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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 1
Nov 23, 2022

This week we have Part 2 of our interview with Rachel.  She’s a homeowner working with a general contractor and they’re finishing up a custom build in Ohio.  This week Rachel talks more about her homebuilding journey, what she would do differently if she were to build again, and the best thing about building a custom home.  

If you or someone know would like to share your homebuilding experience on the podcast, please email me at Michelle@byhyu.com

Show notes  at www.BYHYU.com

Nov 17, 2022

Homeowner Rachel D tells us about the challenges and triumphs she's had along her homebuilding journey.  She discusses how the pandemic has affected her build, what resources she's used to help her through the design-build process and where she's found some of her design inspiration and fixtures.

 

See photos of Rachel's home in the shownotes at BYHYU.com

Oct 5, 2022

Several weeks ago in episode 254 called Furniture Layout and Space Planning I gave some guidelines about furniture placement and how to best layout your rooms to achieve functional, aesthetically pleasing spaces that have good flow.  After listening back to that episode though, I realized, I didn’t talk much about bedrooms. So that’s what we’ll discuss in this episode— space planning and layout rules specifically for bedrooms.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Aug 10, 2022

This week’s episode is a replay of the one that I did years ago. The information is still relevant, but the pricing that I mentioned in the episode has likely changed given the current economy and today’s consumer demand for construction materials and supply chain challenges. I’ll discuss the 6 most popular types of roofing materials on the market, including my favorite, metal roofs.

Make sure you follow the show so when I record my latest construction update and other new content, the show will automatically be sent to your email or podcast library as soon as it is released. You can follow us through the podcast platform you use. Or, if you want episodes along with the show notes and relevant photos to go to your email inbox, you can subscribe through the BYHYU.com website.

SHOW NOTES at BYHYU.com

Jul 13, 2022

Given the heat wave that’s sweeping a lot of the country right now, I wanted to remind myself of some of the information from a previous episode called Keeping Your House Cool, Inside and Out.I thought it might also be helpful for you to revisit that mini-lesson too, to make sure you are considering some of those cooling solutions as you are planning your home design.

But before we get into the show, I’ll share a bit of my first-hand experience with some of the products you’ll hear about in the podcast.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Jun 22, 2022

Even if you’re not a tub person you should strongly consider adding a bathtub somewhere in your new home.  You may never intend to use the tub yourself, but it’s nice having a tub available for bath-loving guests, for bathing children and grandchildren, and for grooming pets.   

Many homeowners include a tub in their primary bathroom not only for practical, utilitarian reasons but also for aesthetics.  Freestanding tubs continue to be an extremely popular choice primarily because of aesthetics.  Freestanding tubs are thought of as sculptural showpieces and increase the perceived value of the home.  In this episode, you’ll get information that will help you choose the right freestanding tub for your new home. 

SHOW NOTES at BYHYU.com

Jun 1, 2022

Even if you haven’t started building your house yet, you should start thinking about your furniture layout.  Furniture placement is important because it will dictate how good a room looks, how well it functions, and how easily you can move in and through the space.   If your rooms have beautiful furniture pieces, but they’re arranged awkwardly, it will take away from the overall stylishness and functionality of your home.   

Developing a good furniture layout early on will help you come up with a more accurate electrical plan where you can specify where electrical outlets for lamps, TVs, and other electronics—  an electrical plan that makes the most sense as it relates to the furniture that will be in the room.  So let’s discuss some furniture placement/layout rules of thumb that you should consider way before you buy your furniture. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

May 11, 2022

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

Apr 27, 2022

The High Point Market is the largest furniture trade show for design professionals in the world. Twice a year more than 75,000 designers, furniture buyers, retail store owners, and architects go to High Point, North Carolina to see what’s trending in furnishings. Unfortunately, the show is not open to the general public, but many designers report on what they see each year at High point. If you didn’t know, North Carolina is known as the furniture-making capital of the United States. It’s where most quality furniture manufactured in American is made.

In today’s episode, we’ll go over some of the most popular design trends spotted at the recent spring 2022 High Point Market. The information in this show comes from a couple of articles at Houzz.com.

Most of the designs features have been around for 2-3 years and are still trending. Others are emerging trends. As we go through the list, remember, you don’t have to incorporate all of these or frankly any of these features into our new house, but it’s always nice to stay on top of what’s currently in style.

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

Apr 6, 2022

From large things like garage doors to the small things like electronic chips that go into TVs and appliances, the materials that we need to build and furnish our homes are still hard to get.  More than two years after the start of the pandemic, supply chain issues continue to cause significant construction slowdowns and above-average pricing in homebuilding.

So when will supply chain issues end?  That’s the million-dollar question, and the truth is, no one really knows. But there are opinions out there and that’s what we’ll talk about in this episode. As you probably realize, the answer to “When will things get back to normal?” is relevant to anyone who’s building or remodeling a house.  Because as long as there are interruptions and delays in the supply chain, there will also be interruptions and delays in construction.  Your new build or remodeling project is likely to cost you more time and money than it would if the supply chain weren’t having so many challenges.    Let’s talk about exactly what the supply chain is and when experts are predicting a return to normalcy.

SHOW NOTES at BYHYU.com

Mar 16, 2022

Like we did last year, my husband and I took a day trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area to visit the 3 high-end show homes at Fort Worth’s annual Dream Street event. I enjoy going to show homes like these so I can see the features that are most popular with area designers.  Now, to be clear, these are multimillion-dollar homes and not all of the elements showcased will fit into every budget. But to me, it’s helpful to see what’s fresh and new, and what continues to be relevant in decor, appliances, and amenities, even if we don’t include the exact finishes and brands showcased. Homes like these can serve as inspiration for those of us who are building.

SHOW NOTES AT BYHYU.com

Mar 2, 2022

In addition to knowing about the different types of drywall that are best for different areas of your home, it’s good to think ahead of time the style and finishes you want for your walls so you’re not stumped when your builder or drywaller ask you if you want a Level 4 or level 5 drywall finish. Or whether you want any texture on your wall, straight square corners, or bullnose? In today’s episode, I’ll briefly cover whether smooth or textured walls are more popular for today’s new builds and if curved bullnose corners are still in style. We’ll also cover the basics of drywall finish levels so you can confidently tell your contractor what you prefer.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Feb 9, 2022

It’s honestly pretty hard to get excited about drywall.  Drywall is a  subject that’s kinda, well…dry. But drywall is a material that goes in just about every space of the house, so we want to be able to make informed decisions about what type of drywall we should request to make our walls last longer and perform better.  I won’t go into too much boring detail, but I’m hoping to give you enough information so you can have an intelligent conversation with your builder or drywall contractor, so you will know the best types of drywall for different areas of your house.  Despite what you might think, all drywall isn’t the same. 

SHOW NOTES AT BYHYU.com

Jan 26, 2022

This week we’ll cover part 2 of a recent article from Houzz.com called “40 Home Design Trends That Will Shape 2022.”  Houzz compiled the list of trends based on the thousands of popular photos people uploaded to their site and information they got from speaking with dozens of home design professionals.  They also analyzed the searches that people did on their website for different furniture pieces, colors, materials, and other design elements.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Jan 12, 2022

Happy New Year. In this episode, we’ll cover a recent article from houzz.com called “40 Home Design Trends That Will Shape 2022. “ 

I think it’s important for us to be aware of what’s trending in home design, but we probably shouldn’t be too interested in fads.  We’ll be talking about trends.  There’s a difference. A fad is short-lived.  It comes and goes quickly.  A Fad is a style that suddenly becomes popular and is embraced with exaggerated zeal. But fads usually don’t stay popular very long and can seriously date your house.  Think sponge-painted walls of the 90s. 

A trend, on the other hand, is a general direction in which something is going.  Trends are popular in a particular season and they last longer than fads. Some trends can stay in style for many years or even decades and some trends can actually become timeless classics.  Many trends are current and classic and those are the best ones to follow, if you like them, because they won’t date your house.  A white kitchen, for example, is on-trend today, but is also a timeless classic.  A white kitchen looked great 10 years ago (and even 100 years).  A white kitchen also looks great today and probably be on-trend 10-100 years from now.

To come up with today’s list of trends, Houzz browsed thousands of their popular photos and spoke with dozens of home design and remodeling professionals.  They also studied the latest Houzz data and research and looked at lots of past articles to come up with this collection of home design trends that they think will be popular in the months to come.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Dec 29, 2021

Hope you had a great Christmas and I’m wishing you a happy new year. I want to sincerely thank you for continuing to listen to and share this podcast.  I realize that there is a ton of content out here so I’m grateful that you take time out of your schedule to support BYHYU.    An extra thank you goes to those of you who have given positive feedback to me either through emails or reviews.  And to those who have shared your favorite episodes through text, email or on your social media platforms. It’s so helpful when you become an ambassador for the show and encourage others to listen.  I appreciate you very much for that.

Okay, let’s go to a show that was published a few years ago that contains information that’s still relevant today.   Since 99% have some degree of budgetary limitations during our builds, we’ll have decided where to save and where to splurge.  This show gives you some suggestions.  Let’s get right to it.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Dec 15, 2021

In the last episode, we discussed aging in place features that we can add to our homes that will allow us to live in them comfortably even if we develop challenges with mobility and coordination as we age.  I referred to some designs detailed in this week’s repeat episode called Designing A Forever Home. I wanted to release this show on the heels of the Aging in Place podcast to sort of tie everything together.  If you’ve listened to this before, I encourage you to take another listen to remind of some information you may have forgotten or to simply solidify some concepts that you’ve already learned. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

Nov 24, 2021

Many of us are building our houses with the intention of staying there for the rest of our lives.  We’re building our forever homes.   And there are some fairly simple design choices we can make that will allow us to stay in our homes comfortably even as seniors. The aging-in-place features we’ll discuss in this episode will give us a greater level of safety, independence, and happiness in our homes— no matter what our age.

Shownotes at BYHYU.com

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Nov 3, 2021

Open-plan homes with great rooms that combine the kitchen, dining room, and living room make smart use of space, increase natural light and make it easy for family and friends to be together. However, with few walls or defined borders and with clear sightlines from one space to another, open-plan rooms can be tricky to decorate.  It’s a challenge to strike a good balance between cohesiveness and separation. This week we’ll discuss some common mistakes people make when decorating open floor plans and we’ll go over how we can steer clear of those mistakes.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Oct 20, 2021

Will open concept homes become a thing of the past?  In the midst of the pandemic, lots of people have been talking about wanting more private space in their homes.  And many are wondering if open floor plans are on their way out. I give you my prediction in this episode.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Oct 6, 2021

As you probably know, a major part of doing our due diligence and vetting or investigating a contractor before hiring him or her is to contact some references.   Ask the contractors you’re considering for your project for ideally at least 3-4 references.  And make sure you actually contact those references.  Most people are very willing to help out by chatting about their homes and construction experiences. 

Some people think contacting references is not very helpful because they think the contractor will only give a list of their best customers who may potentially be unwilling to share anything other than the most positive remarks.  But you’d be surprised by how honest people will be, especially if the contractor is not in earshot of their comments.  Plus, my list of questions will hopefully elicit candid, valuable information.  

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Sep 22, 2021

In the last episode, we had a brief overview of the rough-in phase of construction, including what goes on during the electrical rough-in.

This week I’ll give you some very basic information about your breaker box and where you should locate it.   Plus we’ll briefly cover when you’ll need a typical 120 volt electrical outlet versus a more powerful 240 volt outlet.  And we’ll end the mini-lesson with some talk about what size electrical service or the number of amps your house should have.  I know this sounds pretty technical, but these are things we need to understand on a basic level so when our electrician asks if we want a 120 volt or 240 volt outlet or if we want a 200 or 240 amp electrical service, we’ll have some idea of what he’s talking about.  As always, I’ll break things down into simple terms.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Sep 8, 2021

Significant progress has been made on my house, but if you’ve been following me for a while, you know the process has been painfully slow. Soil instabilities found during excavation of my property and the subsequent foundation redesign and retaining wall construction added more than 6 months to my timeline. Record rains, including overflow of the river, a brutal winter storm, and a global pandemic added even more delays to my schedule before we had even started framing. Unfortunately, unrelenting pandemic-related shortages in materials and labor continue to wreak havoc on my construction schedule.  But we are making progress, it’s just slow progress.  The next step is rough-in.  We’ll go over what that means and I’ll tell you about some of the highlights of the last few months. 

www.BYHYU.com

Aug 25, 2021

This week we’ll go over some design tips that I read in a recent article on houzz.com called 7 Major Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.  Even if you like interior design as I do, it can be intimidating to decorate an entire house.  But information like this will give us some guidance and a little more confidence when making decisions about our decor. 

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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Aug 4, 2021

This is the second part of our interview with fireplace professional Jake Cromwell of Top Chimney and Roofing. He’ll continue his discussion about high-efficiency direct vent gas fireplaces, which he recommends for those of us who want the heat and beauty of a fireplace, but don’t want a lot of maintenance. He’ll also tell us what we need to look for if we want to mount our TV above our fireplace and where we can find certified fireplaces professionals.

Show notes at BYHYU.com

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