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Down Home Radio Show

What Matters Most
What Matters Most - Home Picture

On Down Home, Tom Landis presents a new program series, What Matters Most.

There comes a time in life when you do something or don't do something. This is when you find out who you really are. Often, the small, simple pleasures make the most difference in our lives. Beyond styles, products, fashions, decors, materials and techniques, there are core values that make life truly worthwhile.

Tom's new program series welcomes guests who bring harmony, balance and dignity to the human experience.

Everyone has a story to tell, and, by listening to one another, sharing our hope and faith, our grief and loss, we strengthen our spirit of community, which is certainly one of the key ingredients of What Matters Most.

building community one home at a time

A picture of Tom.

Interview Podcast:

Educator, Journalist and Consumer Advocate, Tom Landis welcomes you to What Matters Most, true stories of living, working and building America.

Tom believes talk radio is an open conversation, an opportunity to invite artists, writers, scientists, architects, builders and ordinary people from all walks of life to report on What Matters Most by going Down Home on KLAY 1180AM on-air and online from the Great Pacific Northwest.

In charrette style, he recognizes collaboration as a way to harness the talents and energies of all members of our society to enhance community spirit.

The home building and remodeling experience is a metaphor for life. What's useful is how we adapt to life and allow changes to make us better human beings.

The thrust of Down Home is not to represent any single individual as "the expert" because the design/build process is a collaborative endeavor. Tom welcomes an eclectic mix of guests to report on What Matters Most, whether you're building a new home or rebuilding your life.

If you live in Washington State, you can attend an intensive, one-day seminar, "BETTER MANAGE YOUR HOME BUILDING OR REMODELING PROJECT", presented by Tom at any one of the eight locations where he's scheduled to present every quarter. Tom will introduce you to what you need to know before you build or remodel to avoid glitches and meet the challenges of your home building or remodeling project.

Seattle Tacoma Everett Olympia Auburn Bellevue

The purpose of the seminar is not to emphasize doing the hands-on labor of the construction trades; rather, the class introduces an approach for managing the Design/Build process by following the standard practices of the construction industry for working directly with public agencies, collaborating with construction professionals, hiring trade contractors, and purchasing from suppliers.

Down Home Podcast
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"Green from the Ground Up" with Guest David Johnston
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Tom interviews David Johnston, author of Green from the Ground Up. Mr. Johnston is a leading thinker behind the green building movement, transforming the way we think about home building. In direct response to the growing demand for sustainable, healthy, and energy-efficient homes, Mr. Johnston presents the most forward-thinking theories and the best-proven methods of new and remodeled green construction.
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"Ownerbuilder Consulting" with Guest Tony Golladay
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Tom interviews Tony Golladay, founder and CEO of BuildMax, America's premier ownerbuilder consulting firm. Mr. Golladay takes listeners through the steps of organizing and implementing a home building or remodeling project. He emphasizes the importance of planning in advance to create an efficient and effective job when working with designers, trade contrators, suppliers, and building officials.

Where We Lived
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"Where We Lived" with Guest Jack Larkin
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Tom interviews Jack Larkin, author of Where We Lived: Discovering the Places We Once Called Home. This book is considered the most evocative publication to date about how families lived at the dawn of the republic and how their houses shaped their lives. Where We Lived describes how early American families lived in their homes from Boston to the small farms of the rural South, from New Orleans to the raw frontier of Ohio and Illinois.
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"Home By Design" with Guest Sarah Susanka
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Tom interviews Sarah Susanka, author of Home By Design: Transforming Your House Into a Home. This is the book that Ms. Susanka has always wanted to write. A guide to what underlies style, and an exploration of the principles that transform an ordinary house into home. Susanka's philosophy is simple: good architectural design is as important as good nutrition, and a savvy understanding of your surroundings lets you craft a better place to live.
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"House You Build" with Guest Duo Dickinson
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Tom interviews Duo Dickinson, author of The House You Build: Making Real-World Choices to Get the Home You Want. Mr. Dickinson packs a career's worth of wisdom and practicality into this book, and he shares this wisdom with Down Home listeners. Dickinson divulges actual techniques for getting a dollar's worth of value for every dime spent on the design/build process. He explains how he empowers owners in the residential decision-making process.
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"Building Science" with Guest Betsy Pettit
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Tom interviews Betsy Pettit, architect and the president of Building Science Corporaton. Ms Pettit is currently the project manager for Building Science Consortium's Building America project, involving system design for over 2,000 high performance, energy efficient houses nationwide. Pettit has been responsible for the design of numerous communities, developments, and houses, which have standards for resource efficient housing around the country. Join her as she shares her knowledge on Down Home Radio.

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"Managing the Emotional Homeowner" with Guest David Lupberger
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Tom interviews David Lupberger, author of Managing the Emotional Homeowner. Mr. Lupberger draws on more than two decades of experience in the residential remodeling field. Lupberger believes fervently that the best customer service only comes when a contractor can deliver consistent results. His experience in managing customer expectations led him to write a book called, Managing the Emotional Homeowner, which has become one of the bibles of the remodeling industry.

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"Brand-New House" with Guest Katherine Salant
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Tom interviews Katherine Salant, author of The Brand-New House Book. Harvard-trained in architecture, new-house expert Katherine Salant began her career as a Fulbright scholar, studying village houses in Nepal. Katherine began writing her "Housewatch" column for the Washington Post in 1994. In her lively, accessible style, Katherine helps consumers learn to make good decisions, step by step, on every aspect of house design and construction, as they build a home that makes sense for them.

Down Home Archive

This "on demand" archive allows you to choose a topic of interest rather than listen to an entire show. Come back to visit the Down Home Archive because new interviews are being regularly added.

CNNfn interview with Tom Landis
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"CNNfn Money Talks - Interview of Tom Landis"
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Down Home Radio host Tom Landis is interviewed by CNN financial news on their Money Talks segment. Tom Landis shares his thoughts and insights with viewers world wide.

The New Cottage Home
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"New Family Home" with Guest Jim Tolpin

Tom interviews Jim Tolpin, author of The New Family Home and The New Cottage Home, as well as current president of the National Association of Home and Workshop Writers. Mr. Tolpin takes listeners through how and why he wrote these two, very fine books on creating custom homes, in which he emphasizes both the aesthetic and functional realms for the residential design/build process.

Puget Sound Directory
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"Puget Sound Directory" with Guests Melanie Willette and Chuck Harrington
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Tom interviews Melanie Willette and Chuck Harrington of Puget Sound Home & Garden Directory as they provide an introduction to the best sources for home remodeling and building in the Pacific Northwest. Driven by their sincere sense of community, Tom discusses with them why their product and service mix is a good fit to the homeowner.

TRM Wood Products Co., Inc.
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"Waiver of Lien" with Guest Bruce Wilkinson

Tom interviews Bruce Wilkinson, General Manager of TRM Wood Products. Mr. Wilkinson relies on 30 years experience as a lumber supplier and shares with consumers how best to work with a lumber yard to avoid problems with unscrupulous contractors.

Consumer Construction Scam
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"Whom Do You Trust?" with Guest Michelle Morrisson

Tom interviews Michell Morrisson, homeowner, who encounters the contractor from hell during the construction of her new home. Eventhough this contractor is licensed and bonded with solid references, Ms. Morrisson portrays a situation which every consumer needs to avoid.

NC State University
School of Design
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"Universal Design" with Guest Ron Mace

Tom interviews Robert Mace, Director at the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University and a Fellow at the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Mace speaks about the practicalities of a design for all people of all ages in residential architecture.

Creating The Not So Big House
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"Not So Big House" with Guest Sarah Susanka

Tom interviews Sarah Susanka, author of Creating the Not So Big House and The Not So Big House. Ms. Susanka welcomes us to the NSBH philosophy encompassing her simple yet elegant notion that a house should be built to work with the lifestyle and values of its occupants. She introduces us to "thinking in the third dimension" and reflects on the soulful nature of good design, explaining "a home is an extension of the lives of the people who live there so you can feel what peoples' passions are."


	    Kitchen and Bath Association
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"NKBA" with Guest Doris LaCroix

Tom interviews Doris LaCroix, Director of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Ms. LaCroix suggests ways in which consumers can best utilize NKBA services as well as consumer advantages at the NKBA web site.

Home Design
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"Concrete at Home" with Guest Fu Tung Cheng

Tom interviews Fu-Tung Cheng, author and designer, about his unique approach to creativity and craftsmanship in his custom home and product design practice. Cheng discusses the evolution of his work, sharing how his firm reinvented the traditional kitchen and bathroom by using concrete as a sculptural element.

Home Design
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"Cabinet Layout" with Guest Barry Tuttle

Tom interviews Barry Tuttle, Owner of Absolute Kitchen and Bath Marketplace. Mr. Tuttle reveals design concerns with cabinet layout in a kitchen noting some of the most common mistakes made by consumers.

Building Systems Magazine
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"Modular Building Systems" with Guest John Davis
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Tom interviews John Davis, General Manager of Stratford Building Corporation. Mr. Davis defines a modular building system, dispelling many of the myths and misconceptions for using this approach to home building. He explains how this type of building system produces fewer headaches for the homeowner and builder alike, and describes the building process as a sure-fire way to produce a better quality home.

Northwest Permit
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"Permit Process" with Guest Kelle Powell
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Tom interviews Kelle Powell, Regional Manager for Northwest Permit. Ms. Powell brings clarity to the increasingly complex permitting process by describing how to work effectively with building permit agencies. As a permit facilitator, she shares her depth of experience in techncial problem solving to avoid glitches normally associated with the permit process.

Building Systems Councils
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"Using Panelization" with Guest Rick Northcott

Tom interviews Rick Northcott, Vice President and General Manager of Armstrong Building Components. Mr. Northcott lists the tremendous advantages to panelization, and considers how consumers can best select the right building component provider for their remodel or new construction project.

Homing Instinct
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"Homing Instinct" with Guest John Connell

Tom interviews John Connell, author of Homing Instinct and founder of the Yestermorrow Design/Build School. Mr. Connell speaks of his concern for community and habitat, central themes in his approach to architecture. He eloquently presents the building process as an integrated approach, encouraging listeners to understand design and construction as two aspects of a single process.

Roof Trusses
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"Partition Separation" with Guest Chuck Walker

Tom interviews Chuck Walker, industry expert in manufacture and installation of engineered truss systems. Mr. Walker defines partition separation sometimes blamed on truss uplift, but more often attributable to other structural problems as building elements interact with one another; he then suggests preventative action to be taken to avoid partition separation.

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"Home from Nowhere" with Guest James Howard Kunstler

Tom interviews James Kunstler, author of Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere. Mr. Kunstler introduces us to the "new urbanist" movement, decrying what he calls our "national automobile slum." He doesn't mince words criticizing our deteriorating environment and slacking cultural heritage, but he also presents us with examples where neo-traditionalist architecture and new urbanist planning have made a decisive difference.

The Builder's Secret
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"Builder's Secret" with Guest George Ehrenhaft

Tom interviews George Ehrenhaft, writer, educator and ownerbuilder. Mr. Ehrenhaft suggests that we can learn the art of living through the craft of building, providing insight into the creation of his most recent book. He speaks candidly about the lives of folks who inspired him to write about the ownerbuilder experience.

Homes For Our Troops
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"Homes For Our Troops" with Guest John Gonsalves

Tom interviews John Gonsalves, founder of Homes for Our Troops, who changed his successful career supervising construction projects into the president and founder of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping build specially adapted homes for disabled veterans returning from the war in Iraq.

Jim Hinde
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"House into a Home" written and sung by Jim Hinde
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Enjoy the theme song of Down Home Radio. Jim Hinde, singer/song writer, is an extraordinary, modern folk singer. You can hear Jim at the Northwest Folklife Festival, and most of the time at Seattle's Pike Street Market directly in front of Starbuck's Coffee stand. Jim always sings from his heart and his conscience, and that's saying quite a bit in these hard times.

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