5. You worked with Treehouse in sourcing some materials for your home. Were these materials readily available, or was the process of building a healthy home more of a collaborative effort where everyone learned along the way?
Jason Ballard and his crew at Treehouse are an unbelievable resource for Austin homeowners and builders. The majority of the materials they sell are not available in The Home Depot or Lowe’s, but are no more expensive than the toxic stuff that is. That being said, we used a fair amount of materials that they don’t carry, yet. They are getting more and more into the business of interior and exterior products, and when they are there, you could ideally build a house entirely from things they have vetted. In many ways, I think of them in that role above all others. They carefully and conscientiously research what goes into a product from a health point of view. This is something the conventional building suppliers in Central Texas just don’t do. Which is sad, really. I’ve met people like Brian McCoy, owner of McCoy’s Building Supply, and he is a good, honest man who means well. And there are many others like him. They just haven’t started looking at building materials from a health perspective, even though it’s as important to our health as what we put in our mouths each day. Stores like Treehouse are the vanguard of what I like to think of as a movement towards healthier building.