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Re: Our Modern House Blog (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: billyc on 02.21.2008 at 10:43 am in Building a Home Forum

Thanks for the compliment!

The ipe deck is sealed with timber oil, and it is over living space. It will need to be oiled about once per year to keep the color. The roof under the deck is slanted to allow water to drain (note the gutter in the first picture on the blog). The waterproofing product is from a company called Acrymax - I believe a fabric mesh is laid out, to which an acrylic binds. Two coats were applied, then the sleepers were affixed, then two more coats were applied over the sleepers. The link below shows the waterproof membrane over the sleepers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acrymax Over Deck Sleepers

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 11:36 am    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 11:36 am

RE: My done modern kitchen (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: mcubed on 08.21.2007 at 01:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

evergreendan - I LOVE your kitchen. We are in the process of a similar remodel (ours is a lot more basic), but our color schemes and cabinets are similar. You did an amazing job - you should be proud. Again, I am bowled over by your beautiful kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

PS I am sorry if I missed it in your slide show, but what are your counters? We are doing Zodiaq quartz in storm grey (2b installed next week - yay!)and they look very similar to what you've got.

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check back with this to see installed photos of countertop
clipped on: 08.24.2007 at 08:42 am    last updated on: 08.24.2007 at 08:42 am

RE: Alternative to cedar shake shingles (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: stanza30 on 04.03.2007 at 08:40 pm in Building a Home Forum

Hi persnicketydesign,

Yes you were right it is Owens Corning Cultured Stone. Apparently it is one of the better cultured stone products, or at least our stone guy thought so. Ours is the Cobblefield stone. They have a lot of different colors for that particular series. That stone is easy to dry stack and is therefore cheaper on labor costs. Ours is the Chardonay color. Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it.

Joan

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clipped on: 04.04.2007 at 08:54 am    last updated on: 04.04.2007 at 08:54 am

RE: Getting an accurate, fair bid (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: jasonmi7 on 02.01.2007 at 12:21 pm in Building a Home Forum

We wouldn't bid because there's no incentive for the builder; let's say you can get a bunch of stuff at a cheaper cost...okay, and you want contract language specifying there's no markup on them.....ummmmm.....and you wnat me to take the risk of 'you' being the supplier, rather than the ones I've worked with for 15 years. And yet I might be doing bids for others who don't request any of this. Which project would I be more likely to take? Which would you, in my shoes? The one with a better chance of profit and less risk? That's a simple business decision.

Certainly people can, do, and should look out for their best interests in terms of pricing, and perhaps even supplying items. But this should be a negotiable item with your builder; not a 'avoid his markup'; markup is part of what pays for those trucks, radios, multi-million dollar comp insurance, etc. There is no business without it, so it's not reasonable to expect you can avoid all of the costs associated with it. In fact, many subs I know charge a HIGHER markup on owner-supplied items, no matter the brand/source, because the supply-chain, source, and condition of the installed items are unknown to them.

Let's use your fridge as an example; either I can supply it, you can supply it, or we'll leave a hole for you. If I supply it, no doubt it costs more than if you looked online right now at Best Buy. But the place I get it from has never marred a floor, never left a mess, and does an exemplary job of installing everything (from fridges/ranges to dishwashers). I'm not sure I want Best Buy dragging the fridge in....but that's your call. If they (Best Buy), or whomever your supplier is mars your new hardwood floors....then you're responsible; not us. If we install it, then there will certainly be a cost associated with it. And perhaps this isn't the best example; but I do think you need to look at this as a partnership/business; not as a one-sided affair. For instance, if you can get a reputable dealer to supply all the windows at 1/2 price, heck yeah, we can do a deal; but we wouldn't do a deal with no markup, the responsibility, and the costs associated with warranting them for nothing.

I think you're on the right track; but it needs to be a win-win situation for both sides, not just one, and although I might have misunderstood, that's what I read from your original post.

(This reminds me of when Home Depot delivered Pella windows to a house so the owner could save a grand or so.....it turned out not to be a savings).

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clipped on: 02.02.2007 at 08:16 am    last updated on: 02.02.2007 at 08:17 am

RE: Where can I go to see examples of contracts? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: mightyanvil on 08.01.2006 at 02:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

A Lump Sum price contract is appropriate for professionally or semi-professionally designed projects with clearly detailed drawings and complete specifications.

A Cost of the Work with a Fee and a GMP contract is appropriate for projects that are not yet fully designed, costs are rising and there are potential delays. It is usually best to pick a contractor you like and whose fee is acceptable and then negotiate the rest of this kind of contract. It is not a "Cost Plus" contract since such a contract typically has no cost limit.

The worst kind of contract is a Fixed Price with incomplete drawings and specifications with many allowances where the contractor is expected to supply some degree of design service and there are rising costs and potential delays. Unfortunately, these are the most common circumstances for single family home construction. It should be called the "Contested Change Order" or "Endless Mark-up" contract.

The Cost of the Work with a Fee and a GMP (often with a shared savings) contract was created in response to the 1973 oil embargo when steel prices were being revised daily and no contractor would sign a Fixed Price contract.

In 1987 the AIA responded to requests for a similar contract for smaller projects by creating A117: "Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor for CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS OF LIMITED SCOPE where the basis of payment is the COST OF THE WORK PLUS A FEE with or without a Guaranteed Maximum Price". It only contained 5 pages of General Conditions instead of the typical 19 pages used for larger projects (A201). Unfortunately, the AIA no longer publishes this form but I still use it for single family houses.

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clipped on: 02.01.2007 at 09:41 am    last updated on: 02.01.2007 at 09:41 am

RE: Where can I go to see examples of contracts? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: mightyanvil on 07.31.2006 at 03:16 pm in Building a Home Forum

Find a contractor who is willing to work under a Cost of the Work Agreement with a Fixed Fee (not a percentage mark-up) and who will write a reasonably detailed specification. You can't make a contractor do it if he doesn't want to and you really don't want to try to do his job for him.

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clipped on: 02.01.2007 at 09:38 am    last updated on: 02.01.2007 at 09:39 am

RE: Cork over radiant (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: atelier on 01.12.2007 at 05:15 pm in Flooring Forum

I don't know why your duro rep said not to use a floating floor over radiant heat. Their own specifications (available here: Duro Design Specifications) say you can !?.

Anyway, I've installed cork floors over radiant heat both as floating and tile several times with no problems.
It is a common installation- you just need to follow certain steps to assure a good install. In brief: proper acclimation of the material, having the heat on "medium" (max surface temp. of 85F) 5 days before and during installation, a vapour barrier under the floor, and adequate expansion space at the perimeter, doorways, etc..
Definitely get an installer who has experience laying over radiant heat floors!

As for your question about the insulation value of cork blocking the heat from a radiant heating system. I get this question often, and the answer briefly is that cork is entirely compatible with a radiant heat floor. Here is the answer and rationale in detail, explained in point form:

1. A radiant heating system is not a quick-response system- i.e. it relies on thermal mass and heat radiation. That's part of its efficiency and why it is comfortable- the floor constantly radiates warmth upwards.

2. The insulative value of a material refers to how well it slows down the transmission of heat. The heat doesn't dissappear or get absorbed by the material- it just takes longer the flow through. So in practice, floor coverings do not affect the overall operation of a radiant heat floor because the heat will eventually get through. Remember- a radiant heat floor is not a quick response system- you don't just walk into a room and crank up the thermostat. (Of course don't do something silly like install a radiant floor over a drafty, cold basement, because you'd lose all the heat out the basement first)

3. Yes the insulation value per inch of cork is higher than that of wood but a cork tile is only 3/16" thick. I did the math a long time ago and the total R value of 3/16" of cork is almost exactly the same as 3/4" of a typical wood. So putting down cork tile is no worse than putting down 3/4" of wood.

4. That being said, a floating cork floor will have a bigger R value than a cork tile floor, because it is on a 5/16" mdf core, and thus will slow the heat transmission a bit more. I don't tend to use a floating floor, unless specified or the price differential is less than the added bit of surface preparation to bring a floor up to cork tile standards.

5. Finally, a site-finished cork tile floor will not gap visibly due to expansion/contraction of the radiant heat floor. Cork is a truly resillient material with excellent rebounding properties (95% recovery after 50% compression!) After all, cork itself is commonly used for control joints and gaskets.

Lengthy answer, but I'm hoping if the issue comes up again, we can just link to this post.

I hope I covered everything- If I've missed something, I'd be glad to follow up.

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clipped on: 01.12.2007 at 06:09 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2007 at 06:09 pm