Clippings by Storm18

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RE: Fixtures Vendors Online? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bevangel on 06.26.2012 at 10:40 am in Building a Home Forum

Signaturehardware.com - Great prices on faucets and tubs - especially if you like the "old house" look. I got all my faucets and a gorgeous cast-iron clawfoot tub from them. They're not selling the "brand names" but every single faucet I got was solid heavy brass and beautifully made. No plastic parts in any of it. Plumber said it was all as nice as anything he'd ever installed. SignatureHardware had great service too. When one faucet arrived with a scratch despite their packing efforts (the outer box everything came in had been totally CRUSHED by the shipper but only this one faucet had any damage), they just had me email them a picture of the damage and then they shipped a replacement part right out. I had it within just a few days. Told me not to bother to ship back the scratched part as they couldn't resell it anyway. SignatureHardware also carries a lot of other things besides bath fixtures but prices on other items tend to be closer to prices you'll find at local stores.

LightingDirect.com - I bought about a dozen light fixtures and several Hunter ceiling fans from them. No problems at all. Everything arrived on time and well packaged. Lighting Direct tells you the name of the manufacturer so you can easily compare prices with local stores and/or other on line sellers.

Overstock.com. You never know what they'll have in stock but it never hurts to look. And they will price match if you find something you like cheaper at another online vendor whose reputation may be a bit questionable. I got some great deals on Tiffany style mini-pendant lights for my kitchen. ($29.95 each). Overstock.com sometimes doesn't tell you the brand names when you shop but my pendant lights turned out to be Kichler lights that had been discontinued. They were still in their original Kichler boxes and had Kichler warranty cards enclosed. After getting mine I found a very similar Kichler fixture (slightly different Tiffany glass design but otherwise identical - same size, same pendant holder, etc.) at a local light shop for almost $200!

Craigslist.com. I know it sounds funny but sometimes people are selling brand new building supplies on Craigslist. Maybe they ordered something for their homes and then changed their minds. You just have to keep an eye out and be ready to jump on it when you see something you like and can use. I got three brand-new Blanco Silgranite sinks via Criagslist, each for about 1/3rd of the suggested retail price! You do want to carefully inspect anything you're thinking of purchasing from a Craigslist seller because you don't get any warranties.

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clipped on: 07.09.2012 at 12:42 am    last updated on: 07.09.2012 at 12:43 am

RE: Basics of Building a Long Lasting/Quality Home (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lzerarc on 06.27.2012 at 10:41 pm in Building a Home Forum

Put your money in your shell. Most poeple associate more insulation and tighter shells with energy savings alone. It goes beyond that. It makes for a healthier, cleaner home as well. Your a heating climate 6 if I recall. A typical 2x6 framed wall with osb and tyvek is not what you want.
Focus on good materials, good water and moisture management, and a tight, well insulated shell. Your home has 6 sides; all 6 need addressed.
If you want a "superior", long lasting shell, then full house ICF might be what you consider. ICF is naturally tight, decent r value, strong and quiet. Water getting past your siding or roof will not compromise your structure. However ICF lacks insulating values for heating climates. R24 (average ICF forms) is on the low side for a zone 6. However its other benefits are worth noting. You can add additional insulation either with cheap EPS foam on the exterior or fur walls on the interior.
I like to design to the 10,20,40,60 rule of thumb for zone 6 for a super tight, super insulated, efficient and healthy home. r10 insulation below slab, r20 insulation basement walls, r40 main and upper walls, and r60 roof.
Products I like to use/avoid in home construction-
ICF forms below grade min, possibly up to the trusses.
wood framing I like to use Huber ZIP sheathing for an air and water tight shell avoiding house wraps. I like to use Certainteed Form-a-drain for footer forms. It makes a nice drain system in and outside of the footer, as well as vents radon.
Wood walls are filled with dense packed cellulose or blown insulation. I never use fiberglass batts in projects.

Get good windows. Casements seal up tighter than double hungs, but there are other pros to dh as well. Spring for triple pane windows in your climate. Its not always about energy savings. A triple pane window does not draft off cold like a dual pane can on a cold day or night. it adds additional comfort to your home and saves energy as well.

Air seal like crazy. Get a blower door test before insulation and drywall is up. (hint...insulation (besides spray foams) does not stop air leaks!) Strive for better then Energy Star 3.0 certification.

Design for solar gains. Proper glass to floor ratios, proper orientations, and high SHGC glass on the south will allow the heat to pour in in the winter. House I have done in Iowa do not even have the furnace run at all during the day in the middle of Janurary.

Get paired up with a GOOD designer/architect that understands your goals. Flow, strength, health, energy, etc.

list goes on and on. I would recommend you research websites such as greenbuildingadvisor.com and greenbuildingtalk.com. A ton of information on those sites.

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clipped on: 07.09.2012 at 12:36 am    last updated on: 07.09.2012 at 12:37 am