"I was dissed and I don't know why." That could have been the title to this week's post.
This will be a short and probably surprising update on my project. I’ve hit a stumbling block--actually two. But, I’m working through it.
If you typically read the blog posts here, this week, you might want to listen on the player above. I'm not sure I can effectively communicate my level of frustration or confusion in writing.
If you’ve decided to hire a builder to be your 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 (or her) 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're 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?
-How many homes do you typically have under construction at one time?
-How often should I expect updates from you?
-Have you ever owned a construction company under a different name?
You’ll want to ask this so you can pull up the better business bureau reports from all construction companies owned by that builder.
-And finally, you should also ask him to provide me with a list of references?
Remember to ask for the names of a few clients from the last couple of years and a few clients from 10-15 years ago. That way, you’ll not only get to talk to people about the builder’s current work habits, but you’ll also get some idea of how his work holds up over time.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of questions, but those are some of the more common questions that homeowners ask builders that they’re considering for their projects. Now, you should definitely start with those questions, but realize that even the most mediocre builder will have acceptable answers for those questions.
Since you’re listening to this podcast/reading this blog post, I’m pretty sure, you don’t want just a mediocre builder or a mediocre home. Most of us want to a build high quality home that’s comfortable, durable and energy efficient.
So, last week, when I came across a blog post called “10 questions to ask your prospective builder,” I wanted to share those questions with you. Those questions go beyond what the average homeowner typically asks. The list of questions comes from one of my favorite websites, energyvanguard.com. We’ll cover 9 of those 10 question today.
I know what you’re thinking… Really, Michelle? A full mini lesson on kitchen sinks. White or stainless steel. What else is there to choose? 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.
Before we get to this week’s mini lesson, let’s go over this week’s Pro Term: Farmhouse sink
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.
1. Choose a faucet with ceramic disc valves, instead of old school washers. Thankfully, most modern, quality faucets will have ceramic disc valves. These ceramic valves don’t wear out like washers do, so they help your faucet stay drip free for many, many years. It’s especially important to choose these durable ceramic-disk valves if you live in a region with hard water.
Why You Gotta Call My House a McMansion?! 10 Reasons a Larger House Might Be Right for You— BYHYU 075
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 the 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 to talked about 10 Reasons To Build a Smaller House. This week, we’ll go over the pros of living in a larger house. Yes, despite today's popular rhetoric, there are advantages to living in a larger house. Here are 10 reasons to build a larger house…
1. It’s easier to keep a larger house looking clean.
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 a 1800 square foot home. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, there are some definite benefits of building a smaller house. Let’s talk 10 reasons to build a small home.
1. A smaller house is easier to clean and maintain. The smaller the house, the fewer spaces and surfaces you’ll have to clean. A smaller home requires less of your time, energy, and effort to maintain both the interior and exterior of the home.
2. Smaller houses are generally less expensive. They cost less up front and in the long run. With a smaller house, not only will you pay less to build it, but insurance, taxes, heating, cooling, and electricity will cost you less. Plus, you’ll pay less for maintenance done on the house, like painting.
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. 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.
Let’s get right to it. Here’s a paraphrase of my interview with Carley Knobloch.
Michelle: Can you tell us a little bit more about your work with HGTV?
Carley: I’ve worked with HGTV as their tech expert for a number of years. I collaborate with the entire build team for HGTV’s Smart Home to make sure that the house is properly wired for new, exciting smart technology.
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 soundproof different areas of your house.
Before that, let's talk about the difference between soundproofing materials and sound absorbing materials.
This week I have a meeting with a house designer and I'm super excited. So, I want to 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 listen to this show for a while, you can probably figure that out. Ask friends and family, and even contractors for their recommendations, and get several references before settling on a house designer or architect. What we’ll focus on today is what you do after you’ve decided on a specific design professional.
Before we get to that, let’s go over a few Pro Terms.
Pro Terms: Architect, Draftsman and House Designer
Most people think of their pets as members of the family. So, it only natural to consider them when designing your new home. This week I have 9 quick tips for designing a pet friendly home.
1. In the rooms where you think your pets will spend most of their time, choose glossy or semi-gloss paint or tile, which are easy to wipe down if they get stained or wet.
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