builddirect and me (interview style!).

Hello again, renovation friends! I plan to reveal our crazy exterior makeover tomorrow on, so I thought it might be fun to dedicate today’s post to our friends at BuildDirect who made our siding project possible. And because they employ a lovely blogger by the name of Rob Jones, I’m letting him take the reins — interview style! Find out how our partnership started, why we love design blogs and what renovation surprises I’ve encountered along the way!


Rob Jones of BuildDirect

Rob at BuildDirect: Erin, you contacted us about this project at just the right time, I think. The reason I say that is that there’s so much information out there on the Internet alone, and so many experts like yourself putting out great work and advice, that it makes sense for us to seek it out, and them out. That you came to us was a real bonus!

We’re looking to create resources for a common audience to yours, and it makes sense to help each other out getting useful content out there. That’s a big emphasis for us right now. After all, we know about the materials side. But, you know best about appearance and presentation.

Erin: I’m so flattered, Rob! I love that bloggers and corporations are beginning to re-invent the concept of customer interaction. You guys have been so helpful in providing everything we need, from advice to products and accessories. We were in such good hands this entire time!

R@BD: Another thing that made sense to us is the idea of being involved in a process which shows the regular progress of a project on the scale of what you’re undertaking. Have their been any surprises so far for you so far, good or bad?

EL: Oh my gosh, YES. Ha. My husband and I actually scheduled 4 days to install the siding on the front of our home. We’d installed vinyl/aluminum siding before, but fiber cement shingles are entirely different. The project ended up taking two weeks, although the bulk of the time, I’ll admit, was spent agonizing over measurements (Husband and I are far from math whizzes). Even though it took a long time, I love pulling into our driveway and seeing our [beautiful!] labor of love.

R@BD: That kind of leads me to a thought I’ve had while working at BuildDirect and developing dialogues with people along the way. We’ve been developing our blogs for some time, and it was pretty obvious to us what the underlying theme was going to be: transformation. I think people like to see something being transformed, from nothing or from something old and maybe looked upon as “past it” or even hopeless. What do you think people are after when they decide to do a major renovation like this? Are there any common factors?

EL: I think for us, we wanted two things: (1) customization and (2) affordability. There’s no doubt that DIY is almost always the most affordable option, and for us, it was the perfect way to get the exact results we wanted without worrying about owning a home that looked like everyone else’s.

R@BD: Speaking of affordability, one thing we’re striving to do is to enable homeowners to get the best materials for their money, that they don’t have to sacrifice on quality, even during a recession. Everyone at BuildDirect considered this project as a great example of that – as well as a chance to work with you, frankly! Is there an equivalent goal like this when it comes to the design side?

EL: I love that you mentioned ‘enabling’, because I think that’s what design blogs are all about. We want to enable others to look beyond the expected way to decorate, style and design. It’s about inspiration, really. We all want to inspire.

R@BD: We’re excited about working with you and seeing the progress of the project from the early stages, and onto completion. What do you hope the takeaways for your readers are going to be?

EL: I sooo hope my readers feel empowered by this project. I’m so far from a DIY gal and I’m not a trained designer. But I know what I like when I see it, and I hope that I can inspire others to establish their own aesthetic, regardless of its trendiness, accessibility or popularity. I’m still working on trusting my own instincts, but a project like this certainly flexes the creativity muscles!

Thanks, Rob, and all of you reading. I so appreciate you joining me for this ride!


Today’s interview was conducted by Rob Jones, chief blogger for online flooring and building materials company BuildDirect, who are proud sponsors of The House That DFM Built. Specifically, BuildDirect provided our fiber cement siding, a durable product that resembles real wood siding but is made from recycled materials (yay for the environment!).

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