Sunday, 1 June 2008

house update, product endorsement (aquasana), product denouncement (naturemill)

before i get to the photo updates, i wanted to update share some of the answers to the questions i have asked you. and let you know how some stuff is going.

  • i went with the more expensive bathroom faucet. i just matched perfectly the faucet on my sink (that i got for $25 at community forklift, and it had a faucet already). so figuring that i saved a bunch on the sink and sink faucet, i figured i could just spend the extra and get what i really want. also of note for the bathroom, i got my towel holder (bar thingy) and the toilet paper dispenser thing also at community forklift for $1/each. i think that this bathroom will in the end be cheaper than had i went all new but went lower end on the new stuff. also, i am a bath person. in the winter i need baths. my arizona blood just never feels warm until i am sitting by a fire or soaking in a bath. so i kinda went for it on the tub.
  • speaking of which, here is the tub. i bought the kohler kathryn bathtub. it is cast iron and weighs 440 lbs (200 kg). i love it! and i am super excited to take my first bath in it. even if it is hot the day the bathroom is finished i am taking a bath. and i am buying 2 boxes of green tea and dumping them into the water. it is going to be awesome. here is what it looked like getting the bath tub into the bathroom.
the tub sat like this for 2 weeks. after a massive fiasco trying to get it delivered (home depot did not to a great job on delivery). my plumber was going to move it up with a friend and a couple of the guys (andy and cliff) but he chickened out. so, it just sat until i had the time to find someone who might help. i thought about asking some of my friends from church, but then decided against that. so i called piano movers. i paid them $150 and these two super skinny guys came and with the help of cliff and andy carried the thing upstairs. it was nuts!

here they are trying to figure out how to get it up stairs.
i am not sure why,
but watching men try to figure this stuff out is always really entertaining to me.

here it goes,
i was planning on taking a ton more photos
but i was so scared that some one might get hurt
i just stood there most the time
and i pushed a couple of times

the carpet is so full of sawdust and drywall dust that when they set the tub down it was a mess!
i was happy to realize that my stairs were built to last
they handled all that weight with no problem.
there were times when one step had the weight of the tub and the weight of 2 of these guys on it
that is aLOT of weight

here they are moving it in to the bathroom

for some reason i didn't take a photo of it in place.
i will
be all on edge

  • PRODUCT DENOUNCEMENT -- the NATUREMILL is a joke! it is disgusting and does not do what it purports to do. now, i am sure that there are ways that a scientist could ensure that the compost won't smell like vomit, decaying dead animal, and poop but we can't figure it out. i had been storing the thing over a dianna's so they could use it while my kitchen is being built. we started using it over there. by mother's day the smell was poisoning the air in her apartment and in some of the apartments upstairs. it was a bio-hazard for sure. because i bought the stupid thing, i was in charge of killing the smell. i dump sawdust pellets and baking soda in, but nothing really helped. we moved it out the the back of her house way far away from the house, and it still smelled and then quit working. so i am demanding my money back. i wrote them before and they gave us some tips, and i really like the idea, it seems like it should work. i am sure that with some tinkering someone will figure this out, but it isn't there yet.
  • Product ENDORSEMENT -- i am super in LOVE with my AQUASANA whole house water filter! it is so great to be able to drink water no matter where you are. i am so sick of having to go downstairs for a drink in the middle of the night. it is going to be great when i am living there, but already it is great. the water has a very nice flavor; i like it better than evian or any of the other designer waters. i keep thinking about how much better this must be for my garden. and how awesome to shower in water less toxic than dc's lead based water?! so this was definitely an investment that i am pleased with. one of the health benefits they claim is a reduction in chloroform gas in the house. so maybe that will be nice too? here is what they say:
By filtering all the water that enters your home, you not only greatly enhance the quality of your household water, but you also dramatically improve your indoor air quality. According to the U.S. E.P.A.: “Every home in America has an elevated level of chloroform gas present due to the vaporization of chlorine and other chemicals from tap and shower water.” Chlorine vapors are a suspected cause and irritant of respiratory problems such as Asthma, bronchitis and allergies. "
  • my energy efficient roof. i am super excited about this part of the house too. i need to take a photo of all my cool stuff in the basement too. but basically here you can see some of what will make my house green.
in the forefront is my new skylight. there was a skylight here originally with a BEAUTIFUL lay- light. the old skylight did not let much light in and was single paned and was breaking away from the roof so there was a leak. my new skylight is a velux. they are energy star rated and allow heaps of natural light. i am having this on over the stairs and one in the hallway between my bedroom and the study.

the next thing you can see is a big box with fins. that is my 21 seer air conditioner. it has yet to go into practice but hopefully soon we can get that baby working.

this is a closer up shot of my solar rack and my attic fan.
the attic fan will help pull hot air out of the attic which will make it easier to cool the house.
this is one thing that has been very noticeable in my current place. it is always about 5 degrees hotter in the upstairs than in the down stairs. we started opening the attic roof access just to get the hot air out of the attic and it would drastically reduce the heat in the house. i am hoping this will have the same effect.

my solar rack is from my solar hot water/thermal system. since i kept all the hydronic radiators in my house, this system will provide not only hot domestic water, but some home heating as well. here is what they say about it:
The operation of the solar collector is very simple.
1. Solar Absorption: Solar radiation is absorbed by the evacuated tubes and converted into heat.
2. Solar Heat Transfer: Heat pipes conduct the heat from within the solar tube up to the header.
3. Solar Energy Storage: Water is circulated through the header, via intermittent pump cycling. Each time the water circulates through the header the temperatures is raised by 5-10oC / 9-18oF. Throughout the day, the water in the storage tank is gradually heated.

so this should be interesting. it was MUCH cheaper than solar PV. and the way the tax incentives are, i will get 1/3 of my investment back when i pay my taxes this year. but hopefully that will change. and i can get even more incentives soon! (please win barak and then please change the energy policy fast!)

this is my solar tube from the roof

this is what it looks like done... though mine doesn't have that bend.
it is amazing how light my bathroom is. i need to take a photo of the bathroom apparently.
anyway, i have it just about the bath but because i am just going to use a shower curtain, that light will fill the entire room. i am excited about being able to see so well in the shower. it will definitely make for more effective shaving. but man it is BRIGHT!

this is view for my street from my roof

looking the other way

here is some of the garden: spinach and arugula.
i had my first salad from it the other night: FANTASTIC!!!

my tomato blossoms
man i love the way tomato plants smell!
i am so excited for tomatoes!


supersonicjan said...

your house looks like it will be amazing! so fun!

k8 said...

wow. so excited for you and this house stuff.