We’re so lucky to have many industry leaders working on the Idea Home who are willing to share great advice with us. As promised in last week’s blog, we’ll kick it off with some landscaping tips from Steve Tomasi, President of A.J. Tomasi Nurseries. Steve is a Registered Landscape Architect, a member of The American Society of Landscape Architects, The American Horticultural Society, and The Garden Writers of America. His specialty is residential master planning and he has more than 35 years of experience. Steve explains the reasons why certain plants were chosen, including: “There is a minimum maintenance aspect to the plant materials. Once established, they will not require heavy pruning to keep them in check as that is a common mistake some make. Sequential color was also employed, with some plant materials flowering at various times, some overlapping from spring thru summer! The plants have plenty of room for growth, both away from the facade of the house, and to each other. Again, a common mistake is jamming plants into each other, and they suffer as they get older. The bed lines are not “railroad track” line parallel to the house nor is the walk. People don’t walk like “Pac Man” nor does Mother Nature plant in straight ridged lines, so the bed lines and walkway touch upon that.”
Next up is Mike King from CaloriQue, a West Wareham based company that developed a flexible electric radiant heating film that maximizes the efficient conductive properties of our carbon elements and is now used nationally and in many countries throughout the world. In the Idea Home, we used the CaloriQue Peel & Heat Complete radiant floor heating system for two tile and stone flooring areas. One area is in the kitchen in front of the sink and the other is in the master bathroom. Important to keep you warm during the cold New England winters! The primary benefit of Peel & Heat is the simple installation. Compared to other electric radiant floor warming for tiles, Peel & Heat is faster, easier and works with a wide range of sub floor materials. Any floor surface can be utilized including carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate, engineered wood, etc. Contractors love the simplicity and ease of installation of the under floor system, which simply staples to the joists or framing below the sub floor. Radiant heat is a natural heat, absorbed by our bodies like the sun, you feel warmer at lower temperatures. For every one degree you lower your thermostat setting you are saving 3% of your heating costs. When you add these savings to the overall cost benefits of the CaloriQue Radiant Heating Systems many homeowners achieve savings of 50% or more on their heating costs. Many times the savings from a system which has no moving parts, requires no annual maintenance and comes standard with a 25 year warranty will pay for the system in a short period of time. CaloriQue also works with renewable power such as solar pv.
Inspections are an important part of building any home and this week, the Idea Home passed the Electrical Inspection. Next will be a Plumbing Inspection followed by a Building Inspection. Carver Building Commissioner Mike Mendoza has the following advice for those of you who are in the early stages of planning and building your home: “Once the frame is up and the house has the exterior sheathing in place, ask the contractor if you can do a “walk through” of the house with him. This is the best time to view the inside of the home and get a real sense of what the rooms look like. As you walk around, consider things like the placement of additional outlets or switches; would a ceiling fan look better in this room than a light fixture? Does the closet look large enough for you needs? Would you need another closet in the main hall? It is one thing to see it on a plan but another to see the layout in person. Remember that any changes would be considered “change orders” and thus may result in additional fees. And remember that the devil is in the details. Now that the sheetrock is up and has had its first coat of plaster – have you thought about the molding? Do you like what you have chosen to go into the home? Or, did not chose any and now wish you did? What we call finish work is what, in the end, sometimes makes the home. If you bring samples of different types of molding; it will give you a visual ideal of how it will look in which ever room(s) you have in mind of dressing up. So consider what sort of details, if any you wish to have done to a room before painting begins.”
Thanks again to all for the great advice! More to come in future blog posts. A neighboring home to the Idea Home in Kingsbury Hollow was featured in the Zip Trip to Carver on Fox25 TV. Click here if you’d like to see the segment. And now I’ll leave you with a few photos: the beautiful landscaping as well as a before and after of the radiant floor heating and the radiant heat controls.