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RE: plan for cabinet pulls -- all the same length? opinions, plea (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: pudgybaby on 04.29.2010 at 02:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

One tip I got from a GWer (I wish I remember who, so I could give credit!), is use 'museum wax' to temporarily hold the pulls or knobs in place. I got 'museum putty' (not sure if it's the same as wax) at the container store, and it holds my RH ephram 4" pulls in place quite well (fell off over night). It allows you to stick the pulls on, and then stand back and see how they look, with only a tiny white bit of putty showing. And at least for me, there is no residue left behind.


clipped on: 10.05.2014 at 01:14 am    last updated on: 10.05.2014 at 01:14 am

RE: Marble I crazy? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jmcgowan on 05.06.2012 at 09:37 am in Bathrooms Forum

We are living in an 18 year old townhouse, which we have owned for 10 years. We have a grey 12x12" marble tile throughout our one full bathroom (including the combined tub surround/shower). I honed it myself before moving in, and sealed it at the time with 511. I haven't sealed it since.

We have not changed our habits re: shampoo, special cleaning products, etc. My husband and I use this bathroom along with our three young kids (all under 4).

We have had no problems. I'm sure the grey hides a lot more than a white marble. Yes, there are etch marks on our countertop (which is a matching slab), and probably some on the floor, too, but the marble is a pretty busy one, and honestly, it is not noticeable other than one etch on the countertop that I notice (from a drinking glass that contained something acidic). Marcolo has posted photos here before on etch marks. Honestly, mine look nowhere near that bad -- but again, this marble is busier and darker than Calacutta Gold.

We are renovating a house now, and I am putting Calacutta Gold in our master bath. All honed. The floor is a mosaic, and the walls (wainscoting) and shower are 6x12" bricks. We will seal, but I don't plan on any specific day-to-day maintenance other than the typical weekly cleaning. I will try to seal more often, say once a year, though.

My mom has had her white (statuary) marble bathroom for 18 years, too. Her marble is polished. The etch marks are very noticeable, and one of the reasons I like honed better. (I am a clean-freak, but honed also hides soap scum better than polished.) One of two issues she's had is some stains where she was using hair coloring products. But I think that likely could have been avoided if her marble had been properly sealed. She also has a few dark spots in her shower area on the ceiling -- it almost looks like the marble got wet and never dried out. But again, I don't think the marble in her bathroom was ever sealed or cleaned with any speciality marble products since it was installed. She does clean her bathroom weekly and keeps it pretty pristine.

I think you either love marble -- and have a gut positive reaction to it, and thus can life with the faults, or don't. So, no, I don't think you're crazy :-) Calacutta Gold can be absolutely beautiful!

P.S. Here's my floor mosaic that will be installed in about a month or so.



clipped on: 05.27.2014 at 10:15 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2014 at 10:16 pm

RE: It's April 2014 - Part II1, how is your build? (Follow-Up #110)

posted by: illinigirl on 04.25.2014 at 10:00 pm in Building a Home Forum

just wanted to pop in- it's been incredibly crazy in my world....between two of my boys it's sports 6 days a week, still trying to sell our house, and of course the continued attention needed towards our new build. And oh yeah, today are my oldest boys (twins) birthday- I'm officially a mother of teenaged boys.

Shelving has been finalized. I'll post some pics of the most notable area- my pantry.

Mantle and ceiling beams are up, sorry no pic yet. Went through the first round of paint selections this morning and I do think we are sticking with everything- the designer pretty much picked everything out along with the carpets. Our trim/cabinets are white dove. I'm sticking with white dove for all of the cabinets/vanities except the boys bath cabs, those are a warm grey. The great room area features SW Blonde, and the rest of the house has a mix of grey-blues and caramel tans with a pop of green (Koi Pond, Beach Glass) and golden yellows (SW White Raisin). Revere pewter in the master bedroom and another bath.

pantry wall 1:
[img] photo 0422141629.jpg[/img]
the front section is about 4 feet across, will have a countertop 20" deep, will house the printer and underneath the printer supplies and underneath the counter will have 2 rattan baskets for potatoes, onions in one, and fruits in the other. The adjacent wall is 6 feet wide and will house a wine rack and other shelves of varying heights and depths for canned goods, cereals, foodstuffs, and all small appliances.

this wall is the 'snack wall'. It's about 4 ft across and those four sections underneath will be drawers. It will also have a countertop and I'll put my fruit bowl, any baked goodies on the counter. The drawers will have items difficult to store on open shelves such as bags of bread, chips, small items. To the right of the snack wall will be my second fridge.
[img] photo 0422141628b.jpg[/img]

another view of the "snack wall"
[img] photo 0422141629b.jpg[/img]

I have missed so much but rest assured I am loving everyones slabs and kitchens and framing and floors and everything. So much inspiration to be seen here.
Autumn I'm intrigued by your ID's fireplace idea. Do tell. Thanks for the compliments on the lighting. I love the foyer light enough that I don't feel too badly I couldn't swing a lantern there. Your floors and paints look great. I gave my boys a half dozen 'grey blue' paint swatches and told them have at it. Oldest chose the exact same blue he currently has (SW Dockside blue) and youngest chose one called Poolside blue (bit darker).


clipped on: 04.26.2014 at 01:56 am    last updated on: 04.26.2014 at 01:57 am

RE: It's April 2014, how is your build? (Follow-Up #82)

posted by: illinigirl on 04.04.2014 at 06:34 pm in Building a Home Forum

jen- we also did the same thing. Bought the lot with cash, had more cash for the down payment of the house- which meant that the first few draws came to us for funds. When we met our promised personal fund amount, the draws starting coming out of our mortgage. With the exception of change log orders. Anything we go over on the builder requests a check on a monthly basis. We have a home equity line because we own our current home outright so we are using that equity plus whatever other cash we have on hand to also finance these overages so we didn't have to sell our home before we started the build. In total we probably are paying about 45-50% of the house from our own funds, the rest on mortgage. We secured what was called a perm-loan before we started. It's a construction loan that automatically converts to a 15 year after I think 9 months. I guess we only have to pay interest on it during the construction phase, then we'll pay like a normal principle-interest payment when it converts in October. That locked in our rate at that time last fall when we signed on the loan. What are interest rates doing these days anyways?


clipped on: 04.04.2014 at 10:21 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2014 at 10:21 pm

RE: It's February 2014, how is your build? Part 3 (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: uponthehilltop on 02.22.2014 at 06:56 pm in Building a Home Forum

Marji- Thanks, we do not have full door samples. We made all selections EXCEPT for the kitchen and our builder is going to order extra doors for another job and we can take those with us in a couple weeks.
I completely agree and was rather distressed trying to use a tiny cabinet sample! Thanks for the great advice, as always!

Mush - WOW! Look at that sheetrock, just lovely! When did you guys break ground? So, does the sheetrock help the space feel larger to you?

JRLDH- Congratulations!!


clipped on: 03.09.2014 at 07:37 pm    last updated on: 03.09.2014 at 07:37 pm

RE: Air Tub Reviews? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: libbe on 05.07.2006 at 10:59 am in Bathrooms Forum

Just installed an Aquatic Serenity 5 and I love, love, love it. Why?
1. Bubbles are much stronger than I expected. I rarely use the bubbles on full blast because it's almost too much.
2. Lots of bubble options (high, low, pulse, wave etc.)
3. Built in raised seat (maybe 2" high) with air channel underneath that shoots bubbles behind the thighs. Some tubs only have the air outlets around the perimeter of the tub floor (does that make sense?)
4. The built-in chromatherapy light is not a feature I was looking for (the tub came with it) but now I can't imagine taking a bath without it.
5. Very, very, very comfortable.

To make my decision, I was looking at Jason, Acryline and Aquatic then narrowed it down to Aquatic and Acryline and chose Aquatic for price. Apparently Acryline is only making airtubs now and has been doing so for a while so it's apparently an area of expertise. I also wanted the exposed holes vs. the buttons because with small kids, I was concerned they might try to remove the buttons.
Hope that's helpful.


clipped on: 02.23.2014 at 06:25 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2014 at 06:26 pm

The Next Step...Planning For Storage

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Planning For Storage

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.

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, 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.)

  4. The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

Sample storage map: Remodel/Kitchen/20 Designs/Storage Plans/StorageMapping-CooktopWall.jpg

This process and the resultant "map" will not only help you to "see" how things will fit, but the map will also help when you move back into the 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 use when attempting to 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/recyclables--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels

  • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW (and near a water source)--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 [often combined with Cooking Zone]

  • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware

  • Eating/Serving--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/Communication/Command Center--keys, phones/answering machine, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard, pens/pencils, sticky notepaper

Less Common Zones:

  • Tea/Coffee Bar--tea/coffeemaker (and near a water source)--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot

  • Snack/Beverage Center--near MW & refrigerator or small refrigerator--snacks, snack dishes, glasses [often combined with Tea/Coffee Bar]

  • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks, leashes, medicines (if no children in the home), etc.

Overlapping of Zones

Due to space constraints, some zones often overlap. If this is the case in your kitchen, be sure there is enough work space in the overlap for both activities. Zones that commonly overlap...

  • Prep & Cooking Zones--These zones should be adjacent to each other, so this is a common overlap and is generally not a problem. Just be sure you have enough room for prepping as well as landing space for the range/cooktop. (It is strongly advised you have enough room for emergency landing space on both sides of a range/cooktop.)

  • Prep & Cleanup Zones--If there is only one sink in the kitchen, these zones will be adjacent to each other because of the need for a water source for both zones. However, true overlapping is not generally a good idea. Instead, try to keep the cleanup area separate from the prep area by putting the sink between them. E.g., DW on one side, Prep Zone on the other side. (You should strive to keep the DW out of the Prep Zone as well as out of the path between the sink and Prep & Cooking Zones and between the refrigerator and Prep & Cooking Zones.) Also try for at least 36" (42" or more is better) of room on the Prep Zone side of the sink for ample workspace as well as accommodating the inevitable dirty dishes that will accumulate next to the sink.

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

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

Some helpful threads:

forestfire..please help me with my lists [Missing In Action as of 5/16/10...if anyone has saved it, please let me know by emailing me via "My Page"]

List of stuff in kitchens?

What should go within easy reach of the cooktop?

What goes where?

Reloading the new kitchen, any tips where things should go?

Only one lower cabinet...would you do it?


clipped on: 12.06.2013 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2014 at 02:41 pm

RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bethv on 07.17.2008 at 09:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

One book I had recommended that I make a list of everything I have in the kitchen so that I my new plan included a place for everything. It really saved me - I used it to review my plan and double check that everything was accounted for. It was tough to figure out if things woud fit in the space alloted so I left a little extra room. Just this weekend I unpacked everything into the new cabinets! I had marked where everything went on the plan when I was evaluating it - so I used it to unpack - woked great! The pots & pans didn't fit well in the big drawers I had planned (handles were too long) so I moved them to the super susan. You should try to build in some flexiblity that way. THe other great thing was making a list of everything I liked & hated about the current kitchn so I could plan those in/out. Anyway here's my list from planning..

Hot pads
drinking glasses
coffee cups
food processor
rolling pins & baking gadgets
measuring cups & spoons
spatulas & wisks
coffee pot
toaster bread box
espresso machine
pasta bowls
mixing bowls -2 sets
serving bowls
salad spinner
wine glasses
margharita glasses
dog food
dog meds
wraps & ziplocs
pots & pans & lids
stock pots
bakeware pans
broiling pans
fruit bowls
lasange pans
can goods
paper plates
paper plate holders
trash can
dish rack
sink gear (veg brush, scrubbers, stoppers)
step stool
cookie sheets
large platters
large bowls
cutting boards
waffle iron
crock pot
coffee grinders
dishwasher tabs
dish soap
butter dish
lunch box
plastic bag collector
hot mitts


clipped on: 01.05.2014 at 02:40 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2014 at 02:41 pm

RE: Has anyone purchased from efaucet? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mileaday on 09.04.2009 at 08:09 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Thanks for the feed back. After seeing the negative responses online, I decided to ask for a price match at the local Lowes. I got the discounted prices and even tho I have to pay state sales tax, I still saved. Actually, 2 items were cheaper at Lowes and two at Home Depot. Since it was all special order stuff, they didn't do the 10% back. I feel more confident that all will arrive safely and if not I can at least deal with it in person. It did take forever to place the order even tho I had all the info and price match #s. The salesperson I worked with was great but their computer system is worse than terrible.


I decided to ask for a price match at the local Lowes. I got the discounted prices and even tho I have to pay state sales tax, I still saved.
clipped on: 12.08.2013 at 10:22 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2013 at 10:23 pm

RE: What do I need to know about buying a toilet? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: williamsem on 11.12.2013 at 12:40 am in Bathrooms Forum

I'm not an expert, just an over analyzer.

If you head over to the Terry Love toilet forum, I bet you'd get a lot of info!

What I learned in my research:
- you need to know what size "rough in" you need. That is the distance from the wall to the center of the hole in the floor under the toilet. 12 in is standard, so either a 10 or 14 in will add to the cost
- any color that isn't white will add to the cost
- "oval" (elongated) is generally preferred, sometimes one type of bowl is more, but often not much
- you need to decide on ADA/ciar/comfort height or standard height, and sometimes that affects cost, but often not much. These terms mean different things to different companies, so always check your specs!
- some offer a special surface that resists build up, like Toto's Sanagloss, and that is often a little more, but many find it worth the expense
- skirted designs (where the bottom is fuller, but flat, vs skinny but you see the worm shape of the trap) is easier to clean, but adds $
- often dual flush or some Eco designations add cost
- flush design can vary and sometimes add to the cost

From what I've read, things like flush system, quality control, quality of finish and parts, and options differentiate a lot of toilets. I remember reading a comment about one low end brand that you might have to look at several toilets before getting one without a significant defect, though I can't remember which company that was. Some have glazed trapways. With the new water limitations, a good toilet is important as not all of them have adapted as well as you would like.

I ended up with a Toto Vespin, my first ever Toto. It's been great. I got the Sanagloss and it seems to work well. Before I thought to research things, we got a Kohler for our upstairs bath. It also functions well, though I now know they can be hard to get repair parts for because they are changed so often.

It seems that what you buy in some more expensive toilets is better functioning with the lower capacity tanks that are now in use, reliability, choice of features, and better quality control. You also pay for designer looks in some cases if you like some of the ultra modern or fancy models.


clipped on: 12.08.2013 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2013 at 08:11 pm

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #143)

posted by: JNEJNEJNEJNE on 09.13.2012 at 04:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

This post is fantastic!

Items I'd add:

Rain collection barrels/bladders - these can be placed below grade or below porches/decks and can include hose for watering garden (some can even be used for flush water in toilets).

More pantry/less cabinets. In many cases pantry space can be cheaper than buying upper and lower cabinets as well as counter top and can provide more room and more flexibility.

Allow for more than one hookup for TV in family room - I don't like to keep furniture in one location forever and it is limiting to have cable hookup on one wall only.

Include some outlets near ceilings in some rooms - we plug in projector and lights over bookshelves in our bonus room.

Consider where you are putting your AC units - wish both of ours were outside of the fenced back yard - one seems very loud when it kicks on and we're on the patio, even though it is around the corner.

Consider where you will put your large garbage and recycling cans - you may want a "pad" for them to avoid soft ground/mud and also a little fenced area to hide them.

Landscaping: for me in the south - deciduous trees on the south side are great, allowing for shade in summer and sun's heat in winter.

Consider a "package" mailbox if you get packages while at work - these have a lower section that can be used when your away instead of stopping mail, as well. stuff can drop down, but you'd need a key to remove.

Solar fan for the attic - a vent fan that comes on with sun to alleviate heat in the attic - run your AC less.

Take special care in placing your thermostats - our open-plan home has the upstairs one in a hall, open to the stairs and foyer at either end. Our bedrooms are kept closed because of pets and their temperatures are drastically different from the hall, which is subject to the heat rising from the downstairs.


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 08:01 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 08:02 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #131)

posted by: tamgypsy on 08.21.2012 at 09:21 pm in Building a Home Forum

Not sure if it was mentioned (I tried to read through it all) we had outdoor outlets put into the soffits on each corner of the house. It makes hooking up christmas lights so easy. No extension cords everywhere.


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 07:50 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 07:50 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #57)

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

- 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

- 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

- 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,

- 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.

- 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.

- 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

- 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
- 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.

- 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 and
- 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.


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 07:29 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 07:48 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #128)

posted by: JasonH123 on 08.18.2012 at 02:05 pm in Building a Home Forum

1. When the contractor puts down the plywood subflooring, be sure that you request him to use screws, and no nails! I can't tell you how noisy the floor in my house is with creeks and pops. The edge of the plywood should align over a floor joist so that it does not flex or bend and make sounds as it ages.

2. Make sure water drains away from the foundation of the house. It should be gently sloped. Make sure that under the house if there is a crawlspace that a moisture barrier is put down. Its like a giant roll of trash bag plastic (but much thicket). You can do it after the fact, but its nice to know every nook and cranny is covered, and no moisture will warp your floors from the ground below.

3. For areas of the home which are not easily accessible by attic (in the case of cathedral ceilings, tray ceilings etc) you may want to add a conduit channel or prewire for security system. I added a security camera system to my home, and the worst part is that I could not place the cameras where I wanted them because the wiring into the eves of the house was not easily accessible because there is no attic above those corners of the house.

4. Avoid landscaping that is too close to the house. Small bushes planted by a builder look great the first year, but they should be a couple feet away from the foundation, so that you can get behind them to wash windows, and make sure the foundation has air space for vents.

5. Gutter downspouts - Make sure that if your home has a gutter system that the downspouts are adequate. If the lot is heavily wooded with trees, you probably want gutter guards or similar system. Consider adding a underground cistern and connect the gutter downspouts fill the cistern. Its a great way to save water. You can put in a small pump connected to a hose that allows you to water the grass or plants without having to use city water or well water. Harness the power of rain water. If you don't want a cistern, then make sure that the downspouts connect to a french drain, or at least pipe the water far away from the foundation of the house so that it doesn't create a moisture problem for you.

6. Plumbing access for showers. Make sure that if your shower backs up to an interal wall that you cut a hole in the sheetrock and put in a plumbing access pannel. there is nothing worse than having to destroy a wall to remove the shower valve or fix a leak. You can put the panel under a bathroom cabinet to hide it, or in a closet.

7. Insulte attic openings. If you have a pull down stair case, maybe have the builder make a lightweight box to cover the pull down stair, and line it with insulation. There is a plastic model available at Home Depot / Lowes that looks like a plastic sled which sits atop pull down stairs to help seal the heat and cold out. There is a zip up model that makes an air tight seal but it was quite pricey. I made one with styrofoam insulation lining a lightweight wooden box to cover the stairs.

For attic doors that go into the eves of the house, say in a bonus room over garage, or in top floors where the celing is slanted, make sure the door shuts tightly, and is well insulated, since the attic is right behind the door and is going to be very hot/cold in seasonal temps.

8. Window tinting- in todays larger suburban homes with windows, consider a reflective mirror window tint. During the daylight, it blocks harmful UV rays that fade furniture and carpet. The mirror finish means you have extra privacy since you can see out, but others cannot see in. At night it offers little protection, since the mirror finish doesn't block the vision when there is no daylight to reflect.

9. Mister - if you have a hot patio or pool side, consider installing a misting system to cool off on a hot day.

10. Leave an extra irrigation zone or two for drip irrigation - for your deck and patio areas. If you forget, you can retrofit a timer and small drip hoses, one to each pot and planter. This keeps your flower pots looking good all summer long with hardly any manual watering. On the home's outdoor spigots, I added a battery timer to turn the water on for 15 minutes a day. The 1/4 inch hoses are cheap to buy, and the drip heads are inexpensive too, available at your local home improvement store or online at

11. Plan your irrigation zones to save water- If you have broad patches of grass, try to zone your sprinkler system so that if your city or state requires water conservation during droughts, then you can turn on the system to water only the most important beds and borders where you have made annual plants, but skip the grass, or water grass less frequently. This is something I can't fix now that my system is installed. The zones in my yard are mixed, so for each important flower border, it waters grass, so I feel like I'm wasting water.

12. Drill a well or get separate water meter for irrigation. Cities and Counties charge a lot for water meter installations, but its easier to do before your new lawn is established. Cities charge a sewer fee for each gallon of water that you use. If you separate your irrigation system from the household water meter, then you can be billed a much reduced rate on the irrigation water since they do not charge for the sewage treatement. Sewage is usually twice the price of the water itself. Wells may be more efficient and better for your pocket book long term, but they can run dry.

13. Designate an area in a detatched garage or shed for storing lawn equipment and gasoline and oils. I have seen too many house fires around town from a propane tank, gas can, or paint can exploding if it gets too hot. Don't put storage near a water heater, especially gas appliances. Keep yard storage in a shed far enough away from the main structure of the house to keep smells away and minimize fire risks.

14. Add cabinets and countertops to your garage. My neighbor has a basic set of large cabinets installed in the garage, with a cheaper formica countertop. This makes for such a clean looking garage, and a great working area for potting plants, or a small woodworking project, or car repair. Its worth buying some weatherproof cabinets and plan the garage as part of the home, so that the bill is put into the mortgage payment, and not directly out of your checking account.

15. Finish the garage floor - paint the garage floor with an expoxy seal or garage paint so that car oils don't stain your garage. Plan to mop every couple of months, or wash out the garage with soap and a light spray with the water hose. Its so nice to be able to walk into the garage and know its clean, and not worry about pets and children getting dirty in oil and leaked radiator fluid (lethal to pets and people) because I know my garage floor is cleaned regularly. It looks great too!

16. Seal your tiles! in some of the bathrooms in my house the builder used lower end tiles, and white grout. But the grout was apparently not sealed, and now its stained and dirty. A spill or two later and it just looks bad. This is a case where prevention is the key - if the grout is sealed when it is brand new it will look great for a lifetime. Let it get dirty and you will spend many hours cleaning it to try to restore that like new appearance.


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 07:46 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 07:46 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #121)

posted by: gr8day on 08.05.2012 at 09:27 am in Building a Home Forum

One thing that I am seeing would be immensely helpful is in the laundry room have them put the faucets down below the height of the washer and also the plug for the W/D. Our washer dryer is right next to a bank of cabinets with a sink in it. I am told that now they put a little access door in the side of the cabinet for the hoses to thread through so that the faucets are under the sink and also the outlet for plug ins. Why? Because this way you can build a counter all the way to the wall over the washer and dryer, front loader that is. No one wants to see that ugly opening for the faucets above the washer and dryer or the three pronged plug in the wall. If you don't want to do that at least have them install lower than the height of the W/D. This is for laundry rooms that are visible from the kitchen as mine is. It's a part of the house on the first floor. It is decorated as nicely as the rest of the house. I know I am not explaining this very well so I will post a link to an example.

Here is a link that might be useful: Counter over front load washer/dryer


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 07:33 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 07:33 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #116)

posted by: minneapolisite on 08.03.2012 at 10:39 am in Building a Home Forum

I did some comparison shopping and priced out the Chromalux lightbulbs that Karen suggested. Here are authorized retailers with the best prices.

20 for $100

20 for $110

20 for $110

Prices include shipping.


clipped on: 12.01.2012 at 07:31 am    last updated on: 12.01.2012 at 07:32 am