building secrets, Utah female builder

Unveiling Stephanie’s Spectacular Building Secrets

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Get ready to be wowed as we pull back the curtain on an incredibly organized and meticulous builder, Stephanie, a builder who will put 99% of other builders to shame. Join your host, Matt Risinger, for an exclusive inside look at Stephanie’s innovative building techniques and design inspirations as one of Utah’s top female builders.

See Stephanie’s genius planning and markings that help all the other trades, and her clients, understand where everything goes, avoiding the many layout mistakes that many builders make.

Be inspired by this project’s high-tech features, creativity in bedroom designs, and advanced flooring solutions. Witness the commitment to both efficiency and style through concealed plumbing fixtures, and marvel at the meticulous finishing touches that wow Stephanie’s clients.

From start to finish, Stephanie’s exacting craftsmanship and keen attention to detail shine through. Join Matt and Stephanie as they unveil the secrets behind her superior quality builds! Stephanie’s team is setting new standards for innovation in the world of house construction in Utah.

Over to you, Matt!

Unveiling Stephanie’s Spectacular Building Secrets

Video Transcript

No trespassing unless you happen to be with a builder you guys know Stephanie Dailey. Stephanie, how are you? Good, how are you? We just took a tour together and guys I got to tell you Stephanie is a really smart builder. I’m going to embarrass you here a little bit, but this house that we just toured absolutely fabulous work.

We’re in Utah Stephanie and her company Steven Dailey Homes, they do amazing work and I saw some things that I’ve never seen before that literally I’m going to take to my jobsites tomorrow to implement. So guys come take a tour with Stephanie and I. You ready Stephanie? Let’s get going. Tips from her job sites, let’s get going Stephanie.

How about we start in the kitchen? When I walked in here I immediately said “Alright Stephanie’s a pretty organized builder,” talk to us about all the spray paint. This is not graffiti I don’t suspect it is not graffiti in this house.

So after we’re done with framing we go through and do a really good deep clean and then I come in with all the cabinet drawings and myself and my team chalk out all the cabinetry throughout the house. So chalk out cabinetry, but this is spray paint so what do you mean chalk out the cabinetry?

We come through with chalk lines and we lay it all out first to make sure there’s no, yep, to make sure we have no mistakes. Got it. And then you can see all of our original markings we mark out where all the fillers and all the cabinets go. Then we come through and paint it with spray paint later so it stays long term.

That’s really smart and then people like the plumber know exactly where the appliances are. They never have to go and look for another piece of paper or scan the QR code to get the information, it’s right in front of them. That makes sense.

Okay so the plumber comes he’s putting an ice maker, uh utilities in here, yep and an ice maker needs a drain and a water line but you’re in an island. Where’s the shut off going? Where the heck does this land? Yeah we’ve got ice maker fridge and freezer and we do this with any appliances we run them, those back to the kitchen sink location and then we’ve got check that out. So all your shut offs are bundled in one spot.

We got them all in one spot so if we ever have a leak or an issue or something that needs to be repaired, super smart, homeowner can shut it off here without having to worry about trying to figure out how to move a built-in fridge or freezer or ice maker. So oh that’s genius Stephanie I like that.

Two things I want to point out to you, uh when I’ve done some spray p in the past I always get spray paint all over my tape measur so I love the fact that you chalk it out you get it nice and crisp and also I can still see those crisp lines so if I’m really trying to lay out a specific spot in the cabinet and I know where I’m at based on your chalk lines.

Yeah but this is really helpful I bet for your clients too to come in and really understand the space and you could have spent a bunch of money and done a you know mockup or whatever but this is a really inexpensive way for them to go “you know now that I think about it maybe this refrige on our counter here I’d rather have it another spot” and they can figure it out pretty easily.

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Yeah this we get all this stuff done and then as soon as we’re done with this we get the whole team together, electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors, audio, video, homeowners, and the designer and we do a whole day walkthrough through the house so we really kind of live in each space and they can kind of see exactly where everything goes, where everything lives, heights of countertops, and that’s really kind of our big meeting where we kind of discuss what goes where is that what I’m seeing here?

Hide to, you mentioned hide to countertop, is that what this is? Yep hide-a-countertop and the bottom of the taller than normal isn’t it? It is and that’s the reason we actually painted it out in this project.

All of our countertops are at 42” oh wow you have tall home, huns over here, tall hun. I like I like a taller cabinet, that’s awesome, it’s actually really nice I’m 39” at my house and I love it, yeah 42” is even a little taller and so I’m guessing this is like uh bottom of lower or pardon me the bottom of the upper cabinet correct as well?

Yep and we’ve got all of the uh outlets that would typically be in the backsplash we’re going to pull out just above this line that way uh we can do kind of a strip of plugs underneath the cabinet so you don’t see anything in the beautiful backsplash.

That’s really smart and by knowing that top of countertop especially when it’s not a standard height really makes sense. No one’s going to make a mistake if you’re at lunch one day, electrician puts a box in in the wrong spot exactly.

That’s a great tip okay Stephanie when I was walking through the house I noticed you’ve got some door jams that are engineered lumber but then you’ve got traditional framing and other places. Why the difference in lumber?

This is a decision that was made based off of the finished package. So the interior doors, we’re using the jams on those doors are actually 2” bigger than the RO throughout the house oh and that is so that this drywall can kind of dy in and give us a very contemporary modern look, y like a regul style flush base probably that kind of thing?

Yep exactly, gotcha and so by framing out all the door openings with engineered lumber we just know they’re straight they’re a lot easier, we don’t have to worry so much about shimming and tweaking those doors with the big jams that they’ve got and the concealed hinges and everything else they’re pretty tight in these openings so you want it to be as close as it can be and that’s our solution.

That is such a great idea and I also noticed speaking of doors you’ve got one of the new cavity slider 2×6 have you used any cavity slider in the past? I haven’t this is our first time and we got two of them in this house. I’ve got a bunch in my house and I really like them. These come in a parts kit if you haven’t seen these before check out my other videos on these but what’ you think about putting them together were they relatively straightforward?

It was incredibly easy so the one behind us here went together in together and installed in about 45 minutes, not bad at all. This one actually came as a 4ot and we needed it to be a 36 so we had to cut down some of the parts so al together this one was probably an hour and a half and we had never done it before either so I’m assuming it just gets easier as you go but they’re just so simple and it’s such a sturdy option.

Yeah they’re all solid aluminum, I shouldn’t say that I’m sure they’re not solid aluminum but they’re all made out of aluminum and they’re really nice you can see how beefy they are uh they also have some soft close, soft open options. This one’s got both of those and then this one over here is just soft closing so it’ll be fun to compare the difference between the two. Some good door tips.

Alright Stephanie as you’re coming down this hallway I noticed standard 2×4 looks like maybe Doug fur on one side but then engineered lumber on the other. Why the difference? Well our standard here is anything over 12’T we use engineered lumber, it just really makes those walls nice and straight. That’s a great tip right there especially in a house with level five drywall yeah for sure. And then here’s those jams again like we talked about earlier.

Now when I walk into this room I’m curious is this fireplace just not totally framed yet? It looks like everything else is framed, what’s the deal with this corner having a post but it’s kind of weirdly unopened here? Yeah so this post we left in when we framed because we didn’t have the fireplace box installed yet.

Okay this is an open corner fireplace so this will go away so will this little metal temporary piece once we get the glass in here that holds up that corner of the fireplace neat. And then this return will just come in and dy into the fireplace box itself so it’ll have kind of a little bit of a cever overhang look to it. Who makes this fireplace?

This is a Stellar custom unit we actually have a few of them here in the house different sizes different features but Stellar does a great job with different types of media we got to choose um the glass we did some cannon balls inside it has a bunch of different LED light colors that can change and then the actual function of the fireplace itself is really become pretty high-tech they’ve got a lot of controls that you can use from your phone and it’s a great option.

I like it. I also like that it’s got its own combustion air duct coming down to it and then its own uh exhaust duct of course which is double wall um looks like a pretty nice master bedroom right here and interesting that you also write in though a different spray paint color yellow instead of uh instead of orange your king size bed going in here.

We did yeah our biggest thing we wanted to check and make sure it was centered with the fireplace when we framed the fireplace so that was kind of a first first stop and then during some of the interior designers detailing she kind of uh specked some wall mounted nightstands and we wanted those to sit proud of this very contemporary floating bed so we built two little wing walls that you see here and here oh just a little 2×4 wall to kind of bring those forward a little bit.

Yep it’ll bring bring those nightstands out just to hair so when you’re in bed they’re kind of a little more accessible than reaching back behind you which is always a bonus but that also left us a really great little channel up here overhead we can use for some LED tape and create a really nice light acc. Cool I like that.

Now I got to point out every builder is going to be seeing a little bit of water in the floor at some point during the job looks like your plumber just poked through the roof on a rainy day today. It’s one of the reasons I switched to Advanc years ago Stephanie.

I had a job that was a uh my first inch and and eth plywood job y and it rained like mad on that job and all of my seams swelled. Muh and this was my very first custom home I built in 2005 and I thought was spending a bunch of money on awesome subfloor cuz prior to that I used commodity OSB when I was working for a production builder and had squeaks galore and that crappy OSB y so I spent a lot of money on that inch and the age plywood.

And to have it swell everywhere and I probably spent I don’t know $800 on sanding all those seams everywhere for that the hardwood guy didn’t have in his bid. I switched to Advanc and having look back has been awesome. How have you liked this new x factor which is a brand new version of it Advant?

It is yeah it’s got that built-in weather barrier and I’ll tell you what we started framing this house right at the beginning of winter so this floor has seen 2 feet of snow seen ice melt we’ve shoveled it snow blowed it and even today it’s got water on it from a really rainy day and like you said the plumber just put some pipe out through the roof it’s bulletproof this stuff is great and our finished floor through this house is actually uh big sheets of porcelain tile and the beautiful thing about this is it’s really going to give us a nice smooth surface to work with that’s pretty awesome.

The other thing I like about it is if you got a Sharpie it takes your Sharpie marks perfectly really uh it just writes perfectly on this whereas it’s really hard to write on standard plywood even or standard advvch it’s a little rough but that face on there makes Sharpie marks really stand out so when you’re making notes uh if you’re chalking lines everything’s really really clean. Yeah those chalk lines stand out I mean you can still even see from a month plus ago the chalk lines we did for all the cabinetry and they stand out great for sure good tips.

Alright Stephanie another paint I’m guessing this is door swing in blue. What’s the purpose of the door swing paint? Nothing worse than getting a light switch put behind the wrong side of the door. So this really gets us to where the electrician knows alright not without even having to look at a set of plans this is the way the door opens my switch box goes here.

So just one extra step we can take and right behind me some thing that I have made the mistake of not doing on more than one occasion. This looks like a giant Simpson hold down strap that’s probably required for earthquake or whatever exactly but notice what Stephanie and her team have done.

They have routed out this big channel for that strap to recess into so when the drywall guy comes that drywall is going to be nice and flat across there that is that is I got to say that I wish I could say that’s a litmus test for a good builder but I’ve not done that and I hate to call myself a bad builder but I’m not sure i’ I’ve always done that. So that’s a great one.

Now Stephanie the other thing I noticed in this master as we walk into this master bath area master shower uh I’m noticing a double framed wall looks like 2×6 and a 2×4 why are the extra depth in here? Yeah the interior designer really wanted plumbing fixtures on this outside wall and we all know here in Utah’s climate that’s not a great idea.

Yeah it gets cold here in Utah it gets cold. So how we solved that problem is we put a 2×4 on the side of our 2×6 exterior so we’ll insulate this full cavity just like we normally would um this 2×4 cavity will also end up getting just fully insulated but we can run our plumbing through that and it’s a lot more safe than it is in that outside W. It’s really smart.

I like that now uh how come your plumbing pipes all seem to be like coordinated into this weird corner over here what’s going on in this?

This master shower has a lot of fixtures so we have the rain head, the cascade, okay we have his and her shower heads, his and hers handheld bars and we did not want to see all those valves on the wall.

Oh yeah so such a pain it’s it’s a pain so we chose to use the colar digital, The Anthem, and we really excited about how this is going to work we p so all these pipes are coming over and then where do you, where do you hide that’s got a big I have that in my house it’s got a big uh plastic box that that’s basically a electronic thermostatic did I say that right? Yep so how where are you hiding that?

We’re going to hide it actually the room that you’re in which is a closet we will put a kind of a mud in vent cover almost access panel cover uh we found some really great ones by a company called fitties and they look really modern look really clean and simp one of those little bad boys right there fit’s access panel they make them a bunch of different sizes not a bad price 265 bucks for this particular one yeah they make them really affordable it looks clean it’s simple you don’t end up with like an added panel on the outside that’s maybe not that aesthetically pleasing.

So we’ll use that there they’ll come in here we’ll have all six functions in this shower with our cooler digital here on the wall and it’ll be that’s fantastic. You could also if you wanted to put a second controller outside the shower which I did at my house and I love being able to be uh totally dry totally outside of the shower I want an 107° it’s good to go. And lastly uh hopefully everybody saw this we’re currently stepping down into the shower not everybody does this this is a great detail talk to me about what you did here?

Yeah so the idea is we have a zero entry shower so it’s just flush as you walk from the bathroom into the shower itself so we’ve actually had the trust manufacturer when they did the floor trusses they recessed a notch in those so that we could depress both of the main floor showers have that zero clearance entry.

The tile will just slope back here to the drain in the back and it really gives you an easy access in and out for a lifetime if you ever needed something with wheelchair accessible but it’s also just a much cleaner more contemporary higher end kind of custom look.

Those are some fabulous tips from Stephanie right there alright Stephanie now you told us about the double wall in the shower but double wall also where the vanity goes what’s the purpose of this one kind of a similar uh solution I guess for a wall mounted faucet in this case. Okay that makes sense.

But in addition to that we also have these in-wall Roburn medicine cabinet mirrors ah you got a little recess and also I’m noticing then that means you don’t have to have a header so when you drop your r bur cabin in here the recess is fine and you still have full depth insulation behind there right? Absolutely yeah I mean we end up with a lot more insulation in this cavity than we would normally have but we get the benefit of all the plumbing and the rburs being in that front wall.

Super smart you can see the plumber’s pulled all of his pipes up through that front wall too so we’re just keeping everything nice and tied up here and then we’ll fill this whole cavity with insulation, full depth insulation behind it you’re notice the plumbers bringing it in the front side of that cavity as well.

They’ve also put their stud shoe plates on. This is some really good stuff here Stephanie I like these safety guards I’ve never seen this before what is this? Yeah they’re pretty durable they’re called PR guards they uh sent them out to us to give us a try and they’ve been great you can kind of take them on every job just screw them in and and obviously you can put rails in whatever direction and all that kind of stuff exactly.

Yeah they’ve been perfect and you know some sometimes we’ll just hold them off the wall a little bit we can continue all the way through drywall and keep them up that’s smart I like that.

Yeah uh how about we go downstairs? Yeah I’m thinking there might be one or two things I want to show these guys downstairs how about that let’s do it. Alright come on down with us. Alright Stephanie look at this mechanical room you told me what to expect and it’s even prettier than I expected it is.

Last time I think you were here we were just getting ready to Ready to pour these basement slabs. I gave you a little bit of information why we recess the floors in here in case there’s ever any water issues. This is recessed and it doesn’t run immediately out into the basement.

What did you, what did you reset it – a 2×4 or a little or uh or less – a 2×4 yeah. So, so just a 2×4 recess in this laab inch and a half yeah recessed it down and then at this stage we’ve actually called in an epoxy crew to come in and finish the floors entirely. How about that!

We’ll get all the walls insulated. We’ll get drywall put up in here and then we’ll set the furnaces down on top of this floor so that this room really becomes a finished space just like anything else in the house. I mean think about her clients coming into the space uh with a friend or with somebody that they’re showing off the house to and what they’re going to think about Stephanie’s company.

They’re going to say oh my gosh your builder was really detailed and frankly if you ever do have a leak it’ll never be a problem with this recess. I mean this is such a great right, such a great tip Stephanie. Adds a nice little detail for a fairly minimal cost yeah.

No if speaking of cost if you want to do it for less though uh what what I’ve done in my own house Stephanie was I I did something similar in my mechanical space. I used a um latex based uh kind of concrete paint yeah uh Battleship Gray not nearly as pretty as this not nearly as shiny but I do have this kind of matte gray painted floor and I was able to touch it up in a spot or two where got scuff during construction or I didn’t cover it well.

Now this is obviously would you could do whatever on it and it would clean up really well but doing something at this stage makes a lot of sense. I really like that that’s a great tip turned out great very very smart Stephanie. I got to tell you fantastic build super super impressive.

Thank you uh guys if you’re not following Stephanie already she’s posting all the time on Instagram we’ll link that right here but she’s shot I don’t know you’ve been on build Show Network for like four months now I have she’s got at least 12 15 videos now on build Show Network her and her company amazing work they’ve been here in Utah for what your dad started the company 30 plus years ago. She’s the second generation super amazing builders. Guys you need to be following their work. Go check out Stephanie daily over at buildshow

Stephanie I really appreciate the tour. You know how I finish out my videos right? Right I do. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram otherwise we’ll see you next time on the build show.

Steven Dailey Construction

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