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As an average home owner, the different building certifications come across as a maze of information. Which initiatives are relevant and worth pursuing? Which have actionable information? Which are affordable? It can be overwhelming. While it is clear that architectural firms are the target audience for these programs, we’ve found that quite a bit can be learned about good home building practices just by going through the documentation. We’ve done some of the work for you, and documented our take on the different options. Read on to find our notes, bookmarks, and amateur conclusions.
Whenever we discuss a well insulated house, we’re always met with push back on cost and overkill in general. In preparation, we wanted to see what a few different assemblies might cost. So, we met up with Ryan’s uncle who has been building homes for the past 20 years. He gave us a breakdown on man hours for various applications like house wrap, siding, framing and so on. With that information, we could take material costs and get a rough price.
Determined to question and improve everything we can about home building, we find ourselves looking at trim and the various approaches. At first, we were all in and thought we would remove as much trim as possible: lights, electrical, vents, doors, windows, and so on. As a test, we decided to install a flush electrical wall plate in our current house, and that is when doubt began to creep in. Clean results are far from guaranteed, and may or may not hold up over time. For the added cost and complexity, where should we draw the line? After looking over quite a few options, here is what we have found.
A few months ago we got Pi-hole and Homebridge up and running in our current house. The goal was to test them out and see if they would be a good fit for a new, dream house. In that same spirit, we went ahead and ordered AlarmDecoder so that we could hook up our existing DSC alarm to Homebridge as well. While the installation process was a bit more intimidating than Pi-hole, it was still approachable and has been working out well for the past week. We’ve documented some of the pros, cons, thoughts and references for when we revisit this during the new house build.