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.
The information in this episode comes mainly from a very thorough article that I found at bathtubber. com. It’s one of the most comprehensive articles I’ve read on freestanding tubs. The author said the article will help us be fully prepared and informed to buy our own freestanding tubs. So Let’s get right into the content.
Even if you haven’t started building your house yet, you should start thinking about your furniture lay out. Furniture placement is important because it dictates 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 furniture layout early on will help you come up with a more accurate electrical plan too-- a plan where you can specify where electrical outlets for lamps, TVs and other electronics make the most sense as it relates to the furniture that will be in the room. So let’s discuss some furniture placement rules of thumb that you should consider way before you buy your furniture.
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 in the United States. It’s where most quality furniture manufactured in America 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 on Houzz.com. Most of the designs features we'll talk about 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.
Alright let’s get into to that list of trends.
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 slow downs 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 post/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 be 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.
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.
Smooth vs Textured Walls, Bullnose vs Square Corners, Level 4 vs Level 5 Drywall Finish, What Should You Choose?—BYHYU 249
In addition to knowing about the different types of drywall that are best for different areas of your home (which we talked about in episode 248), it’s good to think ahead of time about 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 walls, straight square corners or bullnose? Today, 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.
Let’s jump right into our lesson with a pro term...
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, and so you will know the best type of drywall for different areas of your house. Despite what you might think, all drywall isn’t the same. Let’s start by defining a couple of pro terms to give us a good foundation for the rest of the lesson.
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 popular photos people uploaded to their site and from 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.
As I told you in the last episode, what we’ll be covering is trends not fads. Pop Quiz, do you remember the difference in fads and trends?
Well, 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. 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. Sometimes trends are so long lasting that they become classics.
Okay, let’s get to more of those design trends that Houzz says will shape 2022.
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 will 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.
Before we get to those trends, I want to thank Riker, I hardly know her, for our Apple Podcasts 5 star rating and review. And on the subject of trends, Riker asked if I think recording rooms and lighting areas will become popular in the future. Well, In my opinion, because the pandemic has made Zoom meetings popular, homeowners are thinking a lot more about good lighting in their homes so they look their best while in virtual meetings. So, I do think more folks are adding better lighting in their homes, whether that’s in the form of rings lights, which you can get on Amazon, or simply better general lighting. I have an entire episode about adding flattering general lighting to your home. Thant’s episode 207. So yes, I think better lighting in the home is a trend. However, I don’t think many homeowners will have separate rooms built specifically for recording either audio or video.
Instead, like I mentioned in episode 241 called "The Future of Open Concept Floor Plan Homes," I think we’ll see the addition of private, out-of-the-way rooms in new open concept homes. Rooms where we can go when we need a quiet environment. Those rooms, I think, will be multifunctional and work as maybe a guest room or home office plus be somewhere we can go when we want to do an audio or video recording. I do my recordings in a guest bedroom, for example. Hope that answers your question Riker. Thanks for the review.
Okay, let’s move on to the first part of Houzz’s home trend predictions for 2022.
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.
The house that my husband are planning to build will be our forever house— 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 accommodate changes in lifestyle, habits and traditions as we progress from busy, working people to retirees.
Ok, ready for the forever home quick tips?
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 here will give us a greater level of safety, independence and happiness in our homes— no matter what our age.
From choosing the right floors to prevent falls to making choices that will work for us if we ever develop arthritis, or need a walker, we can make intentional, but subtle design decisions today that will serve us throughout our time in our homes. And those designs will make our homes no less beautiful. Betsy DH, this one’s for you.
In our last episode we talked about the future of open concept homes. If you missed that show, take a listen to episode 241. As I mentioned in that episode, there has been some talk about open concept houses becoming less popular because the pandemic has highlighted the need for private spaces within ours homes. But I predict that although we may see some changes in house plans going forward, open concept homes aren’t going anywhere.
Since I believe most homes will continue to have at least some open concept areas, it’s important to learn to decorate those areas. 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 sight lines from one space to another, open-plan rooms can be tricky to decorate. It’s a challenge to strike a good balance of between cohesiveness and separation.
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.
An open concept home is a house with one or more large, open rooms that function as multiple rooms within a single living space. It’s when you’re in one room and can fairly easily see most of another room. The most common open concept space is a “great room” which combines the kitchen, dining room, and living room.
Questions For Your Contractors' References— Ask Your Contractors' Previous Clients These Things— BYHYU 240
Several weeks ago I got an email from a listener named Deanna asking if I had a the questions we should ask a contractor’s references. The answer was no. I hadn’t thought to compile list of questions for references before Deanna’s email. Thanks for that idea Deanna.
Now, I’ve repeatedly recommended that you ask your contractors for a list of references. And that applies to general contractors and subcontractors. We want to talk to their past clients to see what their experience with the contractor was like. But what exactly should we ask those previous clients?
What the Heck Is My Electrician Talking About?! Learn The Basics Of Your Home’s Electrical Service —BYHYU 239
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. I hope you remember that during the electrical rough-in the electrical panel is installed. The electrical panel is also called the breaker panel, the circuit box or the breaker box. It’s that gray metal box with a door found somewhere in or outside of your house and it's where your circuit breakers are located. The circuit breakers are those black switches within the breaker box.
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/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.
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. And that's 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.
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 like 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.
This is the second part of our interview with fireplace professional Jake Cromwell of Top Hat 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.
This week and next we’ll have a fireplace professional and educator on the show who will help us understand the different types fireplaces and educate us about some fireplace misconceptions. We’ll also talk about his favorite type fireplaces and the greatest piece advice he has for consumers. In part one of our talk, he’ll focus on breaking down the major categories of fireplaces for us. It’s a great interview, so let’s get right into it.
The current homebuilding environment is a tough one. Builders and homeowners like us are dealing with historically high prices and historically low availability in building materials and labor. In this week’s episode, I’ll tell you about a May 2021 survey done for the National Association of HomeBuilders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The survey outlines the percentage of builders in the US that have ordered building materials and who experienced significant shortages in those materials.
Scarcity of building materials is now more widespread than at any at any time since the National Association of HomeBuilders began tracking materials in the 1990s. The shortages are affecting most the US and a very wide range of materials.
The cost of lumber has increased more than 300% since April 2020. Lumber sold for $348 per thousand board feet before the pandemic and peaked to a record high of $1,500 per thousand board feet in May 2021. Thankfully, prices have begun to fall in the last few weeks.
I checked lumber prices today and they are around $935 per thousand board feet, which is still considerably higher than prices were when many of us started thinking building. And lumber prices fell several months ago and went back up, so we’re in unpredictable times.
With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an episode that I did on 2 alternatives to traditional stick built, lumber framed homes. Those alternatives are structural insulated panels or SIPs and insulated concrete forms, or ICFs. Both SIPs and ICFs provide both insulation and structural framing components for the house.
If you’re considering building a house with exterior cladding made of stucco and/or manufactured stone or thin natural stone veneer, this post/episode is for you. This week we’ll talk about the moisture control challenges that we can run into with stone veneer, manufactured stone and stucco cladding.
Peter Barrett is our guest. He is the Product and Marketing Manager at Dorken Systems. Dorken specializes in high-performance air and moisture barriers used to protect residential and commercial projects. Peter and I will delve into how we can help alleviate the moisture problems that are often seen today with stucco and manufactured stone. Peter is a great teacher, so let’s get right into the interview.
The building shell of our project is nearly finished. Only the multi-slide patio doors need to be installed before the house is officially deemed “dried in.”
The “dry-in" stage of construction is when the building shell is completed to the point where it can sufficiently keep out wind, rain, or the other outdoor elements. It’s when the house is closed-in, and work with weather-sensitive materials can begin indoors, without the risk of those materials being damaged by rain, wind, or snow.