Musings

The Myth of Radiant Barriers

I’ve been seeing more and more advertisements for radiant barriers, radiant insulation, and along with them wild claims about how the magical flow of radiant energy defies the otherwise present laws of science and robs our homes of warmth, cool and small children in cradles. Here are some of the most offensively deceptive claims: 90% […]

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What Does ‘Quality Material’ Mean?

If we’re asked to explain why the total investment on our proposal is higher than someone else’s price for a project one of the factors I cite is that we only use high quality materials. It’s easy to tell a client something like “we only use high quality materials”, but what does that really mean? […]

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Building and Remodeling is not a Commodity

I’ve been noticing ads lately regarding “real time price checking” and “price matching”. The culmination of internet shopping and big box stores has created a marketplace where comparitive price shopping is so quick and easy that the giant retailers are actually willing to do it for you. I guess this is a wonderful thing, after […]

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The Death of Durability

    Has anyone else noticed that it is getting more and more difficult to find good quality durable products in our market place?     It is my belief that this is but one element of a consumer driven mentality that embraces low prices at the sacrifice of quality, durability and craftsmanship.  This is a very […]

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Temporary Labor

We recently began a project that involved stripping multiple layers of wallpaper from almost every room in a 3000 square foot house.  We decided to use workers from a temp service.  It was an eye opening experience. In conversations with the workers I learned several things about what these folks go through to get work.  […]

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Have We Declared War on Work?

Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, did a presentation on TED.com last month.  If you’re short on time fast forward the video to the 15:20 mark. I think Mike brings up some insightful points in his presentation. I also think he is still missing parts of the big picture. Many blue collar workers ARE either […]

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Thinking Green

On a crisply frozen January evening I arrived at my home after a long day of building to be informed by my better half that my neighbor, who was tending to her dying father at the hospital, had an oil furnace that wouldn’t fire up. Grumbling under my breath I trudged through the snow to her house.  After trying […]

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