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Strange powder room question????

posted by: athensmomof3 on 01.17.2010 at 06:38 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I have a strange powder room question :) We have friends with an old, beautifully restored and added to victorian house. They have this fabulous vintage occupied/vacant sign on their powder room which is part of their door lock.

I found one which I loved on ebay which was english and had the even better saying "vacant/engaged" :) This one is new. I am probably doing oil rubbed bronze doorknobs. Has anyone found one in ORB? Do you think unlacquered brass would work? I do have that brass aging solution that could take the glare off the original brass?

Trying to find inexpensive ways to give this new house some character by incorporating interesting things - bought some great old bin pulls on ebay which I will likely put in the pantry or in my office - not enough for the kitchen but want them somewhere to make me smile :)

NOTES:

vacant/engaged locks
clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:39 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:39 pm

RE: Any walkthrough tips? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bevangel on 02.20.2010 at 09:39 pm in Building a Home Forum

This question came up once before about a year ago. Unfortunately a search for that thread doesn't pull it up anymore.

Fortunately, I saved a copy of my reply and those of several other forum members on my home computer so I'm going to paste those here:

*****
My post:

No matter how picky your are now, you're going to find more stuff after you close. It is also possible that your builder will try to rush you when you do your walk thru with him.
I would advise taking a couple of very persnickity (sp??) friends with you this weekend and spend several hours going over each room and making lists of the stuff you find so that, when you're doing the final walk thru it is actually just a time to point out issues to the builder - not be looking for them. People seeing the place with fresh eyes will see problems that you noticed months ago, that your builder promised to fix, but then somehow never got around to doing. Consider making it a game to see who can find the most things that need fixing. Doing the real looking prior to the "final walk-thru" will also allow you to present your builder with a nice typed up list of issues. Keep a copy for yourself and then check issues off as they are corrected. Otherwise, chances are, half the stuff you point out will never get corrected.

Some things to look at:

Whole House
_ Turn every light switch on and off.
_ If you have ceiling fans with multiple speeds, check that they work on every speed.
_ Test every electrical outlet (both top and bottom as we've actually found that on a number of outlets in our current house - which was purchased from a previous owner - only one half of the outlet has power and the other half is dead!)
_ Open and close every window. If your windows tilt out to clean, check that function on every window as well.
_ Open and close every door, interior and exterior.
_ Check that doors are plumb and square. The crack around a door should be even on all sides when the door is closed and you should not be able to see light coming from the other side except at the bottoms of interior doors.
_ Lock and unlock every lock
_ Check that walls are plumb, that there are no nail pops and that the paint is even. BTW - nail pops are where the nails holding sheetrock to the studs back up slightly. You see them as little round bumps in the paint. You should not be able to tell where the edges of sheetrock panels are. Nor should you be able to notice any dips or high places in the walls where they taped and floated the sheetrock.
_ Check floors. Tiles should have even and straight grout lines; hardwoods should not have gaps between boards; seams on vinyl flooring should not be noticable; carpet should be tight and should not show seams; etc.
_ Check ceilings. You should not be able to tell where the edges of the sheetrock panels are.
- Take a sprinkler with you and set it so that water falls down against your windows (simulating rain) and check for leaks on the inside. You should not see ANY water on the inside. (Caution - don't spray water UPWARD against your windows as you may drive water through the drainholes, set the spinkler so that water falls downward against the windows.)
_ Check that smoke detectors are working.

Kitchen/Laundry Room/Pantry-
_ Check that every appliance is working properly
* Refrigerator
* Freezer
* Dishwasher (run thru a cycle to ensure no leaks and that it actually cleans dishes. We bought a house once where the dishwasher seemed to work when we tested it but when we actually tried to wash dishes, they never got clean. It turned out that the water had never been attached and the little bit of moisture we were seeing was just moisture from the air!)
* stove top - check every burner
* oven
* microwave
* garbage disposal
* washer (again, run a cycle to make sure its not leaking and that it doesn't dance around)
* dryer (run a cycle with some clothes to make sure it doesn't dance. Also, make sure the dryer vent is hooked up!)
_ Open and close every cabinet and every drawer to make sure they function properly.
_ Look inside each cabinet and drawer to make sure it is finished properly.
_ Turn both hot and cold water on at the sink. Fill the sink with water and then, after a while, check under the sink for evidence of leaking. Check around the sink to make sure that it is properly sealed to your countertop.
_ Check the countertop for flaws. Check the edges of countertops especially carefully as these can easily get chipped or scratched (depending on the type surface) during the building process.

Bathrooms
_ Actually step into shower stalls and bathtubs to make sure they feel solid underfoot. Acrylic tubs and shower bases that "give" underfoot will crack over time.
_ Run water in every sink and bathtub and make sure they hold water without leaking. (Look under the sinks for leaks).
_ Run the showers.
_ Make sure you get hot water when you turn on a hot water spigot. Try it at every sink, tub, shower, and in your washing machine.
_ Run water at several locations at the same time to make sure you have adequate water pressure.
_ Check that both heating and air conditioning work.
_ Test that bathroom fans work.
_ Flush all toilets several times to make sure they stop running when the tanks refill. (Having a bunch of friends out for several hours also means your toilets may actually get "field tested" to make sure they really flush adequately... which not something you are likely to test while doing a walk thru with your builder!)
_ Make sure toilets sit solidly and evenly on the floor and are properly bolted down. There should not be any "rocking" motion when you sit down.

MISCELLANEOUS
_ If your builder installed blinds or operable shutters (inside or out) make sure they work properly.
_ If you have a real fireplace, build a fire in it and make sure the chimney draws properly. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure it works as advertised.
_ Check that you OUTDOOR water spigots work.
_ Check all outdoor electrical outlets as well. These often get over-looked.
_ Check your garage door openers. Also make sure that, it something is in the way of the door as it comes down, that the door stops and goes back up.
_ If you have an attic access ladder, pull it down and make sure it works smoothly.
_ Climb into the attic and make sure you have the amount of insulation you are supposed to have.
- If you're really lucky and it rains while you are checking out your house this weekend, go up into the attic with a flashlight and look for roof leaks.
- Take a sprinkler with you and set it so that water falls down against your windows (simulating rain) and check for leaks on the inside. You should not see any.
_ Make sure gutters are fully attached to walls and designed to drain water away from your house.
_ Check that ground around the house has been graded so that it slopes away from the house.

This is all just "off the top of my head." I'm sure if you think about it you can add dozens of other things to check for. And, no doubt other posters will chime in with other things to add to your check list.

Ultimately, you don't have to insist that the builder fix every little tiny thing. If something won't bother you - or if you can fix it easily yourself and don't mind doing so, point it out to your builder anyway and, once you've gone over everything you can cross those items off your list as a way to show you're being reasonable but that the rest of the list IS important to you.

PS - check your contract and see if you allowed to hold back any portion of your final payment until the check list items are done. (This is called "retainage") If your contract doesn't allow for retainage, then DON'T accept that the house is finished until ALL the major stuff on your list is completed. Don't move in and don't close until there is nothing left on your list that you don't mind doing yourself. Without retainage, once you close you will have zero power to actually get your builder back to finish up the rest of the items on the check list. If he is a good guy, he'll probably get around to it eventually but you'll be low on his priority list. Others though, once they're paid, that is the last you'll see of them. So if you find anything major, tell your builder that the house is simply NOT ready for the final walk-through yet and he need to do X, Y, and Z and then you'll reschedule the final walk through.

*****
A followup post by Meldy_nva:

bevangel ~ That's a really good list! I can't add much to it.
Have a couple friends simultaneously flush toilets while you run water from the kitchen sink... a prolonged lessening of flow at the sink faucet will indicate a problem the plumber needs to check [maybe a constriction in one of the feed lines, maybe too-small lines, maybe something else]. Also turn on the hot water in each tub/shower [adjust so it's not scalding] hold your hand in it and then have someone flush the nearest toilet. There should NOT be any temperature change in shower water. And while you're there, look closely at the faucet units to be sure they are grouted properly.

If you have continuous hot water (recirculating type), check the hot water at the tap farthest from the heater to be sure it really does get hot fast - usually within 5 seconds.

If you have a fireplace or woodstove/s, be sure each is in working order. A very small smoky fire (a small piece of damp wood on top of a small crumpled newspaper fire) will let you be sure the chimney draws properly. Gas fireplaces should be lit and watched carefully to be sure that *all* the flame vents work and that the flame heights are as expected.

When the house is very quiet (a late night visit is best), walk up and down all the steps. There should be no creaks or squeaks. Ditto for walking across hardwood or carpeted floors.

Be sure *everything* in the house is turned off and check the electric meter. It should not be spinning. Afterwords, don't forget to turn the fridge back on.

And an odd one... pull gently but firmly on all downspouts and watch where they connect to the gutter. There should not be any movement. A friend tells me that a 25' downspout makes a terrible clatter when it falls onto the car.

If you have a generator, have someone not associated with the installing firm check to be sure it is properly hooked up. (Yes, you pay for that inspection, and it's worth it.)

Pay close attention to bevangel's last two paragraphs... those have what is probably the most important information about the checklist!

*****
And finally, a few additional things I've thought of since then (tho I may be repeating myself in some cases):
* Test all appliances AND Turn all your major appliance on at the same time. You want to make sure you can run everything without blowing any fuses. (Those of you over 45 probably remember the running gag on "Green Acres" re blowing fuses - LOL!)

* With plumbing fixtures, make sure handles turn on/off easily and that the fixture is firmly seated on the wall or countertop. Check the the hot and cold handles are on the proper sides. (When you are facing the faucet, the handle on your left should control the hot water; the handle on the right controls the cold water.)

* If you have instant water heaters, run the hot water in your shower and make sure you get hot water within a reasonable amount of time. Wait a half hour and try the same thing at your sink. Wait another half hour and try you wash machine. (You need to give the water in the lines time to cool so you can judge how long it will take to get hot water. The longer the water lines, the longer it will take - and some plumbers don't seem to make much effort to keep water lines as short as possible.) After you've tested the time delay to get hot water at all major use points, you need to run all the major hot water users at the same time to ensure that you will get ENOUGH hot water.

* If you are supposed to have screens, make sure you have one over every window and that they are properly installed.

* If your exterior doors were finished (painted) by your builder, make sure they are painted on all edges. Unpainted sides, top, or bottom will allow the door to absorb moisture and warp.

* When checking door locks, make sure the deadbolt latches firmly into the jamb.

* Check windows for scratches or cracked glass.

* If lawn sprinklers were installed, look around the yard for muddy spots that would indicate a broken or leaking pipe in the sprinkler system. Then, run the sprinklers and make sure the heads pop up properly.

* Run both the air conditioner and the heater long enough to ensure that they are working properly. (Not fun trying to check the AC when it is 30 degrees but you can do it by overheating the house first then switching to AC. Check the vents to make sure you are getting the expected cold/hot air in every room. Put a piece of paper up against the return air vent(s) to ensure they are drawing properly.

* Climb into the attic and check that you actually HAVE the amount of insulaton you are supposed to have. If you have the pink stuff, lift it up in several spots to check the depth. (My insulation guy tried to skimp by slicing my insulation in HALF and putting down only half the amount required! Fortunately, I caught it before paying him! R-30 fiberglass insulation is 9 1/2 inches thick. If you have the blown in stuff, take a ruler and slide it down beside a joist to check the depth that was blown in.


* Open and close every cabinet door and drawer. Make sure they operate smoothly. Look carefully at cabinet doors and make sure doors are level with each other and straight. (Newer cabinetry hinges can often be adjusted with the turn of a screw or two but you should not have to go around doing this.)

* Walk the entire floor area (back and forth across the room as if you were mowing the lawn with a small push-mower). Listen for any creaking or popping sounds under carpets or hardwood which indicate that either the subfloor or the flooring is not properly nailed or glued down. On tile floors listen for any change in sound of your footsteps. When you step on a tile that is not properly set, it will sound different (slightly hollow). ItImproperly set tiles crack easily or pop up.

* Walk up and down the stairs several times using both the center and the sides of the steps. Again, listen for any creaking or popping sounds.

* Check the handrail as well as each baluster for any signs of looseness.

Hope this helps!

NOTES:

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clipped on: 02.25.2010 at 03:47 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2010 at 03:47 pm

RE: Looking for recommendations: best brand of recessed cans for (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 06.28.2009 at 08:20 pm in Building a Home Forum

juno makes an ICAT recessed light.
Insulation Contact Air Tight
make sure that the light is not one of
the ones that is air tight when used with the
following trims...these will set you back about
$15.00 per light.
Invest instead in ICAT..about $15.00 more per box of 6.

beware of just reading the sticker inside as the red sticker says air tite in large letters and when used with
in much smaller letters.
Orange air tite stickers are ICAT.

with other brands, physically remove one of the cans from the box..if the housing that goes into the attic has no
holes, it is air tight.

best of luck.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.30.2009 at 02:55 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2009 at 02:55 pm

RE: would love some feedback on house plans (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: meldy_nva on 02.15.2008 at 02:40 pm in Building a Home Forum

It can take a lot of time to learn about the choices available, and then make the choice. Then order, wait for delivery, sometimes wait for the installation. Right there is one reason for knowing what you want before the build begins -- if you want an item x in mocha, it's better to know in advance that it might take 3 months before it can be delivered. Unfortunately, even in the best of plans, there can be totally unforeseen delays from late delivery, unexpected weather, unavailable work crews, or even theft [which can take time to replace the stolen material]. But with pre-planning, at least the crew won't be sitting around waiting for you say which faucet you want. You will have last minute decisions in approving the color/size/cut of stone or brick should you be using those items, for the reason that samples are always approximations and you won't know what you get until you get it. However, stone/brick is just about the only category that has a last-minute decision built into it.

The next reason for getting specific in advance is that it can be difficult at best and overwhelming at worst to make a lot of important decisions in a very short period of time. Unless one is already a professional designer /builder /carpenter /tiler /plumber /electrician / decorator /et cetera, one is going to have make choices and decisions about things we just have never even thought about! It's an exhausting process, and that's a major reason for stress for the builder.

Another reason for making as many decisions as possible in advance is actually the simplest: budget. And there is no way to have a budget without knowing what numbers are in it, and what those numbers represent. Unless you have an endless supply of money, there will be a limit as to how much can be spent. A pre-computed budget lets you know that if you spent $30,000 on kitchen counters then you won't have $20,000 for lighting. It gives you a chance to determine which is most important to you -- waiting to the last minute decision might find the counters installed but leave only $1000 for lights when in real life you don't cook much and it is the lighting that's important. Keep in mind that every time the owner changes his/her mind *during* the build, it is money wasted. Cosmetic changes [such as finding the "blue" paint is really brown when on the wall] can usually be fixed at once and during the build. However, changing the placement of a window or door is in the same category as changing a ceiling height or where the staircase is located -- the structural integrity of the whole house can be affected, and changes from blueprint shouldn't be done without approval of a structural engineer (ahem: $ and time), and the change may require re-inspection to be sure codes are still being met (ahem: lost time -- and $ while the crews wait).

And another page of the budget is simply that there is difference between what the average GC thinks you'll be satisfied with and what you actually are satisfied with, in terms of quality, uniqueness, and customizing. Sometimes the difference is even more -- I've seen kitchens put together from the local discount-mass produced store and I've seen kitchens where every detail from crown molding to toe-step was handmade by a craftsman. Not going to say that one is better than the other, but IMO the wallet-holder should know -in advance- that there really can be tens of thousands of dollars difference in the final bill. The same is true of almost every detail on a home: you can get mass-produced in all levels of quality as well as getting custom-made or handcrafted. But if you didn't get specific on the contract, the odds are pretty good that you will be getting the least expensive whatever. On this same page is simply that item A can be the same or very little difference from item B, except in the price tag. Many builders are going to use the less expensive because they have figured a set price which includes their [or the subs] labor -- and the cheaper item will give them a bit more profit.

And the last thing is, if it isn't written in detail in the contact, you shouldn't expect to automatically get what *you* want. The builder must make a profit -- and that's fair. But there is flat-out no way to reasonably expect the builder to know what you want if you don't already know, and finding out during the build is the most expensive way to go -in terms of time and money and stress-building.

NOTES:

general advice -- before the build
clipped on: 11.29.2008 at 10:01 am    last updated on: 11.29.2008 at 10:01 am

RE: would love some feedback on house plans (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: meldy_nva on 02.14.2008 at 03:49 pm in Building a Home Forum

The more "forever" you spend before the build, the fewer headaches during it.

A considerable amount of stress can be prevented by making as many precise selections as possible, before ever signing the contract. I mean, not only make informed decisions about insulation, window types, all the different types of flooring, what lights [and light switches] you want and where, but even decide about door hardware and faucet finish and the color/type/style/size of the bath tiles.

It's okay to fall in love with something special, but it's unbelievably stressful to learn at the last minute [during the build] that your lovee will consume a big bite of your budget! A sad amount of the stress one sees posted here was avoidable. One should not be sweating about the tile color while the tile installer is waiting. Nor should one be changing the placement of a window, or a closet, or the bonus room finish during the build -- think first so that you won't pay with stress later.

Many floorplan decisions can be clarified with the making of a 3-D to-scale model. Use sponge cutouts to represent the family and the furniture, and move them around as they would for a regular day, for holidays, for visitors. That's when you may see that the hall closet is missing or the pantry has more corners than shelves, or even that you can't fit your dining table into the new dining room. It's like playing dolls, but pay attention and the result should be seeing and solving possible problems *before* the build begins.

Remember that most decisions should be made before the build, and do your best to with them. Then there are the decisions to be made during the build -- and those should be few and far between. Problems will usually fall into two categories, structural (moving a window) and non-structural (what color paint). Structurals should be solidly known before the contract is signed, including brick color, stonework, fireplace size and where the light switches go. Non-structural decisions *can* be winged -decided during the build- but that is high-stress for you and often a budget-banger. However, non-structural decisions CAN be changed after the build -sure it's going to cost you- so don't sweat the paint color.

NOTES:

general advice -- before the build
clipped on: 11.29.2008 at 10:00 am    last updated on: 11.29.2008 at 10:00 am

RE: Basic Rules for Siting a House? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bevangel on 10.14.2008 at 01:50 am in Building a Home Forum

Where you want the most natural light is very much a matter of taste. I situated our master bedroom on the east side of the house because I'm a natural night person but I have no choice but to get up early in the mornings for work. Having the sun come into the bedroom in the morning helps me wake up. But, if I worked nights and could sleep in, you'd better believe I would have put the master at the other side of the house!

You'll get the most natural light from windows on the south, west, and east walls. But more natural light from these directions will also mean more HEAT. You can reduce the amount of heat you get in the summer time with south facing windows by having your roof overhang the walls by at least 24". But while roof overhangs help somewhat with heat gain from east and west facing windows, they are not as effective. West facing windows are particularly problematic in hot climates because they get hit with the hot afternoon sun. North facing windows don't provide as much natural light but it is cool light so, in warm climates, you can put lots of windows on the north side without worrying as much about heat gain from the sun. Hope this helps. The link I sent explains it in more detail.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.28.2008 at 01:31 pm    last updated on: 11.28.2008 at 01:31 pm

RE: Width and depth for mudroom cubbies? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mommyto4boys on 11.21.2008 at 10:19 am in Building a Home Forum

I'll try to get a picture later. Mudroom cubbies is one of the smartest things we did in our new home. We have six and they are 24" wide and about 20 deep. I'll explain ours from the foor up, we have 6 total and each has...first each has a shoe/boot area, then a nice big drawer for gloves, papers etc., over the top of the drawer then is the bench area. The area above each bench is the tallest, 3 ft or so, this area has 3 hooks in each cubby for coats, backpacks and sweaters. Above the "hook" area we have a 6" high door on each that flips up. This area houses keys, cell phones and "whatevers" for the kids. We put an outlet inside each of these & we charge cell phones etc. Then finally above that is an open compartment that I placed a sorage basket in each and off season had hats etc in there. Amazing how a space 12' X 20' has organized our life and keeps the kitchen etc free of clutter.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 11:29 am    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 11:29 am

Due Dilligence - Questions to ask BEFORE you sign a contract

posted by: bevangel on 10.04.2007 at 04:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

Okay, after talking to a number of potential builders - and quickly crossing a BUNCH of them off my list! - and then getting 3 bids and carefully comparing them, etc, my DH and I have FINALLY decided on a GC.

Everyone says "do due diligence" before selecting a GC and I looked in vain for guidance on what sorts of questions to ask... both of the potential GC and his references. I finally came up with my own lists - based in large part on what I learned from the problems shared by other on this board and, in the interest of "paying it forward", thought I would share:

QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL GENERAL CONTRACTORS

Business History:
1. Legal Name, address, etc. of the GC�s company? Names of Officers of the Company?
2. How long has GC been in business under this name?
3. Prior to starting this company, did GC own any other companies (in whole or in part) or do business under any other name? If so, what was the name of that company? How long was it in existence? Was it also a general "building" company or a specialty company (eg. Concrete or Framing only)? Why did GC cease doing business under that company name? [Be sure to follow up and ask about ALL business names the GC has used in the past.]
4. If your state requires residential builders to be licensed or registerd, is the GC licensed/registered? What is his license/registration number? How long has he been licensed? [Note: if your state requires builders to be registered or licensed, they are likely to have a website that provides at least some information regarding previous complaints against the builder.]
5. Has the GC ever been licensed by the State under any other business name? What name(s)?
6. Does the GC register every home he builds with the State?
7. How many homes has he/she served as GG on while in business under this name?
8. How many of those have been custom homes as opposed to spec or tract homes?
9. Of the custom homes, what has been the price range of the homes?
10. Has the GC ever been involved in a dispute with a client that went to arbitration? What was the outcome? [Note: arbitration settlements often require that both sides not talk about the settlement afterwards so the GC may not be able to tell you very much.]
11. Has the GC or any company owned by the GC in the past ever been sued by a customer? If so, when and where was the case(s) filed? What was the complaint? What was the case name and docket number? What was the outcome? [Note, court records are public documents. With a case name or docket number, you can go to the court house and get the records if you want to.]
12. Has the GC or any company owned by the GC in the past ever sued a customer? If so, when and where was the case(s) filed? What was the complaint? What was the case name and docket number? What was the outcome?
13. What building and/or business associations is the GC a member of? (BBB? Etc.?)

GC's Solvency
14. What is the net worth of the GC�s company?
15. Is the GC willing to provide us with the company�s audited financial statements for the last three years? (signed by an independent CPA)
16. Will the GC allow us to doing a credit check on his company?
17. Will the GC�s bank verify that he has a line-of-credit available that is equal to at least 10% of the build price of my home? If the GC is currently building other projects as well, does he have a line-of-credit equal to at least 10% of the total build price of all projects he is currently involved in?]
18. What is the GC�s typical pay cycle for his subcontractors? May I have the names of 3 subcontractors he uses regularly to verify that they are timely paid for their work?

Current Availability
19. How many other projects is the GC�s company currently involved in building?
20. Will the GC personally supervise the building of my home (i.e., arrange for subcontractors, order materials, check the quality of work performed, etc.) or will he turn it over to an associate to handle? If an associate will be supervising, who is the associate? What is his/her experience level? Can I meet him/her? [NOTE: if an associate will be responsible for day to day management of my build, I will want to ask him/her many of the questions that I would otherwise direct to the GC.]
21. How often will the GC visit my home site? Daily? Every couple of days? Once a week? Less often?
22. If I contact the GC, how quickly will he return telephone calls? Emails?

Business Practices
23. Does the GC prefer to work under a fixed price contract or a cost-plus contract?
24. Does the GC have a list of subcontractors that he generally uses? If so, prior to accepting his bid, will he provide me with that list so that I can run BBB and other checks on them? Will I have the option of refusing the use of particular contractors with the understanding that such refusal may increase the total cost of the home. [The bid will need to be broken down by subcontractors so that, if I nix a particular subcontractor, the new cost will be adjusted only by the amount that a different sub bids on the particular work.]
25. Does the GC insist that all contracts include a mandatory arbitration clause? If so, will the GC agree that, in the event of a dispute, arbitration will be by a mutually agreeable arbitrator or, in the event that we cannot agree on an arbitrator, each side will submit that name and qualifications of one arbitrator to our mortgage officer � without indicating which party submitted which name � and the mortgage office make the final selection and that the arbitrator shall also have the power to impose all costs of arbitration on the losing party? Alternatively, will the GC agree that arbitration will be non-binding and that, in the event of a suit, the court may award the costs of arbitration, as well as court costs and attorneys fees to the winning party?
26. Does the contractor carry liability insurance? How much?
27. Does the contractor carry workman�s compensation for all his employees?
28. Does the contractor require that all his subcontractors carry liability insurance and workman�s comp for their employees?
29. How are "change orders" handled? Does the GC differentiate between customer-initiated change orders and contractor initiated change orders? What counts as a "change order"?

References
30. Can we get a list of addresses of all other homes currently under construction so we can drive by and take a look at them?
31. Can we get a list of all other projects completed in the last 5 years with a brief description of the project, its contract value, and the physical address? [NOTE: Tell contractor "We�d like to be able to drive by and get an idea of the range of the GC�s experience". Check county tax office records to get name/address of property owner then use www.freeality.com reverse search on addresses to find telephone numbers. This provides additional "references" that have not been cherry-picked by the GC.]
32. Can we have the names of ____ prior clients that would be willing to provide references? [The number of reference I requested depended on how many custom homes the GC claimed to have built.]

QUESTIONS TO ASK GC�s REFERENCES

1. Did you have an established completion date before construction started?
2. Did the contractor finish the project ahead or behind schedule, and if so, by approximately how many days? If there was a significant delay, to what do you attribute the delay?
3. Did you enter into a fixed price contract or a cost plus contract?
4. Was your final contract amount more or the same as the accepted proposal price? If it was more, how much was the percentage difference?
5. To what do you attribute the differences? Do you feel any additional costs were justified?
6. How often did the GC visit the site of your build? Daily? Weekly? Less Often?
7. How easy was the GC to contact when you needed to discuss a problem or issue? Did he return phone calls/emails promptly? Were problems/issues actually resolved to your satisfaction or did you just "give in" in order to get the build completed?
8. What would you say this contractor�s greatest strengths were? I.e., what did he do very well?
9. What would you say this contractor�s greatest weaknesses were?
10. If you were going to build again, would you use this contractor again or choose someone else? Why?
11. What are you happiest about with your home?
12. What are you unhappiest about with regard to your home?
13. What would you have done differently with regard to building your home if you had known ahead of time everything you learned along the way in the process of building your home?
14. Is there a question you NOW wish you had asked the contractor ahead of time but didn�t?
15. Is there anything else about this builder or your building experience that you would like to tell me that I haven't already asked?
16. Do you know of anyone else for whom this contractor has built a custom home that I might talk to? [Again, this may lead to references that haven't been "cherry-picked" by the builder.]

Just so you know, the due diligence was a real pain and seemed to take forever. A bunch of builders balked at answering some of my questions but I'm convinced that the better ones were all happy to respond and ultimately, those were the only ones we solicited bids from. We also talked to innumerable references. I made copies of my questions, with space for answers, so I could keep clear who was saying what about which GC.

The fellow we ultimately selected came in rather higher than the other two but we chose him anyway because every single one of his prior customers that we spoke with (including people that weren't on the reference list he gave me but that I "dug up" via other means) all said that he was scrupulously honest, did great work, and that they would hire him again in a heartbeat. Several actually had! including one fellow who had had him build three custom home for him -- ex-wives got the first two! Plus another lady who is currently on her third build with him and insisted I come out and see both her current home and the new one that is "in progress" so she could point out the quality of the work done. I asked why she was building again when she was so happy with her current home and she said she found the new piece of property while helping someone else look and "fell in love" with it and decided she just had to live there. She said she figures she will clear enough on her current home to nearly pay off the new one.

So, while I'm scared spitless about the amount of money we're fixing to sink into this, I'm actually looking forward to the process.

Anyway, hope the questions help...

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 02:33 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 02:33 pm

space under stairs

posted by: kelleg on 03.10.2008 at 10:00 pm in Building a Home Forum

Does anyone have a good way of using the space under their stairs? Our butler's pantry will be under the stairs. We will be able have a tall closet/cabinet (hopefully a coat closet), but then we will have counterspace under the stairs. Any ideas for above the counter? Do you think a funny shaped cabinet could go there or shelves?

Yesterday, I saw a photo of some wine rack or something like that under stairs. I thought it looked neat but didn't pay much attention. Now I wish I knew where I saw it. Does it sound familiar to anyone???

NOTES:

play area for kids under stairs/future storage -- scroll down thread
clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 04:59 pm

Unique ideas for kids room?

posted by: jena1205 on 06.12.2008 at 10:57 pm in Building a Home Forum

I am building a new house and was wondering if anyone has any ideas for shelving or other cool finishes for a kids room. I've seen pictures somewhere on this site of a border shelf running along the walls (I think it was about 2 feet below the ceiling). I'm just looking for ideas (and pictures if possible) - any advice would help! Thanks!

NOTES:

ideas for Nora and Tess's room
clipped on: 06.16.2008 at 09:02 pm    last updated on: 06.16.2008 at 09:03 pm

RE: Oak flooring... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: sue36 on 10.20.2007 at 05:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

3/4" is the normal thickness. 2 1/4" wide is called strip flooring. If the rooms are large you might want to go with a wider board (3" -4"). But that is aethetics, not function.

If it is guaranteed for 10 years I assume it is a prefinished product? Make sure you look at it before hand, installed. Prefinished flooring has a bevel edge between the boards. Some people don't mind it, others do.

Site finished is another option.

Are you doing red oak or white oak?

NOTES:

prefinished hardwood floor
clipped on: 06.14.2008 at 02:46 pm    last updated on: 06.14.2008 at 02:46 pm

Ceiling heights

posted by: doctj on 10.24.2007 at 11:34 am in Building a Home Forum

Hi all
I'm new to the forum, but I've come across it so many times with Google searches that I decided to join. I'm planning our new house and I want to find out how much does going from 10ft and 9 ft ceilings (first and second levels respectively) to 9 and 8 affect the construction price? It will be a brick exterior. 2100 sq ft first floor, 2400 second floor. The contractor says sheetrock doesn't come in 10 ft heights only 12 ft which would have to be cut down and wasted. Is that true or should I get another contractor?

NOTES:

ceiling and door height thread
clipped on: 06.14.2008 at 02:21 pm    last updated on: 06.14.2008 at 02:21 pm

Mudroom locker systems from cabinet companies?

posted by: lhildreth on 11.12.2006 at 12:49 pm in Building a Home Forum

The company we bought our kitchen and bath cabinets from has quoted us $6500 for a 64" wide mudroom locker setup. This price is using Aristocraft brand cabinets (we have Decora brand elsewhere which seems to be more high end) - they told us to add 50% for Decora. I've had a competitor come out and their bid was just as high (they again used Aristocraft).

I'm thinking the reason this price is so outrageous is that Aristocraft doesn't have "standard" components to create these lockers, so they are cobbling it together using refrigerator end panels, modified depth wall cabinets, etc.

If I can't get the price down to $2500 or so, I'm going to have to settle for the Pottery Barn pre-fab deal.

Our "mudroom" is really more of our garage entry (and we're in Florida - boots, coats, etc. will not be stored here and left to dry) and is highly visible (very open floor plan), so I am more concerned with looks than with function. This is more of a place for storing backpacks, laptop bags and shoes.

Since this concept seems to be growing in popularity, I'm wondering if anyone has seen "standard" components to create this type of storage system from the big cabinet companies (Kraftmaid, etc.)?

NOTES:

mudroom ideas and pics in thread
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 09:46 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 09:47 pm

Tankless waterheater...

posted by: patty_cakes on 11.14.2007 at 05:01 pm in Building a Home Forum

Has anyone had one installed in a new build or had the conventional style replaced with one? What brand did you choose and why? Do you find it has 'paid for itself', since they're more expensive? TIA

NOTES:

tankless water heater thread
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 09:05 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 09:05 pm

Favorite Sites for Pictures and Ideas

posted by: luckymom23 on 10.01.2007 at 12:13 pm in Building a Home Forum

I was wondering, Does anyone has any websites they really like for looking at pictures and getting ideas? I have one that I like:
http://www.cottagewoodpartners.com/slide/slide.html

We are trying to find some pictures to show our designer because we would like to make some changes to our elevation and we just havn't found the right ones yet.

Thanks!

NOTES:

sources for ideas
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 08:52 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 08:52 pm

RE: Need idea for Arts and Crafts ceiling...perhaps exposed beams (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: denise54 on 12.13.2007 at 05:50 pm in Building a Home Forum

NCAMY:

Try a coffered ceiling approach. Here's a link to a house in N. Michigan that we used as inspiration for our recently finished Craftsman home.

Denise

Here is a link that might be useful: Coffered Ceiling in a Craftsman Home

NOTES:

nice ceiling pic
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 02:06 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 02:06 pm

RE: Tree trouble. Roots in way of foundation wall. (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: davidandkasie on 12.18.2007 at 05:25 pm in Building a Home Forum

in my area slabs are the most common method of foundation due to high water table. it is not uncommon to see a tree root cause major slab damage. a good friend was renting a house down the road form my grandmother. it had 1 large oak in the front yard and one inthe back yard, and no other trees within 50' of it. the 2nd year they were there a hairline crack appeared in the kitchen tile. by the 4th year, the crack was 3" wide. the landlord finally sent soemone to fix it, they thought the ground had given way and were going to mudjack the house, and when they studied it they found it was a root from one of the oak trees. the house was 30 years old, the slab was 8" thick at the point of the break, AND this was 15 feet INSIDE the house, well beyond the footers.

although people don't think it can happen, a tree root will gradually crack concrete. the root exerts constant pressure on the concrete and as soon as it cracks, the gap starts to widen. the wider it gets, the less force it takes to spread it.

i would seriously consult a pro before i built this close to a large tree. it can be done but you have to make sure that you control the roots to minimize the damage they WILL cause.

NOTES:

potential tree root problems
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 02:02 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 02:02 pm

Need suggestions for wood applications in Arts and Crafts home

posted by: ncamy on 12.22.2007 at 11:04 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are building a new (but hopefully authenic) arts and crafts style home on a small lot in a historical area. We plan to have a lot of stained woodwork and built ins. I'm OK with using normal oak flooring...in fact I prefer it. I like the look and the price. We do not want to use anything exotic or expensive. What do you suggest for the windows and trim work? I don't want pine because I don't want it to look "rustic" but rather crafted in the true sense of the time period. We are trying to make our house look like it was built in the 30s.

Also what kind of kitchen cabinetry do you think we should use? We've been leaning toward painted white wood cabinets with soapstone counters, but I'm not opposed to wood stained cabinets. The issue is that the kitchen is open to the dining room which is open to the living room. My husband has one piece of furniture that he is not willing to part with. It can be seen at http://www.hickorychair.com/product_detail.aspx?i=3587 Yes, I know that it doesn't quite fit in with the craftsman style home we are building, but he loves this sideboard and wants to keep it. I especially want a suggestion for the type of wood and stain to use for the wainscoting in the dining room that will both look like the arts and crafts authentic trim and blend with this traditional piece of furniture. I'm thinking that we shouldn't go too oakey since this piece is so formal yet we want everything to look handcrafted and we don't want our house to be formal.

We also plan to have either solid or boxed beams in one or more of the rooms. Any suggestions to what type of wood and stain to use? By the way I have several handcrafted antiques that have been in my family that we will be using in various other rooms of the house....a beautiful small chest which I believe is walnut (it was made from wood off my grandfather's farm) and a bedroom suit that is either mahogany or possibly black cherry also commissioned by my grandparents during the same time period.

Obviously we've never been the "matchy matchy" type but I do want things to blend. Any help or suggestions will be appreciated. Cost is a factor though we do plan on splurging on having stained versus painted woodwork.

NOTES:

interior wood ideas -- see entire thread
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 12:23 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 12:23 pm

We got our 'Lanai Door' installed!

posted by: fairytalebaby on 06.30.2007 at 04:53 pm in Building a Home Forum

I know I've seen a couple past posts asking if anyone has actually ordered a Nanawall door or similar. We went with
"Lanai Doors" out of California...and so far they seem great. Now, we're not actually living in the house, but my in-laws keep going over there and playing with the door and they say it's "AWESOME"...lol. Even the builder, who had such a hard time understanding why we'd pay so much for a door, says he likes it.

http://www.lanaidoors.com/
(We wanted to have a big opening from our dining room to the screened porch for entertaining--so we ordered a 3-panel door that opens up 9ft)

Just wanted to post that recommendation for anyone considering the company or a similar door.

NOTES:

"Nanawall" type door
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 12:17 pm

RE: home design software (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kcthatsme on 12.17.2007 at 10:52 pm in Building a Home Forum

I am using the student version of Chief Architect. They also make these if you aren't drawing your own house plans:

Better Homes and Gardens Interior Designer by Chief Architect

Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 7.0 by Chief Architect

Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Deluxe by Chief Architect

What I like about mine is most everything. I like that I can 3D all of the rooms to really get an idea of what the house will look like. So far it's been right on. I like that I can go to right where I want to anywhere in the house and look at it and work on it. I like that I can put furniture, pictures, lighting, paint, tile, hardwood, carpet, etc. so I can see how I want my house to be. It really is very helpful. When I decide on a material choice, like my kitchen counters, it's extremely helpful to put other material choices in (like flooring) to see how well I like them together.

I drew our house from the ground up in Chief Architect. I'm assuming that one of these other software programs will come close since they're made by the same company. Probably the Deluxe will be the closest. I liked being able to decide on walls (height/length/width), window sizes/heights and styles, door placement and type, archways, and on and on and on. You can put in your cabinetry, wood color, and sinks. You can put in crown moulding, chair rails, and on and on. I didn't know anything about CAD programs when I taught myself how to use this. I wasn't good enough on it to do all of my plans for permitting. But I was good enough to do the floor plan and the electrical and then have a drafter clean up my floor plan lines and finish it all off for permitting. To get an idea of what it's capable of, you can look at my rendered pictures here:

http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x133/callmekc4/Rendered%20House%20Pics/

You will see where some of my stuff doesn't line up quite right because in my original files I just added the detail instead of putting it in my final floor plan, etc. since I would find that too distracting for the build itself. I have changed some things for my house since these rendered pictures. But they will give you an idea of what can be done.

Good luck in your search.

NOTES:

design software
clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 08:02 am    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 08:02 am

hardwood help!

posted by: mbritton on 01.13.2008 at 09:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are trying to choose a hardwood floor to go through most of the house (main living areas, not in bedrooms). We would prefer a 3/4 inch hardwood, a harder wood (nothing like pine) and 5" wide boards. We also like dark or stained wood. We originally started with walnut but it was a little pricey. Now we are looking at maple stained dark. Any suggestions? It HAS to be ordered in the next couple of days!!

NOTES:

hardwood floor choices thread
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 03:50 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 03:50 pm

Cabinets.

posted by: ponydoc on 01.21.2008 at 12:49 am in Building a Home Forum

My house is filled with cabinets! We have two full kitchen's worth due to the cluter room.

We had to put a few up so we could actually move around through the kitchen and clutter room. It looks pretty rough but oh how it is starting to look like home.

My kids spent the whole weekend playing with the boxes. Really nice as they have both cried a lot about moving from our old house. Makes you feel good - dump that it is - it's obviously home to them. It's good to see them having fun and actually wanting to be in the new house. Might be less trauma when the old house hits the dirt.

Here's a few pics. Should look much better by tomorrow night.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We went with Kraftmaid cabinetry. They are fairly local to us. The light cabinets are Birch with frost glaz. The dark are oak with a "peppercorn" stain. The clutter room ( none shown) are actually laminate.

NOTES:

nice kitchen cabinets
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 03:38 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 03:38 pm

RE: Playroom Ideas Anyone? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: beware on 01.31.2008 at 02:48 pm in Building a Home Forum

That space would be very small as a playroom. How many kids do you have? How many are likely to use the playroom on a regular basis (e.g. friends, cousins, etc.)? Their ages? I have two boys and our basement playroom that's 11 by 28 feet is not at all huge. If you'll have a basement, you'll get a lot more for your money by having the playroom down there (much less expensive space to finish than main level space). If your kids are small and that is the reason you want a main level playroom, I'll just say that FWIW, they grow quickly and you may realize that in only 2 or 3 years, you would have been better off with a basement level play room.

One more thought -- we had our contractor put in bead board panel as a wainscot in our playroom. Very good at keeping the drywall from getting dinged constantly.

good luck.

NOTES:

bead board in playroom
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 02:30 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 02:32 pm

RE: Lighting Budget? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: sniffdog on 01.26.2008 at 05:54 pm in Building a Home Forum

ob

The 6000 may not be enough. Make sure you add in any costs for recessed lights, specialty lights (like LV) , and any other extra's like flood lights etc.

Our lighting allowance was 7500 and we ended up spending double that - for fixtures, recessed, and low voltage. And like you - we went with decent stuff but nothing over the top.

If you read other posts on this forum, you will see that many people go over the lighting estimates or allowances. Unless you plan on putting in low end fixtures - I would say 2000 is not enough - not even close. For example - let's say you plan on 20 recessed cans. If you use good housings and trims - which i would recommend - you are looking at 800 bucks just for the hardware! The add in the 75 to 100 dollars PER CAN that the electricians charge to install them. It's very easy to blow past 2 grand with lighting.

PS - don't forget to add in the cost for bulbs for all the fixtures. That can add up too.

NOTES:

recessed lighting rec
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 02:10 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 02:10 pm

RE: *ajpl, jamielo, ponydoc*...lighting question? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jaymielo on 01.20.2008 at 12:03 pm in Building a Home Forum

Hey Jenn, I hadn't seen Irvins before, but they have a lot of great stuff. I worked on light fixtures in mid-December. Ordered a few and then ran into back orders and out of stock problems. I have to turn my attention back to this soon...

I've looked at a ton of different places. Some that I have shopped are One Stop Lighting, Lamps Plus, The Bright Spot and Destination Lighting.

Most of the lights in our house will be arts and crafts inspired. Some that I've already decided on include

Kitchen pendants and Nook light


Photobucket
Photobucket

Dining Room


Photobucket

The bathroom lights I'm leaning towards are (although I haven't found exactly what I have in my mind, so these are a bit open still)
Photobucket
Photobucket

Then foyer is giving me fits, but I'm thinking
Photobucket

My office
Photobucket

The exterior fixtures will be simple
Photobucket

That's where my head is at right now. Light I said, I have to revisit this soon... I'm just buried in cabinetry, counter and plumbing decisions currently.

NOTES:

lighting sources -- more in rest of thread
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 02:08 pm

RE: Insuring against burglary? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: brendamc on 02.01.2008 at 12:43 pm in Building a Home Forum

Our builder and Insurance company call it Cost of Construction Insurance.

HOWEVER - had we put the additional liability on our regular Homeowner's policy BEFORE the house was torn down, that we were told would have sufficed and would have been MUCH less expensive. I really wish someone had told us to do that before we torn it down...

NOTES:

theft insurance during construction
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 02:00 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 02:01 pm

RE: Insuring against burglary? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sniffdog on 01.31.2008 at 07:46 am in Building a Home Forum

My bank required that we have a Builders Risk policy during the build. It is essentially homewonwers insurnace with added coverage for theft and fire during the construction phase. This policy converted to a regular home insurance policy (and the premium actually dropped by a few hundred dollars per year) after the house was done.

You might also look at adding a substantial liability coverage to the policy which does not cost that much. I think 1 million in coverage cost us around 150 dollars per year extra. You really want this to protect you if someone get's hurt on your site. The builder is supposed to have coverage too - but I think the cost is well worth the extra protection.

As far as stopping theft - it is hard to do when you have raw materials sitting at a job site. The only thing the builder can do is try to install those materials as quickly as possible after delivery.

NOTES:

theft insurance during construction
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 02:00 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 02:00 pm

RE: Knobs and pulls. (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: comfortdog on 02.01.2008 at 09:49 pm in Building a Home Forum

Check out www.lockhouse.com . I purchased all my house's knobs, pulls and door hardware. I think their selection is nice without being overwhelming. Their prices were great and dealing with their customer service was easy.
I will look there first again.
comfortdog

NOTES:

website for hardware, knobs, pulls, etc.
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:57 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:57 pm

Toy Storage Idea for You

posted by: happymommy on 02.01.2008 at 02:18 pm in Building a Home Forum

For those of you with kids and especially those with two level homes, I saw this idea on another thread - have a walk-in closet on the main floor to use just for toy storage. This is a place on the main level where you can cram all those oversize toys and a spot to organize the smaller ones. I think this is a great idea. A playroom in the basement is nice too, but the reality is that the kids spend a lot more time upstairs with mom and dad. I love this idea and just thought I'd share!!!

NOTES:

walk-in closet on main for toys
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:51 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:52 pm

RE: mudroom cubbies open or closed? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: jennymama on 01.24.2008 at 03:33 pm in Building a Home Forum

I agree with OPEN. One thing I wish I would've had the room for is a closet (closed) right beside my open shelving for things like hats/gloves/mittens, odds and ends, etc. Seasonal items or things you don't need every day.

midwestmom,
I have the exact same problem! It is frustrating trying to get in the door and get everyone out of the way in order to close the door, then get everyone to come back and deposit their 'things', LOL. But I love having that space. My mudroom 'cubbies' are only 4' long. It is all open, hooks for jackets and keys, 2 sets of stacked cubbies above with outlets for charging cell phones. Under the bench I have it divided into 2 open areas for shoes. I originally used containers, but the containers have to be pulled out and pushed in, so I abandoned tidy containers and went with open space. Works much better!

NOTES:

mudroom
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:48 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:49 pm

RE: mudroom cubbies open or closed? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ajpl on 01.22.2008 at 08:51 am in Building a Home Forum

Our current mudroom is a total mess. My son and husband and I each have a bunch of shoes under the bench, a bunch of jackets on pegs and a bunch of hats and mitts shoved into our cubbies. Then there is the dog's cubbie, the sports equipment that gets shoved there etc etc. Even when it's all neatly placed, it looks crowded.

In the new house we decided to go with a closed in closet beside the bench and cubbies. The idea is to have just the stuff that is currently being used out in the open and tuck the rest away. We're an active family and I don't think it's necessary to hide that but if we can work at making it look a bit better I'm all for it.

Another thing we did is sheild the entry from the rest of the house this time. In our current open house I can see that mess all the time. I think just having it as neat as possible and then having it out of sight will be much better.

NOTES:

mudroom
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:47 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:47 pm

mudroom cubbies open or closed?

posted by: kateskouros on 01.21.2008 at 11:07 pm in Building a Home Forum

we're going to have a good amount of space in our mudroom; enough for an 8' run of cubbies, four in total plus a 6' pantry on the opposite wall. i originally was going to design open cubbies with hooks/shelves but i'm wondering if the mudroom will look a mess all the time. my children are 4 & 5 and not the neatest creatures. i'm wondering if we should design the unit so that each cubbie has a door or panel that closes? if you've lived with your mudroom for a while now what did you do? and do you wish you'd done it differently? my first thought was that if the doors are closed they won't be inclined to open them to put things away, or they'll be likely to forget something in there since it's not in full view... TIA!

NOTES:

mudroom
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:46 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:46 pm

pics A&C Bungalow

posted by: cyafishin on 07.24.2007 at 02:13 am in Building a Home Forum

Just finished our home. We move in this weekend. 10 months, big exhale.

Thanks for the folks who put their 2 cents in when I asked for advice.

Best decision during build: Don't stain your wood. Buy nice wood. Hire good finish guys and let the wood speak for itself. Don't be scared of multiple woods. We did quarter sawn white oak (stairs,cabinets), cvg fir (trim, doors, cabinets), select white oak floors, pine windows. We did stain the pine windows to match the fir trim.
Worst decision: Demand fixed price from subs. We hired 1 on time and materials and it came back to bite us.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

NOTES:

breakfast nook
plate railing?
picture railing?
clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 12:11 pm    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 12:11 pm