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What do you wish you had done differently?

posted by: robynpa on 07.29.2007 at 10:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hopefully nothing but if there is anything that you wish you had done differently when going though the kitchen renovation or after it was completed please tell.


clipped on: 02.24.2008 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 02.24.2008 at 01:06 pm

RE: Water Softener Research (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 02.14.2008 at 04:57 pm in Plumbing Forum

minnheadz3 - I try to stay away from specific brand recommendations but I would be happy to give you some things to look for. The amount of iron in your water will likely cause discoloration. A softener will be less expensive than a stand-alone iron filter. While 5 grains is not high hardness on its own, many, many factors determine the scale potential of water. If it is causing scale and it bothers you or your wife, it's worth removing. Your choice.

Unfortunately, your price point will preclude most water treatment pros in your area. If you are handy, or know a plumber that can follow directions, you can install yourself. There are many online stores that sell softeners for reasonable prices. Another option: many places will rent or lease-to-own a soften for you. If at all possible, I would avoid box store brands for several reasons: inferior valves, inferior resin, storage in unheated warehouses which breaks resin, proprietary valves that are expensive to repair, one-piece designs that make maintenances difficult. However, if all you can afford right now is a box-store unit, it will be better than nothing. You can get a better softener online, for the price, but you will be dealing with someone who doesn't have to look you in the eye. You are the one that has to reconcile your budget with your comfort level buying online.

Look for:
- Major name valve. I prefer Fleck, but hear good things about Clack as well. Autobus is okay.

- Never stored in freezing conditions.

- Two piece design. Brine tank separate from resin tank.

- Water analysis is needed for proper sizing You wart to know: calcium, magnesian, alkalinity iron (Fe 3, Fe 2), TDS, pH, sulfur compounds, nitrates, manganese, possibly phosphates if they are prevalent in your area). You can call your local city water facility to see where they get their testing done. When you talk to the lab that will do the testing, be sure to ask them about proper sampling technique.

- Anyplace that doesn't ask for or perform analysis before trying to size a softener for you, doesn't deserve your business.

- Ask about service after the sale. Make sure they supply instructions for set-up.

- The softener should regenerate based on gallons of water used rather than solely based on time.

- Ensure the paperwork with your softener lists the type and amount of resin.


clipped on: 02.18.2008 at 12:31 am    last updated on: 02.18.2008 at 12:32 am

RE: What are my options for no-tile shower pan? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: kgwlisa on 12.30.2007 at 03:17 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Sometimes I wish I pursued a terrazzo base more when I was looking for a custom base. While I do like the look of tiled bases, I'm not queen of the housekeepers so I wanted to stay away from that grout. I couldn't get over the plasticy feel for the walls or I would have done something easier to clean there too, but for the base I had a custom corian base made (in a terrazzo look, boo hoo). The place that made them for me has a choice of 3 solid surface materials. If you just want plain white they have something called "polycomp" which felt like a hard textured plastic to me - not tactile like corian - but it was half the price of corian. They also do acrylic but a matte acrylic, not shiny - and then of course corian (in any color they make except for the very dark colors. It was definitely not cheap (compounded by the fact that the color I fell in love with is one of the most expensive corian colors) but it's very very nice looking. I haven't used it yet (just installed into rough framing last week) so I can't comment on that but it sure looks nice. They can do any size/configuration (I required an "offset curb" in mine, if I didn't I would have been all over that kohler cast iron receptor).

If you can use a standard size, definitely look into swanstone shower pans. Make sure you are looking at the pans that are made out of the actual swanstone solid surface material though and not the pans made by swanstone corp called "veritek." These have gotten universally lousy reviews on this board (pretty much anything made of that material). They have a surprising number of standard sizes and are definitely reasonably priced compared to custom.

I ended up getting samples and pricing from both and and found the same size shower pan in plain white matte (an upcharge from glossy) from onyxtop to be about 30% more than the corian shower base I got in silver birch from I guess YMMV depending on what you are looking for but I was shocked that a "no name" brand was more than corian, figuring I'd be paying a premium for the corian name (as in countertops). I was very pleased with the customer service there too and it arrived packed in a custom MDF crate with pallet. Very professional.


Shower pan
clipped on: 12.31.2007 at 01:54 pm    last updated on: 12.31.2007 at 01:55 pm

RE: Do you like your body sprays? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: teched on 12.06.2007 at 06:14 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We put in the same set up 2.5 years ago (Grohe). I LOVE the rain shower and handheld. We had the handheld on the bar in two baths in our old house. It is perfect for people sharing a shower who are different heights. Beware that some models (Hansgrohe) are plastic and the thingy that slides up and down the bar may break. I have replaced the hansgrohe one in the kids bath after about a year. Looks like it will likely break again soon.

As for the body sprays--my DH just had to have these and was certain he would use them everyday. I bet they get used once or twice a month. The plumber measured the placement BEFORE the shower floor was set. The concrete and tile moved the base of the shower up like 2 or 3 inches. So, the sprays now hit more in my knees, butt, and lower back. They do tilt up, but not really enough to compensate.

We removed a jacuzzi to install the big shower. I absolutely know that we use the sprays more often than we would ever have used the jacuzzi. As for cleaning, they are WAY easier to clean than the stupid jacuzzi (it was here and it was filthy when we bought the house). The Grohe ones have little rubber "tips" for the sprays. You just sort of rub your sponge over them and they clean right up. Also, I spray them with the shower door spray every once in a while. They are shiny chrome--not trendy, I know--and they look great.

If you decide to keep them, just be sure that your plumber keeps in mind the shower floor. Also, my plumber did do one really cool thing. My rainshower head and handheld are the thermostatic control and the sprays are on separate hot/cold handles. This means you get full force from each "appliance" when they are on. He said that if they were all on together on the same thermostatic control, you would get wimpy power from the sprays.


setting up the valves on the master shower
clipped on: 12.08.2007 at 08:50 pm    last updated on: 12.08.2007 at 08:50 pm

RE: Number of Lights You Can Connect (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: randy427 on 10.29.2007 at 08:15 pm in Electrical Wiring Forum

Due to the use of #14 romex, the circuit must be protected by a circuit breaker no larger than 15 amps. This will, in turn, limit the circuit to 1440 watts. (Thats 15 amps times 120 volts times an 80% loading factor)
If there is nothing else on the circuit, you can have twelve 100 watt lights, nineteen 75 watt lights or twenty-four 60 watt lights, or some combination adding up to no more than 1440.


clipped on: 11.02.2007 at 09:48 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2007 at 09:48 pm

RE: tongue and groove porch ceiling (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: huskyridor on 12.26.2006 at 11:36 am in Porches & Decks Forum

quote" Guys I am thinking the bill wants decking material to go on top of the rafters thick enough so the roofing nails don't show from underneath thus the open porch ceiling thing with the rafters showing. "quote

I think this is exactly what he's asking for.

When I build cathedral ceiling cabana's and pavilions for my pools I use T111 turned upside down for the price conscious buyers or 116 pattern V-groove cedar or #1 pine then stain/seal it when price isn't really the issue.

Here are some pic's, during construction, of the pavilion by my pool. When they get really large I stop the standard hip/ridge/jacks/common rafters with decking going left to right and use hip/ridge/mini beams from hip to hip across a common and run the decking up and down.
This 116 pattern is a 1x6 tongue and groove. Using a 7/8" roofing nail it doesn't come through. It doesn't come through on 5/8" T111 when using an architectural shingle, with a 3 tab shingle on T111 it slightly pokes the nail tip out.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

John you and the other deck guys here do some AWESOME work!!! The members of this forum are very fortunate to have industry pro's like yourselves contributing their insight. I'm thankful for the tips and design ideas I've learned from you guys surfing while this forum.

See ya,


T1-11 for roof sheathing
clipped on: 10.06.2007 at 08:38 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2007 at 08:38 pm