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Building a new house, have some requests?

Old 01-18-2007, 08:17 PM
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Default Building a new house, have some requests?

I'm building a new house and have so dang many choices its just not funny. Could I get some input on the following?

1. Windows:
A. Silverline (std from builder and local supplier)
B. Anderson?
C. Pella from lowes?

2. Countertops: There is so many choices its sickening.
A. Granite (what I've already contracted for, but can be changed)
B. Zodiaq
C. Cambia
D. dupont?

Appreciate ANY input in helping me make some decisions. Thanks in advance..
Seabosssssss
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:24 PM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

SeaBoss Kid - 1/18/2007 9:17 PM I'm building a new house and have so dang many choices its just not funny. Could I get some input on the following? 1. Windows: A. Silverline (std from builder and local supplier) B. Anderson? C. Pella from lowes? 2. Countertops: There is so many choices its sickening. A. Granite (what I've already contracted for, but can be changed) B. Zodiaq C. Cambia D. dupont? Appreciate ANY input in helping me make some decisions. Thanks in advance.. Seabosssssss
Windows:

You may want to look in to Marvin and Weathershield also.

Countertops: Thats like buying a boat. All in what fits YOU and no matter what you get, there is some sort of compromise, not necessarily in quality.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Building a new house, have some requests?

We now have granite and the wife loves it

Bring the samples outside to see them in the sunlight

Remember, granite is natural stone so the counter you get may not be exactly the same colour as the sample you were show

Good luck with your choice
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:38 PM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

SeaBoss Kid - 1/18/2007 8:17 PM

I'm building a new house and have so dang many choices its just not funny. Could I get some input on the following?

1. Windows:
A. Silverline (std from builder and local supplier)
B. Anderson?
C. Pella from lowes?

2. Countertops: There is so many choices its sickening.
A. Granite (what I've already contracted for, but can be changed)
B. Zodiaq
C. Cambia
D. dupont?

Appreciate ANY input in helping me make some decisions. Thanks in advance..
Seabosssssss
Windows - they all have their benefits and draw backs. With that written, I use mostly Pella, and Anderson.


Countertops - like the gentlemen before me wrote- this is like buying a boat - all are a compromise in some fashion. If you choose granite, ABSOLUTELY do not buy it WITHOUT looking at the actual stone your countertop will come from.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Building a new house, have some requests?

Ditto to what R.I. said.

Make sure you are able to see the granite slabs your job will be cut from to avoid surprises. It is stone, so they are all a little different.

We used Pella windows in a major remodel at our house a few years ago, and remain happy with them, and the 45 year old Pellas in the old part of the house.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Building a new house, have some requests?

Pella for windows
Granite for counter top....imitation granite is just that, an imitation!
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:49 PM
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Wow, these are the types of answers I like. I didn't get another 29 choices thrown in and the information is most awesome and helpful.. Thanks for the info..
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Building a new house, have some requests?

We put Hurd windows an doors in our house about 8 years ago and have been very satisfied with them so far. If you are getting any patio doors, see if you can get ones that oper out rather than in as the wind will push them away from the seals and let the air through the doors.
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Old 01-19-2007, 01:28 AM
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About 7 years ago we replaced our windows with Harvey. We liked them so well when we added a 2nd floor 2 years ago we went with the Harvey Windows again.

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Old 01-19-2007, 09:35 AM
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Wood windows and doors hold up poorly in our humid, rainy coastal climate. Look at Floridas building code for insight into hurricane resistant construction, particularly windows, doors, and roof tie-down. You're just across the river, don't think hurricanes aren't going to hit you.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:48 AM
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SBKid, I would need to know the size of the house and neighborhood standard. In my experience you build what would be appropriate. If it's a top end house, then go top end. Kinda see what I'm saying? Most low e windows are good windows and stand up well with good warantees. I would not put a 20 dollar window in a 10 dollar house. Although I have put 10 dollar windows in a 100 dollar house. See what I'm saying. The average homebuyer does not know anything about a window, and expensive windows are not a check box on an appraisal sheet. The counter tops are another matter. Granite. It is on the appraisal sheet and will make your house worth more. As far as the windows go, I would go with a cheaper window and use that money for larger windows or arched windows. Something to make curb appeal. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:33 AM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

How close to saltwater is your house? Check the Pella guarantee closely. Some number of years ago my friend remodled an oceanfront house and installed all Pella windows. He had problems and the fine print in the warranty did not cover oceanfront installations. The warranty may have changed since then, but read them all closely.
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:42 AM
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You are overlooking 2 major items you should not skimp on, your Mechanical system and your plumbing system, spend the extra money there if you are gonna live in it, the new vinyl windows are pretty close , get the best price. Granite is nice and will help on resale as well, when I built mine, we ended up getting an 18 SEER rated HVAC system and bought cheaper light fixtures, Vinyl flooring instead of tile, ect... now, while my neighbors a/c runs constantly day and night, mine is comfortable and doesnt cost me an arm/leg to operate. And your mechanical investment will pay you back in the long run
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:53 PM
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Bugbuster - 1/19/2007 9:48 AM

SBKid, I would need to know the size of the house and neighborhood standard. In my experience you build what would be appropriate. If it's a top end house, then go top end. Kinda see what I'm saying? Most low e windows are good windows and stand up well with good warantees. I would not put a 20 dollar window in a 10 dollar house. Although I have put 10 dollar windows in a 100 dollar house. See what I'm saying. The average homebuyer does not know anything about a window, and expensive windows are not a check box on an appraisal sheet. The counter tops are another matter. Granite. It is on the appraisal sheet and will make your house worth more. As far as the windows go, I would go with a cheaper window and use that money for larger windows or arched windows. Something to make curb appeal. Just my 2 cents.
Hey Bug, your very right. The builder intends to build all Frank Betz designed houses which are very nice, not the highest, but very impressive. One problem is that he has quoted me several prices from the local supplier which, in my opinion are very high. Lowes just moved into town litterally last week. Lowes, double hung Pella's +/- $6K, local guy, $8500 for Silverline. Seems like a no brainer, one I'll figure out on Monday. Lots of good information here though.

The new house is going to be 2667 sqft. I'm having an HVAC units installed 1 down and a smaller one up.

I am about 1/10th of a mile from the intercoastal and the Crooked River Boat launch

As for hurricanes, its a gamble here, I want to live here and am willing to take that chance.

Thanks for the good information.....
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:57 PM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

Jay A - 1/19/2007 1:28 AM



About 7 years ago we replaced our windows with Harvey. We liked them so well when we added a 2nd floor 2 years ago we went with the Harvey Windows again.

Hey Jay,
I was in Gloucester about 10-15 years ago aboard the USS Philippine Sea. We were there for an annual festival of some sort. I know this is like 10-15 years too late, but I would like to thank you for the absolutely awesome time we had and the superb hospitality we recieved there, it is one port that after 21 years of service, I remember the best. Great town, Great Americans....
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:50 PM
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Anderson bought out Silverline

Dupont makes Zodiac!!

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Old 01-19-2007, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

SeaBoss Kid - 1/19/2007 1:57 PM
Jay A - 1/19/2007 1:28 AM
Hey Jay, I was in Gloucester about 10-15 years ago aboard the USS Philippine Sea. We were there for an annual festival of some sort. I know this is like 10-15 years too late, but I would like to thank you for the absolutely awesome time we had and the superb hospitality we recieved there, it is one port that after 21 years of service, I remember the best. Great town, Great Americans....
That's nice to hear! That would be either the St. Peter's Fiesta on the last week of June or the Gloucester Schooner Festival on the Labor Day weekend.

Gloucester has played host to the Navy going back to the early days of the Navy. Always proud of our service men & women.

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Old 01-19-2007, 11:25 PM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

Jay A - 1/19/2007 10:44 PM



SeaBoss Kid - 1/19/2007 1:57 PM
Jay A - 1/19/2007 1:28 AM
Hey Jay, I was in Gloucester about 10-15 years ago aboard the USS Philippine Sea. We were there for an annual festival of some sort. I know this is like 10-15 years too late, but I would like to thank you for the absolutely awesome time we had and the superb hospitality we recieved there, it is one port that after 21 years of service, I remember the best. Great town, Great Americans....
That's nice to hear! That would be either the St. Peter's Fiesta on the last week of June or the Gloucester Schooner Festival on the Labor Day weekend.

Gloucester has played host to the Navy going back to the early days of the Navy. Always proud of our service men & women.

It was the Gloucester Schooner Festival on the Labor Day weekend. Back then, it wasn't such a big deal and the commercial boats came by real close, gave us lots of fresh fish and lobsters!!!!!!!! We gave them hats, shirts and zippo's.. God, the good times..
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:15 AM
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Default RE: Building a new house, have some requests?

Granite's definitlely got the wow factor but it's not bulletproof. The quartz countertop is tougher so it comes down to function over glitz (and cost)

Floors are way up on the glitz/resale list too. We went with distressed wood flooring to hide are monster dog's input. His takeoff marks just blend in and add to the character! If I could do it over again, I'd go radiant floor heating. They even have new electric underlayment that does the job! I visited people with it and it is sooooooo nice! A hot water recirc system makes all of the sinks and tubs instant hot and saves a ton of water. If you're installing a large garden tub, run the power for a future jacuzzi tub, this too gives you an option so that if you don't want one now, the possibility exists later.

While the ground's all ripped up, trench and install drainage for the house gutters, walkways, and flatwork to get the water away from the house, far away. This too is extremely cheap and easy to do on the front end, but a real pain later.

Pay the few bucks extra to go one step larger on all the wiring, they'll most defiinitely tell you that it's not necessary. The peace of mind that you get is nice. Fires do happen. Make SURE that the grounding is good. This will alleviate so many problems. I put an extra grounding rod on the far side of the house for our satellite and air conditioning system. They're ultra cheap, and on critical components like electronics, it's essential to eliminate noise from appliances.

One of the most important things is electrical. My wife's craft room has twelve recessed lights, PLUS the ceiling fan and lights, under counter lights, an outlet every four feet. It took two circuits! (kinda like a chick shop!) Switch placement is important, outlets, outlets under the eaves for lights, eave lights, extra conduit runs at least buried for future considerations, 220 for the garage or shop, security lighting, speaker wire placement for surround sound, top quality coax for the cable or satellite, Cat 5 if you'll want it. If you're not putting a ceiling fan in a room, still have it wired and the box hard mounted for it for later. Have lights installed in crawl spaces or attic accesses. It's no biggie and is truly nice later. Install an extra outlet under the sink for an insta-hot. It's awesome to have for tea or other hot water needs. Install the biggest disposal you can afford, it's quieter, and more dependable.

Have solar tubes installed in closets and small bathrooms. It makes all the difference in the world and doesn't cost much on building.

Make sure you have all the spigots and future plumbing you may want at build time. It's a pain later. If you have a dog, a hot water run to an outside patio is awesome. A hot water mixed faucet in the garage on a deep sink is great too, you can hook onto it to wash the cars, presoak rags etc. If you can, have a floor drain in your laundry room. Ask any insurance agent about THAT one!

You may consider having the garage doors one panel taller. The "normal" ones just don't allow for that big truck or suv with racks. This doesn't cost much up front either and is a huge expense to correct later.

Whatever windows you get, it's nice to be able to flip them for cleaning, particularly if you're on a two story house.

If you can afford it, use 2x6 construction. I know that they're reverting back to 2x4 because they're insulating them so well, but the house is more stout with the larger lumber and the window casings are much nicer with the larger shelves.

Lastly, and this is a real luxury, use 5/8 drywall. The house is so much more quiet and solid this way. If you do go this route, make SURE the electrian knows about it so that the boxes aren't set too shallow!!!

Spring for the ultra quiet vent fans. They're worth every penny, they move more air, and they're very quiet.

Have them put WOOD in places where you'll mount things so that you can simply drive screws in to mount window treatments, towel bars, mirrors, shelving etc. It's toooo cheap to do up front and makes for a solid, easy mount for everything.

Spring for wider hallways and doors if you're going to be old in this house, the reason's obvious. We have a taller toilet in our bathroom, it's not much taller but it sure is nicer on the bad knee!

None of this stuff is free, but it sure does make for a custom, well built home!

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Old 01-20-2007, 04:51 AM
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Well if we are going to go down the road which Huck BB62 started:

- IMO forget the two story building if your property allows it, go with a spacious ranch styling.....stairs are a drag!!!!
- when designing, be extremely conscientious of the curb appeal of the home......$10 is $10, but itís how you spend that $10 that counts! Lighting can make a world of difference!
- DONĒT put the garage the closest part of the house to the curb! If the property allows, have the garage entrance at the side of the building.......garage doors are unsightly at the best of times!

- if you are digging a basement spend the extra and do 9' basement foundation walls........never an issue with ductwork..........you'll end up with a full 8 ft. plus high finished basement height! 10' foundation walls should give you a full 9' ceiling in the basement......this will convert the basement into a downstairs which is Extremely inviting!!!!!!!!!
- forget 2 x10/12" floor joists, go with fabricated "I" beams......quieter (no squeaks), stronger (no bounce or flex) and will provide for a much larger rooms size without bearing walls or beams.....basically a beamless downstairs is to die for!!!!!!
- if you a digging a basement add a fruit cellar! Cold storage is a 10 star item........this area could also double as a bomb shelter and a safe room if it is designed in properly!

- IMO a very common house design error is builders create to many smaller rooms, go for less individual rooms but make the principal rooms larger in size. Open space gives the home a more grander feel to it!
- avoid rectangular rooms........add angles and radiuses! ......$10 is $10, but itís how you spend that $10 that counts!
- have areas with 9 and 10' ceilings throughout the house so you can dimensionalize the ceilings and add character to otherwise shoe box rooms! The only character in a house is the kitchen and bathrooms when the house is empty......all the other rooms are nothing more then shoe boxes.....add character!
- make the kitchen and bathrooms a woman's delight....to die for! And provide the man a den with a fire place and lots of quality wood paneling and trim.....he needs his own room as well!
- if the size of the house is allows, provide a pantry off the kitchen! At least one in the kitchen.
- walk in bedroom closest is a must!
- in my world a sitting area off the kitchen is a must!!!!!!!!!......itís where I like to entertain my guests!
- go with a stunning front entrance..........it's what welcomes people into your home and potential buyers down the road.
- build or spend big bucks on the front doors.........itís what greets people and it makes a statement from the road!
- figure on a few thou. for landscaping.......itís worth every penny!

- if you go with a two story concept, provide laundry facilities upstairs! ......thatís where all the dirty laundry comes from!
- add a two piece powder room just inside the back door of the house and one just inside the garage entrance door if the garage is attached or part of the house! Depending the style of the house one powder room can satisfy both entrances. If one powder room is satisfying both entrances make that powder room a three piece....include a shower!
- avoid narrow hall ways, especially long narrow hall ways in your design!
- closet space, donít forget closest space.........most houses never have enough closet space! And make the dam things large enough to be of value! Maximize the space inside a closet to itís fullest with proper shelving!!!

- design in hiding spots for valuables!!!!!!!!!!! If you need suggestions e-mail me....this area I specialize in!
- insulate very well........itíll save you money in the long run!
- add a drain in the garage w/ hot and cold running water w/ sink.

No doubt all of the above will cost you some money, but ALL of the above will add serious value to your investment if done correctly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IMO it is not how much money you spend, itís how you spend the money in the first place!!! !!! !!!

These items will not add value to your home, but they will make in more livable.
- ďeachĒ entertainment areas should have at least one separate electrical circuit supplying it, if not two! ....install multiple outlets in that area.....you can Never have enough!
- computer areas in an office should be on itís own electrical circuit as well! Computers w/ 500 plus watts, monitors, surge protectors w/ or w/o battery back up, printers, faxes, computer sound system, phones, adding machines, desk lighting.........man thatís a circuit on itís own!
- IMO forget the 2 x 6" walls.......there is no resale value in it, thereís other ways to give your windows a class act look! Besides, you donít need that ďRĒ value in the walls for your area.

* skimp on the windows, but not on the kitchen counter!

Edit:

Going back to my first comment, ď forget the two story building if your property allows it, go with a spacious ranch styling Ē, when was the last time you walked through a 2-3-4,000 sq. ft ranch home? If you add a full 9 ft ceiling height downstairs regardless of what the paper says, thatís another 2-3-4,000 sq. feet downstairs................just finish downstairs off like you would on the main floor and that house is MONSTEROUSLY HUGE!!!!!!!!!!
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