Building

500 Square Foot Oasis in a Montana Forest

500 Square Foot Oasis in a Montana Forest

The adventure writer Tim Cahill shares his 500 square foot cabin for the world to see. It’s extremely modest and the decor is an afterthought but the location and simplicity are oh so appealing.

Establishing Remodel Cost: Home Remodeling Critical First Step

Establishing Remodel Cost: Home Remodeling Critical First Step

Nothing ruins a fantastic remodel more quickly than exceeding the project budget. Why is this phenomenon so common in residential remodeling? Simple: Many homeowners struggle to establish a detailed budget at the appropriate time in the course of the project. Why is establishing remodel cost one of your most important […]

Quick Tip to Prevent Board Splits

Quick Tip to Prevent Board Splits

In most situations a sharp nail tip is required but when driving larger nails (8d and higher) into 2×4′s or other wood panels, the force and size of nail can cause the board to split. Quick solution is to turn the nail upside down, place the head on a hard […]

Las Vegas Boom Now has some Construction Workers Gone Bust

Las Vegas Boom Now has some Construction Workers Gone Bust

We want to highlight how the construction slowdown is effecting peoples lives especially in what used to be hot markets such as Las Vegas. No other city could match the commercial building frenzy that Las Vegas was able to sustain from the early 90′s until 2007 but now that many […]

4 Steps to Checking Contractors References

Last week we broke down in detail the 4-steps to checking your contractors references. Follow through on these suggestions and have confidence that you’ve done everything you can do to cover yourself, your home and your money. Step 1. Do their Biggest Fans Love Them? Step 2. Are Their Most […]

Contractors References: Are The Feds Hunting Them?

Contractors References: Are The Feds Hunting Them?

Step 4 The final reference you always check is your contractors’ license and insurance status. This step could fall anywhere in the sequence, but I save it for last since it is the least likely of the four steps to rule out a contractor. A simple online search through your […]

Contractor References: Do Their Suppliers Tolerate them?

Contractor References: Do Their Suppliers Tolerate them?

Step 3 Request three references from long-time material suppliers. Your eventual contractor’s financial solvency is important: if they don’t pay their bills, you get stuck with either a lien on your property or have to pay the bill yourself. Just disputing such a scenario in court costs time and money, […]

Contractor References: Do Their Most Recent Clients Like Them?

Contractor References: Do Their Most Recent Clients Like Them?

Step 2 Ask your potential contractor for references from their last five project owners, in chronological order. This list may or may not include names on the reference list in Step 1. Call the project owners on this list if they were not on the first list. Ask them the […]

How To Check Your Contractors References

How To Check Your Contractors References

We’ve got a short series this week that explores the process of checking contractor references from our newest contributor, Deren Monday, who brings with him more than 10 years in the residential and commercial construction industry and is also a graduate in construction management. Checking References: The Most Critical Step […]

Timber Framing Clamp

Timber Framing Clamp

This timber framing clamp from Bessey Tools is driven into lumber sections and held by spikes at each end.

Living in a 100 square-foot Home

Living in a 100 square-foot Home

As much as we abhor McMansions we think this couple has taken living in a small home to the extreme. They formerly lived in a modest 1800 square foot home but recently “downsized” into a 100 square foot home.

Hurricane Proof Home Standards

Hurricane Proof Home Standards

The International Code Council has setup a new standard for building homes that are more “resistant” to hurricanes. These homes should withstand winds of up to 150 mph and the codes will apply to homes located in the East and Gulf Coasts, coastal Alaska and the Columbia River Gorge in […]

New Homeowners want Old and Historical House Styles

New Homeowners want Old and Historical House Styles

New home developers are noticing an increase in demand for period architectural details that hearken to a historical style. Homeowners are requesting these homes in reaction to the run of the mill models that tend to look like McMansions.

Your Next Contractor Could be Amish

Your Next Contractor Could be Amish

According to the Wall Street Journal “About 600 Amish contractors or subcontractors work in at least a dozen states, a rapid increase over the past decade”. Homeowners are citing their craftsmanship and techniques used such as timber-frame building (which doesn’t use nails) as well as their timeliness and lower cost.

No Market for Hobbit Homes

No Market for Hobbit Homes

Lord of the Rings fans may have to look elsewhere to find authentic homes modeled after the Shire found in the J.R.R. Tolkien books. The developer of this unique community, Ron Meyers, is now in financial ruin and he’s placed blame on the current real estate crisis.

Off-the-grid a popular choice for secondary homes

Off-the-grid a popular choice for secondary homes

By now, you know the drill. Fuel and food and energy costs have skyrocketed. Bikes are hot. SUVs are not. Green is, most definitely, the new black. And as you grow more aware of managing energy and other expenses, don’t discount what is likely your biggest expense—your home. Sure, we […]

Notes from a Dream House Diary

Notes from a Dream House Diary

The Kitchen Designer has been an avid reader of the New York Time’s blog the Dream House Diary which chronicles a couples experiences while building their dream house on Anna Maria Island in Florida.

Advanced Wall Framing Techniquesfor a Greener Home

Advanced Wall Framing Techniques
for a Greener Home

Kathy Price-Robinson is the editor of a great blog called Pardon our Dust from the L.A. Times. She recently opened a discussion comparing standard framing techniques (2×4′s 16-inch on center) vs. advanced techniques (2×6′s 24-inch on center) that are generally considered more environmentally friendly. She polled two professional builders who […]