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2 Answers

What is the safest (healthwise) roller blind I can buy?

What materials would it be made of. I can find one made of linen but with an acrylic foam backing.

Asked By Angela Weber | Apr 29 16
8 Answers

Hardwood flooring question

Have about 3000 sq-ft area that needs to be covered. We would prefer Bazillion Cherry but not sure whether we want pre or on site finish?


Pros: Factory durable finish and the beveled edges which is what we like.

Cons: Shorter/inconsistent plank lengths

On site finish:

Pros: Longer plank lengths

Cons: Finish depends on the installer but might not be as good as pre-finish


What finish (on site or pre-finish) and what time of surface finish (oil or water based) do you guys advice?

Would appreciate any and all feedback?


Asked By Beenash Khan | Apr 19 15
3 Answers

Cold house in Southern California

Thanks to a giant ash tree in front (east side) of our Southern California house, we almost never need to run the air conditioning, which is great. Downside is, our house is uncomfortably cold even when it's 75 outside. We're thinking of remodeling. Is there anything we can do to use the natural climate to make the house warmer in the winter without making it warmer in the summer?

Asked By Donna May | Mar 1 16
1 Answer

Vinyl windows!

Hi, I am planning to built my new house at Toronto. In my present rented house, the windows are of wood. From these years of my stay in this house, I have felt wooden frames are very much prone to moisture. During the winter season there is a good amount of icing on the glasses that it blocks the view. When I researched on the various types of window materials, I found vinyl windows are the better among all other window materials in terms of quality and cost.

Asked By Phyllis J Beard | Feb 28 16
11 Answers

Has anyone tried running ducts through 3-piece crown molding or coffered ceiling?

Hi all,

I am trying to study my lesson before talking with some HVAC pros about ductwork. I am building a 2 story house with a central hall plan. I think a compact duct system is very do-able, because I have a walk-in closet nearby to place the air handler and the ducts won't have very far to go to serve all the rooms. Hoping that a ducted mini split will get the job down so the air handler noise is not a problem.

What I don't have clear in my head is the best way to route the ductwork.

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Feb 22 16
6 Answers

LED panel lights for residential use?

Will LED panel lights (or luminaries) be one step closer to the holy grail of residential lighting? Currently, these lights are offered in sizes that will fit in commercial ceiling grids, e.g. 2' x 2', 2' x 4', 2’ x 8’, etc. They are typically less than 1/2" thick excluding the LED driver that may or may not be attached directly to the fixture. As Martin noted in Rule 2 on his 10 Rules on Lighting, it’s better to illuminate the ceiling than the floor. Mounting these large format panels directly to the ceiling illuminates a much larger area than any point source or fluorescent lamp could.

Asked By Steve Robertson | Feb 19 16
5 Answers

Insulating and finishing partial basement with new attached crawlspace

I am in the process of partially finishing my basement in a split level home built in 1950s in N.W.suburb of Philadelphia, PA. (see attachment for layout of foundation of split level home and proposed construction of walls.)

Asked By Jeffrey | Jan 20 16
2 Answers

Recommendation for wood double-pane windows?

We recently noticed moisture intrusion under a window in our house. I had a mold inspection company do further testing, and eventually we determined that the window was leaking and there is mold inside of the wall there. The house was build in the 1920s and the windows are old single-hung wood.

Asked By Chris Durand | Jan 4 16
15 Answers

Sleeping coves betters than medium sized bedrooms?

I redesign old homes and rent them out. I found hallways are your worse enemies in use of space. It was not until this last year that I noticed hallways in my rentals that I didn't mean to make.

Lets take a bed of roughly five foot by seven foot for example. If I put this bed in the middle of the room with the headboard on a wall and put three feet around the bed I get a 11 foot by 10 foot bedroom. A typical bedroom size plus or minus. In this typical bedroom I have a roughly five foot by two foot closet.

Current Rental / Bedroom / Square Footage

Asked By S E | Oct 13 14
3 Answers

Positioning a house (regarding window view wall)

We are looking to build in the Ashville, NC area, 2,100 - 2,200 feet above sea level. Mild winters. The view of this lot is to the south.

Does passive solar make sense in the southern US? Can we have our high window wall face south? We will be looking into the winter sun. We can build the roof overhangs longer from the house to assist.

Looking for opinions, articles or publications that address this. Gets confusing googling everything. Also natural gas is available; could go geothermal but very expensive. What is the next best way to go? Heat pump combined with gas heat?

Asked By Patrick Finnigan | Oct 24 13
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