The Monkey Blog

Know How at American Air

What the heck is the Monkey Blog? Just a play on words to describe a condition in the building industry. It takes a stab at the ‘thoughtfulness’ of builders. You may have experienced this condition in your attic if you have a configuration of roof trusses with excess engineering. Some homes have different floor levels and ceiling lines with flat ceilings mated with vaulted ceilings.

The problem is that when you have to crawl through the trusses to do  some sort of attic work, you have to be a ‘Monkey’, in order to get through. Anyone who has worked in an attic for an extensive amount of time, can and will get extremely exhausted in the course of a day. The other point to make is the thoughtfulness (or the lack thereof) of some sub-contractors using the only means of access through the trusses (causeway) for routing building materials making the causeway almost impossible to use. So, if you are building a home, make sure the ’causeway’ is not restricted or impeded so as to make remodeling easier for the future. Don’t be a ‘Monkeys Uncle’

Send your contributions about ‘monkey’ conditions by clicking on the gray box next to the Blog Title.

Fire Safety


Fire Safe Council

See on Google Maps

Builders build houses. Firemen put out fires. Builders re-build houses. Fire safety for most home owners means protecting the family and mitigating disaster to property. But the point is that any disaster mitigation to real property is ‘remodeling’. Even if it is ‘landscaping’ and ‘irrigation systems’ for the 30/70 rule. New building codes and the Wildland Urban Interface mean new concepts in buying or improving your primary investment; your home. Go to Google maps and type in 915 14th St Oroville, CA. Click on the ‘satellite image’ tab, and drag the little man icon over to the street. You will now see THIS house as it stood before the fire.  It has been my contention that the construction industry and incident command should indeed colaborate on a truly public/private venture. Case in point is the Shasta County Fire Safe Council. People coming together to help their community become more educated about fire safety. It is why The Owner Builder is a member of the SCFSC. Bringing the elements of the construction industry to people who make a difference for your safety. It just may be that some day, you’ll thank your neighbor for creating a fire break that saved your property.

The New Curb Appeal


trash or treasure? use your curser

It used to be that a prospective real estate buyer would look at a home from the street and become ‘misty’ about some aspect of the property. “I want it”, proclaims the dreamy eyed buyer and the offer process begins. However, a new type of savvy home buyer lurks the hot sheets and  back streets for the deals that parley. The green buyer! Not the tree hugging sort, but the economically construction smart person that sees the structure for the real value, not the sentimental. And while the not so bright first timer is considering the buy, the sophisticate is locking in the deal with his guaranteed loan and negotiating prowess. What does this person know? I’ll tell you! This person is looking at the property from the building industry standpoint! He/she sees a new HVAC system with a SEER 13 or higher energy rating that was installed last year. This person sees a retrofit window job done sometime recently with vinyl dual glazed windows for added efficiency. They see Energy Star appliances in a kitchen remodel. And if the home is located in the Wild Land Urban Interface, they see cement board siding and building code upgrades galore. They are not too interested in the paint on the ceiling, rather the depth of the insulation just above the sheet rock. And they look in the attic to see that the prior owner was smart enough to make it R-40. This is what separates the mature home buyer from the Wanna-be. What’s your edge in the R/E market? Get hold of your favorite contractor buddy the next time you want to buy a home. Have him save you some green. It’s amazing what he knows.