PART 5

A Solution is not necessarily the Solution ”

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 the 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.  I’m working to develop that place for you.

With this intention in mind, and in light of the complex and remarkably broad subject matter, there’s a lot of ground to cover.  So, I need your help.  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.  We’ll be launching this learning platform in late July of 2019 as “The NuHaus Project”.  It will have its own website and feature a weekly podcast called “NuHaus Knows”.  Here, with your help, we’ll explore serious topics and offer real direction for you to make solid, informed decisions….without buyin’ nuthin!  Huzzah, genius I tells ya’!  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…..

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Nemo Platt

IN MEMORIAM

Ambassador Emeritus
Passing in Dec. of 2017, Nemo was Habitations’ oldest associate with over 91 (dog) years at his post. Nemo began his tenure with the company as a security guard at the age of 7 (49).  As the years passed, his ambition and loyalty never went unappreciated or unnoticed. Nemo held his position as Head of Security and ultimately rose to Director of Quality Control.  A position he held until the age of 98. Nemo rejected retirement and was always seen in the office reviewing plans and protecting the staff from a stream of threats to include Fedex drivers, Postal workers or UPS drivers. One of his favorite activities was clients reception and warming their feet during consultations. The office intensely feels his absence and misses the presence of floating dog hair, dog beds and the calming aroma of kibble.  There is truly a void in our midst that cannot be filled.