“It Ain’t the House You Grew Up In”
At this point, as if you didn’t know, the home of today is a very complicated thing with lots of moving parts. Furthermore, since they are moving (figuratively speaking), they will fail in time. This is usually where the poop and the fan come together. For example, your water heater goes south. Not even one cold shower is acceptable unless you’re one of those “Polar Bear” guys that jump into ice ponds. Frankly, in that case, you’re probably just a lunatic anyhow and don’t want help. For the rest of us, the question arises, what to do? You see, a water heater is no longer just a water heater. Water heaters have evolved, and you now have choices and restrictions. Is it gas or electric? If it’s gas, where is it located in the house? It may no longer be allowed there due to venting or fire code issues. Do you have an expansion tank? If not, you’ll probably need one for your own safety and code generally requires it. According to the NFPA, in 2010 there were approx. 5,800 house fires, nationally, due to water heater explosions. A Leaky water heater, not good. Exploding water heater, very not good. Expansion tanks prevent many of these tragedies from occurring. Is your reservoir big enough to suit your needs? Some teenagers can shower until they actually dissolve and go down the drain. It’s sad. You can transfer their college fund to the vacation fund though. Helps ease the grief. What about tankless water heaters? They’re holy-crap expensive, right? Are they truly more efficient? My plumber will guide me in the right direction, right? Ya’ see, just a water heater can open a significant platform for discussion. The point (again) is that nothing in a house is that simple. I imagine you got it now.
As we move forward together, we’ll address an endless stream of topics. Now, I’ve been a builder and I’m an active designer. I’ll be addressing these topics as a designer. Primarily because, had you engaged me as your designer for a project, I’d be your advocate in the process. We’ll talk about the role of a designer in significant home modifications frequently. This is no different. This is complicated stuff and you need a guide….and probably alcohol. To open this dialogue, we have developed a new podcast program called “NuHaus Knows”. I’ll discuss this more in the next release. With our “NuHaus Knows” podcast, we’ll attempt to work concurrently, topically speaking, with this blog publication. The intention is to reach people who are looking to build a home, buy an existing home or those who already own a home and are looking to modify it. Your considerations in any of these situations are multifaceted with a variety of potential outcomes. The National Assoc. of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that there are over 3,000 components in the average house. I have read estimates in excess of 4,000. Suffice to say, a bunch. Owning a home will open a world of opportunities to learn and make informed decisions or, not so much. For the average homeowner, the internet has been a Godsend and a curse. In the 90’s, the internet became an effective consumer resource by late in the decade. By the same time in the next decade, everybody was a damn genius! Not really, just felt that way. The Worldwide Web inspired consumers to “look it up” and gain knowledge to make informed decisions. Pretty cool….mostly. Half my clients suddenly figured they knew way more than me and that experience ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Well, that hasn’t changed much. However, while we were all becoming little Einstein, home building technology and everything inside it was off the rails, so to speak. Both the internet, and regulatory authorities, were finding it difficult to keep up. Suddenly, product marketers had the upper hand. They had this great marketing platform that reached millions cheaply and they also had the ability to make selling look like teaching! Brilliant! The problem is, as the saying goes, “when all you sell is hammers, every problem looks like a nail.” Whodathunkit? Now, you may not be getting the best information. At least not relevant to you specifically because you may have very different considerations. The problem is that we frequently don’t really know the right questions from the onset; much less the answer. Look up tankless water heaters. I’m a big fan by the way. Visit just 3 different vendors and everybody’s is the best, just ask ‘em. Not only that but it’s so complicated you get woozy just trying to figure it out. They make it that way. However, just give them a call and clarity is yours to have! The internet gurus have figured out that they have about 45 seconds to wow (overwhelm) you and get you to call. Because of that, you need somewhere to go that isn’t trying to sell you something.
So, we have noodled this dilemma for a while and decided to use technology, yet again, to save the day! Seriously, considering the complexity of the mission and, the fact that everyone has a different focus, we have chosen to use the podcast medium as a fun, easy and informative platform help you get the info you need. To this end, allow me to introduce our new teaching platform, “The Nuhaus Project”. See what we did there? “New” + “House” = “NuHaus”! Argh! Okay, a campy pun but it is cute. This is a program that delivers relevant data on homeownership, the building and remodeling process, design and a myriad of other topics relevant to you. To assist this new information platform is the companion website thenuhausproject.com. The site is up but undergoing final revisions as we grow into this mission. Although a touch unpolished, you can still visit us now and get to know us a little better. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our launch has been briefly delayed. However, you can go to the bottom of the opening page and subscribe to our newsletter. This will allow us to notify you as things come available to include podcasts, new blogs, surveys, events, etc.
To make this more targeted, we need your help to focus on the topics important to you. First, please be aware that we aren’t handymen and don’t give a crap about cleaning your gutters. Hire a guy or get a hose, a ladder, and some insurance. Seriously, we want to know about the things of significance you’re looking to do. To do this effectively, we are using an ongoing survey format that will offer groupings of popular topics that we engage frequently in our design practice. We’ll be asking you to participate by ranking these topics in order of importance to you. Furthermore, we’ll offer you a place to ask questions that may not be in our survey ranking. We’ll rank these queries internally. Pending their relevance and popularity, they may be addressed in one of our 48 episodes annually or, we’ll shoot feature episodes and/or use this blog format to address them. In the end, we want to be your trusted resource for (mostly) unbiased feedback and afford you a sense of ownership in the process. It will have some bumps along the way but, I assure you that with your help, this will be a great resource for any serious homeowner. Stay tuned…..