Podcast Episode 51 — Why Don’t We Build Better?
Renovating old homes, poorly built stairs, wrapping copper pipes with insulation, and estimating how much cable you really need
In this podcast episode, Fine Homebuilding editor-at-large Kevin Ireton joins editor Justin Fink and design editor Brian Pontolilo for conversation that explores a key question: “We know how to build better, so why aren’t we?” After 20-plus years of advancing building science, Energy Star for homes, and green research, we have the know-how to make homes more energy efficient, comfortable, durable, and even healthier. But there are going to be a million and a half homes built in America this year, and the vast majority will only made to code minimum. Why?
Other topics covered in this podcast: Renovating old houses, poorly made staircase in an old basement, wrapping copper pipes with insulation, and the difference between a jig and a fixture.
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This episode is sponsored by SoftPlan, software for better home design.
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The Fine Homebuilding Podcast embodies Fine Homebuilding magazine’s commitment to the preservation of craftsmanship and the advancement of home performance in residential construction. The show is an informal but vigorous conversation about the techniques and principles that allow listeners to master their design and building challenges.
Resources mentioned in (or related to) this podcast episode:
- Kevin’s article: Why Don’t We Build Better Houses?
- Study: Energy-Efficient Homes Are 32% Less Risky for Lenders.
- FHB’s 2017 HOUSES issue.
- Editor’s Choice 2017: A Study in Design/Build.
- The complete HOUSES microsite, with archives, videos, and a call for entries for next year.
- Dave Yates’ article: Cheaper Hot Water.
- All FHB podcast show notes: FineHomebuilding.com/podcast.
Kevin’s discovery: When he stripped back the siding on his house, Kevin found that it was sheathed, not with plywood or boards, but old doors! Here’s his photo.
Reviewing shoddy contractor work: Listener JP had a question about a stair installation. Here is a gallery of photos that he sent to us.