Building science: Matt Risinger | Episode 20

This episode of The Building Code features guest Matt Risinger of Risinger & Co. and The Build Show. Contrary to where he actually recorded the episode (Minneapolis, Minn.), he’s based out of Austin, TX.

Do houses really need to breathe?

While Matt was in Minnesota, he visited a job site that was using something he’s never seen before: a Minnesotan product called Tstud. Most houses are framed with insulation between 2x4s or 2x6s, leaving houses with inefficient framing. But the home on this job site was a little different due to Tstud. The Tstud is a thermally broken, insulated wall stud that brings an R-value of R20, rather than the R6.8 value of traditional studs. Matt has a video all about it – check it out here.

A common misnomer is houses need to breath … but in reality, people need to breathe, not the house. Matt posed the question, “Would you build a house with windows that only went within one inch of shutting, but didn’t actually shut?” According to him, this is the same as building a leaky house that “can breathe.” Matt and his team recommend building an airtight house and then bring air flow into the space, which is much easier, less expensive and more efficient.

Success of The Build Show

We also talked with Matt about one of his most recent YouTube videos: “This MISTAKE Nearly Put me OUT of Business.” The video talked about one of the biggest mistakes Matt has ever made in his business, which was building a house with a cost plus guaranteed maximum and not properly accounting for change orders. Matt now uses Buildertrend and has systems in place to make sure an issue like this will never happen again. He uses technology to his advantage to take the pain out of the process and make things easier. In his video, Matt focuses on the benefits of having an iPad in the field to have customers sign change orders right then and there and keep on top of other important project updates.

Matt enjoyed discussing another of his passions with us: building science. While he was working in Portland, Ore., in 2001, The Mold Crisis was in full effect. Homes only a few years old grew mold, which led homebuilders to buy the houses back. After this crisis took hold, Matt immediately wanted to learn the science behind the building, which is a passion he still weaves into his YouTube videos today.

As for using Buildertrend, Matt’s company has been using it for over two years, but the biggest gamechanger for his team was investing in our Onsite Consulting. The Buildertrend team helped them get up to speed with the platform much faster than they would have on their own. According to Matt, “That was money incredibly well spent.”

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