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energy efficiency specs

posted by: energy_rater_la on 01.23.2013 at 03:07 pm in Building a Home Forum

this is a short version of the spec sheet I give my
clients for building an energy efficient home.

lots of posts about lots of things here, but
over and over I read about things that could
easily have been dealt with in planning & early
construction phases of the build.
hopefully, this will help to bring some of these
to light now in the decision making phase of
your build.

things that don't 'show' are important choices.
efficiency costs are always upfront & savings long term.

Summary of Energy Efficiency Specifications

Air Infiltration Goal is .25 Natural Air Changes per Hour�heating. Gaskets such as Owens-Corning FoamSeal R or Dow Sill Seal between sole plate and slab is recommended. For 2nd story or bonus rooms, insulate and seal openings between floor joists, under walls with foam board sheathing material. Seal all windows and doors jambs with minimal or non expanding foam.

Seal all wire penetrations especially those through top plate.
Incorporate Airtight Drywall Approach throughout home. Run sheetrock all the way to bottom plate behind showers and tubs, seal plumbing penetrations under tubs especially on upper floors.

Minimize use of recessed lights or install Insulation Contact Air Tight (ICAT) lights. Existing recessed lights that are not air tight can be retrofitted with air tight trim kits. Get name brand and model numbers of lights to order trim kits.

Windows Double-glazed with Low-E glass and non-heat-conducting frames are recommended. Look for U-values and SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) of less than .3 for best performance in this area. Go to www.nfrc.org to learn more about window types and labels on windows.

DOORS Steel, polyurethane foam core (R 2.5 to 5.0) with high quality weather-strip. Solid wood door with double-glazing allowed for front door. Exterior-type foam-core doors with good air seals on doors to all attic spaces and knee-walls.

Walls 2x4 walls R-15 un-faced insulation with double sided 1" foil sheathing boards. 2x6 walls R-19 also with double sided foil sheathing boards.

Face unprinted side to exterior. Sheathing must cover top plate to sole plate. Seal all seams with foil tape. Use �" foil sheathing in between 2X headers instead of plywood. Insulate behind tub and shower units before installing units.

Ceilings R-30 minimum with a Radiant Barriers are recommended for this climate. Visit Florida Solar Energy Center�s web site for more information on radiant barriers www.fsec.ucf.org

Seal and insulate attic accesses when in the conditioned areas. If attic staircase s in conditioned area, seal with attic tent or build a box with 2x12 with �" plywood for top, insulate and weather-strip to seal well.

Unvented attics Open cell foam. foam must meet R-value
code requirements. No quanitive values accepted.
foam must fill rafter bays and faces of rafters.
Foam must seal from roof to attic floor to create true
unvented attic. Full inches to be installed, not
'average' fill. No areas with 1/2" of foam to 9" of
foam to be averaged for overall R-value. Unvented
attic with foam is a semi conditioned attic.

Use only closed cell foam in floors for homes
on piers. install minimum of 3"

Use Energy efficient (O.V.E.) framing at corners and partition walls, See LaDNR Builder�s Guide To Energy Efficient Homes in Louisiana or Doug Rye video.

Continuous ridge vents ( with wind baffles) and continuous soffits vents. One square foot of net free area for every 150-sq.ft. of attic floor space, divided equally between ridge and soffits vents.

NO ATTIC POWER VENTS !!!

Duct Leakage and Insulation Duct loss must be no more than 5%. Before insulating hard pipe seal all joints & seams. Use Mastic or an approved UL-181 rated mastic tape, such as Hardcast #1402 mastic tape.

Have HVAC contractor size A/C system using Manual J. Design duct layout using Manual D.
Upgrade insulation values from a standard R-4.2 to R-6 or R-8 is recommended.

Water Heaters Compare Energy Factors (E.F.) Gas E.F. of .65 on a standard tank and E.F. of .95 on an electric standard tank.

Adding an insulating blanket can also increase the efficiency of water heaters.

Instant, tankless gas water heaters have higher E.F. of .85.
Electric tankless water heaters are not efficient.
instead look at standard hign EF electric tanks
The most efficient for electric Heat Pump water heaters (also called heat recovery or desuperheaters) provide 90% to 100% free hot water in summer months.

Cooling 14 SEER, 0.75or less Sensible heat fraction (SHF) mandatory minimum requirement. 15 to 17SEER is recommended.
Heat pump if all electric.

Two speed or variable speed system if over-sizing of tonnage.
Consider Zoned system versus multiple units.
700 sq. ft. per ton as opposed to old
rule-of-thumb of 400 to 500 sq. ft. per ton.

Bigger is not better!

Heating Gas furnace AFUE 80% minimum.
Efficiency on these units up to 94% (condensing unit with PVC flue).
For Heat Pumps specify a minimum of HSPF of 8.0. Variable speed heat pumps will have up to 9.0 HSPF.
(May change to higher AFUE with IRC code changes)

Lighting Use fluorescent lighting whenever possible. Compact Fluorescent in all fixtures like recessed lights.

IC Air Tight recessed lights are mandatory requirements. Existing recessed lights can be retrofitted with air tight trim kits available at lighting stores and box outlets.

Appliances Purchase Energy Star Appliances for high efficiency, especially refrigerators, freezers and water heaters which run 24/7.
Look for Energy Guide labels in the lower range for more efficiency.

Additional Links:
La. Energy & Environmental Resource Building Science Corporation
www.laeeric.lsu.edu/energy www.buildingscience.com
LSU Ag Center Hot Humid Climates
www.lsuagcenter.com Builder�s Guide
Energy Star Program www.eeba.org
www.energystar.gov

NOTES:

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clipped on: 01.23.2013 at 10:10 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2013 at 10:11 pm

RE: Disappointed with my LED recessed lights ... what now? (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: footwedge on 08.07.2011 at 10:47 am in Lighting Forum

Also posted this in another thread. I just finished installing 6 Cree CR6s using the cree can and lutron dimmer DVSCCL-153P. I must say we are very pleased. Yes the light output is bright but they also dim very low with no flickering or noise.

For those having issues with the CR6, I highly recommend this dimmer.


NOTES:

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clipped on: 01.05.2013 at 12:47 am    last updated on: 01.05.2013 at 12:47 am

RE: Retrofitting a pullout trash cabinet for a foot pedal? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: buehl on 10.30.2011 at 04:00 am in Kitchens Forum

MeToo2 did it and posted directions...see the thread below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Foot Pedal for Trash Can


NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.04.2012 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 11.04.2012 at 09:50 pm

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

posted by: buehl on 04.14.2008 at 02:56 am in Kitchens Forum

First off, I want to give a big thank-you to StoneGirl, Kevin, Joshua, Mimi, and others (past and current) on this forum who have given us many words of wisdom concerning stone countertops.

I've tried to compile everything I saved over the past 8 months that I've been on this Forum. Most of it was taken from a write-up by StoneGirl (Natural stone primer/granite 101); other threads and sources were used as well.

So...if the experts could review the information I've compiled below and send me comments (here or via email), I will talk to StarPooh about getting this on the FAQ.


Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

In an industry that has no set standards, there are many unscrupulous people trying to palm themselves off as fabricators. There are also a number of people with odd agendas trying to spread ill rumors about natural stone and propagate some very confusing and contradictory information. This is my small attempt at shedding a little light on the subject.

Slab Selection:

On the selection of the actual stone slabs - When you go to the slab yard to choose slabs for your kitchen, there are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Surface finish: The finish - be it polished, honed, flamed antiqued, or brushed, should be even. There should be no spots that have obvious machine marks, scratches, or other man made marks. You can judge by the crystal and vein pattern of the stone if the marks you see are man-made or naturally occurring. It is true that not all minerals will finish evenly and if you look at an angle on a polished slab with a larger crystal pattern, you can clearly see this. Tropic Brown would be a good example here. The black spots will not polish near as shiny as the brown ones and this will be very obvious on an unresined slab when looking at an acute angle against the light. The black specks will show as duller marks. The slab will feel smooth and appear shiny if seen from above, though. This effect will not be as pronounced on a resined slab.

    Bottom line when judging the quality of a surface finish: Look for unnatural appearing marks. If there are any on the face of the slab, it is not desirable. They might well be on the extreme edges, but this is normal and a result of the slab manufacturing process.

  • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.
  • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

    • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.
    • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.
    • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.
    • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

Tests (especially for Absolute Black) (using a sample of YOUR slab):

  • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)
  • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.
  • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied
  • Chips: Using something very hard & metalhit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


Measuring:

  • Before the templaters get there...
    • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.
    • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.
    • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.
    • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.
    • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.
    • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

  • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them
  • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.
  • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

    Most stone installations will have seams. They are unavoidable in medium or large sized kitchens. One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum. It seems that a good book could be written about seams, their quality, and their placementand still you will have some information that will be omitted! For something as seemingly simple as joining two pieces of stone, seams have evolved into their own universe of complexity far beyond what anybody should have fair cause to expect!

  • Factors determining seam placement:
    • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)
    • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available
    • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.
    • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.
    • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -
    • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

    You can ask your fabricator to put a seam at a certain location and most likely he will oblige, but if he disagrees with you, it is not (always) out of spite or laziness. Check on your fabricator's seams by going to actual kitchens he has installed. Do not trust what you see in a showroom as sole testament to your fabricator's ability to do seams.

    With modern glues and seaming methods, a seam could successfully be put anywhere in an installation without compromising the strength or integrity of the stone. If a seam is done well, there is - in theory - no "wrong" location for it. A reputable fabricator will also try to keep the number of seams in any installation to a minimum. It is not acceptable, for instance to have a seam in each corner, or at each point where the counter changes direction, like on an angled peninsula.

    Long or unusually large pieces are often done if they can fit in the constraints of a slab. Slabs as a rule of thumb will average at about 110"x65". There are bigger slabs and quite often smaller ones too. Check with the fabricator or the slab yard. They will be more than happy to tell you the different sizes of slabs they have available. Note, though, that the larger the slabs, the smaller the selection of possible colors. Slab sizes would depend in part on the capabilities of the quarry, integrity of the material or the capabilities of the machinery at the finishing plant. We have had slabs as wide as 75" and as long as 130" before, but those are monsters and not always readily available.

  • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.
  • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece
  • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
    Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


Installation:

  • Seams:
    One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum [StoneGirl]

    • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
      • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.
      • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)
      • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.
      • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.
      • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.
      • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)
      • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

  • Checklist:
    • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.
      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.
      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.
      • Make sure the seams are butted tight
      • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

    • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):
      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed
      • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications
      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

    • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around
    • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.
    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges
    • Check for chips. These can be filled.
    • Make sure the top drawers open & close
    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher
    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter
    • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances
    • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
      • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.
      • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.
      • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.
      • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.
      • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

    • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth
    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

  • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
    If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam
  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA
  • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.
  • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB
  • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!
  • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see
  • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)
  • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust
  • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.
  • Suggested Prep for Installation:
    • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.
    • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)
    • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.
    • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.
    • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

  • Countertop Support:
    • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop
    • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required
    • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:
    • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino
    • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel

NOTES:

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clipped on: 07.14.2012 at 09:18 pm    last updated on: 07.14.2012 at 09:18 pm

Some of the best advice from the braintrust on this forum

posted by: gsmama on 02.05.2011 at 11:25 am in Kitchens Forum

I was googling gardenweb and advice last night and came across a great thread that is no longer open but that had been bumped up a few times since it was started by justadncr in 2007 by asking everyone to share the best advice they'd picked up on this forum.

There are a bunch of gems I hadn't run across and wouldn't have even thought to ask or google (...you don't know what you don't know). Plumgold? Never MT? All news to me from reading the thread. I consolidated the info so that I could print it (it would have been a breathtaking 41 pages had I tried to print it straight...) and thought I'd share for other newbies and to maybe get any other additions...

The biggest tip I learned and did as a result was that lumberyards sometimes carry mainstream cabinet lines for less. The place I ordered for carries Dynasty Omega, Shiloh and Meridian and the bulk of their business goes to contractors which helped with the pricing in my case vs. going with a custom cabinet maker--I got a variety of quotes.

With thanks to the OP and everyone who shared, here is their wisdom (please pardon the formatting...my bullets are reading as diamonds with question marks. Oh well.):

Best advice I got from this forum:

� lay the kitchen out on the ground outside with all the measurements and walk around it to see if it felt right. I took my measurements and scraps of wood and laid them out in the various plans I had come up with.
� check out the sound of the fan in the new ovens. I would have been pretty steamed to spend a bunch on a new range and have that sound come blaring out each time I used the oven.
� putting Blumotion on the cabinet doors. This is my favorite feature in our kitchen and the cost was cheap to add these on after the cab install.
� "zones" on this forum, and designed my kitchen around them, with a tremendous amount of help from my forum friends. In my old kitchen, the dishwasher opened across from the island (right into the backs of my legs). Now, the cleanup zone is on the peninsula, the prep area is between the fridge and sink, etc. It's really wonderful.
� No air gap -- most modern dishwashers don't need them, so you don't have to have that extra unattractive "thing" on your countertop. Easy way around that if you need to pass code inspection is to drill the hole for air gap... pop it on for inspection and when they've gone take off the air gap and pop on your soap dispenser. Then put the loop in the hose at the back of your dishwasher...
� Advantium
� Miele dishwasher
� Test tube rack for spice storage
� Lay it out with tape to double check
� advice for setting up a temp kitchen
� Measure from 3 points wall to wall. Had I known this when we remodeled the entire house in 1990, I would now have the room to put in a pro-style range. As it is, I am exactly....1/4" short. Talk about frustrating! Our cabs are in great shape and I love them, but I'm stuck with the 29-7/8" width on the range.
� I really like this that I stole from Dmlove--- I love not having all those cords on my desk/countertop! So best advice from this forum... details make the difference! for now my phone sits over the hole
� pull down (rather than pull out or side spray) faucet
� Bluestar, after asking about the best 30 inch slide-in range
� batch-feed garbage disposals
� adding outlets
� Galaxy Tool Supply for our sink
� NeverMT
� Plugmold
� Wide / shallow cabinet for William Sonoma ultra-thin step stool.
� Airswitch on disposal. Never minded the wall switch, but now that I have a nice backsplash and an island
� Floodstop on icemaker and washing machine.
� I put power into the back of 4 drawers, so each family member has a place to charge the cell phone (or camcorder or whatever) out of sight.
� I also have a false panel behind a niche so that the power / wallwarts / phone wire / wireless access point is hidden. Only the phone sits out exposed. Similar to the idea above, but using depth.
� Don't pack your booze prior to remodeling (this is VERY important! VERY IMPORTANT!)
� Lacanche
� caulk on change of planes verses grout...look at the underside of your cabinets
� plugmold for under the ends of my island so I didn't have to cut outlets into my beautiful cabinets
� integrated drainboard cut into the countertop
� raising the countertop for my wall oven - which gave me a bonus "standing desk" for my laptop
� never thought I could get talked out of gas. So, that is the best advice so far
� I'm a single sink convert, based solely upon the reviews on this website.
� Dh and I made a "never mt" out of tubing bought for $0.46 at Lowes. It's really not very exciting, though. It's clear tubing (like the kind you see on aquariums) attached to the bottom of the soap dispenser thing, and then extends down through the lid and into the bottom of the bottle of soap. (We just drilled a hole in the top of the bottle and shoved the tubing down.) So low tech! The tubing is something like $.23/ foot and we bought 2 feet. Super easy.
� Landing space between appliances
� Aisle clearances
� Wait until its right - the right plan, the right time, the right appliances.
� instant hot water heater
� Getting a 36" range
� baking center
� online resources for sinks and faucets
� the importance of putting functionality first in all design decisions
� how to test granite for durability
� remote blower for hood fan
� single deep fireclay sink
� lots of great online resources for sinks, faucets, etc
� Never NEVER NEVER!!!! Leave your construction site to go on vacation ::scary music:: I MEAN NEVERRRRR!!!!!
� the best (and most costly) is don't settle. You have to live with this kitchen for quite some time. Don't settle! (Even if that means you scrapped the cabinets today, called of the GC for 8 weeks while you order new ones, and you can't live in your home so you have to find somewhere else to live for three months). And maybe Santa won't know where you live!!!
� Pegasus under-cabinet lighting here. Slim, good-looking, very energy-efficient, and reasonably priced.
� I was convinced of the superiority of the Miele cutlery rack
� do not rush..get a good plan in place. Pick what you love ..NOT what the designer loves
� Brizo Floriano/pulldowns in general
� xenon lighting
� Venting
� Tapmaster
� take pictures of everything while your walls are open. It is very helpful to have that photographic record of where electric, pipes, studs etc. actually are. Also, plan for where you want to install pot/wall racks, shelf brackets, etc.--and add extra framing in the walls before they get closed up.
� Get your floor plan right!
� The Franke Orca sink ... to die for.
� Inexpensive but quality Ticor sinks for laundry and prep.
� Plugmold giving me a crisp, clean and outlet-free backsplash.
� The personal, real life stories shared here gave me the confidence to push back at the stoneyard and insist on marble for my island. It pairs beautifully with the soapstone perimeter.
� Bertazzoni range
� White America Quartzite to go with SS
� LED undercabinet lights
� internet and ebay vendor recommendations
� Hancock & Moore leather furniture (from GW furniture forum)
� Microfiber cloths for cleaning SS and granite.
� we had scaled drawings, pictures, and sketches taped to walls and cabinets all over the kitchen. A sketch of the island layout, a drawing with dimensions for light fixtures and switches, a sketch showing the spacing of shelves, a picture of how we wanted plugmold installed - you name it, we had it on a piece of paper and taped on a wall. When we would discuss anything with the electrician, plumber, etc., usually we would show them a drawing or sketch so they would know exactly what we were looking for. Then we would post it on the wall in the kitchen. It may have been slightly annoying to those working there, but it was amazing how much it helped. A number of times after someone screwed something up I would just point to a drawing and they would immediately have to take the blame and offer to fix it. There was never any chance to claim that we never told them or that we had said something else. It was right there on the wall the whole time.
� undercounter light switch for undercounter lights
� tilt-out shoe storage cabinet
� Get hardwoods instead of laminate. Once I investigated I couldn't believe at how little difference in cost between the two (good decent laminate vs. hardwood)
� This is AWESOME! I now have a list of things I had never even heard of to check on...and I thought I was on top of things!
� posters here are willing to share their good and bad experiences so that newbies like me can have a smoother reno.
� Something that I'm slowly realizing as I continue to read the posts here is that, despite the best of planning, something (or things) likely will not go as planned.
� Buy appliances available locally (so service is available), from retailers who will actually stand behind the sale instead of shifting all blame and responsibility to the manufacturer - even when they shipped a defective product. Just finished reading a long thread about someone that bought from an internet retailer, and it was shocking to see the attitude of the retailer. Forget the pre sale promises and assurances from some of these disreputable internet companies who won't be there if you have a problem and just get them locally. No small percentage of savings is worth it if you end up with a defective product shipped and the retailer says it isn't his problem. If you must buy via internet, make sure you get in writing that the product will be shipped defect-free and if there's anything wrong with the unit at all - IMMEDIATELY contest the charge with your credit card company. Don't rely on promises that a minor (or major) problem will be promptly repaired by a service company.
� learning all the lingo was great. When the contractor asked if I wanted plugmold I didn't go "huh?" I think by being knowledgeable before talking to the contractor it helps a lot.
� Knobs vs. Pulls. There have been several discussions of knobs vs. pulls. Some comments:
� Knobs on base cabinets can catch on clothing (and rip sometimes).
� Cabinets/drawers w/pulls can usually be opened w/one finger...even the pinky finger.
� Susan Jablon glass tile. Everyone who comes in my house walks up to my backsplash and has to touch it. I had just about given up the idea of a glass tile backsplash before finding out about her site on this forum. The price of her tile, even with shipping, was about half of what I could have bought it for locally and it is gorgeous!
� No sockets/switches in backsplash (under cabinet plug strip)
� Toe kick on trash pop out BUT... ADD a second spring to add power to the pop (thank you for whoever mentioned this ingenious bit of info)
� Double layered cutlery drawer (secret drawer within a drawer)
� What to look for when choosing undercabinet lighting eg... reflection, spread of light, color of light, heat...
� Benefits of a large farmhouse sink
� Miele dishwasher � superb
� Thermador cooktop and all the controversy about the popup draft and how I could get away with not having one. THANK YOU!
� Miele warming drawer FANTASTIC and thank you for making me realize that it doesn't have to be on the floor under the oven!!!
� PLAN YOUR STORAGE SPACE. measure boxes, measure food processer, mixer, stack of plates etc. etc. then make a note of contents in the drawers or cupboards on your plans or diagrams or in your notes.
� Plug strip under center island.
� ARE NOT ALONE- PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOUR CD FRIDGE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU and it's OK to really take your time with your decisions
� Orca single sink
� Pot rack in upper cabinet (I think this idea was from loves2cookfor6??)
� Electrical outlet inside a drawer for a charging station
� filling in the gap between the fridge and the cupboard above it with some leftover filler and a piano hinge. Cambro...where did you see this idea? Just yesterday we discovered that we might have a significant gap b/w the top of the refrigerator & the bottom of the cabinet above. Our contractor is just going to use filler to hide the gap, but if we put it on hinges it would actually become usable space!
� knife drawer (I hated that block)
� gel stain
� Getting rid of my ugly phone jack and getting a phone that doesn't need one!
� How to get rid of the drip inside my oven door - with a hanger and a sock going up through the holes at the bottom of the door. Worked like a charm!
� Get a spine when talking to GC about his version vs. my version of cleaning up the jobsite each day (aka our home).
� Use masking tape and a measuring tape and make a mock up of where your new cabinets will go. This is a biggie!
� Dimmer switches! I put them on ALL of the new lighting, including the patio lights adjacent, and have not regretted it once.
� how great Silgranit sinks are to live with. Never even heard of one before GW.
� Buying Sources
o Ticor sinks: Ticor Sinks at Galaxy Tool Supply: http://www.galaxytoolsupply.com/category_s/58.htm
o Tapmaster�: http://www.tapmaster.ca/
o Never-MT: Never-MT: http://custominserts-store.stores.yahoo.net/nevsoapandlo.html
o Pop up Outlets: Popup Mocketts: http://www.mockett.com/default.asp?ID=469
o Plugmold�/Power Strips: http://www.wiremold.com/www/consumer/products/plugmold.asp
o Angle Powerstrip: http://www.tasklighting.com/ap/angle-strip.htm
� Our Vac Pan. Ours is hooked up to a wet/dry vac in the basement because we do not have central vac. The idea came from this forum and our electrician and contractor figured out how to make it happen.
� DIY on gel stain. Thanks Celticmoon and Projectsneverend.
� Soapstone, getting it, finding the right fabricator right here, and caring for it
� where to find a deal on saddle stools
� Kohler Vinnata
� Not to put my cooktop on my island.
� best advice I got was around my budget and how to make the hard decisions on what should stay in and what should go (that was from Beuhl).
� What is not that important to me and doesn't add functionality? [Candidate for elimination altogether]
� What can I do at a later date? [Candidate for deferring until a later date]
� What can't be done at a later date and I can't live without? [Candidate for keeping and doing now]
� This forum helped me see which terms are worth using, and which can be saved for later. This forum helped me get clearer communication going. Resistance could be expressed when I raised ideas; it all helped to refine the concept.
� This forum helped me justify personal innovations. This forum confirmed ideas.
� Tweaking and innovating. I tweaked everything in my kitchen along the way.
� I don't know if I would have a remodeled kitchen if it weren't for this forum. I would have still been looking at the dreadful old one wishing it was nice and not knowing how to get it nice. Even the ideas & photos of things I didn't want for me helped to define what I did want.
� I have to give credit to my carpenter, too. There was a time when his eyes rolled when I said, "but the people on the kitchen forum say......." But I had photos and conversations printed off to show him what I meant.
� Lisalists organized drawers where the dividers go from front to back or side to side so you don't have to nest objects-and you can fit so much stuff in. Easy, easy access. No nesting. Yay
� Layout, efficiency. This has to be the most important thing I've been learning here. What tasks do you perform, what zones will you organize them in, what items do you need close at hand in each zone, how does traffic between and through zones flow. etc.
� Styles, materials, looks. People here have great ''eyes'' for style and looks. My eyes have been opened to these looks, and I've learned the vocabulary to describe them.
� Specific ideas/features I learned about here that seem like they'll be useful: prep sinks, base cabinet drawers, counter top materials other than granite, true convection ovens, unfitted kitchens, under-counter refrigeration.
� Many things, one of which is using a 13-15" depth cabinet for inset cabinets, as 12 is not sufficient.
� Carefully placing all the appliances and storage thinking about what you use with what. For example, I moved the microwave to be next to the refrigerator because we use it mostly for reheating leftovers. I have fridge, prep sink, prep area, range, more prep area on one side and on the other I have prep area/ landing zone (across from fridge), main sink, prep area / dishwasher (across from range, but offset so both people can work) in the island.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 07.14.2012 at 09:15 pm    last updated on: 07.14.2012 at 09:15 pm

Actual Kitchen Map (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: buehl on 07.18.2008 at 12:45 am in Kitchens Forum

Like Raehelen, I created an MS Word document...well, actually two.

The first was a list of everything I had in my old kitchen plus everything that should have been stored in the kitchen but wasn't.

The second document was a "map" of my kitchen. First, I took a picture of my kitchen design and, in MS PowerPoint, labeled each cabinet & shelf/drawer. There were two pictures, one for each side of the kitchen. Then, I saved them as "jpg" images. I then inserted them into an MS Word document, each on its own page. I then created a table with one row for each shelf/drawer.

My last step was to map the items from the first document to the cabinets & shelves/drawers in the second document.

That document is now in our new kitchen and is used by everyone to remember where everything goes.


This process worked great!


Now, here's my map/list (sorry the pics are so big, but when I made them smaller they were illegible!):

Sink/Window Wall Kitchen Map (medium)

Cooktop Wall Kitchen Map (medium)

HTH!


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clipped on: 07.14.2012 at 09:12 pm    last updated on: 07.14.2012 at 09:12 pm

RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: buehl on 07.18.2008 at 12:13 am in Kitchens Forum

To indirectly answer your question, here's the storage planning "guide" I came up with...it should help you figure out what you want to store in the kitchen and where.

Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size/configuration of your cabinets and drawers. (The following is a general write-up I've come up with...)

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored now...kitchen, basement, dining room, etc.
  2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.
  3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)
    The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

  4. If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...
    • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.
    • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

    If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.

    • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.
    • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).
    • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)
    • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

This not only helps you to "see" how things will fit, but it also will help when you move back into the kitchen...you won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy "map" for everyone to help find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

  • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags
  • Preparation--sink & trash--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels
  • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, serving dishes (platters, bowls, etc.), paper towels
  • Baking--ovens/range--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, casserole dishes, roasting rack, cooling racks, cookie sheets, foils, rolling pin, cookie cutters, pizza stone, muffin tins, paper towels
  • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware
  • Eating--island/peninsula/table/nook/DR--table linens, placemats, napkins, dishes & glasses, flatware
  • Utility--broom, dustpan, swifter, mop, cleaning supplies, cloths, flashlights, batteries, extension cords
  • Message Center--phones, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard

Less Common Zones:

  • Tea/Coffee Bar--coffeemaker--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot
  • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks

Commonly Used Items: pots & pans, utensils, small appliances, linens, pot holders, trivets, dish detergents, "Tupperware", knives, pitchers, water bottles, vases, picnic supplies, cook books, etc.

Foods: Spices, Breads, Flours/Sugars, Teas/Coffees, Potatoes, Onions, Canned Goods, Dry Goods (rice, pasta, etc.), Cereals, Snacks

Small Appliances: Toaster, Stand and/or Hand Mixer, Blender, Breadmaker, Toaster Oven, Food Processor, Crockpot, Waffle Iron, Electric Skillet, Coffeemaker, Coffee Grinder, Ricer, Steamer

NOTE: If your ceiling or one or more of your walls is coming down, consider wiring for speakers, TV, Computer, etc.


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clipped on: 07.14.2012 at 09:10 pm    last updated on: 07.14.2012 at 09:10 pm

RE: Cultured marble shower base -- good choice? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: sandy808 on 02.24.2012 at 03:23 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We had cultured marble in our last home for 13 years, and it never cracked, crazed, or otherwise fell apart. It still looked new the day we sold our house. Even with teenagers. Cultured marble vanity tops will get what I call a patina. In other words, cultured marble will scratch if you treat it harshly, but so does corian, soapstone, etc. In the shower it was never an issue. It can also be buffed out if desired.

It is extremely easy to clean, no fear of leaks, and can be very pretty. It does not have to be plain white.

We are almost finished building our new home and I was almost swayed by pretty tile. Then reality hit and we selected a nice cultured marble with a bit of wood tone swirled with pale gray on white. Our trim carpenter thought it was real stone. It looks beautiful with our tongue and groove cypress walls. I have opted for a freestanding style Porcher console sink because I like that look.

Be very caredful whom you select to make your shower if you go this route. We tried a comapany close to where we live now and they did a horrible job that resulted in us having to tear it out and start over They were both incompetent and unethical. Be sure to check their reputation first....we didn't. There is a company in Thomasville, Georgia...do NOT use them. Fortunately, Southern Marble (who did our previous home) agreed to make the lengthy trip to install a new one for us. It is perfect. The best part is not having a cleaning nightmare.

Hot water used in the shower or sink will not crack your cultured marble. Harsh cleaning chemicals and abrasive scrubbing will ruin it, but normal cosmetics and soaps will not. If hot water is causing cracking something is wrong. It will never need abrasive scrubbing....it cleans up easily with mild cleaners. The shower pan should be set in "mud". Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't need to be. It does, or it can flex and crack over time.

The shower pan of a cultured marble shower does not have an applied film. The texture is cast into it, and you will not harm it if you need to take a nylon scrubbie to it from time to time.

I agree with doing what you want and not what some designer dictates. You're the one living with, and having to clean this shower. We once rented a home with a tile shower while our house was being built and I would never consider having atile shower and dealing with cleaning issues.

While I will rinse the shower down when I am done, if I've splattered shampoo or conditioner, I will not ever resort to squeegees, wiping it dry after each use, or any other ridiculous measures to keep a shower looking presentable. Life is too short. The shower material should look nice without having to do all of that.

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clipped on: 07.12.2012 at 12:36 am    last updated on: 07.12.2012 at 12:36 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #59)

posted by: Laura12 on 06.03.2012 at 01:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

All the suggestions posted on this thread have been so valuable, though I'm sure many of you (like myself) find your head spinning with all the ideas, so I just sat down and categorized them all!

Closet & Organization
- Plugs in several closets
- Make sure your closet has enough space for both double hung rods, and singles to accomadate long clothes
- Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items away from sight.
- More closet/linen space than you think you'll need
- Cubbies in mudroom with an outlet in each one
- Motion sensor on pantry and closet lights

Bath
- Plug in master toilet closet for night light
- Outlets inside vanity cabinets (upper and lower) in bathroom for dryer etc.
- Heated towels racks
- Don't caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile to hide potential leaks
- Make use of the pony wall in a bathroom by turning it into storage.
- Vac pans for hair
- Appliance garage on counter

Outdoor
- Run conduit under the driveway for future wiring or plumbing needs
- Prewire speakers both indoor and outdoor
- Ensure you have hose outlets and power on all 4 sides of your house, and on top of any raised areas
- Hot/cold outdoor water is good for washing pets
- Motion sensor pre-wire for selected exterior lights
- Keypad entry on garage door (Keypad entry on front door is great as well)
- Gas line to grill

Kitchen
- Plugs in kitchen pantry for charging, or for items that may end up living there
- Recess the fridge
- With wide islands put cabinets on the both sides. While they are not easy to get to, they are good for storing seldomly used items.
- Built in paper towel holder
- Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers
- Warming drawer in dining room
- Pantry entrance near both kitchen and garage
- Custom shelves and a place to plug in appliances in pantry
- Plugs above cabinets for Christmas lighting
- Set up for both gas and electric appliances
- Pantry door on swivel
- Pantry light on motion sensor
- Copper tubing for your ice maker from the freezer and until it's out of the kitchen wall
- Drawer microwave
- Knife drawer
- Pull-out garbage/recycling/laundry (for dirty dish towels/napkins/bibs!)
- Paper towel holder in drawer slot
- Drawers for all lower cabinets (more efficient use of space)
- Two soap pumps at sink (one for handsoap, one for dish soap)
- Easy-access place to store frequently used appliances
- place to hang hand towels & aprons

Electrical & Plumbing
- Prewire security system & cameras
- Run wire and prepare roof for future solar
- Run a 2" PVC pipe up from the basement to the attic for future wiring needs, some suggested double conduits.
- Seperate 20z circut with outlets at waist height in garage to plug in tools
- Seperate 20z ciructe for TV and a/v equipment
- Identify areas for low voltage can/rack
- Pre-wring for music and speakers, inside and outside
- iPad controllers in the walls to control whole house music systems
- Pre-wire for generator to essential areas
- Carbon monozide unit on the wall upstairs
- Make sure plumbing in bathrooms are done correctly. One commenter's toilet was placed too close to the tub pipes so I couldn't get the deeper tub because they didn't allow room.
- Cast iron pipes for the plumbing drops from the second floor cuts down on noise
- Take pictures of all the walls before Sheetrock went up so you knew where all the wiring was in case you needed to add or change anything.
- Include a 220V to garage (tools, future electric car etc)
- Measure the location of anything under the slab, and various utilities out in the yard.
- Run an electrical line with a few floor outlets, especially since we have very open floor plan and couch sets are not against a wall
- Plumbed for a built-in drinking fountain,

Lighting
- Light switch to the attic in the hallway (and remember lights in attic in general)
- Solar tubes in areas that don�t get natural sunlight
- In cabinet lights and outside lights on timers
- Make sure you check the cost ratings of ceiling fans
- Check all remotes for ceiling fans prior to construction completion
- 3 way switches where helpful
- Master switch from master that controls all exterior lights
- A master switch at each exit (Front, back or garage), that turns off all of the power to the switches/lights in the house, so that you can turn off all lights without going to each room and/or light switch.

Master
- 4 plug outlets near the bed in the master
- A light switch at the head of your bed so you can turn out the light once you are in bed.

Holiday
- Plugs under eaves for holiday lights, with a switch inside to turn on and off.
- Enough storage for Christmas decorations
- Seasonal closet with hangers for wreaths, and space for rubbermaid storage boxes.
- Plugs for Christmas lights: over cabinets, in stairway, in porch ceiling, under eaves

Heating, Cooling, and Vacuums
- Central Vac with vac pans, if you have hardwood floors - get a Hideahose
- Plan where furnace vents will go instead of letting the builder decide
- Hepa filtration for allegergy sufferers
- WarmFloors heating

Overall
- Read Myron Ferguson has a book out, "Better Houses, Better Living"
- Receptacles for fire extinguishers. Maybe plan some cutouts so they are flush to the wall.
- Where possible pocket doors
- Secondary dryer lint trap http://www.reversomatic.com/category/Accessories-Catalogue/Lint-Traps.html
- Soundproofing where needed
- Stairs from garage to basement
- A phone by the door leading into the garage for those pesky calls when you are getting in or out of the car
- An inside button to open and close your garage door for when guests arrive and its raining.
- Additional support during framing on the top side of windows for curtains
- Power outage flashlights and keep in outlets around around house. Recess these into the space with each fire extinguisher.
- Mailbox sensor to alert you whenever your mailbox is opened so that you're not running out of the house checking for mail when it's not there.
- Ensure builders don't "box" off spaces, where storage or shelving could go
- Make copies of manuals prior to installation and give the builder the copies so you can keep the originals.
- Minimal walls, and lots of windows.
- A laundry room. Not just a hall, or closet, a room.
- Spindles and hand rail made that can be removed for moving furniture
- Handicapped accessible.
- Plan an elevator shaft in case you want to install one later, in the meantime it will serve as storage closets.

Pets
- Plan a specific place for your dog food,
- Place for the kitty box,
- Place for dogs to be bathed
- place for dog crates
- Exhaust fan in laundry room for litterbox

Regional considerations:
- an ante-room, with coatracks and shoe storage, and a way to keep the heat in.
- An entrance to the basement from outside for salt delivery, repair men etc so they don't track thru your house.
- storm shelter to weather the threats your area faces.
- a mosquito system http://www.mistaway.com/watch-the-mistaway-video.html and http://www.mosquitonix.com/mosquitonix
- little covered niche for bear spray at/near each entry.
- Drain in the garage to get rid of the excess water quicker from vehicles after it snows
- Pest line (brand name Taexx) a small tube is run around the perimeter of the home through the framing, and then pest control can spray within it.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.04.2012 at 12:10 am    last updated on: 06.04.2012 at 12:10 am

RE: Anyone using a Never M-T Soap Soap Dispenser (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: buehl on 02.18.2010 at 08:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a link to it for those who may be reading this in the future and not know what a "Never-MT" is...

Never-MT Soap and Lotion Dispenser Conversion Kit (at Custom Inserts)


NOTES:

Get this for kitchen and bath soap dispensers
clipped on: 03.30.2012 at 12:04 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2012 at 12:04 pm

RE: 36' Induction Cooktop w/ oven beneath OR a gas range? OR what (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.06.2011 at 01:04 am in Kitchens Forum

We just finished our kitchen with an induction cooktop over an oven. Below is a pic.

By the way, whatever you do, stick with the induction- it's just plain awesome. I've had gas and electric and this beats 'em both hands down.

Induction cooktop above oven


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clipped on: 03.23.2012 at 10:40 am    last updated on: 03.23.2012 at 10:40 am

RE: Sofas: Looking For Your Opinions, Please (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: nigel-bigel on 02.22.2012 at 10:48 pm in Home Decorating Forum

When I think of quality leather furniture, I always think of Hancock and Moore. That's why I am surprised that a quick perusal of their website does not state where their pieces are made. Of course, that omission doesn't mean that their furniture is made overseas, but if it was made here you would think they would make sure you knew it!

I would simply call them.

Nicole

Here is a link that might be useful: Hancock & Moore


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clipped on: 02.23.2012 at 01:22 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2012 at 01:23 pm

RE: Anyone do away with their kitchen table and extend their isla (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: buehl on 03.23.2010 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Great island Lagrant! I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to use your island to point out to the OP what to consider if she goes forward with this idea...your island shows how it can be done right!

Considerations:

  • For younger and older people, seating higher than table-height can be uncomfortable

  • If seating is all in a row, then it is not very conducive for conversation, you'll be sitting "like ducks in a row". Notice Lagrant's island...it has seating on 3 sides...much more people-friendly than most islands I see out there. It really looks like a giant table w/a sink at the end with the advantage of extra storage and a wonderfully large expanse of workspace for large projects and at a nice working height.

  • Keep in mind that if you lower the seating side, it has the same negative effect on workspace, etc. that raising the seating has...it eliminates that nice expanse of workspace I mentioned above. To me, more than one level actually negates the positive benefits. To mitigate the negative impact of more than one level, try to keep the seating on one end...sort of like a table attached to the island. The other end of the island would then give you that wonderful expanse of workspace.

  • If you plan to eat meals at the island, do not put your Cleanup Zone (i.e., main/cleanup sink & DW) in the island near the seats... Even more importantly, don't put your Cooking Zone (i.e., cooktop/range) in the island anywhere near the seats either (actually, don't put your cooktop/range anywhere in the island!) Again, notice the relationship b/w the sink & seats in Lagrant's island...the sink is on one end and the seating is on the other...no one is looking directly into a sink full of dirty dishes and no one has dirty dishes looming over them while eating!

  • Do you have a DR or other table space elsewhere? If not, I would not eliminate your table. Family meals are more "intimate" at a table than sitting at an island, especially "special" family gatherings such as birthdays, holiday dinners, etc.

  • If this will be your primary seating, I very, very strongly advise you to meet or exceed the NKBA Guidelines for seating space...including linear space and overhang and aisle space around the seats!

    NKBA Guidelines:

    • Overhang [Guideline 9: Seating Clearance]
      • 30" high tables/counters ("table-height"): 18" overhang

        Allow a 24" wide x 18" deep knee space for each seated diner and at least 18" of clear knee space

      • 36" high counters ("counter-height"): 15" overhang

        Allow a 24" wide x 15" deep knee space for each seated diner and at least 15" of clear knee space.

      • 42" high counters ("bar-height"): 12" overhang

        Allow a 24" wide x 12" deep knee space for each seated diner and 12" of clear knee space.

      • Remember: These are minimums

    • Seating/linear space (an extension of the above)
      • 24" per seat (2 feet). So, for two people, you need at least 48" or 4 feet. For 8 people, you need at least 16 feet (8 people x 2')
      • If "rounding the corner", be sure the knee space is not shared by two seats...a common mistake made. Using Lagrant's island as an example again, notice there is no overlap of knee space on the corners.

    • Aisle width with seating - if no counters or appliances behind seats [Guideline 8: Traffic Clearance at Seating]
      • In a seating area where no traffic passes behind a seated diner, allow 32" of clearance from the counter/table edge to any wall or other obstruction behind the seating area.
      • If traffic passes behind the seated diner, allow at least 36" to edge past.
      • If traffic passes behind the seated diner, allow at least 44" to walk past.

    • Aisle width with seating - if counters or appliances behind seats

      The NKBA is curiously silent about this. Either meaning it's not recommended or they couldn't decide on a guideline. I suppose the "obstruction" could be thought to mean a working counter or appliance, however, the recommendations do not allow for workroom, so I am reasonably sure that is not what was meant.

      The following is what is recommended for work aisles. So, I would take these recommendations and add the 32" from above (probably 24" to 30" more would be enough)

      [Guideline 6: Work Aisle]

      • Single cook/worker in the kitchen: The width of a work aisle should be at least 42" for one cook. [42" + 30" = 72" or 42" + 24" = 66"]

        Note: Some people have found 36" wide enough...but this is usually either a one-cook kitchen or work space and no traffic goes through that aisle.

      • Multiple cooks/workers: The width of a work aisle should be at least 48" for multiple cooks. [48" + 30" = 78" or 48" + 24" = 72"]
      • Measure between the counter frontage [edge], tall cabinets and/or appliances.


    HTH!

  • Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines with Access Standards (with pictures!)


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    clipped on: 02.09.2012 at 01:14 pm    last updated on: 02.09.2012 at 01:15 pm

    Pics of Monocoat oil finish on RH table

    posted by: juddgirl2 on 05.23.2010 at 01:46 am in Home Decorating Forum

    I remember someone asked about the Monocoat oil that I planned on using for my unfinished salvaged wood table. Just finished applying it this morning and took some pics while it's curing in the garage. I love the way it deepened the brown of the wood.

    The original unfinished, weathered look was so pretty but I really wanted to use a protective finish. Our first table was damaged but we were able to use it until this replacement table was delivered. Even with very light use it had a water ring stain and a strange pink stain from an errant drop of marinara sauce that I tried to clean off.

    RH recommends either Briwax or Monocoat for their salvaged line. I went with the Monocoat because it's supposed to repel water. I get water ring marks on my other waxed table, so I have to rewax every 6 months or so. Monocoat is very easy to apply - just one coat and then wipe off the excess after 10 minutes or so.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

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    clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 11:01 am

    RE: Taking possession a week from Fri...any advice? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: bevangel on 08.16.2011 at 12:33 pm in Building a Home Forum

    It is probably late for this advice but you need to spend at least a full day at your house looking for punch list issues and making a written list BEFORE you meet with your builder for your "pre-through." And you need to be able to do this while there are no workmen there so they are not making noise or getting in your way. There are just too many things to look for to try to do the checking WHILE walking thru the house with your builder. Even if your builder gives you a full three or four hours for the walk-through, that is simply not enough time...especially if builder is taking time to write notes about the things you mention. And it is possible your builder will attempt to rush you because the fewer things you mention, the less work he has to do. Better to go with a list in hand (with a copy for builder) so that your walk-thru with builder is just a chance for you to show him what each note on the list refers to.

    On your list, for each issue indicate EXACTLY where the problem is located.... What room, what wall, Where on the wall, what the problem is, and what needs to be done. Eg., 1) Living room; on north wall, 4 ft from east wall & 18 inches above the floor; there are gaps in sheetrock around electrical outlet; need to patch gaps, smooth patch (or texture to match wall texture) and prime and painted to match wall. 2) 1st floor powderroom, floor 20 inches from west wall & 2 ft from south wall; cracked tile; remove and replace with good tile, regrout - make certain replacement tile is set level with surrounding tiles and that grout matches surrounding grout. The more detailed you are, the more likely the fixes are going to be done satisfactorily. So, a laptop with an excel program can be helpful for making your lists because you can copy and paste the correction instructions everytime you find yet another electrical outlet with gaps around it.

    So, if it were me, I would ask to postpone the walk-thru with builder until after this weekend - even if that meant postponing my move in date by a week or so. Then I would take a couple of very persnickity (sp??) friends with me to the house over the weekend and spend several hours going over each room and making lists of punch list items. People seeing the place with fresh eyes will see problems that you noticed months ago, that your builder promised to fix, but then somehow never got around to doing. Keep a copy of your list and then check issues off as they are corrected. Otherwise, chances are, half the stuff you point out will never get corrected. Don't rely on your builder putting sticky notes on walls. Sticky notes have a way of disappearing without the work ever getting done!

    Some things you need to check:

    Whole House
    _ Turn every light switch on and off.
    _ If you have ceiling fans with multiple speeds, check that they work on every speed.
    _ Test every electrical outlet (both top and bottom as we've actually found that on a number of outlets in our current house - which was purchased from a previous owner - only one half of the outlet has power and the other half is dead!)
    _ Check that both heating and air conditioning work, and that you have an adequate flow of air from every register. This will require turning the AC down so that the house gets extra cold and then, after checking AC, turning the heat on to make sure that works. While it'll be a bit of a waste of energy, you don't want to find out that the heater isn't working the first night that temps suddenly dip below freezing.
    _ Open and close every window. Make sure they open easily and close and seal completely. Look for any light entering around the edges of window (between the sash and the jambs.) If light can enter, so can water! If your windows tilt out to clean, check that function on every window as well.
    _ Open and close every door, interior and exterior.
    _ Check that all doors are plumb and square. The crack around an door should be even on all sides when the door is closed and you should not be able to see light coming from the other side except at the bottoms of interior doors.
    _ Check that exterior doors close and seal completely. You should not be able to see any light coming in between the door and jamb or the door and the sill AT ALL.
    _ Lock and unlock every lock
    _ Check that walls are plumb and flat, that there are no nail pops and that the texturing and paint is even. BTW - nail pops are where the nails holding sheetrock to the studs back up slightly. You see them as little round bumps in the paint. You should not be able to tell where the edges of sheetrock panels are. Nor should you be able to notice any dips or high places in the walls where they taped and floated the sheetrock.
    _ Check walls carefully around all outlet plates to make certain there are no gaps where the cuts in the sheetrock were made too large and then never fixed.
    _ Check every piece of molding looking for cracks or gaps where two pieces of molding meet. Check the paint or stain on molding - particularly cut ends.
    _ Check floors. Tiles should have even and straight grout lines; hardwoods should not have gaps between boards; seams on vinyl flooring should not be noticable; carpet should be tight and should not show seams; etc.
    _While the house is quiet (late night is best), walk up and down the steps and across all portions of any hardwood floors. There should be no creaks or squeeks.
    _ Check ceilings. You should not be able to tell where the edges of the sheetrock panels are.
    _ Check stair spindles, balusters, and handrails to make sure they are solidly installed. No shakiness.
    - Take a sprinkler with you and set it so that water falls down against your windows (simulating rain) and check for leaks on the inside. You should not see ANY water on the inside. (Caution - don't spray water UPWARD against your windows as you may drive water through the drainholes, set the spinkler so that water falls downward against the windows.)
    _ If you get lucky and it happens to be raining while you are there, go into the attic and look for leaks.
    _ Check that smoke detectors are working.
    _ Turn everything in the house off and unplug the refrigerator, then check the electric meter. It should no longer be running. (Be sure to plug appliances back in afterwards!)
    _ Make sure all water spigots are turned off and that your water heaters are full, then check your water meter. It should NOT be moving. If it is, you may have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system...possibly even under your slab.
    _ If you have a real wood fireplace, build a very small but smoky fire (damp wood and newspapers) and make sure the chimney draws properly.
    _ If you have a gas fireplace, light it and make sure all the vents work properly and that the flame heights are as you would expect them to be.
    _ If you have natural gas or propane, find the inside gas cut-off valves. (NOTE that these should not be hidden behind an appliance - you need to be able to get to them easily in case of a fire!) Make sure the gast cut off valves turn easily. Light the appliance then turn the gas off at the cut off valve. The flame should go completely out. If it doesn't, the cut off valve is working properly.

    Kitchen/Laundry Room/Pantry
    _ Check that every appliance is working properly
    * Refrigerator
    * Freezer
    * Dishwasher (run thru a cycle to ensure no leaks and that it actually cleans dishes. We bought a house once where the dishwasher seemed to work when we tested it but when we actually tried to wash dishes, they never got clean. It turned out that the water had never been attached and the little bit of moisture we were seeing was just moisture from the air!)
    * stove top - check every burner
    * vent hood - make sure it is actually hooked up and venting to the outside.
    * oven
    * microwave
    * garbage disposal - put some garbage in it and make sure it chops it up.
    * washer (again, run a cycle to make sure its not leaking and that it doesn't dance around)
    * dryer (run a cycle with some clothes to make sure it doesn't dance. Also, make sure the dry vent is hooked up!)
    _ Open and close every cabinet and every drawer to make sure they function properly.
    _ Look inside each cabinet and drawer to make sure it is finished properly, that there are no missing shelves, etc. Also, look for scratches, nicks, and stains. Once you move in, you builder will assume that you made any mars on your cabinetry.
    _ Turn both hot and cold water on at the sink. Fill the sink with water and then, after a while, check under the sink for evidence of leaking. Check around the sink to make sure that it is properly sealed to your countertop.
    _ Check the countertop for flaws. Check the edges of countertops especially carefully as these can easily get chipped or scratched (depending on the type surface) during the building process.
    _If you have a granite countertop, inspect it carefully. Run your hands over every inch feeling for any rough spots. Also, get down on your hands and knees and look across the granite from a height just an inch or two above the surface - places that are not properly polished will be more visible.
    _ Inspect every light fixture installed by builder to make certain it was not scratched, dented, or marred in the process of being installed.

    Bathrooms
    _ Actually step into shower stalls and bathtubs to make sure they feel solid underfoot. Acrylic tubs and shower bases that "give" underfoot will crack over time.
    _ Run water in every sink and bathtub and make sure they hold water without leaking. (Look under the sinks for leaks).
    _ Run the showers.
    _ Make sure you get hot water when you turn on a hot water spigot. Try it at every sink, tub, shower, and in your washing machine.
    _ Run water at several locations at the same time to make sure you have adequate water pressure.
    _ Test that bathroom fans work.
    _ Flush all toilets several times to make sure they STOP running when the tanks refill. (Having a bunch of friends out for several hours also means your toilets may actually get "field tested" to make sure they really flush adequately... which not something you are likely to test while doing a walk thru with your builder!)
    _ Make sure toilets sit solidly and evenly on the floor and are properly bolted down. There should not be any "rocking" motion when you sit down.
    _ Have someone flush a toilet times while you run hot water in the shower and feel it. Flushing the toilet SHOULD NOT cause the shower water to suddenly get noticeable hotter.
    _Make sure shower faucets are grouted properly so that water does not get into the wall behind them.
    _ Check the cabinetry the same as you did for the kitchen.
    _ Make certain that mirrors installed by the builder don't have flaws in the silvering.
    _ Test that toilet paper holders and towel bars are firmly affixed to walls.

    MISCELLANEOUS
    _ If your builder installed blinds or operable shutters (inside or out) make sure they work properly.
    _ Check that you OUTDOOR water spigots work.
    _ Check all outdoor electrical outlets as well. These often get over-looked.
    _ Check your garage door openers. Also make sure that, if something is in the way of the door as it comes down, that the door stops and goes back up.
    _ If you have an attic access ladder, pull it down and make sure it works smoothly.
    _ Climb into the attic and make sure you have the amount of insulation you are supposed to have.
    - If you're really lucky and it rains while you are checking out your house this weekend, go up into the attic with a flashlight and look for roof leaks.
    _ Make sure gutters are fully attached to walls and designed to drain water away from your house. Pull downward gently on the downspouts and make sure that there is no movement where they connect to the gutters. If downspouts have not been properly connected to gutters, they can fall out.
    _ Check that ground around the house has been graded so that it slopes away from the house.
    _ Get as high above the ground as you can safely manage and look to see if your roofing shingles appear to be flat and tight against the roof.
    _ Check all exterior concrete for cracks.
    _ Check the siding on the house to make sure everything that was supposed to be painted has been painted.
    _ Check that exterior sprinkler systems work and that landscaping plants are alive and appear healthy.

    This is all just "off the top of my head." I'm sure if you think about it you can add dozens of other things to check for. And, no doubt other posters will chime in with other things to add to your check list.
    Ultimately, you don't have to insist that the builder fix every little tiny thing. If something won't bother you - or if you can fix it easily yourself and don't mind doing so, point it out to your builder anyway and, once you've gone over everything you can cross those items off your list as a way to show you're being reasonable but that the rest of the list IS important to you.

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    clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 09:57 am    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 09:57 am

    RE: Which Induction cooktop? (Follow-Up #36)

    posted by: cj47 on 06.13.2011 at 09:20 pm in Appliances Forum

    I have the 36" Miele. You can keep the pan off the hob for 3 minutes before it turns itself off, and it doesn't beep but it does flash. I am also a messy stirrer and it doesn't turn it off, nor does a 'slight' boilover. I haven't had a major boilover yet--I've learned not to walk away from it if it's on high, because whatever is on the stove will boil quickly and then I just turn it down to simmer. What DOES turn it off immediately and makes it beep like mad is if you cover up the controls, be it with a towel or a pan. It does not mind being cleaned, though--a quick swipe is fine and does not cause beepage.

    As to "keep warm", setting 2 or 3 will do that nicely, depending on how much food is in the pan you want to keep warm. 1 is not enough to keep a hot pan of something hot, but it will melt your chocolate nicely without a Bain Marie.

    If you turn on your burner, it comes on at level 6. You can reset this if you wish to anything you want. The Miele is highly configurable--you can reset a lot of the factory settings to your liking, including how many levels there are, how loud the beeps are, etc.

    As for Boost, there is power sharing. The two burners on the right are a pair, the two on the left are a pair, and the one in the middle is on it's own. You may use Boost on one in each pair, and in the middle...for a total of 3 burners at any given time.

    I've had my Miele for about 8 months and love it.

    Cj


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    clipped on: 12.02.2011 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 12.02.2011 at 08:11 pm

    RE: 36' Gaggenau or Miele Induction Cooktop? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: larsi on 07.31.2011 at 11:21 pm in Appliances Forum

    I have had my Miele 36" KM5773 Induction cooktop about 6 months, maybe 8! This induction cooktop and my Miele SpeedOven are the 2 appliance that one would have to pry from my cold, dead hands!! I LOVE this cooktop. It has every benefit of gas (yet quicker and the kitchen stays cool), and the clean up is SO easy. I actually think I sub-consciously make big messes all over the glass surface, because it is just so easy to clean.

    The auto shut off timer is AMAZING for rice! I have a built in 5 burner rice cooker. You can set the timer and/or auto off for each burner. The burners all have a Boost feature, and the large center burner has a 2 stage Boost...this thing will boil pasta water in seconds!

    I cannot imagine my daily life without my Miele cooktop. Save your self the almost $2000, get the Miele and apply the money towards the Miele MasterChef Speed Oven!!!!


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    clipped on: 12.02.2011 at 05:40 pm    last updated on: 12.02.2011 at 05:40 pm

    RE: Dream Thread! (What do you wish you had now?) (Follow-Up #33)

    posted by: angela12345 on 06.03.2011 at 12:20 am in Building a Home Forum

    Here are links to some of the earlier threads . . .

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0708180218905.html - unique/favorite features in your build....

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg051803107471.html - Things you couldn't live without or wish you had added

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg012331272427.html - What things did you find needed adjusting or changed?

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg052337148911.html - is there anything you wish you had done

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg1011400927581.html - What about your new build makes your life easier; what doesn't ?

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0913570232282.html - Brands/Products That I'd Use Again

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0321442732113.html - Share your best sites for deals on supplies!

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0818041222629.html - To help others - Things I would do different and things i love!

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg021705141306.html - Things I wish I'd specified on my plans

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0120301431285.html - It's been two years...what I've learned, would change, etc...

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0901543214301.html - Biggest Mistakes?

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0521381417863.html - Help!!! Have I forgotten anything?

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg122305046544.html - designing electrical in house

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0316075322256.html - doing whole house audio

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    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 12:57 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 12:58 pm

    RE: Things you couldn't live without or wish you had added (Follow-Up #32)

    posted by: miscindy on 07.28.2009 at 09:33 am in Building a Home Forum

    I loved reading this thread! We're in the planning stages, so this was timely! One thing my neighbor has that I love is a pocket screen door on the front of the house. I like to have the front door open for fresh air sometimes, but don't like the look of screen doors. Theirs is hidden in the door frame until they want to use it, then just slide it out. Neat!

    NOTES:

    hidden screen door - front door (possibly dining door)
    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 12:25 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 12:26 pm

    RE: Things you couldn't live without or wish you had added (Follow-Up #22)

    posted by: david_cary on 11.24.2008 at 05:52 am in Building a Home Forum

    I am building soon but we had just renovated the kitchen and bath and my "couldn't live without" list includes

    Heated tile

    Separate hand held sprayer in shower (no need to shut off main shower)

    Thermostatic shower valve - holds constant temp - set it once and leave it.

    Dishwasher drawers

    Full extension/soft close drawers (and lots of em) in the kitchen.


    NOTES:

    thermostatic shower valve
    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 12:19 pm

    RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #13)

    posted by: coolbeans on 01.16.2008 at 03:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Love my blanco silgranit super single bowl in metallic grey, which I ordered online from homeannex.com. A dish rack from Target sits upon the blanco sink grid.

    Photobucket


    NOTES:

    dish rack in large sink bowl with sink grid
    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 11:50 am    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 11:50 am

    RE: unique/favorite features in your build.... (Follow-Up #4)

    posted by: twotogo on 07.03.2010 at 10:40 pm in Building a Home Forum

    Placed the house with lots of natural light. Even though we have a one story house we have dormers that the builder suggested we "box in" so that they are like skylights from the inside. Lots of outside outlets on front and back porches.
    Was concerned about too much hardwood but now am so glad we did. Made our crawlspace almost 4 feet tall; great access for DH!


    NOTES:

    Possibly box in dormers in playroom for more light?
    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 11:10 am    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 11:11 am

    RE: Insulation question for david_cary (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: david_cary on 04.25.2011 at 09:37 am in Building a Home Forum

    R-13 walls and foamed windows and doors by insulation contractor. I too was worried about messing up windows and their cost was very reasonable ($200 I think). They had a $500 caulking package which my builder talked me out of. Caulk to code sounds like a joke - code allows huge air leaks.

    I did do some areas with caulk myself. I foamed with cans my 2nd store ceiling (ie attic) which was eye opening. What you find is huge holes particulatly around bath fans but all electrical penetrations had significant leaks (smoke detectors, lights etc). I'm convinced this made a huge difference. I was also caulking around OSB used in the knee walls and various wall areas. But none of these holes were anything big and then the whole area was getting covered with drywall, base and crown to give a further barrier to air movement. So some of this seemed like overkill but the attic was definitely not overkill.

    I know lezarc hates batts. But in the South, I'm just not sure there is much of an issue. The primary focus is air infiltration and while there are better barriers than batts, nothing beats foam and caulk in the right places. I think r-19 batts is fine for your area and 99% of the effort should be on air infiltration (and 90% of that into the attic).

    After that - shade trees on the west facing windows.


    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 10:09 am