All Posts by Meridith McCarty

040 // How much will your project cost? How long will it take? Should you phase the construction?

Starting a renovation or a new home build can be daunting and there are often a lot of questions at the beginning. 

Everyone always wants to know how much the project will cost, how long it will take, and if they should phase the construction. So what should you consider when asking these questions, and what information can you provide to your contractor to prepare them as much as possible?

This week’s episode walks you through three of the most common questions contractors receive and how the variables of your site, design, or materials might affect the answer.

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What You'll Discover:

  • The three most common construction questions
  • How different variables can affect the answer to your questions
  • Why a square foot cost analysis might not be helpful in determining the overall cost
  • What to provide to a contractor for them to answer your questions

What can affect the answers to your questions:

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

A square foot analysis is a common way to figure out the ballpark construction cost, and while it's a good place to start, you have to be careful as it can vary. The location, the contractor you hire, and how difficult the land is to work with can all affect that figure.

Unforeseen surprises can happen that will move back the timeline of your construction. Unless you built your own home and are now renovating it years later, you might encounter things that need to be add, fixed, or removed that weren't in the original plans.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

One of the pros of completing your projects all at once, rather than phasing the projects, is that it can save you on the cost and time of the project.

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

039 // How can the design of your home make you more productive?

We’re spending a lot more time in our homes and as work and family responsibilities merge, we’re finding ourselves more distracted and less productive.

With January being the time we set goals and figure out how to make our lives better, I wanted to share some ideas that can make your new home or renovation help you become more productive and healthy. 

These 10 design ideas will help you work efficiently, get more done in less time, and reduce stress for a healthy, productive home.

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What You'll Discover:

  • What designs you need to consider for a productive home
  • How to increase natural light and decrease noise
  • Why colors and the right furniture matter
  • How the layout of your home and rooms can increase productivity and wellness

Design Ideas for Productivity

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Smart, organized storage eliminates clutter, which stifles productivity. Buy storage furniture. This way you can hide most things, but still have a few areas for display, adding some life to the storage unit.

Being connected to nature allows your body and your mind to have a break. If you can't get outside, bringing nature into your house is equally important. Add a few plants to your workspace.

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Design a wellness kitchen so that you're encouraged to eat well. Display your healthy food.  Put fruit on the counter so it's easy to see and easy to grab.

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

038 // How to Help Everyone Live In A Healthy Home

This might be bad timing, with it being 3 days before Christmas, but I've been meaning to talk about this subject for a while, and finally had the chance.

So here we go...

Who's really affected by all the things we buy (and then throw away) in this country?

Who's primarily dealing with asthma and other serious illnesses because of where they live?

Who takes the brunt of the extreme weather events caused by climate change?

It's generally not the people that are buying all the things, or jet-setting around the world, or building mansions.

It's the country's low income and African American, Latino, and Native American populations.

This is what's known as environmental injustice, aka environmental racism.

This week's Healthy Home Design podcast digs into environmental justice and what we can do when building a new home or renovating to start fixing the environmental health disparity.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and I'll see you in the New Year!

Take care,

Kate

P.S. It's my New Year's resolution to do better at my own consumerism habits. What's yours?

Listen and Subscribe here:

What You'll Discover:

  • What environmental injustice is
  • What you can do in your day-to-day life to help end the consumerism cycle
  • How to use less when building a new home
  • How to choose healthy materials for your home

Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Building a smaller house means we're putting less burden on the environment, and less burden in those industrial areas of the world.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Instead of building with the cheapest material, think about what is durable and will last. A good example is a metal roof over an asphalt shingle roof; a metal roof will last a lot longer than a shingle roof.

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

Design your house or your addition and renovation so that there is less waste. Understand how materials are made and where it needs to end up when you're done with that material is very important when choosing materials in the first place.

Opt for a gravel driveway or a stone path instead of asphalt or concrete.

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

037 // What is a site analysis and why do you need one before designing your renovation / new build?

How well do you know your site? If you're planning a renovation or building a new home, you need to know it REALLY well.

You need to spend time on your property conducting a site analysis.

A site analysis is probably one of my favorite things to do. I realize I say this for a lot of things when it comes to design, but this one I love because I get to be outside and just look around.

Imagine if your home was filled with beautiful, warm sunlight all day long. Imagine if it felt like an extension of the outdoors. Imagine if in the winter time, ice didn't constantly build up along your walkway, and in the spring the threat of water coming into your basement wasn't a concern. Imagine if the neighbor's blaring music wasn't waking you up in the morning, or the street light outside wasn't shining directly into your bedroom window.

To make sure these dreamy things become a reality for your home, you need to conduct a site analysis. It's the first step to make sure your home is going to be comfortable, healthy and safe.

The sad thing is, it's rare for a new home being built to go through a site analysis before it's designed and plopped onto the site. This is why most homes have annoying issues like bad daylighting, neighboring noises, ground water concerns, views being blocked, over heating etc. etc. etc.

So what exactly is a site analysis and how do you conduct one? Make sure to listen to this week's episode of The Healthy Home Design Podcast to find out.

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What You'll Discover:

  • What is a site analysis?
  • When do you conduct a site analysis?
  • Why is a site analysis so important?
  • What do you need to do before you begin?
  • What should you be observing?
  • What should you be recording?

Site Analysis and Design Ideas:

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Consider how natural light and sunlight come into your home.

Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

It's important to know where wetlands are as you can't build on them, and they might hold you back.

Learn the orientation of your property and understand which way is north so you can design around the sun exposure.

Knowing the topography will help you understand where the hills and valleys are, and the water pattern of the land.

Helpful Links:

Climate Data Website: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

036 // My top 8 healthy and sustainable products from my renovation adventures

In this follow up from episode 32, I dive into some of my favorite products that we used in the renovation and also some of my least favorite products.

I use my renovation experience as a learning lab and a place where I got to experiment with all different materials that are a healthier alternative to other materials or are materials that work well in wellness homes.

Here are the top 8 healthy and sustainable products I found in my renovation adventure.

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What You'll Discover:

  • Easy, healthy, and environmentally options
  • What products and brands withstand hard use 
  • The products to choose for their health benefits

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

035 // 10 Questions to ask a potential contractor when building/renovating your sustainable wellness home

Finding a contractor for any renovation or new build project can be tricky. Contractors can be hard to find, especially in a busy market.

You want to make sure you’re armed with as much information as possible to make sure you’re finding the right contractor. 

In this episode of Healthy Home Design, I share my top 10 questions to ask a potential contractor to make sure they’re the right fit to build your wellness home.

Listen and Subscribe here:

What You'll Discover:

  • Why it’s so important to ask the right questions
  • What responses to watch out for and how to counter them
  • Which products and brands to recommend
  • The technical questions to ask

Enjoying the Podcast?

If you're enjoying the Healthy Home Design podcast I would love it if you could head over to iTunes to rate and review the show.  This is the best way to let others find the podcast.  Thank you for supporting the podcast!

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