Sponsored Links


October 2021
« Jan    

Guides, Materials, and Green Links

There are a lot of sites and companies that are promoting green products and technologies. A lot of them just don't pass the smell test, either having a math problem, or mounting some sort of ad campaign to get you to think that they have been green since the beginning of time. Remodeling provides an opportunity to incorporate some of this stuff into your home. 

I have a few Green sites I have in my feed reader, and here are a few notable links over the past few days.

From Green by Design:

Paints Guide A excellent overview of current paints, with special attention to varieties and brands.

Lighting Guide Clears up a lot of clutter surrounding lighting.

From Greentech Media:

Building a Cool World, With New Roofs Discussing things like foam roofing. which is near and dear to my heart not only for insulation value, but also sound control as I live under an airport landing pattern.

CleanBoard Turns Sun's Heat to Drywall An interesting company using solar energy to produce drywall.

Buildings Without Air Conditioners: The Latest in Energy Efficiency Food for thought, as A/C does suck up really large amounts of energy.

From CleanTechnica:

Mini Nuclear Power Plants For Your Neighborhood In Five Years Becoming a nuclear power and a utility company.

Japanese Company Making CD/DVD Cases With Rice-Based Plastic This is good news as my current addiction to DVD entertainment usually wipes out any gains I make toward renewable things I do.

Really Green Remodel

There is a lot of interest in 'green' technologies. David Gottfried is the  founder of the U.S. Green Building Council, where the LEEDS Certification system was developed
David and his wife have the Greenest Remodeled House in the US. Here is the blog of that house

The Hammers

The folks over at Charles and Hudson are having a contest for homebuilding and DIY blogs.

You can click on the link to nominate your favorite DIY blog.

I wouldn’t mind winning, as the prize is a hammer. You can never have too many hammers.
Even if you don’t vote, Charles and Hudson is a great resource for remodelers.

Energy Efficient Housing and a Stimulus Package

On a tip from Doc Searls is this posting on a stimulus package focused on creating and remodeling commercial and residential housing.
Transition Team Weighing Blockbuster Housing and Stimulus Proposal
(A pdf of the plan is here.)

According to the posting the Obama transition team is looking at it.

This has some interesting features, makes sense on a number of levels, and will probably not get anymore traction, as it makes sense, will stimulate the economy, lower mortgage rates, and reduce dependence on energy.

Energy, Sustainability and Remodeling

Here are some things I have bookmarked recently.

Clean Technica has a great site. Here are a few recent things.

Mini Nuclear Power Plants For Your Neighborhood In Five Years

Becoming a utility in your neighborhood.

World’s Largest CIGS Thin-Film Solar Array Goes Live

CIGS, or copper indium gallium diselenide thin-film solar cells are not dependent on silicon and instead use highly-available raw materials that are easily integrated into a wide range of applications.
(CIGS is lower in efficency and much lower in cost. Sort of like Betamax vs VHS)

Green by Design is another great site for news on sustainability. Recently:

The Real Cost, The Real Deal

Looking at the monthly costs above the mortgage in home ownership.

FlatPak: Elegant?…Check. Simple?…Check. Green?…Check.

Looking at engineered housing.

Totally Tubular, Man—Bringing Natural Light to Hard-to-Reach Places

Tubular daylighting is a skylight tube that captures light from all angles.

LEDs—You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Good overview of LED Lighting.

Shopping for Remodelers and Filthy Lucre

Shopping for Remodelers
With the holidays around the corner, giving gifts is one way of expressing your feelings to your significant others, friends, and comrades in arms. 

Remodelers are strange folks. You cannot buy them ties or fruit baskets. They will use the ties to mop up spills, and the fruit baskets will get covered in dust.

To a remodeler, nothing says love quite as much as remodeling stuff. Tools, Hardware and Fixtures is how you will be remembered. You may ask a remodeler what they would like for the holidays or birthdays, and they will tell you, in excruciating detail. Most of you who know remodelers probably think that they have been possessed and are speaking in tongues. Relax! There is no cause for alarm or calling for intervention.

 They inhabit a world where sheets do not go in the laundry, getting nailed and screwing are  not bedroom activities. What to do?

Filthy Lucre
Show your love, get them a gift card! By now you have already figured out that buying a traditional gift for a remodeler is harder than buying a present for a second cousin twice removed whom you have never seen.

You can however spread holiday joy with an Amazon Gift Card
Using this link, not only spreads joy to the remodeler, but I also make some money as well! Which I will use for my remodeling projects.

Exterior Door Security – Hinge Side – The 3 Dollar Solution

Most residential exterior doors swing in. Some swing out and have the hinges exposed. The bad guys will take advantage of this.

Last week I was refinishing some exterior doors and needed to find some Interlocking Security Stud hinges. Ace sells them online and by catalog, but in quantities of one. At 4 bucks a pop.  You really need two per door. Most commercial doors swing out. The primary reason is floor space. You
loose a lot of square footage having a door swing in as well as needing
to open the door after you have sold your customers bags full of
stuff. Door02

The photo on the right shows one of these type of hinges. It has a hole on one side and stud stamped  out of the body on the other side.

When the door is closed, the stud locks the hinge in place so even if the hinge pin is removed, or the barrel is cut off,  the hinge is locked in place making breaking in much harder.

These used to be available in hardware stores next to regular hinges in the most popular residential sizes. Residential and Commercial hinges are different animals. I won't detail the differences as you probably have other things to do and this post would run for days if I did. Suffice to say. "I know things about Hinges".

I will mention the set screw type and the fast riveted pin types will both fail to with a guy armed with a battery powered die grinder with a grinding wheel. Cut through the hinge barrel, the set screw and fast riveted pin types are laying on the ground, and your stuff is on its way to a fence.

They still make them, but the orange and blue box stores don't carry them. Nor do the bigger chain hardware stores or commercial hardware stores here in Phoenix, the 6th or 8th largest major city in the country. They are more expensive, but so is your stuff.

The 3 Dollar Solution

I went to Clyde Hardware, a local Builders Hardware store(which is a commercial hardware supply house), which doesn't carry them either, but turned me on to these.


These are CASTLE Maximum Security Hinge Pins. 3 Dollars. One package does a door. Compare that with the Ace hinge above which will set you back 4 bucks each, really needing two, and the extra mortising you will probably need to do as the are square corners and your hinges have rounded corners.

A side note here: your hinges have rounded corners as the manufacturers of pre hung door use routers to mortise the doors and jambs. Square corners require more work.

Drop dead simple. Mark the door, drill two 1/2'' holes, tap them into place and you are done.

The exposed pin is a 1/2'' long making it almost impossible to remove the door. The bad guys will have to destroy the door entirely to get passed these. 

And did I mention cheap? It's all about saving the Benjamins.

Here is the finished detail.


An elegant solution to security on exterior door. Works on most residential steel doors also as they are clad front and back and the hinge and jamb are exposed wood.


Installation Instructions:


Energy Efficent Housing

In the US regardless of how they spin it, lifestyle living, retirement community, planned community, (community as designed for the Stepford Wives) and so on, modern housing is what Malvina Reynolds wrote  about.

”Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes all the same,

There’s a green one and a pink one

And a blue one and a yellow one

And they’re all made out of ticky tacky

And they all look just the same.”

I am not a strong advocate of new construction as it is for the most part characterless, wasteful, designed and constructed to minimum standards, besides there is no fun in living in a place you can’t remodel. I am however a fan of any technique that can make you comfortable and energy efficient. Less money for utilities, more money for movies.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is building 12 Project Homes to demonstrate Energy Efficiency.
Hattip to Design Shizen for the link

This is interesting as construction changes, you or your children may be remodeling these down the road.

Artroom Expansion 10 The Red Rosin Paper Caper

Taping and sanding drywall is one of the messiest parts of remodeling. The Artroom Expansion Project is at that stage. We have already decided that the floor will be getting an epoxy floor coating. To make it look good, we need a flat, smooth, finish. It is one of the reasons we had the lads from Chayse Concrete do the slab. Manny has a zen thing going with a finish trowel.

Hanging the drywall creates its own mess. Between cutting, trimming, buffing, and sliding it around, crap builds up on the floor.

To make the epoxy application go smoothly, and not wanting to be chipping, scraping, and mopping, we are protecting the floor with Red Rosin Paper,(aka Builders Paper). RRP is about twice as thick as brown paper bag paper. It is tough stuff, and provides a much better walking surface than using plastic sheeting which will tear by thinking hard.

The first thing to do is to sweep/vac the floor.
Second, we wipe the perimeter of the room with water and a sponge.
Third we put down a line of tape as close to the wall as possible. In my case it is blue tape.
Next we roll out the Red Rosin Paper and apply tape to the paper and the tape line we have already established. We do this to the entire perimeter of the room. We are only taping the wall side down.
After we have our wall sheet down, we fill in the rest of the room by covering the edges and taping them down.
You now have floor cover that will collect the mudsharks, drops, dust and other crap including the primer and paint. Light sweeping between coats will keep the clutter down. You need reasonable care when walking around, and this should last from tape to paint.

P.S. This works well on your living spaces too.

Building Codes

50 State Building Codes have been posted.

Requires a PDF reader.