Recent Blog Posts

Insulation- How to Kill a House

Wood has only a few enemies. An encounter with termites, fire, or a weekend warrior is almost always fatal. But when it comes to a fourth enemy, water, wood is amazingly resilient. Wood can get wet over and over and over. There’s just one catch: It must be given the chance to get dry. German post-and-beam homes used straw infill as insulation and a lime-based plaster parging as the cladding and air seal.

How, and Why, to Use Geometric Shapes in Your Next Project

Though geometric patterns and shapes have been used in design since antiquity, geometric shapes are trending again in home renovation. The clean lines and bold colors may have something to do with it. Geometric patterns are all over pop culture, and what’s popular cycles in history. From tile to architecture and fabric, geometric shapes are easy to work with for the interior and exterior of a client’s home.

Callbacks, Downtime & Substrates, Oh My!

Remodelers can face many challenges on the jobsite. Those challenges can be anything from inclement weather delaying an exterior project, to multiple projects with a variety of substrates, or downtime caused by several items on the “punch list” that need to be finished quickly in order to complete a job. And there’s also every contractor’s least-favorite challenge — callbacks.

4 Ways to Exceed Expectations

Many years ago, I began thinking about the subject of exceeding expectations. I would field phone calls from upset clients or listen to team members’ frustrations and I found that most of the time the root of the problem lay in expectations that were set but not met. Because of this dynamic, I began to train, coach, and write about the topic. Over time, I developed the following simple guidelines to help create, and then exceed, expectations.

Protect Your Jobsite Crews From the Summer Heat

On a jobsite in Kingsville, Texas, in August 2013, a worker was mixing gypsum concrete in preparation for gypcrete installation on an apartment building. It’s not a particularly taxing job, but he was doing it in direct sunlight. “He wasn’t training or doing anything that involved a lot of lifting or climbing,” says Holly Webster, director of administration at Texas-based KWA Construction, which served as the general contractor on the job.

Roof Ventilation

Why ventilate a roof? “The main purpose of roof ventilation is to keep the air space above the roof insulation more or less at the same temperature as the outside air. ”  That’s Sarah Gray, an engineer with RDH Building Science, talking about best practices for venting a roof.

When It Comes to Siding, Looks Are Everything

Beauty may be skin deep, but when it comes to siding, at least, looks are everything. Google search “siding curb appeal” and help yourself to the roughly 1.5 million links on that topic, many leading to real estate agents' pages eager to point this fact out. But here’s the paradox: The people who own the house are usually in the house, looking out, not outside the house looking in. What they’re looking at right now is their kitchen, their bathroom, their boring den.