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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832

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    Congratulations on the house, Tulip! But I thought you were buying a condo a few months ago? Maybe I'm remembering wrong...

    I love concrete countertops! My nephew runs a concrete countertop business, and the things he does are just amazing. He's wound copper into coils and embedded it into the concrete, then polished it to a shine. Brightly colored glass embedded is also gorgeous. He's really creative, and has lots of great ideas.

    I keep trying to convince him to come out here (he's in Omaha) and make a countertop for me and my neighbors. But he thinks I should just wait till I move back there and put one in that house. Dangit.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Yeah, I had a reservation on a condo, but it was just too small with nowhere to dig in the dirt. So I found a little house instead.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,130
    We just replaced our hot water heater (gas). Our plumber recommended that we did not get an on demand one, as our basement is really the lower level of the house, where we have a family room, bedroom, and bath, in addition to the utility room. I can't remember the reason, but they have a propensity toward leaking more than regular ones and we didn't want to take the chance of that happening and the water leaking down to the family room. We bought a regular, energy efficient gas water heater.
    We have totally remodeled a 22 year old contemporary home that had never been taken care of. The heating and AC was in unbelievably bad shape. Some rooms would be burning/freezing, while others got nothing at all. Our AC/heating guy couldn't figure it out. My husband went in and found that someone had done all of this weird stuff to the vents... unbelievable. He fixed it. The biggest thing we have done to reduce energy costs is last year we put in all new windows. This was a huge expense. I can't tell you how many windows we have in a 4 level home. But, our heating/AC bills are half of our neighbor's and our houses are the same size. Even on really hot days, I don't put the central AC on until noon (unless it is really humid).
    Ditto for the Toto toilets. We have 2 and 2 others that are also energy efficient, but cheaper (from Home Depot).
    We had a whole house fan in our last house. I liked it for the days when heat would build up in the house, but it wasn't really hot outside. Putting the fan on for a few hours would cool the house down for night time. It was noisy, though. And, not a replacement for AC, which I couldn't live without anymore than heat.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    Here is TE's collective knowledge on the on demand water heater thing that I needed advice with just this March. I decided to skip the on demand water heater.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...d+water+heater


    The only thing that I might add is make sure that your attic (if you have one) is well insulated.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,507
    I'm quite jealous of the bungalow style house. I love arts & crafts and mission style. I have a few pieces. Though nothing high-end. I would suggest you go that route for fixtures. It should help on any resale value.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Reporting from Moonshine Mountain
    Posts
    1,328
    Tulip first, congratulations on the house! Excellent advice here - especially about adding 20% to your budget and doubling the timeline. I have extensively remodeled sections of my house (not a bungalo, but a brick rancher - the LAST thing I wanted when I was house shopping! - go figure). My goal when I bought the house was to make it as energy-efficient as possible.

    I knocked out walls and remodeled the kitchen. Am now in the middle of knocking out more walls and turning the attached garage into a great room (incorporating the kitchen).

    I replaced the ancient hardly-working heat pump with a gas furnace/heat pump combo. The heat pump has an external thermostat and when the temperature dips below 40 (about the limit of a heat pump's efficiency) the gas furnace comes on. It is extremely efficient and our heating bills dropped immediately. I keep the thermostat low in the winter as well so that helps & I only use the A/C when it gets really hot. Ceiling fans in every room help keep things cool.

    I don't have a whole-house fan but do have a thermostatically controlled attic fan. I have not replaced it - it came with the house but still works fine.

    The house had two wood-burning fireplaces and a third flue in the basement with a wood stove. The first couple winters we heated exclusively with the wood stove. The work & the mess finally got to us and we took it out and closed the flue. We closed the flues in both the living room and the kitchen fireplaces and installed a gas log in the kitchen fireplace. It heats the house if the electricity goes off. Eventually I will do the same in the living room. Be wary of wood-burning fireplaces. The fire is wonderful but the chimney sucks more heat up and out than it puts into the room - unless you have an insert & a blower.

    My laundry is in the basement, too. I installed a front-loading washer and a new dryer & have been very happy with them. That is about the extent of what I have done in the basement.....replacing the water heater with an on-demand is on the list, as is remodeling the bedroom/bathroom down there. Someday I will get to it - I will never run out of projects!

    You mentioned having to go outside to get to the basement. Would there be room somewhere to tuck a set of stairs in so that you would not have to do that?

    Good luck & post before and after pictures once you get started!
    "When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun." Kathy Sessler

    2006 Independent Fabrication Custom Ti Crown Jewel (Road, though she has been known to go just about anywhere)/Specialized Jett

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,980
    I think I found my backsplash tile.

    That's been surprisingly hard to do. It's so tough when you have an idea in mind and "wouldn't it be so simple if someone had this"and nobody does.

    I wanted something on mesh to save H (and therefore me) time, cream/off white to go with the some Mexican decorative tiles I've picked up, different sizes to pop in those accent tiles, and not busy or highly textured so it's neutral .... but not boring.

    I could get just solid cream color regular porcelain tile but:
    To me that just screams "bathroom floor".
    Smooth tile cut to size will always have chips/nicks along the edges
    It'd take a lot of labor

    On the other hand I found lots of Travertine (sp?) right color, size pattern but so much texture it was busy and screams "hard to keep clean".

    Yesterday I found this .... and on sale! Hilary my contractor just e-mailed me "buy it!!!!! Buy 26' of it!!"

    You can see the tiles I kept finding in other shops to the right. I just felt it was too busy, too much texture, too much competition with the granite.

    Tulip, ready to spend days and days searching for the perfect _____? Welcome to the "Oys of remodeling"
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Trek420; 07-13-2008 at 06:27 PM.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Oh fun!! DH is finally giving in to making some changes around here. We bought a standard track house think ugly fixtures, cheap flooring.

    I think I just got an okay to ripping out the cheap, white counter/basin in the guest bath and putting in a pedestal sink. Is this a negative when selling a home? It would be a kid's bath if we had such critters here. I like it because it would make the bath feel so much bigger and play into the bike theme I have planned for there. Plumbing is always our first change since my BIL is a plumber and will do minor work for free as long as we do it on his schedule.
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 07-14-2008 at 05:13 PM.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,980
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    Oh fun!! DH is finally giving in to making some changes around here. We bouI just got an okay to ripping out the cheap, white counter/basin in the guest bath and putting in a pedestal sink. Is this a negative when selling a home?
    Buyers like space, they like things to look big, and they don't want to see your stuff. The problem with pedestals is there's no storage. So where do the towels, spare rolls of TP, cleaning supplies, rubber duckies go? Oh please don't tell me you'll have one of those plastic towers that go over and around the toilet for storage .... 'cause the sellers of my condo had one and that's why they could not sell, gross!

    Pedestals can be really stylized, roman columns to hyper modern. Are you planning to sell? Then your mantra should be "ohmmmmm, neutral neutral neutral ohmmmmm". There goes the idea of the pedestal welded of bike frames and bathroom mirror suspended from spokes on a wheel.

    Think neutral!! If you want to sell take the cheap cabs out and put in some simple quality solid wood cabinetry. Cheap pressboard in a bathroom disintegrates, even if it looks good on the outside buyers see it as something they will have to replace right away.

    But if you love pedestals and that makes you feel warm and fuzzy in the bathroom get what you want!! Even if you plan to sell you may be there for a while in this market so get what makes you happy.

    There are some wonderful sinks out there made of hand thrown pottery, hammered copper, hand blown glass ... Put that atop a pedestal and you'll never want to leave the room

    Or do what I did in the kitchen, neutral but good quality cabs, I'm planning on fairly plain tile but it will have some fun decorative tiles popped in here and there for no apparent reason.

    I can only do so much neutral and then I implode
    Last edited by Trek420; 07-14-2008 at 08:07 PM.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    Oh fun!! DH is finally giving in to making some changes around here. We bought a standard track house think ugly fixtures, cheap flooring.

    I think I just got an okay to ripping out the cheap, white counter/basin in the guest bath and putting in a pedestal sink. Is this a negative when selling a home? It would be a kid's bath if we had such critters here. I like it because it would make the bath feel so much bigger and play into the bike theme I have planned for there. Plumbing is always our first change since my BIL is a plumber and will do minor work for free as long as we do it on his schedule.
    Don't forget to plan for what the floor looks like under the cabinet.

    Don't take out the cabinet unless you can add back in the storage underneath it in some other way.

    Karen

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I have a real problem with fancy bowl sinks, fountain faucets, and the like in ordinary, run-of-the-mill homes. They will quickly become dated, and they look out of place when the floor has linoleum and not custom slate or something like that. I also think the bowel sinks on solid counters would be hard to clean around. There's no point in hanging them on the wall, like they show in some kitchen and bath places--you need a place to set your toothbrush while you rinse your mouth! I think they're totally impractical.

    In our upstairs bath, we pulled out the cabinet and sink and plan to put in a pedestal sink. This was forced by the location of the toilet, which can't be moved. It was less than a foot from the front of the cabinet (at a right angle). You could brush your teeth and use the toilet at the same time! Since there is no linen closet, and the bathroom has a knee wall on both sides, we cut into the knee wall behind the tub (clawfoot) and built in some shelves. Above where the tub will go, we built in three nooks between the studs to provide a space for the soap and shampoo. As soon as I get around to calling the plasterer, we might be able to actually use that bathroom.

    Karen

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I thought about the storage issue and thought maybe a small cabinet above the toilet but that just defeats the open bathroom idea. We aren't planning on selling for probably 7-10 years, so much will need to be replaced in that time. Definitely not selling in the next few years since our property value tanked lately and the market it slow slow slow here. Both my grandmas are selling their houses and I am getting a first hand look at the market.

    We might still do it, just have to see how much the flooring would set us back. The sink itself isn't too pricey, especially if my uncle who work in wholesale plumbing supply can get one.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    We bought a house with 1 bathroom and a pedestal sink. I thought about not buying it because there wasn't any storage. We had the kitchen re-done, and had a custom cabinet made for the wall above the toilet - shelves on one side, and a door on the other (hiding shelves). It's worked well so far (and it's no where as obtrusive as a cabinet would have been).

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Congrats on your new home Tulip!! Bungalow owners unite! We just moved in to our 1943 bungalow and fortunately the previous owners remodeled the kitchen and bath.

    Our big challenge is the yard, they were huge into gardening and we are completely the opposite. We're putting in a two car garage and have to remove a stone and brick lined mini nature trail, several small trees, and enough greenery to fill a public park!

    Electra Townie 7D

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    I have a real problem with fancy bowl sinks, fountain faucets, and the like in ordinary, run-of-the-mill homes.

    Karen
    Yeah, it would probably be out of place in our house. I think the best bet would be to replace the ugly counter top (BRIGHT white is not my thing) and the white sink. The cabinets seem like the standard old cabinets and I can live with them. It is the bright white sink and counter top. Of course the cabinet is way too big in my opinion for the little cramped bathroom.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

 

 

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