View Poll Results: What Features would you bring to your next home?

Voters
50. You may not vote on this poll
  • Built in vacuum system

    11 22.00%
  • Plant Shelves

    6 12.00%
  • Sky lights

    19 38.00%
  • Intercom system

    2 4.00%
  • Smart Home, sound, video, security

    15 30.00%
  • Concrete floors / counters

    13 26.00%
  • Solar Cells / Solar WH

    25 50.00%
  • Tankless water heater/ gas or electric.

    30 60.00%
  • Home theater/ wall speakers, drop down screen

    19 38.00%
  • Oversized shower

    28 56.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Cool features in your next house??

  1. #1
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    Cool features in your next house??

    So, what clever or innovative features do you have in your current home that have proven invalueable? ONLY list features you would definitely bring to your next home. Examples: Built in vacuum system, Plant shelves, Hydronic heating system,

    The poll is just intended to get the ideas rolling, I respect my clever fellow BOL members and know they have come up with some "Must have" features. Please feel free to list your favorite items not on the poll.

    So far, I really like plant shelves, although I don't have plants on them and they are dust collectors.

    Love my electric tankless WH. Saves about 25 percent off the electric bill. Bottomless hot water instantly.
    Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; June 30th, 2009 at 08:35 PM.
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  2. #2
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    secret revolving book case entrance to the man-cave.

    radiant heat.

    but isn't gas better for a tankless hot water system? like a rinnai?
    Last edited by Jack Michaud; June 30th, 2009 at 08:46 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Michaud View Post
    secret revolving book case entrance to the man-cave.

    radiant heat.

    but isn't gas better for a tankless hot water system? like a rinnai?
    Dude, I so want the "Green Hornet" garage!! Know what I mean?

    Yes, revolving book case is handy, especially for the married guys. My whole house is a "Man Cave".

    Tunnel to the shop would be cool.

    Gas is more common, but not if you don't have gas. They are also very expensive in comparison. I am looking at that, if I can get gas.
    Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; June 30th, 2009 at 08:54 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Instead of "Intercom System" I probably should have added "Video" Intercom system, although that is also covered by Smart House general catagory.

    But as long as I am dreaming.
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  5. #5
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    A fully tiled spa shower with 16 jets, a back massager and enough pressure to take your head off. With two big-a$$ water heaters to supply it. If said shower had an attached infrared sauna, I'd never go to work.

    A rolling kitchen island with a granite top. Roll it out when you need it, park it away in the corner when you don't.

    Wine cellar/cool room. Not that anything will ever be cellared long enough to be "cellared".
    Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allee View Post
    A fully tiled spa shower with 16 jets, a back massager and enough pressure to take your head off. With two big-a$$ water heaters to supply it. If said shower had an attached infrared sauna, I'd never go to work.

    A rolling kitchen island with a granite top. Roll it out when you need it, park it away in the corner when you don't.

    Wine cellar/cool room. Not that anything will ever be cellared long enough to be "cellared".
    Allee, you never fail to impress!!! I like your style young lady!!

    My Dad once built a custom blower/heater for a guy. It was set up so it would pre-warm, then dry your entire body off with a flood of warm dry air.
    No towel needed!!
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  7. #7
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    Ergo

    Over the past few years, I've been helping a former co-worker build his 'off the grid' house as the need arises. I helped him pour his basement foundation and recently, we moved landscaping rocks onto his property to follow or 'mimic' his northern roof-line. He is a gifted artist and an inspiration to watch as his house has taken shape. Even here in northern Utah (high cold desert), he's incorporated a roof-fed cistern-system to use rain and snow-melt to flush toilets and irrigate the 'green-roof' he's building into the design. Though he did not go with radiant panels for heat, he's created an atrium space which houses the multi-fuel fire-stove and family area. The house is insulated on the northern exposure with recycled tires filled with dirt. He's planning on adding passive solar as money permits. There is a detached root cellar and a yet unenclosed barn, too. He's done this without owing anyone any money. No debt and cash only.

    I've always wanted a log cabin home off of the grid but, after seeing this, I'm down for recycled. He's used recycled windows, doors, and fixtures. All on the cheap. It is certainly not anything cosmopolitan but, if anything ever goes wrong with our Beautiful And Great American Economy he'll do better than most of us will.

    Years ago, I studied up on straw-bale homes and saw similar thinking as my former co-worker has. Cheap, very cheap living but very comfortable, too. Not as Spartan as you might expect.

    His family has planted trees, garden, and low-maintenance landscaping to complement their living space. I'll ask for permission to post pics.

    Mark
    Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
    Denis Diderot

  8. #8
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    Love to see it Mark.

    I love the "off the grid" concept. Ran into an old timer the other day that was doing something similar on a smaller scale. He is a retired engineer and using re-cycled building materials. Some of the items are really cool. He has about 60 windows with the wire mess sandwiched in the middle. Creating double pane "Thermo" windows with added security and "Beefy" look.

    I have happened on several "Take Down" projects. One I was very envious of was a large warehouse the owner bought for 3000$ . Of course he had to
    take it down and put it back up. HUGE!! With old growth timbers!! He built a 2000 square foot "Apartment" in one corner. Man, could that hold some snowboards
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  9. #9
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    off the grid.

    I would love to have a "earthship" style home off the grid! One thing I always mention to friends building a home is to put your washer and dryer in your bedroom or on the same floor... Why lug laundry around? do it where you dress and keep you clothes.
    Hardbooter.com



    “Yes, it is much more challenging to ski 210 cm toothpicks. But do you choose to go to the wooden outhouse in the wintertime? Or it is more pleasant to use the indoor toilet instead? Why take challenges from the past when we can go on and challenge us on what’s possible with the current technology?”

    Shane McConkey disscussing rockered skis.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up passive solar;and cooling

    Our little prefab in Colorado had a whole list of great options that most of our neighbors did not take advantage of.We were allowed to have the house put on the lot at whatever angle we chose for example.I went out to the lot a couple of times to watch the arc of the sun and then put the house at an angle to maximize it's effectiveness.We put large windows in the east, south and west sides of the house as well as six skylights.Longer roof eaves were an option, so we chose that to create shade in the sun's higher arc in summer over the windows while still allowing sun in during the winter months.We chose all electric including heat and had considerably lower heating bills than all our skeptical ,natural gas powered neighbors. We did not need to heat the house at all while we were at work as the sun did that for us.The future would have brought more mature trees for strategic shade/cooling as we moved away before reaping that benefit,but we currently enjoy our shade trees (and vines)where we live now; beautiful ,simple and effective.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bordy View Post
    One thing I always mention to friends building a home is to put your washer and dryer in your bedroom or on the same floor... Why lug laundry around? do it where you dress and keep you clothes.
    I see the reason. Growing up we had a laundry shoot. That was cool! Dumped right onto the washer
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Prokopiw View Post
    We chose all electric including heat and had considerably lower heating bills than all our skeptical ,natural gas powered neighbors.
    I think the new "Ductless Mini-Splits" make electrical heating cooling more economical.

    I am working on a system for more economical cooling. Adapting commercial / industrial methods.
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  13. #13
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    whats the purpose of concrete counters?

    What, granite isn't good enough?
    Cuttin' cord, chips, and asphalt.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclite View Post
    whats the purpose of concrete counters?

    What, granite isn't good enough?
    No, not at all. Granite is very nice.

    Concrete is renewable, very customizable (is that a word?), cost effective and very cool looking.

    Note: one of our own members does some killer concrete work professionally.

    Another alpine rider I know has very cool concrete floors, very rich looking. I love the "Industrial" look.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by www.oldsnowboards.com View Post
    No, not at all. Granite is very nice.

    Concrete is renewable, very customizable (is that a word?), cost effective and very cool looking.

    Note: one of our own members does some killer concrete work professionally.

    Another alpine rider I know has very cool concrete floors, very rich looking. I love the "Industrial" look.
    I guess it makes it easier to clean messes too?
    Cuttin' cord, chips, and asphalt.

  16. #16
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    Concrete is great..if it's sealed. Otherwise blood is a pain to get out!

    Granite gets acid etched too, which looks like crap and ends up being expensive as hell.

    I always wanted to have that shop-towel blue epoxy finish with the little blue flakes as kitchen flooring.

  17. #17
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    I like the list, but the one thing I would advise against (solely from my personal experience) is the central vacuum. convenient...yes // expensive as hell to fix when it breaks every couple of months - HELL YES !!!
    World's foremost apres-skier, 20 years running

  18. #18
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    I have a little list of dream house wants:

    A geothermal heat pump for heating/cooling/hot H2O.

    I would also want a soapstone masonry heater, instead of a wood stove, for fire heating. I know it's redundant with the heat pump, but I love to have burning fires, and the masonry heaters are extremely efficient, and you don't need to run home at lunch or get up in the middle of the night to put more logs on.

    A 10-run dog kennel with radiant floor heat in the individual condos and mountain spring fed running water.

    A gear room that has been designed and outfitted by some type of closet organizer professional. It need to have a comprehensive ski and board tuning bench, storage compartments for at least 30 pairs of skis and 20 boards, a surf board slot or two, boot cubbies, a row of boot dryers, storage compartments for the various snowshoes, tents, sleeping bags, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, helmets, pads, a closet area for outdoor clothing (ski pants, jackets, etc) skylights for overhead natural light, hooks for climbing ropes and gear, a bike stand and bike hanging hooks, and most importantly, a small fridge for beer and diet red bull.

    An 8-burner Wolf stove and double wall ovens.

    A comfortable garbage and recycling area which is not next to my porch.
    Last edited by MEC; July 1st, 2009 at 07:28 AM.

  19. #19
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    Professional-style kitchen. It would be nice if it looked nice, but I really want functionality - a 6-8 burner range, small deep-fryer, double ovens. A small walk-in cooler/freezer would be nice instead of having a laydown and/or aux freezer in the basement.
    Cool room/wine cellar.

    Heated brick or cobble/paver driveway and walkway - no more shoveling or ice problems

    Off-the-grid functionality

    I've looked into underground homes a few years ago and really liked what I saw - once you go down about 8 feet, it's 55 degrees F all year, minimizing heating and cooling needs, leaving more of my solar and/or wind power available for my other wants like the walk-ins and heated driveway.

    Large heated garage - >2000ft^2, with drainage in one area, and a lift in another. Cabinets, shelving, dedicated sporting equipment storage area/system, and heavy lighting suitable for detailing.

    Sporting goods equipment area of at least storage for 20+ snowboards, 10+ pairs of skis, boots cubbies, Golf bags, firearm safe, bicycle hangers, 3+ kayaks, and track tire storage.

    Heated pool, large hot tub. Both outdoors either heated concrete approaches/surrounds or synthetic decking approaches for traction.

    Party shower. Nuff said.

    Flush-mount cabinets and builtins all over the house. I love builtins.

    And my other half wants a Claw-Foot tub. I don't know why, but she does.
    I know that we've come up with more than this over the past few years, but can't think of it now that I'm on the spot.
    Last edited by Justin A.; July 1st, 2009 at 02:40 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Great Ideas!!!

    Wow!!

    These are some great ideas!!

    I like the heated walk way / approach.

    Here in the PNW it would only help with snow every couple years for a day or two. Love to do it in the garage. BOL member in CO should me his garage on a sub freezing day and we could tune boards in t-shirts! SWEET!!.

    Looks like so far in the POLL the Oversized shower and Sky lights are big favorites. .

    As far as built ins: I would like to add snowboard displays in the wall, small in wall boxes for collectables (with lighting)

    Keep them coming!! Thanks, Bryan
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  21. #21
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    We have a skylight in our bedroom...in the summer, I get to greet the sun every morning at about 5 a.m. So, no skylights in the bedroom. Ours is not particularly thermally efficient either, which keeps the bedroom pretty cool in the winter.

    I would take light pipes/light tubes over skylights - better thermal efficiency from what I hear, and similar ability to take advantage of natural light.

    I would definitely want a cellar that's deep enough to be at constant temperature. More of a beer cellar than a wine cellar in my case though -- there's lots of beers that improve with age. Along the lines of a 10 x 10 room would be awesome.

    Cement countertops are awesome (though I don't have 'em now), and when we replace our water heater, we'll definitely go tankless.

    For showers, dual showerheads/dual controls would be awesome, so you and a friend can each have the temperature you like.

    And if I was tearing down the home and starting over (or buying a plot of land in Parkdale with a nice view of Mt. Hood), I'd definitely be looking at earth-sheltered.
    ----------------------------------------
    "Is that more fun than snowboarding?"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tex1230 View Post
    I like the list, but the one thing I would advise against (solely from my personal experience) is the central vacuum. convenient...yes // expensive as hell to fix when it breaks every couple of months - HELL YES !!!
    Sort of wondered about this, some rave , most say it is just too much trouble with the great new, lighter machines.

    What breaks? The canster in the garage or the cleaning head.
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  23. #23
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    Bamboo floors. Cheap, very attractive, very renewable. Don't do concrete. Some friends of ours did this and they regret it. The look is trendy and it's uncomfortable.

    Home Theater: even if you don't do the speakers or anything now, run the wiring now. Wish I had done this when we built our garage with play-room above. Doh.

    +1 on Bordy's laundry. Put it on the same floor as the bedrooms. At the very least keep it out of the basement.
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  24. #24
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    I been watching this channel:
    http://planetgreen.discovery.com/

    so many good ideas. Renewable material, efficeint cooling and heating seems to the primary theme for going green.

    soy based spray foam insulation
    diatomaceous earth in the wall to keep the bugs out.
    window facing south
    bamboo/cork floor tile
    native plants for garden

    I don't know how the rest of you deal with it. After I completed redid my floor, kitchen, bath room it's nothing but constantly cleaning and up keep. I miss the day where I can cover up the hole in the wall with poster... Growing up/old suck...

    on another note; my next place must have the following feature:
    stone throw away from a world class ski area.
    200+ days of ski.

    Is there such place afforadable enoguh for mere mortal?

    --
    David

  25. #25
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    Bamboo floors cheaper than hard wood floors?

    Wondering if putting a washer dryer in the master bedroom is too strange?
    Plumbing wise I think it would be pretty easy. Dryer vent on outside wall.
    Perhaps plumbing, wiring and vent for it just in case?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pow4ever View Post
    I don't know how the rest of you deal with it. After I completed redid my floor, kitchen, bath room it's nothing but constantly cleaning and up keep. I miss the day where I can cover up the hole in the wall with poster... Growing up/old suck...
    David

    What materials are you referring to ? or do you mean just dealing with new surfaces vs old. Worring about keeping them nice?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by www.oldsnowboards.com View Post
    Bamboo floors cheaper than hard wood floors?

    Wondering if putting a washer dryer in the master bedroom is too strange?
    Plumbing wise I think it would be pretty easy. Dryer vent on outside wall.
    Perhaps plumbing, wiring and vent for it just in case?
    It does look like bamboo is cheaper than hardwood. There's a range of each, but on Lumberliquidators.com, bamboo is priced pretty comparably to laminate, and significantly less than hardwood.

    I think a washer/dryer in the bedroom would be awesome and a huge convenience, especially if you can find room for them in a walk-in closet. Can you hoist the washer in through a window, or would you have to carry it up the stairs? You may be a better mover than me, but it might be easier to bring it in before the drywall is up and painted so you don't have to worry about dinging the walls.
    ----------------------------------------
    "Is that more fun than snowboarding?"

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    We have a skylight in our bedroom...in the summer, I get to greet the sun every morning at about 5 a.m. So, no skylights in the bedroom. Ours is not particularly thermally efficient either, which keeps the bedroom pretty cool in the winter.

    I would take light pipes/light tubes over skylights - better thermal efficiency from what I hear, and similar ability to take advantage of natural light.
    I have been concerned about roof penetrations. I don't want leaks!!

    Working nights most of the time means, good catch on the morning light not working very well.

    I have heard of the light tubes, need to look into that.
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  29. #29
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    There's a light pipe/skylight display at the mall here. The pipes can go through multiple floors if needed from the looks of things, at least through an attic without any problems.

    Built in display cases for curiosities and collectibles should be on my list, in addition to a nice home office/study area. Nice desk with a wall or two of built in bookshelves, light tube or few.
    Bamboo floors throughout.
    LED or OLED lighting throughout.
    "I'll stuff you in the box like Schrödinger's cat - You'll be dead and alive until such a time as that - I check and make the wave function collapse - And if you ain't dead I'll cap your ass

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by softbootsailer View Post
    Be sure to check out RASTRA building systems and do it yourself...
    I have seen a few ICF homes, cost is higher up front I believe.
    Fascinating options and look for sure.

    RASTRA is the original Composite Insulating Concrete Form (ICF), first introduced in 1972 in Austria. Since then over 9 million units have been placed in service with installations throughout Europe, Middle East, Far East, North Africa and the Americas, in all types of climates from the Austrian Alps to the Saudi Arabian Desert, to the humid climate of Southeast Asia. Today, RASTRA is not only recognized as the original, but also as the best product of any ICF category.

    Approved by the International Code Council (ICC) under Legacy Report ER-4203, ER- 9955, and classified by UL under design U915, RASTRA is the most extensively tested Composite Insulated Concrete Form available today. While copycat composite ICFs exist, these products did not undergo the rigorous testing, lack approvals and decades of experience in process and application.

    RASTRA is a stay-in-place Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) that is structurally strong • energy-efficient • sound absorbent • non-combustible • resistant to high wind, mold & pests • and made from 85% recycled materials
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    Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; July 1st, 2009 at 05:50 PM.
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