A Mouse in the House

She ran through the house, screaming. What could elicit this blood curdling reaction, a burglar in the garage? Perhaps an injured kid? Nope, “we have a mouse in the house”, yelled my panicked wife.

“We’re in good company” I laughed. Dr. Thomas Cucchi of the Museum National d’Histoire naturalle, Paris recently found evidence that mice have infested human habitats since the beginning of permanent settlement. Continue reading A Mouse in the House

Review: The Holmes Inspection

The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller, is a book written by Mike Holmes. This author is both a contractor and the host of a couple HGTV series. He also runs a home inspection and certification company. Ultimately Mike is well qualified to write this no-nonsense book outlining what to look for when purchasing a home. Although the text appears thorough and complete with checklists, the author is clear – this isn’t a do it yourself guide. Doing your own inspection is like operating on yourself, or representing yourself in court. Yes, you can do it. But should you? Continue reading Review: The Holmes Inspection

Is Your Home a Good Investment?

With skyrocketing appreciation, homes look like a smoking hot investment. Warren Buffet just listed his California vacation home for $11 million. Considering he purchased this home in 1971 for only $150,000. That’s an annual appreciation rate of 9.79 percent! Regular homeowners may not realize Buffet’s gains, but they’re still seeing healthy appreciation. Does that mean homes are good investments? Continue reading Is Your Home a Good Investment?

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring in the Dutch Countryside

Spring is arguably the best season. Kids can finally escape the house, exploring beyond the gaze of parents. School is nearly over. Filling the air with promises of a carefree summer. Spring also brings excitement for homeowners. A chance to dream of planting new gardens, expanding that small kitchen or building a new great room. Yet, before starting the big projects consider a spring maintenance check of your home. Continue reading Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Design Tips: Choosing Exterior Finishes

The Disneyland Approach for choosing exterior materials

Imagine the knock-down, drag-out arguments. Owners of this house clearly couldn’t agree. One demanded a traditional brick city home, the other a rustic cabin. In despair, their architect negotiated a mashup to satisfy both parties. Why else would formal brick and precast be mixed with rustic stone, timber, stucco and even log construction? Continue reading Design Tips: Choosing Exterior Finishes

Review: How Your House Works

How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, is a great idea. The book’s goal is providing homeowners with simplified drawings and diagrams of home systems, including written explanations of how each system works. For common problems, simple fixes are proposed that anyone can accomplish. Drawings are informative. Written explanations are typically integrated within the drawings or succinctly itemized without unnecessary “writer’s” fluff.  Continue reading Review: How Your House Works

New Research Says Homes Need More Sunlight

A healthy traditional sunroom

Are Today’s Homes Bright Enough?
According to new research, they’re not. Psychologist Kenneth Wright and a team of scientists from the University of Colorado, Boulder recently discovered today’s homes don’t include enough sunlight to kickstart the body’s clock. Combined with too much artificial light at night preventing sleep, these scientists argue designers simply don’t respect that humans are light-sensitive animals. Continue reading New Research Says Homes Need More Sunlight

Review: The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home

the-complete-guide-to-contracting-your-homeThe Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home is billed as “a step-by-step method for managing home construction”. This isn’t a “how to” manual for self building.  Instead, these pages help the complete greenhorn avoid sounding clueless when hiring subcontractors. For instance, construction images of foundations and framing look technical. In reality they’re simplified for clarity and don’t explain construction’s true complexity. Still what information that exists is timely and relatively accurate. Continue reading Review: The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home

Buildwise Editor Wins Best in American Living Award

Buildwise editor Todd Remington, wins the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – Best in American Living Award.

From the press release:
Architect Todd Remington wins the Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA). The residential building industry’s premier awards program spotlighting the most creative and talented builders, architects, designers, developers and land planners who redefine design excellence for homes and communities throughout the nation and Internationally.

Remington’s dedication to the research and design of residential architecture is transforming the industry. As Executive Editor for Buildwise.org, Remington provides valuable insights about home-building and design for homeowners and professionals, delivered as entertaining kernels of wisdom. 

Review: Zillow Talk

Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, is a unique and previously impossible look into the home buying market by two Zillow insiders. Author Spencer Rascoff is Zillow’s CEO. While coauthor Stan Humphries is Zillow’s Chief Economist. Utilizing the company’s vast information about home values, the authors debunk common real estate assumptions. This data driven research also uncovers previously unknown patterns or rules about today’s home values that aren’t always intuitive or obvious.  Continue reading Review: Zillow Talk