a house.  Doing it yourself can save you thousands of dollars in labor costs, but it will also take you quite a bit a time.  And unless you have significant painting experience, your results will probably be less attractive than the results that you would get from a professional painter. 

Because paint affects the looks of just about every room of the house, I say, if you have it in your budget, leave the painting to the professionals.  So, our mini lesson this week will give an overview of what to look for, ask for and expect when hiring professional painters.   If you’re absolutely determined to do at least some of your painting, join me next week for an episode filled with painting tips and tricks.

www.BYHYU.com

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

Dec 21, 2016

This week we're airing an interview that I did with Ben-Adam Smith for his podcast, House Planning Help.  We talked about the BYHYU podcast and about building in the United States versus building in the United Kingdom.  

 

 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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

Dec 14, 2016

This week we have a list of features that many homeowners are requesting in new homes that they’re buying or building.  This is according to an article in Professional Builder magazine where builders, architects, designers and other industry experts were asked about must-have features that today’s homeowners want.  Take a listen and see how many things on the list might be included your new home.  You may not want to include all these elements, but consider the ones that are best for you and your family.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Dec 7, 2016

Hey BYHYU. Welcome to Build House Yourself University. 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 we can build our dream homes, with or without a general contractor.

Most people don’t have the means to pay cash for the construction of their new homes, so most folks will need to take out a construction loan. We’ll talk about the different options for financing new construction in this week’s mini-lesson.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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

Oct 26, 2016

Windows are one the few features that affect the appearance of both the inside and outside of your home.  They also majorly affect your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency.   Windows provide natural light, ventilation, and views of your surroundings. Choosing the right windows for your new home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.  This week’s mini lesson will be the first of a short series we’ll do on windows.  Today we’ll cover the different window styles and some quick tips to help you with your home’s window design.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 19, 2016

Because we go over so much information from week to week, it’s important to review that information to increase our chances of retaining it.  So, this week we have a semester exam. I’ll ask questions based on the mini lessons and interviews from episodes 21 to 39.  The questions and answers will serve as a review of some important points that you should have learned from each episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 12, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by someone who was writing an article for realtor.com.  She wanted me to talk about what I call practical luxury. What I mean by practical luxury is something that’s an indulgence, not a necessity, but that you and your family will actually use on a pretty regular basis.  Gone are the days when the typical homeowners are adding luxurious features to their homes simply for bragging rights, or to keep up with the Jones.

This week we’ll talk about 2 practical indulgences for your master bathroom that, for most people, are totally  worth the splurge. We’ll cover radiant heated floors and bidet toilet seats.  These features will not  only make your bathroom more luxurious, but they can add value to your home and make it stand out among other homes on the market, if you ever decide to sell. Practical luxury is a current trend that I believe will continue to be important in new homes for many years to come.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Oct 5, 2016

Do you assume that a traditional wood framed house is what’s best for you?  Granted, stick built houses with traditional wood framing assembled completely on site are by far the most popular type of homes built in the United States.  More than 82% of new homes built in the US are stick built.  But there are other types of construction that can result in a quality built home.  And some of those alternatives can give you a stronger, more energy efficient house that’s quicker to build than a traditional stick built house. 

In this week’s mini lesson, I’ll talk about stick framing, plus go over some the most popular alternatives.   They include panelized homes, steel framed houses, modular homes, and concrete houses.  I’ll give a brief overview of each type of construction.  You’ll probably be surprised by some of the advantages of the alternative building methods.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 28, 2016

Today we have the second part of a conversation that I had with Judy Bilyeu, the corporate marketing director of Metro Appliances and More.  Last week she told us about refrigerators and cooking appliances.  This week, she’ll introduce us to some the new trends in dishwashers, washers and dryers and plus some luxury appliances.   

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 21, 2016

Today we have the first part of a conversation that I had Judy Bilyeu, the corporate marketing director of Metro Appliances and More.  She tells us about the newest trends in kitchen appliances, including a refrigerator that has a built-in Keurig coffee maker.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Sep 14, 2016

This week’s mini lesson is a continuation of last week’s lesson on hardwood floors.  Today’s show will cover the pros and cons of pre finished hardwood floors versus site finished floors.   We’ll also discuss how various wood species, wood cuts and flooring finishes can affect the appearance and durability of your hardwood floors.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Sep 7, 2016

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring options in new homes. They add warmth and classic beauty and they can work with virtually any style of home—from a simple tiny house to a mega mansion, from a sleek, contemporary to a rustic traditional, and everything in between. 

This week’s mini lesson will cover hardwood floors and the flooring layers that support them.  It’s great to have pretty hardwood floors, but hardwood flooring that well-constructed will help you avoid squeaking, creaking and premature wear.

This week we’ll be talking about what type of material and construction is best for subfloors.  We’ll compare solid hardwood floors and engineered hardwood floors. And I’ll give you some secrets on how to prevent hardwood floors from squeaking and creaking.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 31, 2016

Choosing your kitchen countertop is one the more fun and exciting choices that you’ll make for your new home.  Choices should be made based on the material’s appearance, durability, maintenance and price.  This week we’ll cover the most common types of materials used for kitchen and bathroom countertops, including laminate, ceramic and porcelain tiles, solid surface options, like Corian, butcher block, stainless steel, concrete, soapstone, marble, granite, quartzite and quartz (Silestone and Caesarstone).  There’s a difference between quartzite and quartz, you know?  We’ll talk about all of those options in this week’s mini lesson.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Aug 24, 2016

Did you know that most water heaters use more energy than all other household appliances combined? According to the US Dept of Energy, water heaters account for almost 17% of a home’s energy use.  Other sources say it’s up to 30% of the a home’s energy.  This week’s mini lesson will help you decide if a conventional, storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater is  the better choice for your new home.  And the choice is probably not as cut and dry as you think.

Conventional, storage tank water heaters are still the most common type of water heaters found in new homes. But tankless water heaters are steadily gaining popularity.  We’ll go over the basic information about how conventional water heaters and tankless water heater work, plus the pros and cons of each system.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Aug 17, 2016

Today is the last installment of a series of mini lessons that I’ve done on insulation.  In this week’s episode, we’ll talk structural insulated panels, or SIPs, and insulated concrete forms, or ICFs.  These options are especially unique because they not only provide extremely effective thermal insulation, but they also provide structural framing components for the house, including walls, floors and roofs.

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Aug 10, 2016

According to Green Building Advisor. com, “spray polyurethane foam is better than any other type of insulation at reducing air leakage.”  And that’s one of the biggest reasons that spray foam insulation is becoming one of the most popular insulation options in North America.  This week's mini lesson will discuss the two types of spray foam insulation, open cell spray foam and closed cell spray foam.  We'll also cover rigid foam in insulation.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Aug 3, 2016

Blown in insulation, also called loose fill insulation, is made of fluffy fibers of cellulose, fiberglass or mineral wool.  It’s blown into walls, attics and floors with special equipment. One the main advantages of blown in insulation is that it fills in odd shaped cavities, crevices and gaps and eliminates cold spots.   Learn more about blown in insulation in this week’s mini lesson.

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

Jul 27, 2016

For most people, blanket insulation is the insulation that comes to mind when they think about insulation in a home. Most of us have seen attics filled with pink or yellow insulation.  That pillowy insulation that we’re familiar with is blanket insulation and in most cases it was made of fiberglass, which is the most common type of insulation in the United States. But blanket insulation can be made not only of fiberglass, but also of other flexible fibers such as cotton, mineral wool and sheep’s wool.  Today’s mini lesson give an overview of those different types of blanket insulation.

Show notes www.BYHYU.com

Jul 20, 2016

When building a new home, investing in insulation is one of the best ways to decrease your energy consumption and save money far into the future.  Talking about insulation may not be an especially exciting topic in residential construction, but is one of the most important subjects to understand because choosing the amount and placement of insulation will directly affect the physical and financial comfort of you and your family.

Insulation has one of the fastest payback times of all investments you’ll make in your new home.  The savings can be so great that you can often recover your initial investment in just a few years. So, if you can afford it, add the maximum amount of insulation recommended for your home design and region.  In this week’s mini lesson, we’ll talk about some general recommendations for insulation. And over the next few weeks, we’ll learn about some specific types of insulation that are commonly used in residential construction, including spray foam insulation, rigid foam board insulation, batt and blanket insulation and blown-in cellulose.

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

 

 

 

 

Jul 13, 2016

Today’s mini lesson will help not only those wanting to build a new house, but those who want to remodel an older home, especially the kitchen.  As promised last week, we’ll be talking about choosing kitchen cabinets.  If you think choosing kitchen cabinets is simply a matter of choosing stained, wood cabinets versus white, painted cabinets… keep listening.

Naturally, you’ll choose a style that you find attractive, but beyond looks, there are lots of factors that you’ll need to consider that will impact the quality and cost of your cabinets.   For example, a standard 30 inch cabinet can range from just over $100 to well over $1000, depending on its construction, finishes and how customized it is.  Today’s lesson will help us understand the different materials used to construct cabinets and how those materials impact cabinet price and quality.

 

 

Show notes at www.BYHYU.com

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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