I haven’t posted for a month. Busy, frustrated, depressed, not sure what it has been, but alot has happened over the past 45 days so let me give you the run down and some things I learned.
On one Sunday evening after we just got the dry-wall up and started painting, some crack-heads kicked down the basement door and cut out the copper wire which hadn’t been tied into the panel yet and cut all of the line-sets for the AC units. This was a depressing blow as we were already struggling with the budget, the timeline and emotional drain. The kicker is that they caused so much damage, but probably only got $40 in copper. The electric has been repaired already, but now the permanent solution is 8 junction boxes in the basement to tie in all of the cut wires (no the ideal solution). Btw, I have a pretty good electrician whom I’d recommend.
Our white oak FSC wood floors went down and then we had them finished. That decision process was tough. We wanted to go with a low VOC product, which would be a water-based polyeurethane, but our floor finisher would not guarantee his work w/ the water-based product. After lots of research I determined that St Louis (and maybe all of the midwest) does not have the sophistication necessary with regard to water-based poly. Thus we went with the oil based poly and felt a little better since the off gassing (so i’ve been told) occurs all at once and not over a period of years.
Even after going with the oil-based, the floor still had a problem with bubbles in the finish (which is abnormal) and we need to have them sealed again.
Chose silestone because of the green nature of not using some chemically processed countertop. They were pricey, but should wear better than those paper-based countertops and look more modern than granite.
We needed lots of light bulbs. Canned lights alone are at about 40 in number. Obviously we wanted to go all CFL, but ran into some constraints. Some rooms have dimmers and others have motion detection on/off. Dimmers don’t work w/ the CFL’s I buy and the motion detectors are kind of funny w/ CFL’s cause they always have some amt of electricity going thru them (they don’t work so great). My logic though is that having lights which turn off automatically when you leave the room, just might equal out the savings as using CFL’s.
Don’t get me wrong, i’m still using lots of CFL’s. I’ve experimented w/ N-Vision from Home Depot, Great Value from Wal-mart and GE Smart Light 10 pack from Sam’s club. The Great Value bulbs were junk; 2 out of 4 work well. It’s also been hit or miss w/ N-Vision as I’ve had 2 of 16 burn out right away. The GE bulbs have been solid though and the light is nice. The 10 pack from Sam’s club was also very reasonable, so I’d recommend these over the others.
Lastly, we’re going to be pouring our own concrete counter-tops for some of our bathroom vanities. The alure is in the cost and design (but mostly cost). Been reading that Chung guy’s book, pretty interesting stuff.
Check out the latest pics of the house at the flickr site.