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 because either 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 you'll get 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 we get to the mini lesson, let’s go over a few Pro Terms:
On the grid, zero energy homes and off the grid.
The refrigerator is one of the hardest working, most used appliances in a house. Back in the day, all they had were refrigerators with freezers on top and the main choice they 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 type 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 and 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.
A few weeks ago I had to go to my architect and tell him I had completely forgotten to put a very important space in our house plan. 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.
This week I'll 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 in before we build will make holiday decorating a lot easier and more enjoyable. 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.
Lets get right to those quick tips.
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 op for, but if you’re limited by space or budget, you might have go with a reach in closet. This week we’ll talk about the advantages of walk in closets versus reach in or wall closets, whether flat shoe shelves, slanted shoe shelves or shoe cubbies are better. And we’ll go over open storage versus closed storage, plus the different materials used to fabricate closets.
Before we get to the mini lesson, let’s go over a couple of pro terms:
Wall Hung Closet Systems and Floor Mounted Closet Systems
Well BYHYU, I’m still coughing and a little hoarse, so I’ll make this post/podcast a really quick one, but I want to give you an update on my project and give you a few things to think about when designing your house.
First, let me address the Private BYHYU Facebook group I asked you about a few weeks ago. I think it’s best to hold off on it for a while. I’ll revisit that decision in a few months, maybe when I actually start building. But thanks to all of you who wrote in expressing your interest in a group page. I think it’s a great idea, and maybe we’ll have more people willing to participate in a few months. You can still contact me to let me know that you're interested in participating in the Facebook community group page. Just message me through the contact page on this site or on the regular, public BYHYU Facebook page
Okay, let’s get right into that project update.
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 a good subcontractor (the post was actually on how to find a good electrician, but the tips apply to finding any good sub).
I’ve covered many of these tips in several different 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.
Okay, let's get right to it.
Most of us have to consider budget when making decisions about our dream homes. And some budgets are tighter than others. So this week, 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 that, let's define a Pro Term: Value engineering.
Value engineering is 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 tips this week will focus on value engineering. Let’s get to it.
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 versus electric dryers and cover some of the more popular dryer options, such as steam dryers and dryers with moisture sensors. Plus, we’ll go over some best practices for installing the dryer vent system— what you can request that will decrease your risk of a dryer fire.
Too often I hear homeowners talking about washers as if they were 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 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.
But let’s start with 2 pro terms this week. We haven’t done that in a while.
Our pro terms this week are agitator and impeller. Both agitators and impellers are used in top load washers to help get clothes clean. Let’s start by talking about agitators.
Big Name Builder Charges Homeowner $800,000 Fee, then Hires Newly Licensed Contractor To Do the Work! (Allegedly) — BYHYU 090
Oh My Goodness. I’ve had such an eventful month. First of all, my computer died last week, which is why I didn’t have an episode for you. But I got a new MacBook Air a couple of days again, and I’m back in business.
Because of trouble with my computer and because I wanted to do something a little different, I spent more time away from the internet and library this month. I did 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 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.
Let’s start with the most shocking thing that I was informed about, which inspired the title of this episode.
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