Clippings by MichelleDT

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RE: Best websites for find deals while building your home? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: caben on 08.22.2012 at 02:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

Last time round, I bought most of my plumbing fixtures, handle sets, lighting etc from the websites (,, etc).

They are in CA so you will pay sales tax (sometimes you can find stuff cheaper out of state). However I found that they generally had pretty good prices, and were the best price on some items like emtek handlesets.

If you are ordering a lot from them you should actually call in and ask for additional discount pricing above and beyond what they show on the website. I worked with a rep there and was able to save quite a lot. The other great thing about them is their dispatch is in Chico, so you can place an order for a toilet in the late afternoon one day and it'll be on your doorstep the next morning.

Here is a link that might be useful:


clipped on: 08.25.2012 at 02:55 am    last updated on: 08.25.2012 at 02:55 am

RE: What oven mitt for 1850 degree infrared broiler? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: Cep55 on 07.12.2012 at 12:47 pm in Appliances Forum

I don't have my infrared broiler yet... (about ten days more and it'll be live!) but I plan to use welding gloves as I have been doing for all of my high-heat grilling (where silicon also gets way too hot!) I find that Black Stallion makes great welding gloves (for IR broiler, go for MIG rather than TIG, as the former has heat shielding/padding on the back-of-hand part, whereas TIG gloves do not). Stick welding gloves provide the absolute highest heat protection, but are more heavily padded so you sacrifice dexterity there.

For you female high-heat cooks, I have recently started using and highly recommend Angelfire (Black stallion's women-geared welding line) MIG gloves and love them. They are a lot less cumbersome than the regular welding gloves, and are nicely tailored to a woman's hand.

Be safe... :)



clipped on: 07.13.2012 at 07:53 pm    last updated on: 07.13.2012 at 07:53 pm

Pip's Kitchen - updated photos

posted by: pipdog on 02.08.2012 at 12:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

I posted my kitchen last year after our reno was mostly complete, but I never got around to taking photos of it after we got our banquette table and moved back in to the space. A friend of mine is a photographer and snapped some recent photos for us, so I thought I'd share the final, finished photos of the kitchen, one year later. Thanks again to this super helpful forum which helped us so much in this remodel!

--pip aka pipdog


Here is a link that might be useful: Original post with all the details


clipped on: 07.04.2012 at 11:56 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2012 at 11:56 pm

I am so pleased want to SHARE

posted by: annsch on 07.04.2012 at 04:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

Painters just finished with the walls in kitchen/family room. There is one minor adjustment to wall with doors and windows, but I am LOVING the color!

Benjamin Moore Nimbus on walls, BM Simply White on all trim and BM White Heron on ceiling and wall above picture moulding.

Take a peek (sorry so large):







clipped on: 07.04.2012 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 07.04.2012 at 11:53 pm

RE: HELP! On Custom Vent Hood (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: clinresga on 01.06.2012 at 09:44 am in Appliances Forum

I'll leave it to kas regarding the performance issues. What I want to do is to strongly recommend that you look at dedicated custom hood fabricators before you get some sheet metal guy pretending to know what he's doing building yours. This is a major league ventilation project and hate to see you end up with a kludgy home brew solution when better ones exist.

I am a broken record on this recommendation, but it's the only one I can make based on personal hands-on experience. We had our custom hood liner built by Modern-Aire:
Ours is a 64'' wide unit with their high quality baffles running across the liner. They can fab the size and configuration any way you want: we have fully dimmable halogen lights running to a wall dimmer, along with the Fantech blower controlled by an adjacent infinitely variable speed control adjacent to the light switch. They can configure it for 12'' ducting, which you'd need with the FKD 12XL (and I'm impressed that you can find space to run 12'' ductwork!). I can virtually guarantee that the quality will exceed what an inexperienced fabricator can do, and at a price that will be competitive. There are other companies that can do an equally good job and I am sure others can post of their experiences with those.

One more question: I'm confused by the concept of using an air conditioning unit for MUA. I worry you are missing the basic concept of MUA. MUA is all about high volumes of outside air flowing unencumbered into your kitchen. Correct me if I'm wrong, but split systems are designed to recirculate 100% of the cooled air--the ones we use at our office to cool our lab and server closet have absolutely no outside air source. Therefore, they would provide zero cfm of MUA, right? The only way I know to do what you're asking (to bring in cooled MUA) would be to use a heat exchanger, something usually reserved for commercial applications. But then again, if you're pulling that much air out the hood, maybe that's what you need. Your suggestion of dampers in the cabinets might be closer to the mark, assuming you can get large enough ducts under your cabs to allow 1500 cfm of MUA to flow. If you had the room, you could then run those ducts through the heat exchanger to give you at least partial cooling of the outside air before it hits your kitchen.


clipped on: 07.01.2012 at 08:12 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2012 at 08:12 pm

RE: AnnaChosak-name of your pretty grey?? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: breezygirl on 06.12.2012 at 04:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ouhhh...ouhh!! I painted my living room BM Thunder. Great color! I get compliements on it all the time.


clipped on: 06.28.2012 at 11:25 pm    last updated on: 06.28.2012 at 11:25 pm

RE: BOXER- and anyone else-pls post pics of grey cabs with the co (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: breezygirl on 06.11.2012 at 01:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

For a darker, true gray, have you looked at BM Coventry Gray? It always looks like a very gray gray without blue or green undertones to me in any light I've looked at it.

P.S. There nothing wrong with softer grays! I really liked BM Gray Owl and wanted to use it for my kitchen or family room, but when I tried it in those rooms there was so much natural light that the paint looked pastel green. Yuck. It is, however, magic in our office! Less natural light there makes it look softly gray with only a hint of green.


clipped on: 06.28.2012 at 10:30 pm    last updated on: 06.28.2012 at 10:30 pm

Completed Construction - Modern Home And Lessons Learned

posted by: toddao on 05.07.2012 at 08:24 pm in Building a Home Forum

It's been 8 months since we completed construction and moved into our new home. I followed this forum closely during our build and as a first time (and hopefully last time) home-builder felt like I got a lot of good information here. So, in the hope of helping those who come after me, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts and write down some things that others may find helpful in their builds. Our total process took nearly two years. We began with a builder and his architect to modify a plan that he had built and that we liked. Our goal was to build our forever house as energy efficient as possible, including geothermal HVAC and building to Earthcraft standards. During this process, it became apparent to us that this builder was not comfortable doing what we were asking and we finally had to part ways after several months. The good news was that he introduced us to an interior designer who we ended up using and through whom we met and hired our incredibly talented architect. Our inspiration was Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie Style design. In our previous house we loved having coffee in the morning watching the birds in our backyard through our bay windows, so we wanted to ensure that we maximized our views into the heavily wooded 1.2 acre lot that we were fortunate enough to find in the city. Bottom line is that the architect and interior designer added a great deal of value to our project in ensuring that our home suited our needs and vision and I would not start the process with a builder if I had it to do over again.

We ultimately found a builder that we felt comfortable with and then we had to get through the contract process. We went with a cost plus contract with a guaranteed maximum price and used an AIA contract. We also added a cost savings clause that I personally would not do again if I had it to do over. This ended up being the biggest source of contention between us and our builder. Despite spending a lot of time with our specs there are invariably still too many variables that are open to interpretation. For example, we specified a full masonry fireplace. We had no idea that this did not include the flue, and since we didn't specify a full masonry flue (which we indeed wanted), he believed we should accept that cost. This may not be the best example, but suffice it to say that no matter how much time and effort we had put into the most detailed specs, this was still a problem. Thankfully, we were ultimately able to resolve things amicably.

The other thing we learned is the importance of carefully reading every line item of what you are purchasing and not to leave this to the builder or architect. One of the first major purchases we had to sign off on was the windows. We received a 20 page pdf file full of abbreviations that we didn't check thoroughly enough. Our builder and architect didn't pick up the fact that the sales rep included shiny brass hardware on our sliding windows and doors. We had no other shiny brass anywhere in our home. I posted on this during our build, and won't belabor the point, but it ended up being an expensive mistake for us that the vendor was not at all customer friendly about helping us resolve. Lesson learned.

The only other important thing we learned that is more specific to modern architecture is the importance of the quality of the trim laborers and framers. With modern architecture, the trim is minimal and quite precise. There are no big pieces of molding to cover up sloppy framing. We felt that the quality of trim work we received could have been better, and if I had it to do over again, I would have specified who was going to do the trim work.

In terms of the geothermal HVAC, in case anyone is interested, so far we are pleased. Between the federal tax credit we got and the savings in our energy bills, I believe we made the right decision for our forever home. We also love not having the outside noisy compressors.

Another lesson I learned was not to let my short term financial fears get in the way of picking something you will be living with for a very long time. A good example is the walnut paneled wall in our living room. This came at the end of our build when finances were very tight. I was ready to abandon this wall, and I now realize how short-sighted that would have been. The wall is the focal point of our living room.

I also didn't realize how much I would love our floors. They were a splurge (6" American black walnut), but we absolutely love them and are so grateful that we did this.

Ultimately I feel incredibly fortunate that we now have a home that we truly love. I'm also grateful that in the current economy and real estate market we are told that our home's value is probably slightly higher than our cost. We don't plan on selling but it's nice to know that we're at least not underwater financially.

In case anyone is interested I've documented our build on my website at and recently added some completed photos.

Best of luck to all future home builders.



clipped on: 05.07.2012 at 11:31 pm    last updated on: 05.07.2012 at 11:32 pm

LED recessed cans guide for kitchen ...

posted by: davidtay on 01.30.2012 at 01:27 am in Lighting Forum

A collection of tips/ answers
Since kitchens have higher lighting requirements, I like to use 35 lumen per sq ft as a rule to compute the number of lights. If there are additional sources of light that will be used, the output (lumens not watts) from those sources can be deducted from the total.

Placement/ layout
1. Cans should be > 24 to 30 inches from the wall (on center). Most countertop spaces have upper cabinets (typically ~ 12" deep) + crown molding. The edge of the can may be spaced ~ 12" away from the edge of the crown molding (if present or cabinet if there is no crown molding) making the average distance between 26 to 30 inches.

2. Assuming the need for a fairly uniformly lit space @ 35 lumens per sq ft, the cans may have to be spaced closer together - between 3 - 4 ft apart (if all general lighting is provided by recessed lights). A fairly regular pattern is preferable to a random layout.

3. The actual layout of cans will be impacted by the location of ceiling joists, HVAC ducting, electrical wiring, plumbing, ceiling height, fire suppression sprinklers and other obstructions above the ceiling.

The Cree LR6 series lamps do not dim as well as the later models (CR6, ...). ELV dimmers probably work better with LR6 than incandescent dimmers since the total load of the lights may not meet the minimum load requirement for the incandescent dimmer.

Dimmers such as the Lutron Diva CL dimmers work well. The max output is 95%.

Some Choices (in order of preference) and notes
Cree CR6 or ECO-575 (Home Depot branded CR6)
ECO4-575 (Home Depot branded Cree CR4 4" recessed light)
The above are only available in 2700k light color.

Cree LR6 series - including the LE6.

The Cree CR6 and LR6 lamps will not fit into 5" housings.

The standard LR6 behaves more like a surface mount than a recessed light as the LED emitters are close to the surface and the recess is shallow. Some may not like the amount of light spillage (standard LR6).

There is a higher output version of the LR6 that has a much deeper recess.

To prevent the Cree lamps from falling out, the 3 prongs have to be fully extended and a slight clockwise twist made when push installing. The slight clockwise twist will ensure that the prongs are fully extended.

The Cree lamps are currently the best available today (2012).

Sylvania RT-6, RT-4. The lights could be easier to install than Cree lamps as they utilize the torsion spring mechanism. However, the lights do not look as pleasant as the Cree lamps.

The Cree and Sylvania lamps do outperform 26W CFLs (and incandescents) in a standard recessed can in terms of light spread and output as the standard bulb in a can solution traps a significant amount of light. The Cree and Sylvania recessed lamp solutions referenced above have all the LED elements facing outwards so that the effective light output is higher.

The CRI (Color Rendition Index) of Cree and Sylvania recessed lamps > 80.

There is no warm up time required for Cree recessed lamps, unlike CFL light bulbs.

Most recessed lighting is used with flat ceilings. Sloped ceilings would require special solutions such as the LE6 or some other form of lighting (i.e. -non recessed lighting).

Some common objections to recessed can lights stem from
1. looks and performance of traditional can lights (standard bulb in a can)
2. swiss cheese effect from too many holes.


clipped on: 05.05.2012 at 11:00 pm    last updated on: 05.05.2012 at 11:00 pm

RE: Any problems with making countertops 28' deep? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Madeline616 on 04.28.2012 at 02:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Quiltgirl,

I have 28" deep counters on the stove wall, which is a separate nook/alcove type deal. My cabinetmaker and countertop fabricator was very happy to do it, and I loved the fact that it would give me deeper drawers and lower cabs.

FWIW, these are the reasons for the 28" depth cabs (besides wanting the extra counter space and drawer/cabinet depth)

1) We have a white marble backsplash, and I wanted a space buffer between the back of the range and the marble (b/c of discoloration from heat, grease, etc.)

2) So that we could make the upper cabinets that hold the hood a bit deeper from front to back, so that the hood could project out as far as possible over the cooking surface for better capture.

3) Our backsplash is a 3cm slab of marble, so we needed a little extra space to accommodate that thickness.

I have an apron sink; the sink wall and other walls are in the other section of the kitchen, with standard 24" depth cabinets. I have to say, though, that as long as your plumber can deal with the pipe issues Angie mentioned, and you're okay having some counter space between the back of your sink/faucet and the wall, I can't see it making a difference. Since the sink is aligned with, or juts out a bit from, the front of the cabinet, the extra depth. should be okay.

28" Cabs:


Space between back of range and backsplash:



clipped on: 04.28.2012 at 04:46 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2012 at 04:46 pm

GrumpyDave's happy new kitchen

posted by: grumpydave on 04.28.2012 at 04:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

My kitchen renovation started in December and was supposed to be done in one month. Well, that stretched to nearly four months but now it's done!

This is NOT your typical GW white OTK. For a detailed running commentary with TONS of photos go here:

GrumpyDave's new kitchen

Here's the before with bleached oak, blue Corian, and blah tile:

And here's the after:

The old desk converted to a buffet is much more useful.

Blanco Supersingle thanks to the GW forums.

No more blind corners.

Built-in spice cabinet.

Two Super Susans.

On my web page I detail how all the drawers are used. I used to have ALL my utensils in one drawer with no dividers. It was a jumbled mess. Now I can split them between prep utensils in the island and cooking utensils under the cooktop. The organizers keep everything tidy.

My new "everyday" dishes. Dress them up. Dress them down. They go with everything.

Many thanks to everyone on Gardenweb. Lurking here for most of a year taught me a lot and helped me make the right choices.

Product Details

Floor tileKulture Woodland porcelain tile purchased from Arizona Tile. The new tile floor may very well be my favorite part of the whole project.

CabinetsSchrock Brantley in Cinnamon Cherry.

Cabinet hardwareAmerock Essential'Z pulls in satin nickel.
Amerock knobs in the 10 for $20 blister pack, satin nickel.

CountertopCambria quartz in Coswell Cream.

Backsplash tile4x4" Emperador Light tumbled marble bought from Arizona Tile. I was planning for more of a Crema Marfil look but the designer at the tile store convinced me to go with Emperador Light instead. Was she right? Probably.

SinkBlanco Precis Super Single Silgranit sink in Cafe Brown with color matched strainer and fitted stainless steel grid.

FaucetKWC Systema in stainless steel.

Soap dispenserMoen 3942 in classic stainless connected to a Never M/T.

RefrigeratorElectrolux EI23BC36IS counter depth french door with IQ touch. A bit of a gamble with all the bad reviews out there, but the vast majority of complaints are for the in-door water/ice dispenser which I don't have. Thus far this refrigerator has been perfect.

Wall ovenElectrolux ICON E30EW75GSS Designer series 30" single wall oven with wave-touch controls.

Microwave ovenElectrolux ICON E30SO75ESS Designer series high-speed oven. Never used one before but those who have them love them.

CooktopBosch NIT5665UC 500 Series 36" induction cooktop.

DishwasherMiele G5705SC Futura Dimension Plus.

Range HoodKobe CH2236SQB

Drawer linersCombination of Cushy Cupboards and Easyliner Solid in taupe. I actually prefer the Easyliner despite CC being all the rage on the Gardenweb. It's available locally and a lot cheaper to boot.

Drawer organizersMadeSmart bins in granite. Bought at Bed Bath & Beyond. They look great and they were pleasantly inexpensive too. The sizes are a bit inflexible when trying to completely outfit a drawer but in general they worked out just fine.

Overhead lightingSix CREE CR6 LED retrofit fixtures. I love these so much I replaced all the can lights in my house with them.

Undercabinet lightingHigh brightness premium LED light bars from

Soffit lightingI tried the 4" version of the CREE CR6 LED lights mentioned above but I think I'm going to switch back to standard PAR20 bulbs. The LEDs made for great task lighting but I get enough of that with the overhead and undercabinet lights. The soffit lights lend themselves more to soft ambient mood lighting where the incandescants excel.

CookwareDemeyere Atlantis series stainless and Scanpan CTX series non-stick. Although not technically part of the new kitchen, the change in cooktop from convection to induction required that I get all new cookware. I'm really looking forward to trying some top notch cookware for once. I certainly could have spent a lot less, and I probably will as I supplement with additional pieces down the road.

DinnerwareBryan China bright white wide rim china with a few Food Network brand bowls in Buttercream from Kohl's. Again, not technically part of the new kitchen but who wants to use chipped old dishes in their brand new kitchen? :)


clipped on: 04.28.2012 at 04:38 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2012 at 04:38 pm

RE: Capital Culinarian owners, post reviews,photos of your new ra (Follow-Up #114)

posted by: brianplee on 04.19.2012 at 11:07 pm in Appliances Forum

Trevor - yes you can use my pictures but wait until the kitchen is done. I'm an avid photographer so let me shoot some reasonable shots. Let me know your email address and I'll send them to you.

Michelle - I'll post more picture as soon as the kitchen is done in a couple of weeks. The backsplash stone is called White Kinawa and was purchased from Pietra Fina in Hayward, CA

The countertops are Virginia Mist, also from Pietra Fina but are hard to see in this shot.


clipped on: 04.20.2012 at 08:51 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2012 at 11:34 am

RE: Do I really need to book match my granite? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: GreenDesigns on 04.17.2012 at 12:24 am in Kitchens Forum

Granite comes in large blocks that is then sliced like bread. The polishing process polishes the facing surfaces, and leaves the rough surfaces touching. That way you don't have a rough surface against a smooth surface to scratch it. So, a big block will be R(ough)S(mooth)S-R-R-S-S-R-R-S-S-R-R-S-S-R-R-S-S-R. Basically, if a wholesaler buys enough of a block of a single granite, he will end up with several bookmatched pieces as each subsequent slice will be next to it's bookmatched slice. If you are dealing with a small fabricator, he may not have bought enough pieces to have bookmatched slabs, or if someone cherry picked the ones in the middle, the matched slabs may already be gone. But, any medium to large sized fabricator should readily have bookmatched slabs available with no issues.

The other issue that will arise, and it's a BIG one, is the ability of a fabricator to do the seam well enough. This is where it's important to see past work and to not choose the lowest bid just because they are the lowest bid.


clipped on: 04.23.2012 at 11:25 am    last updated on: 04.23.2012 at 11:25 am

RE: 1 Larger or 2 Smaller Water Heaters (Follow-Up #38)

posted by: jakethewonderdog on 04.18.2012 at 08:43 pm in Plumbing Forum


Here's the link to the Marathon storage tanks.
The MTS85200 is ~$1,200. the tankles heater is ~$1,300-1,500
and the pump and such will add a several hundred - just to give you some idea of what ballpark you are playing in.

Still, it answers your design criteria and 2-50 gal independent tanks won't don't that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marathon Storage tanks


clipped on: 04.18.2012 at 10:15 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2012 at 10:15 pm

RE: Configuring ductwork for least noise (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: todds on 04.18.2012 at 12:42 pm in Appliances Forum

Supposedly the longer the run the less the noise would be and is necessary when using the silencer. I installed a roof mounted Abbaka blower. I think its 1400cfm. I have a Modernaire hood with baffle filters and the variable speed control.

My duct work is as follows:

Short run from the takeoff collar on the hood to a 90 degree fitting that protrudes through the ceiling. Then there was about a 4' to 5' run until I hit the silencer. Then another 5' until I hit another 90 to start going up to the blower. I think there may have been another adjustable 90 added to jog the pipe over a little to hit the blower.

While the Abaka has a built-in damper. I could feel the cold air dumping down the open pipe, during construction in the winter months. I know the duct work was sealed with mastic Tape so my guess is that the cold air was more a product of convection. Thus, I added another fantech butterfly damper between the take off collar on the hood and the 90 degree fitting that drops through the ceiling.

Now, pre-hood when it was turned on you had noise but it was basically air rushing noise. Add the baffles and the noise goes up even more. Silencer can't do anything for that. Its not quiet, even on my lowest setting, but way quieter then the OTR microwave ventilation I had before. Not sure there is anything more I could have done.


clipped on: 04.18.2012 at 07:37 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2012 at 07:37 pm

RE: 1 Larger or 2 Smaller Water Heaters (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: jakethewonderdog on 04.18.2012 at 11:03 am in Plumbing Forum


If you haven't run screaming from your computer yet, here is a good solution to your problem:

It involves a storage tank for hot water and a tankless unit.
It would allow you to use a lot of water all at once, as well as providing very fast recovery and continuous hot water at a lower rate.

For example: If you had an 80 gal tank, a ~200k BTUh condensing tankless and 55 degree incoming water you would get about 20 minutes @ 12 GPM from your shower - not that you would ever do that... It would provide 7.5 GPM @105 degrees continuous and complete recovery would be about 20 minutes. As a bonus, it would be 95% efficient instead of 65%

This is a conceptual drawing from Noritz. You can hand it to your plumber. Note that they make storage tanks for this purpose. I'm familiar with the Rheem Marathon brand solar storage tank, but there are others. The Marathon tanks are fiberglass and won't rust.

Here is a link that might be useful: Combination tank storage and Tankless heater.


clipped on: 04.18.2012 at 05:40 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2012 at 05:40 pm

RE: ventilation question - can I go with fewer CFM's? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: SparklingWater on 04.17.2012 at 06:39 pm in Appliances Forum

Broan has a residential MUA Damper available, for which I congratulate them. They also sell vent hoods.

Here is a link that might be useful: 6


clipped on: 04.17.2012 at 08:53 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2012 at 08:53 pm

RE: 1 Larger or 2 Smaller Water Heaters (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: jakethewonderdog on 04.17.2012 at 08:39 am in Plumbing Forum


Nope, neither dealer nor clueless.

My background is in maintenance - I've been a maintenance manager for several high-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings for years. I have also restored several of my own 100+ year old homes. I also do a lot of energy conservation and retro-fit work. Most importantly, I own a tankless heater for the past 5 years and have been researching them and commenting on this board for about 4 years.

When you originally stated that the manufacturers recommend a water softener for tankless heaters I pulled the documentation on new Rheem heaters to check that claim - couldn't find it anywhere.

I absolutely agree with Live Wire Oak - if you have hard water, you will need to treat it. If you don't, a tankless heater doesn't change that and is disinformation to say otherwise.


I think Live Wire has given you some good additional ideas.
My guess, however, is that you don't really want to design plumbing. Bottom line is that you have many options, but 2 - 50 gal water heaters with only one heater going to the master bath isn't going to work. What's more, you need to suggest to the builder that he consult with someone who can look at all of the options. You should know that there are implications for the gas service with some of these heater choices as well - even more of a reason for your builder to consult with someone.


clipped on: 04.17.2012 at 10:22 am    last updated on: 04.17.2012 at 10:22 am

RE: 1 Larger or 2 Smaller Water Heaters (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 04.17.2012 at 01:44 am in Plumbing Forum

Um, you only need water treatment if the water needs water treatment. That's true of a tanked water heater as well as a tankless. It's spreading disinformation to say anything different.

I've had a tankless water heater since 1995, never had any water treatment because my water doesn't need treatment, never acid washed anything, and NEVER had any problems with it at all. I know people who have had one since 1975 and it's still going strong without any of that as well. It's the main reason we chose to go tankless when our tanked heater needed replacing.

For Michele, if you live in a middle temperate zone and have good water or are investing in water treatment anyway, a large model gas tankless would supply the needs for the tub and probably the guest baths if they are grouped together---with the side benefit that you could shower an entire wedding party one after the other without running out of hot water if you needed to. You just couldn't run the guest baths at the same time as the tub. If you are running the tub, it's the ONLY thing using hot water at that time.

That leaves the kitchen/laundry areas and the carwash for people. If you installed a 5 gallon buffering tank for the kitchen area, then you wouldn't have to wait for hot water and the tankless could supply that as well.

Then put in a single large tank like an 80 gallon for the shower and resign yourself to using either the hand shower OR the shower head OR the rain shower with the body sprays instead of everything at once. It would work perfectly fine for 90% of what you want at a much cheaper cost for you, and well, yes, the environment.


clipped on: 04.17.2012 at 10:21 am    last updated on: 04.17.2012 at 10:21 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: beaglesdoitbetter on 04.16.2012 at 05:43 pm in Building a Home Forum

We did cabinets on the back of our island as well and a drawer charger in our master bath vanities.

2012-02-20 13.32.37

We also did a built-in paper towel holder and custom storage organization in every kitchen drawer:
2012-02-20 15.56.39

And a place for doggies to get bathed:
2012-02-20 13.05.09

and for doggies to take a rest when we aren't home:
2012-02-20 13.05.56

Our "pony wall" became useful storage instead of wasted space (I know I've posted this before)
2012-02-20 13.32.25

Other things we did:
In-cabinet lights and outside lights on timers
Warming drawer in the dining room
Keypad entry on back garage door so we don't need keys
Plugs on mantels for x-mas lights
Pre-wiring for music and speakers
iPad controllers in the walls to control whole house music system, etc.
Walk-in pantry w/ entrance from right by garage door and entrance by kitchen. Pantry also has custom shelves and a place to plug in appliances.
Place to plug in extra fridge/freezer in garage
Stairs from garage directly to basement
Towel warmer in master bathroom

Here is a link that might be useful: Our House


clipped on: 04.16.2012 at 09:10 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2012 at 09:10 pm

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: dyno on 04.13.2012 at 09:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

Pre-wire speakers indoor/outdoor

Garden outlets/power, water line

Double conduits from attic to basement

Dryer vent lint box

Hepa filtration for allergy sufferers

Heated towel racks

Motion sensor pre-wire for selected exterior lights

Soundproofing where needed (we did laundry room/bedroom wall)

Identify area for low voltage can/rack (alarm brain, network server, modems, routers, etc). Helps to have this stuff accessible.

And don't let your plumber caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile to hide potential leaks. Sigh.


clipped on: 04.16.2012 at 09:08 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2012 at 09:08 pm

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: downsy on 04.12.2012 at 06:51 pm in Building a Home Forum

I had outlets put inside the vanity cabinets so the blow dryer could stay plugged and stored there without wires hanging out. Also put a charging station in one of my kitchen cabinets in the buffet/desk area so cell phones, iPad, etc could charge behind closed doors. Plan for wiring of tv's especially if over the fireplace. If you have 2 doors into the same room, make sure you have a light switch for that room at each door. We are having to wire our basement garage, after the fact, because we forgot a light switch from one of the 2 doors into that garage.


clipped on: 04.16.2012 at 09:08 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2012 at 09:08 pm

Small things that get forgotten

posted by: Laura12 on 04.11.2012 at 06:01 pm in Building a Home Forum

I keep hearing that most people find that there are small things that they didn�t think about until after they finished construction that they wish they would have added into their build, and I was curious if all of you would like to help me to compile a list for all of us to consider during planning!

So far I have
- Plugs in kitchen pantry for charging, or for items that may end up living there
- Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items away from sight.
- Solar tubes in areas that don�t get natural sunlight
- Prewire security system
- Run wire and prepare roof for future solar
- Central Vac with vac pans

Any others to add?


clipped on: 04.16.2012 at 09:06 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2012 at 09:06 pm

RE: Will someone please just tell me what shower faucet brand?!? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mydreamhome on 04.15.2012 at 09:41 am in Bathrooms Forum

Check out the Delta In2ition line...

And Luxart...


clipped on: 04.15.2012 at 10:48 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2012 at 10:48 pm

RE: Will someone please just tell me what shower faucet brand?!? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: enduring on 04.14.2012 at 11:06 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I can't help you with which shower to buy, but here is a link that is very instructive. If you haven't read it, it is a long detailed description of showers. I found it informative. I was trying to remember the link to the kitchen and bath remodelers that have very good info on faucet manufactures but I can't find it. Good luck to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies


clipped on: 04.15.2012 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2012 at 10:47 pm

RE: Bluebird and Kitokeefe, Q about Varde (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: blubird on 04.15.2012 at 07:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

First, I have to apologize. The varde cabinet DOES have an adjustable screw leg. Mine is sitting on carpet (it's in my sewing room)so it can't be seen even if I slide the metal foot covering up.

This is my cab:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

1. The distance from the floor to the visible external part of the cabinet bottom. Their manual provides no detailed dimensions. :-(

The length of the leg to the cab base is 7 1/2 inches.

2. How much does each leg "protrude" from each side. I don't know how to explain it but the side panels are sort of recessed and part of the leg sticks out about 3/4",

The leg protrudes about 1 3/4 inches from the side panel.


3. If you do not use the metal surround on the bottom of the legs, would it look bad?

The metal covering would help to disguise the adjustable leg, especially if the heights were unequal. Other than that, the wood leg is completely finished and presentable looking.

4. How thick is the cabinet top? I think it is 1.5" but not sure.

The cab top is just about 1 1/8 inch thick. Both top and bottom edges are slightly beveled.

5. Have you by any chance seen a VARDE sink. If so, do you know the gauge? Does it look OK?

Never noticed the varde sink.

Let me know if I can be of further help. I love my cab in the sewing room



clipped on: 04.15.2012 at 08:17 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2012 at 08:17 pm

RE: Will the range hood be loud? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: trailrunner on 04.15.2012 at 04:11 am in Kitchens Forum

Baffles are much quieter than the mesh. Also they are efficient in capturing the grease...which is the whole point of the system, You need the HOGS to be removed in a very efficient manner. Also for ease of cleaning you can't beat baffles. I detailed the way I do mine in another post. It takes about 5-10 min. every week.

You should plan on running the unit at least 5 min before you begin cooking to allow the airflow to begin. Then make sure and cont. running for 10 min after to remove all HOGS. You don't want anything in the actual duct work.

You should also plan on using the unit on med most of the time. If you run it on the highest setting, there is some chance of creating too much turbulence in the duct work from the increased airflow and the HOGS come back in. We have experienced this with our 1400 cfm remote. This is why you get more cfm than you need. You have some in reserve if you must use it for brief periods and the med. and low are plenty.
: Be sure they use neoprene rings on all connections of the duct and the silencer in the duct as well. It does make a difference. All of this info is available in the detailed install inst. of Tradewind's website. They have great drawings that show all the parts and what they are.

Good Luck ! c


clipped on: 04.15.2012 at 03:55 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2012 at 03:55 pm

Backdraft damper?

posted by: pam71 on 04.11.2012 at 09:56 pm in Appliances Forum

Just had new Modern-aire ps10-10 installed. When the Hvac person was doing the ducting ( which is a short run to the wall), he noticed there was not a backdraft damper and said all the hoods he has ever done the venting for come with one.. I called both my sales person from retail place of purchase and Modern-aire. This model does not come with one and they said I could order one to be installed but not needed? My hvac person would have to undo ducting to put it in. He was aware of this when he finished the project. Do I really need one? I live iin California and don't get real cold weather. Not sure?


clipped on: 04.15.2012 at 02:05 am    last updated on: 04.15.2012 at 02:05 am

Make your own Never Empty Soap Dispenser (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: sherilynn on 09.21.2008 at 05:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

I went to HD the other week and went to the plumbing deparment and bought a 10' coil of the same size tubing that is used in my Brizo Floriano Soap Dispenser. I just pulled out the tube from the dispenser, cut a 3' piece off the coil, then shoved it in the soap dispenser and threaded it down to a huge jug of Dawn that I had popped off the top and slide the tubing inside so it stayed snug in the lid of Dawn. It works like champ. My son pumped about two minutes to get the soap to come up but when it did, it's perfect. That tubing from HD cost less than $2.50 with tax. I gave the other tubing to my sister and mother for their sinks.


clipped on: 04.14.2012 at 07:34 pm    last updated on: 04.14.2012 at 07:34 pm

RE: Which Model Tapmaster Do You Have - Would You Buy it Again (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: breezygirl on 04.13.2012 at 02:33 am in Kitchens Forum

I've been using the Euro 1775 on my prep sink since November. I consider it one of the best purchases in the kitchen, not only for ease of hands-free use but also for the water savings. Instead of leaving a trickling faucet for prepping certain kinds of veggies (potatoes) or fruits, I use the foot control for quick on/off. Also easy to soap up hands with the water off and foot-push to rinse hands.

It is absolutely NOT intrusive at all. In fact, when MichelleDT asked about the visibility a couple of months ago, I had to get down on my hands and knees to even see the control. Little DS probably couldn't reach the faucet control lever to turn the water on for hand washing, but easily uses the foot lever instead. He loves to use it as a magic trick for guests new to the house. So cute!

You can't see it at all in this shot.

I bought mine from Conserv-a-store. If you have enough lead time, sign up for their email list. Every so often they send a 10% coupon code for any of their products. Unfortunately, they aren't cheap so every little bit helps.

We are a shoes-off household so all my Tapmaster operating is in stocking, or occasionally bare, feet. Very easy. I was suprised at how much pressure I needed to use to turn the lever to the locked position when it was first installed. It seems to have loosened up over time so even locking/unlocking is easy now.

Knowing the Tapmaster would function better for me on my prep sink, I installed it there. I do find myself kicking at the cleanup sink base with my hands under the faucet wondering why the he!! the water isn't flowing. I think eventually I'll get one for that sink also. Maybe with the next coupon code?

I would absolutely purchase my Tapmaster again if I was doing the kitchen over. I use it every single day, dozens of times a day. In fact, I rarely use the faucet lever!


clipped on: 04.13.2012 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2012 at 03:37 pm

RE: Which Model Tapmaster Do You Have - Would You Buy it Again (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kateskouros on 04.12.2012 at 11:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

i have the 1756, installed in main and prep sinks. this one does everything: left and right side of the kick plate for hot or cold, or kick the center for warm water. also lockable. i really do love this thing ...and i'd better, considering the price tag.

Here is a link that might be useful: tapmaster 1756


clipped on: 04.12.2012 at 11:41 pm    last updated on: 04.12.2012 at 11:41 pm

RE: Kitchen/Dining room complete remodel :) Layout opinio wanted (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: rocketmomkd on 04.10.2012 at 04:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

I don't like the location of the wall ovens.I used to have a wall oven that was right next to the doorway into my dining room, the same way your oven is next to the mudroom doorway. I always hated it...when the oven door was open it completely blocked the doorway. Also,because there was a counter across from it, like in your design, I felt it was a cramped and awkward space. I would move the fridge and ovens down to the other end of that wall and have the open counter space up by the mudroom doorway.


clipped on: 04.10.2012 at 04:50 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2012 at 04:50 pm

White canisters

posted by: joyce_6333 on 03.10.2012 at 02:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm thinking of getting a set of canisters to put on my counter, sort of as decoration, but also large enough to hold flour, sugar, etc. Would like something a little unique, maybe even vintage looking. I've spent a lot of time looking at ceramic, porcelain, stainless, even clear glass. Can't seem to make up my mind. If you have some you really like, could you post a picture? Thanks.


clipped on: 04.03.2012 at 05:09 pm    last updated on: 04.03.2012 at 05:09 pm

RE: Best Frameless Cabinets? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kamkar2006 on 04.03.2012 at 08:01 am in Kitchens Forum

Signature Cabinetry (PA) does them very nicely but very expensive.


clipped on: 04.03.2012 at 11:38 am    last updated on: 04.03.2012 at 11:38 am

RE: feedback on hidden/tab pulls (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: palimpsest on 04.02.2012 at 03:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have all tabs and they work fine for me.

I used Master Metal Works. The only think I would say about them is that they have a sharp corner and you can bang or scrape your fingers. They now make a softened edge.

You can also look at Mockett

You can also search Hardware Hut (Atlas Hardware Eurotec; Berenson Bravo, among others)

Ikea also makes them.

Use ones that screw in from the back face and are L shaped.

Don't use ones that just screw into the top or bottom edge of the cabinet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardware hut finger/edge pulls


clipped on: 04.02.2012 at 06:55 pm    last updated on: 04.02.2012 at 06:55 pm

Bluestar Simmer Fixed! Do's and Don'ts!

posted by: buffalotina on 04.02.2012 at 10:22 am in Appliances Forum

Well I thought I would post the outcome of my Bluestar 22K burner adjustment exercise because it shed valuable light on the process for me and I hope it will be useful for others who may attempt this. If anyone read my other thread you will see that I had previously tried to adjust the simmer on my bluestar burners and claimed, wrongly it seems, that the lowest flame was achieved by turning the simmer set screw to the end of its travel. At least that is what I THOUGHT I was doing. In that case it seems though, as Stooxie warned, that I was actually involving the movement of the main valve shaft too. Thus CLOCKWISE was raising my flame and ANTICLOCKWISE was lowering it. However going anticlockwise I seemed to feel an "end point" which I assumed was the low point of the simmer adjustment. Yesterday I decided to have another go at one of the 22K burners to see if I could get it lower as I had never reached the point reported by others where you go so low that the flames almost go out and the ignitors click. I inserted the screwdriver and as before clockwise raised the flame and anti clockwise lowered it. After talking with Mandy at Bluestar today I realize that even though I was pretty sure the valve stem was not moving in fact I must have been moving the valve stem to get those variations. Anyway, yesterday I kept on going, with more force, in the anti clockwise direction and that is when I felt like something gave way or stripped inside the valve and the flame got higher. Then I was just not able to get the flame back down to its previous level. Mandy told me to adjust the simmer while the valve is in the off position. Sure enough now I was able to turn the screw in the proper direction: CLOCKWISE to LOWER the flame and ANITCLOCKWISE to RAISE the flame (makes a lot of mechanical sense). It turns out that this adjustment was never possible for me before, I think because the set screw just was too tight and would not budge. Evidently my extra force in the anti clockwise direction must have freed up the screw but by that point I was still not able to get adjustment because I think the valve stem was moving easier the the screw. Today with the screw loosened and the valve in the off position I was now able to turn the screw clockwise, indeed until I had no flame at all in the low position!! So now I have adjusted the flame and it is actually much lower than my other 22K burner. After talking to Mandy I decided not to try to adjust the other one because that screw is definitely stuck: with the valve in the off position it will not turn clockwise. It feels like it would be easy to actually strip the head of the screw and so I think I will leave it as it is.

To summarize:

1. Although I thought I had adjusted all my burners a while back it seems that they were in the factory set position because the screws were quite tight and unknown to me I was actually moving the main valve slightly (thanks Stooxie - that is what you said!).

2. Applying extra force to the simmer set screw loosened it in the anti clockwise direction which is actually the flame raising direction. Presumably when I felt something "give" it was actually the set screw loosening.

3. In order to get the flame back to very low I had to turn the now loosened screw in the CLOCKWISE direction (but this was only possible with the main valve/shaft in the off position).

4. My now adjusted 22K is much lower than the other one which is at the factory preset position. However I don't think I will touch that one now for fear of stripping out the set screw. It is definitely not moving too well and Mandy said I would need a whole new valve if the screw head stripped....

5. Mandy also warned NOT to hold the valve shaft with pliers or anything while you adjust the set screw because it is possible to snap the shaft off that way....thankfully I did not do that.

So now I have two kinds of 22K burners: one with factory set low and one with "bossa" low. There is definitely quite a difference: If I put my hand over each burner I can get my hand much closer to the lower one before it feels uncomfortably hot. I was never actually that unhappy with the simmer before all this but I did find I had to move things back to the smaller burners quite often to finishi off stews etc with the longer cooking times. I think this newly adjusted burner will be very useful.

Sorry this was so long winded but I wanted to post it as a guide for others. Mandy, as always, was very helpful and many thanks to all who replied with help on the other thread.


clipped on: 04.02.2012 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 04.02.2012 at 12:31 pm

RE: Hidden Features (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: monicakm on 08.16.2011 at 02:16 am in Bathrooms Forum

I found it! I googled "Bain Ultra" "hidden" and found myself (g) I remember now that the difference between 5% and 100% was minimal and I really wanted a lower setting than what the lowest 5% was offering. Anyway, the directions are in this thread dated Jan 3. Oh, I just thought of something, you won't have the same controller I have so the directions might not work. If they don't you can always call BU ts and ask about the "HIDDEN" features...and then there's the possibility they're not hidden any longer. Well maybe someone can use the information :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bain Ultra's Hidden Menu


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 02:11 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 02:11 pm

RE: BainUltra review (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: monicakm on 08.16.2011 at 01:59 am in Bathrooms Forum

bishop8, nice and helpful review. Not helpful for me tho since my BU tub is going on 4 years old :) I'm sure it will help someone.

When the plumber was installing our tub, he called me into the bathroom and told me to get in the tub and sit down (awkward!) He wanted to be sure he placed the controller exactly where I wanted it. So now, when my arms are resting on top of the tub, my left hand is resting on the controller :)

My tub is a life saver! I have Fibro Myalgia and back problems. A HOT hydro-massage makes all the difference in the world and helps me get to sleep. It also reduces blood pressure:)

We have the chromatherapy too. I don't know if the colors can actually do what they claim, but they make me happy so it was worth the the extra cost. The grandchildren love them!

Yes, the air jets do cool down the water. I checked into adding an in line heater but was told it couldn't be done. I think the "tubs for 2" have heaters. I don't understand why the single tubs can't use one. Did you put insulation under your tub? One thing BU told me (I don't do it) is to run the jets a couple minutes before you start the water. I've done the following: Put less water in than I ultimately want and then slowly add hot water during my bath. Or, when it's gotten too cool, let some water out and add more hot. This is usually only a problem for me during the winter months. The ambient room temp is related to how quickly the water temp cools. We keep our house pretty cool during the winter. Did you know the temperature of the heated backrest is determined by the speed of the jets? With the jets on 100%, my back is uncomfortably warm (hot!) after about 10 minutes. Not too long ago my husband noticed my back right after I got out of the tub and was really concerned how red it was.

Do you know about the "secret" menu? It's not mentioned in the owner's manual. One of the things you can change is the increase in air/bubble intensity as you increase the percentage. Hope I said that right :o I don't remember how to access the menu, but I've got it written down in the manual. If you'd like to know more about it, LMK. I'll try to remember to check back here. I haven't read the forum in quite some time. I know I was a bit disappointed at first in how small the air flow increments were. So I think it was their ts that told me about this secret menu. Neither he or I can figure out why BU made it "secret" (lol)

One more thing and you might want to confirm this with ts...I was concerned about the UNfiltered air intake taking in dust. I asked ts if it would be ok to cover the intake with a piece of women's hosiery. He said yes just as long as there was a good air supply. So I put a knee high stocking over the end of the intake and just move it around to a clean spot time to time. I don't know if those air borne particle would be getting in the motor or my bath water :o Neither of which are desirable!

What are you cleaning your tub with? You have to be careful with acrylic. Cleaners that say they're safe for fiberglass aren't necessarily safe for acrylic. I'm having a dickens of a time finding something different than what I've been using. Since I've had the tub I've been using Gel Gloss. I get it at Lowes. It's a "Fiberglass, Acrylic, & Cultured Marble One-Step Polish & Rejuvenator". Yes, it CLEANS. It's great and makes the tub sparkle but it's more labor intense than something like Scrubbing Bubbles (which btw you can NOT use on acrylic). BU said just be sure whatever you use says "non abrasive" and "safe for acrylic". I've yet to find anything that fits that bill except for the Gel Gloss. They offered a couple of names of cleaners but neither said "non abrasive" or "safe for acrylic".

Enjoy your tub!


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 02:10 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 02:11 pm

RE: Do you have Insinkerator Cover Control disposal? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: la_koala on 03.29.2012 at 07:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

I had a batch feed in a house I was renting, and when we bought our house and planned the kitchen reno, that was the first "definitely" I put on the list.

We're sans kids also. :-) What I like is that the batch feed forces me to think before I turn it on--and I have one more chance to check to see if there are any teaspoons down there and keep them from getting munched! At my parents' house with the regular switch disposal, sooner or later, a spoon gets munched because someone just switches on the switch, thinking it's the over-sink light switch.

We got the WasteKing 1HP Batch Feed. It works well, though I was surprised the control is heavy-duty plastic. (When we were renting, the house had a commercial-grade one because the landlord also owned restaurants, and it had a metal control). I do like that the plastic control has a way that you can keep it in place, and the water still drains. Or you can use it to stop up the sink.

We've only been back using our kitchen for a month, so I don't have any longevity advice for you. We are thrilled to even have a garbage disposal at all, after living in our home for 5 years without one and constantly keeping stuff from going down into the drain. :-)



clipped on: 03.30.2012 at 07:44 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2012 at 07:44 pm

RE: exterior gas grill recommendations (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: Nunyabiz1 on 03.30.2012 at 11:40 am in Appliances Forum

The best by far are the "Solaire" grills.
Beats any of the Webers by a mile, not even in the same league.
The standard model and definitely get the "Infravection" set up where you have TRUE Infrared on one side and a standard convection gas burner on the other side.
Will cost about $1500 but FAR better than the Weber of the same price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solaire Grill


clipped on: 03.30.2012 at 05:50 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2012 at 05:50 pm

RE: Appliance Pulls - can RH be used? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: Staceydux on 03.28.2012 at 08:55 am in Kitchens Forum

The pulls I used on my paneled refrigerator and freezer are made by Atlas Hardware. They are incredibly durable and are made for such use.



clipped on: 03.28.2012 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2012 at 10:14 pm

RE: Appliance Pulls - can RH be used? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: IlanaMoore on 03.28.2012 at 06:10 am in Kitchens Forum

These are super durable appliance pulls:

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Cabinet Hardware


clipped on: 03.28.2012 at 10:13 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2012 at 10:13 pm

RE: CC boil timing (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: marcolo on 03.28.2012 at 01:31 pm in Appliances Forum

OMG! OMG! These are already on the market!

Where can I buy a Turbo Pot?


clipped on: 03.28.2012 at 08:48 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2012 at 08:48 pm

Do you like your food mill

posted by: olga_6b on 03.25.2012 at 03:53 pm in Cooking Forum

I am considering buying a food mill. I am a serious cook and make a lot of preserves, sauces, etc. but somehow was always using a mesh strainer and a spoon instead of food mill. Recent post about tomato sauce and comment from somebody that you can't make sause w/o mill made me wonder, if I am missing something. Of course I know you can make a lot of good sauce with just strainer, but it is always quite intense and, as with age my wrists are not what they used to be, I probably will benefit from food mill.
If you have one that you like, please tell me which brand. I will probably use it a lot, so I need it to be reliable and robust. Thank you very much in advance.


clipped on: 03.27.2012 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 03.27.2012 at 12:15 am

RE: Come and Look again! Light over the sink... (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: beekeeperswife on 03.26.2012 at 09:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

OH twn, that is really pretty. I think I will keep it on the short list. Thanks for posting those pictures.

I'm sitting on the couch watching TV and searching the web...just found this one. Takes 2 60 watt bulbs. 9" wide..anybody?



clipped on: 03.26.2012 at 10:44 pm    last updated on: 03.26.2012 at 10:44 pm

Come and Look again! Light over the sink...

posted by: beekeeperswife on 03.26.2012 at 02:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

So that other thread might not generate some of you to look again if I just bumped it up, so instead I've started over with a link to that thread.

I have realized I really do love the idea of some sort of clear bubble/sphere light over the sink. But I can't get past the glare issue. Then I found this on Houzz.

If you like it, let me know what size you think would be best.

Reminder: Sink is 33" wide, The faucet is 28" high. The light over the island is a Schonbek crystal chandelier.

Here is the info on 2 sizes I'm considering:

Medium option utilizes one 40 Watt 120 Volt Candelabra type Incandescent lamp
Medium Fixture: Diameter 10 In., Height 38.5 In., Overall Hanging Length Adjustable to 62.5 In.

Small option utilizes one 25 Watt Candelabra type 120 Volt Incandescent lamp
Small Fixture: Diameter 6.5 In., Height 28.5 In., Overall Hanging Length Adjustable to 46.5 In.

Photos from Houzz:

Caviar Pendant contemporary pendant lighting

(I think they show the one with smoked glass, there is a polished nickel with clear glass option)

Lakewood Kitchen contemporary kitchen

Here is a link that might be useful: Original Thread with lots of great choices.


clipped on: 03.26.2012 at 10:41 pm    last updated on: 03.26.2012 at 10:41 pm

Home Design Software

posted by: nanj on 03.22.2012 at 07:47 pm in Building a Home Forum

I have found the greatest set of tutorials on Google Sketchup that I want to share
with anyone who wants to draw a floorplan, design a room, or even plan an outdoor space. I have a Mac and the selection of design software is limited plus it is pricey. I had bought Chief Architect's Home Designer for Windows a couple of years ago, and liked it, but it isn't available for Mac. I seriously thought about Punch software but at $150 I just couldn't decide if it was that good. I had downloaded Google Sketchup, which is free, months ago but it sure is intimidating when you are starting out.

My son found this website for me and it does exactly what I needed: explains how to draw floorplans and 3-D models of houses. So many of the tutorials I had found for Sketchup were not specific to home design or they were too simplistic. The site is called Harwood Podcasts and it is a network of various topics. The only one I've explored is called Sketchup, a 3-D Toolbox by Cameron Harris.

I watched episode #25 first because it is called Modeling a Floor Plan and I was hooked. There are over 50 episodes which range from the very simplest beginning guide for the Sketchup opening screen to complex windows, doors, cabinets, even outdoor landscaping and hardscaping.

The young man who does the videos is Cameron Harris and I think he started these when he was 17 - and he is quite a remarkable young man! He is articulate, knowledgeable and has a talent for teaching. He never speeds through an explanation nor does he dumb it down. There are so many features to Sketchup and he patiently covers one per video. (Take notes!)

I've drawn my floorplan to scale on vellum paper and need to make changes. The changes are so extensive I will have to start from scratch. I thought I had bought the right pencils for vellum but the smeary erasures and the difficulty of getting exact measurements bugs me. I'm so excited to try my hand at Sketchup. I've watched quite a few of the episodes about navigation and the tools of Sketchup so I am anxious to get started!

If you want to do your floorplans and designs on your computer, check out a few of these tutorials. They are available on YouTube, the Harwood Podcast website and you can download via iTunes. Disclaimer: I have no connection to the website or Cameron - well, other than being a big fan!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sketchup: A 3-D Toolbox


clipped on: 03.24.2012 at 11:32 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2012 at 11:32 pm

Craft Art Black Walnut & Waterlox

posted by: jeri on 03.16.2012 at 04:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks to all of you, my husband is *very* impressed with me. :-)

Thanks to you, we ordered a Craft Art Black Walnut DIY counter. I put on 3 coats of the original and 1 coat of the matte finish - just as all of you recommended in various threads. I also followed advice I read here and used a 4" wide foam brush to apply the Waterlox - I used a new one each time. Folks - this could not have been easier!

I did lightly sand in-between coats with a sanding block I purchased at Home Depot, like the one in the picture below. This came in the 320 grit that Wood Craft recommended. I then ran a tack-cloth (also Home Depot) over the wood and applied the Waterlox. I let it dry at least 24 hours in-between coats - closer to 48 really.

This countertop is drop-dead-GORGEOUS! As stated, my husband is totally impressed. But I did give all of you the credit - I told him I completely trust the input from this forum. :-)


clipped on: 03.24.2012 at 10:51 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2012 at 10:51 pm

Intelligent Design Ideas

posted by: arsenalfan on 03.13.2012 at 10:13 am in Building a Home Forum

First GW Post! We are building a new old farmhouse design, and I greatly appreciate the crowd-sourced wisdom and experience shared here.

As we finish the design phase, I want to be sure we've considered all the neat home features out there. I think about buying our last car which came with keyless entry - we thought it was unnecessary, but wife now finds it essential.

Like that (or an Apple product) I want our home to be full of "wow, someone thought about this" concepts, that are helpful. Emphasis on thoughtful, not neccesarily techy.

I've read the excellent recent discussion that had 7-8 links to "what you can't live without" and "big mistakes" and "2 yrs later - what would you do different/same", and am going more for the 1-2 things that reflect design thought and make their houses a home.

I'll go first, knock out the low-hanging fruit, and show what I'm thinking about:

1. Big Mudroom - everyone's opinion is different, but it will be off garage, have lockers, next to laundry, half bath. Yet to find a shoe storage option I like (hold 8 pairs per person, wife has boots, want them paired up and not in a basket, but also not staring at a wall of shoes.

2. Unique kitchen cabinetry: The list here could be huge and is very personal. Beyond spice racks/appliance garages/all lower cabinetry being drawers, we like: built-in towel holder to free up counter space; kitchen aid mixer stand mixer storage mechanism that brings it up (although we expect to take mixer off this, as using the mixer on high makes a vibrating racket on the mechanism); pots/pans slide-out drawers under our gas range-top (wife doesn't like hanging pots). Please share any novel kitchen storage ideas!

3. Counter-weighted pocket doors - pull right door open and left door opens the same amount as well. When we saw these in our builder's home, it was great - a not-obvious feature that, when you use it, immediately implies quality workmanship.

4. Shower ceiling light with built-in fan - looks great to hide fan entry; hopefully they work as well. And fan timer.

5. Closet door-jamb light switches. Clearly a "someone thought about this" feature. Didn't know about these until we saw them in a new home.

6. Kitchen island 5" mini-wall to hide kitchen mess. We have a 7'x13' island with farmhouse sink on one side and 6 stools on the other, and wanted to hide sink clutter. A 2-level island wasn't for us. So 6" beyond the sink we're putting up a 4" wide and 6" tall mini-wall that will run about 6 feet. Good ledge for flower vases and whatnot, can still talk to folks on stools, they have to crane to see what's in sink.

7. Master Bed Room switch to control the outdoor floods. Weird noise outside? Flip all the floods on.

8. Instant hot water. Ok, I cheated and this is techy, not so much design and more "what can't you live without." But an example of something we never thought we'd need until our current home came with it - now we love it as we're french press coffee/tea people.

9. Outdoor holiday light outlets. No more extension cords thru the garage/storm windows!

10. Outdoor grilling area gas and electric outlets - ok, I know, this is very basic and no-duh.

Cool but not for us:
1. Central vac with hide-a-hose and vacuum pans.
2. The lighting systems that have different schemes that let you light up different paths/turn everything off, etc.

Your turn, and thanks in advance!


clipped on: 03.24.2012 at 07:24 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2012 at 07:24 pm

RE: Where do you prefer your spices? LAYOUT (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: breezygirl on 03.21.2012 at 08:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

A night out?? Wine? Color me extremely dark green! The closest I get to a night with girlfriends is an occassional trip to the grocery on the weekend by myself when I cruise the wine aisles. Excuse my whining.... :)

You asked about my drawer size. Measured on the interior, it's 15 3/4" wide, 3 1/2" tall, and 20" long. The 83-cent tins are 2.375" wide and hold 4 oz. Link below. I also have a few larger tins in the back for spices I go through in greater quantity like chili powder or that are large like bay leaves. Storage in a dark drawer helps for longeviety. I buy in bulk, but not a bulk amount (if that makes sense).

As for heat, my raging inferno rangetop does not put any extra heat in that drawer. (A range with the oven may be different.) The kitchen itself does heat up when I've got that beast turned on so by virtue of that fact they do get warmer than if they were, say, stored in the family room.

Some comments about baking zone center, I also roll dough on my wood counter. Sometimes I do it on the marble in the baking zone. I think I use the island when little DS is helping me so we have more space for two bodies than in the corner baking zone.

I second the call for duplicate prep items in the baking area. My baking area is only a couple of steps from the island prep and rangetop cooking, but I purposely store seperate measuring spoons, cups, etc in the baking drawers. That way, I can stand in one spot to measure and mix (KA stand mixer is on the counter in the corner.) The only thing you have to worry about is a DH who, on a very rare occassion, empties the DW and doesn't know what goes where. Then you'll have to hunt the room looking for the baking tablespoon measure. I'm thinking about somehow permanently marking my cups and spoons to make it easier (for him) to put things away.

Baking area in right perimeter corner.

Rhome--I've been giving your question some thought. I'm not sure I have a great answer for you now other than it must be the recipes I use. Last night, for instance, DS and I made baked beans on DH's request. While the ground beef was browning on the rangetop, we dumped all the beans, BBQ sauce, and spices into the casserole dish at the island. From my limited, tired-brain thinking, I don't recall many recipes I make where I go from spice drawer to rangetop. I use a ton of olive oil, salt, and ground pepper at the rangetop so store those on a tray on the counter. Still, my spice drawer is immediately right of the rangetop, and technically in the cooking zone anyway, so everything is handy there if/when. If I think of something more profound, I'll email you. I think I owe you one anyway. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Specialty Bottle spice tins with clear lids


clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 12:22 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 12:22 am

RE: Where do you prefer your spices? LAYOUT (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: breezygirl on 03.21.2012 at 10:55 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi 2LF!

I wouldn't put yours in your pantry. It's already on the smallish size. I've had spices in a drawer now for several months, and I LOVE IT!

Spice drawer awaiting new labels

Don't laugh at the blue tape labels. My label maker still hasn't been unpacked...

I decided I use them more during prep than dumping them in, say, a pot on the stove already cooking, but I didn't have room in the primary prep area (island near the prep sink) so I put them just across the 42"ish aisle near the rangetop. (Spices don't get hot in a drawer near the rangetop.) So easy to pull out, see what you need, use, and pop back in!

Tins are from Specialty Bottle. Lids fight very tighly.


clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 12:17 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 12:17 am

RE: Faucets (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: a2gemini on 03.21.2012 at 08:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Price range?
We are putting in a Waterstone PLP 5400.


A lot more expensive than planned but it is beautiful. I read almost every faucet review and switched my plans multiple times. I thought the US made Waterstone and Chicago faucets were excellent but Chicago did not offer a pull down style.

Most of the general faucets will work but likely will not last as long - so you have to amortize how much to spend with life expectancy.

The Euro faucets - Franke, Grohe, etc - most are using plastic heads and the heads last about 2 years (from GW and other reviews) - the companies do replace the heads.

There are other very expensive niche faucets (I really wanted a Karbon several years ago - but when I started out, was too expensive - and then I spent almost the same amount) and I don't know how they hold up.

BTW - currently, I have a $20.00 camper faucet in our kitchen as our 25 year old faucet died one month prior to reno. I could replace a lot of $20.00 faucets to equal one WS but the beauty takes it up a few notches.


clipped on: 03.21.2012 at 09:48 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2012 at 09:48 pm