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Site To See: UserFriendlyHome.com

Written by on Thursday, 07 September 2000 7:00 pm
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It's those seemingly innocuous features you missed on your final walk-through that now makes life in your new home a living hell.

  • That "conveniently" located corner refrigerator that won't let you fully open the door. Wham!
  • The bathroom door that forces you to sidle in because it won't clear the toilet. Pow!
  • A dishwasher half a kitchen away from the sink. Whew!
  • Ceramic towel bars permanently built into the tile shower wall!

Say, what?

Yes.

You must dry yourself with wet towels.

Forever.

Salem, OR-based Myron E. Ferguson has the digital photos -- in bad-living color -- to prove it.

(No wonder new home builders won't let you in model homes with a camera.)

You've read his book, "Build It Right " (Home User Press, $18.95).

Now see the Web site, UserFriendlyHome.com.

You'll be amazed how often new home builders' form often functions to make your new home more like a carnival fun house than housing for the New Millennium.

Ferguson closely examined more than 2,000 new homes in the last decade and now the engineer, author-publisher and consumer advocate electronically outs the industry's worse offenses.

It ain't pretty.

His new Web site reveals the pathos, the horror, the incredibly stupid things builders build and how incredibly stupid buyers let them get away with it.

But there's a happy ending.

UserFriendlyHome.com is not designed to trash builders -- even those who've trashed new homes and deserve it.

He doesn't name names, except which builders are more apt to build a home like they ought to be built.

The Web site focuses on giving new home buyers another set of eyes and home builders, hopefully, will gain the good sense to, well, build the damn thing right.

UserFriendlyHome.com offers a free check-list of 300 new home items buyers should carefully inspect for bloopers -- provided you buy his book.

Ferguson makes no bones about it. The site is designed to sell the book.

C'mon. The site is advertiser free and the Web site does give you plenty of hints to help you determine what makes a user-friendly home.

As Better Homes and Gardens editor Robert Wilson says in his review of the book, "The only thing worse than facing the hundreds of decisions involved in building a house is living with neglected details."

UserFriendlyHome.com also includes a list of links to Web sites offering owner-builder education, buying and selling assistance, home inspection information among others.

Best of all is the "Horrid Little House," a digitized little house of horrors floor plan laden with hidden dumb designs you can find online and learn to avoid in real life.

For builders, Ferguson offers idealism -- along with an appeal to their bottom line.

If you build it right, he says, buyers will come and they will bring their family, their friends, their coworkers and others desperately seeking sanely built new homes.

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  About the author, Broderick Perkins

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.
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