show episodes
 
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, ev ...
 
The How 2 Build Green Podcast is a sustainable lifestyle podcast. Focusing on how we live in not only our homes and buildings but how we interact with the planet. We are accelerating change in the way we live and the way we consume the Earth's resources. This is also designed to give you specific how to information that you can integrate in your own life. Some might be thinking about building their own home, becoming a sustainable building contractor, or just living a more organic and free l ...
 
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show series
 
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…
 
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 ...…
 
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 infor ...…
 
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 st ...…
 
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 epi ...…
 
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
 
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 c ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 co ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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
 
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 ...…
 
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 giv ...…
 
“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 mo ...…
 
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 con ...…
 
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 dedicat ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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
 
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 ...…
 
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 engine ...…
 
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 drye ...…
 
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 applian ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 thi ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 t ...…
 
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 fire ...…
 
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 bri ...…
 
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, s ...…
 
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 ho ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 narro ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 h ...…
 
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 com ...…
 
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
 
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 ...…
 
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-red ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 w ...…
 
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 qu ...…
 
We discuss greywater systems. These systems make huge contributions toward water conservation. A greywater system is the perfect fit for your eco home! Self sustainable living, eco house design, green home design, building a house checklist, greywater systems, residential greywater systems, greywater definition, greywater treatment, greywater r ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
We discuss earthen floors and some very cool diy products. These are some of the most awesome floors for your eco home! Self sustainable living, eco house design, green home design, building a house checklist
 
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