Clippings by ellessebee

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

Hump in finished floor and floor out of level - is this normal?

posted by: ellessebee on 10.02.2013 at 09:24 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are in the final stage of the rebuild of our house. (It was supposed to be a renovation but the old house was in such disrepair that it was impossible to salvage much. We did keep as much of the foundation as was sound.) There is a main beam down the length of the house in middle of the basement ceiling made of steel and LVL. The first floor rests on that beam and the foundation walls. For months I was aware of a bulge in the floor in the vicinity of that beam. I mentioned it to the contractor who said he wasn't worried about it. After enough prodding, he used some kind of leveling material and sanded down the plywood in spots. The hardwood floors were installed and finished. While I didn't know it, my contractor instructed the floor finishers to take a little extra off the center line of the house to minimize the hump. When the floors were finished it seemed fine. However, they used the wrong finishing material and did a terrible job, leaving stop/start/lap marks throughout the floor in a dark material that was supposed to be clear. So I hired another company to remove the first finish, resand the floor and recoat. When they were finished with the first coat, the floors were the color I wanted but there was that hump! In addition, a small section of a hallway was so out of level I felt like I was on a boat. When I discussed this with my contractor he said the second sanding must have put the hump back in and I should have them resand and get it out. The flooring company was unwilling to sand any more. When I pointed out the out-of-level hallway to my GC, he said it was normal to experience some settlement and I can't go around with a level. (I wasn't - except for the level between my ears that knows when something feels off underfoot.) Long story short, my GC insisted it's within "code tolerances" for hardwood flooring. I told him it's not within my tolerances and it has to be fixed, one way or another. So he spent the day in the basement shimming the joists and building stud walls to prop up the joists to even out the sag and slope. He said the beam itself is level but the joists must have shrunk (which makes sense given how they were out in the elements for months). Does this sound right? Is this the way to fix this problem? Should I not expect level and flat floors - without humps and bumps and pitches? How out of level or flat can a floor be before it is not acceptable? In otherwords, do i go looking for someone to come and fix our brand new house?

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 10.03.2013 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 10.03.2013 at 10:18 am

isla or elegance porcelain tile

posted by: ellessebee on 04.14.2013 at 03:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I came across a silver travertine look porcelain tile that i think is the best vein cut rendition i've seen yet. it was on a display board labeled "isla" but that had been crossed out and handwritten instead was "elegance". i later found the same board at another store but the name had not been changed. the price at the first place is significantly better than at the second. i can't find anything online corroborating the name change. does anyone know anything about this tile? is a decent tile? i don't want to be pennywise but pound foolish yet don't want natural stone's maintenance. I'm also happy to get other suggestions for a silver travertine look. thanks in advance.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 04.14.2013 at 03:31 pm    last updated on: 04.14.2013 at 03:31 pm

How to quiet some noisy circulator pumps

posted by: ellessebee on 04.09.2013 at 10:28 pm in Heating & Air Conditioning Forum

Hi - it's driving me crazy - the noise from the circulator pumps on my brand new hydronic radiant heat. I chose this (ultra) expensive heating system, with a Buderis condensing boiler, because I didn't want the noise of an air handler and now the pumps are even noisier. They're down in the basement in the boiler room and I can hear them all the way up on the second floor - even louder than when I was standing right in front of them. I think the vibrations are going up through the joists/studs, maybe up the chimney since it starts in one wall of the boiler room. I think the chimney may be acting like a sound board and woofer for the pump noise, amplifying and carrying it all the way up 2 stories. I can't hear the noise when I'm in the part of the house that is structurally isolated from the chimney. I desperately need ideas on how to dampen the sound and prevent it from carrying so well. The plumber said he'll slow the pumps down which will quiet them but i don't know if that will have a negative effect on the heat. I am hoping someone out there has some ideas. Thanks so much.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 04.10.2013 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 04.10.2013 at 10:13 am

RE: kitchen vent make-up air advice needed please (cross post) (Follow-Up #47)

posted by: ellessebee on 03.29.2013 at 11:40 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are in the middle of a conversation with our HVAC and GC about an ERV that was specified by the architect in response to my husband's request that we be able to get fresh, clean and filtered air into the house without opening windows and letting in dust and pollen. (Lots of allergies). The HVAC guy is proposing a RenewAire EV90 which has 90cfm and tempers the air. He can put it so the fresh air is ducted into the return plenum of the AC airhandler or have it just stand alone, independent of the system. We can't evaluate his proposals. We are having hydronic radiant floor heat partly because I hate forced air (noise and breeze) and don't want to have to run the air handler just to get the fresh air distributed. In addition, we have 3 powerful bathroom vents (190 in the master and guest bath and 130 in the powder room). Obviously we won't use them all at the same time unless we have a lot of guests, but we have adequate ways to exhaust, just not adequate ways to get fresh and make up air in. This is all before I choose my range hood and vent. I was figuring on a 400 cfm unit but may downsize just to avoid the make up issue. I will have a 36" induction range. Heat and fireplace are propane. i don't really understand the issues but want to take the time to get it right. Contractor and HVAC guy don't seem to want to figure out the solution - just get something installed so they can get paid and on to the next job. I desperately need some advice! Thanks for any opinions. P.S. We are in the final month or 2 of our new house building so this is not the time to change contractors.:(

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 03.30.2013 at 08:13 am    last updated on: 03.30.2013 at 08:13 am

RE: Soapstone Tile Flooring? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: ellessebee on 03.28.2013 at 08:48 pm in Flooring Forum

Hi, all, I hope someone is still reading this discussion - I need some help with some soapstone tiles! I just purchased 50 sqft to use on a fireplace. They are fairly light in color and very smooth in texture. Some speckles but not much veining. That's the color/pattern I chose. I did not want to oil them because I want the natural color variations to show through. When I got them home I found that about half of them have scratches and dings - probably from packing - or maybe someone picked through them all and took out the good ones and I got stuck with the defects (they are now sold out and not restocking and I cannot return them!) I want to remove the scratches because they really show. I tried light sanding on one tile with wet-dry black sandpaper and it did get out most of the scratches but also changed the texture and color of the areas where I sanded in a circular motion. I'm looking for any advice/suggestions to make the tile beautiful again without darkening it with oil. Thanks.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 03.28.2013 at 09:33 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2013 at 09:35 pm

Flooring over radiant heat panels

posted by: ellessebee on 03.12.2013 at 08:10 pm in Flooring Forum

Hi, all. I need some flooring help. I a few questions. We have new hydronic radiant (Viega) heat panels throughout the house and were planning to put rift cut oak strip on top. The flooring dealer says it's the only kind of hardwood he'd recommend for radiant heating. He prefers engineered wood. My contractor found one that's fits the budget but said he will need to glue it down because it's not tongue and groove. (He also said he'd have to glue the oak in spots where he can't nail into the floor due to the heat tubing. I don't want to use any glue - I've heard it can lose its adhesion and also off-gas with floor heat. It would also make it difficult, I imagine, to remove the flooring if necessary. Does anyone know anything about this? What else can safely be used over hydronic radiant heat besides tile/stone which I don't want to use throughout. And what will conduct the heat well? I had long had my heart set on cork for the kitchen and found a beautiful sample of a floating floor which the manufacturer says is OK up to 85 degrees. Our heat is supposed to be around 80. But I am concerned that the cork won't conduct the heat and it will be cold. Any feedback/input on this? Finally, Would any kind of floating floor such as Marmoleum block the heat and leave us cold? I've been trying to find this information on-line but haven't been successful. Flooring manufacturers talk about their products being acceptable for radiant floors meaning they will stand up to the heat but they don't discuss the heat conductivity angle. I haven't been able to find a radiant flooring association that has this information, either. Thanks for all feedback.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 03.12.2013 at 09:27 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2013 at 09:27 pm