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Bob Vila Discusses Web-Ready HomesAired February 9, 2001 - 1:40 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: If you've been thinking about expanding your kitchen or adding a deck, you certainly aren't alone. Don't tell my husband I said that, though.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: You're not alone because home remodeling is now a $150-billion-a-year business, accounting for 2 percent of the gross domestic product.
Bob Vila has championed home improvement on his popular television programs "This Old House" and "Home Again." And he's here in Atlanta for a convention of the National Association of Home Builders.
Bob Vila, welcome.
ALLEN: Hi there.
BOB VILA, HOST, "BOB VILA'S HOME AGAIN": Thank you. It's great to be here.
ALLEN: Thanks for being here.
FRAZIER: Yes, we are used to dealing with old houses that you rip out and clean up and patch up and fix up, but now you're talking about looking ahead.
VILA: This is the builder's show. And it's 2001 and we are looking at kind of the future being here. I mean, when I started out in building 25, 30 years ago practically, we didn't know about the Internet. And the Internet really is making huge impact on today's home builder and on today's home.
So one thing that we've unveiled today is a collaboration between Sears and Home Director, and a concept that's basically the connected home. And what that means is that you'll be able to have the Web in your home, all over your home all of the time.
ALLEN: Is this a huge cost added on to a home?
VILA: No, it's really only available right now -- we're looking at the control center, as it were. This is where everything kind of arrives and then gets distributed. But we're looking at something that's really a product based in the new home industry right now. And you would be able to receive and distribute both video, audio, you know, your security, your telephone lines. All of it gets controlled through here so that you can have security systems and you can be in the kitchen and you can monitor the security systems around the house and you can see what the kids are doing in the family room. Or if you hear a noise in the middle of the night, you can click something on and turn lights on and take a look outside. You can also get kitchen appliances these days. And if you're going to be doing your kitchen over you should look into this. But you can get kitchen plans...
ALLEN: Well, my husband's going to kill me.
VILA: Yes, you're in trouble now.
You can get appliances that are going to be self-diagnosing. You can get a refrigerator from Kenmore that has a Web pad attached to it. And on that Web pad, you can automatically stream to a cooking site, for example, and get a recipe and get inspired for dinner tonight, and then order the ingredients and have them delivered. This stuff is real now. I mean, this is here now.
FRAZIER: It's here for new houses, though. But look, you've got that panel with all those wires, which I presume run behind the wall.
VILA: No, that's a good observation.
FRAZIER: If you have an existing house with the sheet rock or the plaster already up, that's a nightmare.
VILA: It's for new construction.
FRAZIER: What about for existing houses? Could do you that with wireless technology?
VILA: Wireless technology is getting to the point that, in a another couple of years, you're probably going to have the same ability to have broadband throughout the house in a wireless capacity. So that if I were looking to have this right now, I'd wait a little bit for a renovation job. But if I were building a brand new house -- and we have, you know, a very strong housing market right now; we still have a very strong economy in the housing sector -- this is something that up to 40 percent of new home buyers are saying, yes, we want that. And in an average situation, it might add $4,000 or $5,000 to the overall bill of construction, which is a small percentage.
ALLEN: I saw lots of folks crossing the street here on my way into work heading over to the convention. What are the other things that they're talking about at this convention this year?
VILA: It's crowded over there. Just opened up at noon. I'm a big fan of the whole, you know, engineered lumber industry. And one of the great things that I've seen in the last few years is the more responsible use of lumber and the use of commercially grown timber like aspen for the manufacture of products like oriented strand board, which is the plywood-type material that's sheathing a lot of houses these days. It's more economical and it helps conserve trees.
ALLEN: All right.
FRAZIER: It's used in flooring and things like that, too -- floor joice.
VILA: All over the house, sure, yes.
FRAZIER: We'll see lots of it coming.
FRAZIER: Bob Vila, thanks for joining us here today.
VILA: My pleasure.
FRAZIER: Good luck in the crowded hall across the street.
VILA: Thank you.
ALLEN: And I'll see you over at my home this weekend to take a tour of my kitchen.
VILA: Come see me at BobVila.com. I'll give you a hand.
ALLEN: OK, Bob, thanks.
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