Always New Things to Learn

Lately we’ve been shooting footage of classes for the Homebuilders’ Association. It has been very informative and interesting. The most recent class was in Wilsonville, OR. The topic? Thermodynamics. Going in, I didn’t know how that very scientific sounding title related to building homes, but then I’m not very knowledgeable about construction. My boxes never end up square.

The class was a lecture about how new technology can help houses last longer; mainly due to materials and design principles that allow water to evaporate and flow instead of being stuck inside wood to cause rot and mold.

The instructor traveled a lot to give lectures and inspect home building sites. He had photographs of some very shoddy practices, and his goal was to teach people how to do construction right. He showed the photos as part of a PowerPoint presentation and I was surprised at the images of homes (only a few years old) that had lots of problems because of poor design. The instructor had a mock house corner (a couple walls and a partial roof) in the room for participants to view. It had a window, Tyvek wrap, insulation, window flashing, ventilation holes, and more to demonstrate how the construction should look. He encouraged the builders in the class room to create their own mock house corner out of scrap wood so that the people at the construction site doing the work could see a reference of how to do it right. You could see how the window was framed, how the wrap and evaporation “spacers” would let water flow, as well as holes that were cut to the correct size for ventilation or a wall outlet.  It sounded like a lot of the problems were caused by people who did poor work because they were in a hurry, or had been shown the wrong way to do the job. Apparently bad work is often fixed with lots of caulk.

I learned a lot during that class. The instructor presented the material in a fun informative way. He cared about what he was saying and I saw a lot of very experienced building professionals nodding their heads in agreement about the need to improve practices. The need to improve the methods, and the available technology to do so, was promoted in a clear, concise way. I found myself laughing along with the jokes and shaking my head while I looked at examples of lazy, sloppy work. And I thought my non-square box was bad! It’s good to know that people care enough to want to keep learning and to do good work.

That’s one of the cool things about being videographers. We produce videos for car dealers, restaurant owners, toy stores, medical facilities, furniture stores, educators, musicians, actors, politicians…the list is quite long. The point is that we learn about very many different topics. It’s very interesting to submerse yourself in someone else’s profession (if only briefly), then create a video that promotes their business, shares their message, or simply presents them to the world via media. I’m happy that I took a chance by quitting a “secure” (yet incredibly boring) job to start my own business years ago.