Heating your Garage

It’s a great idea, heating your garage with a Reznor unit heater it shall do a lot of good things for your garage and items stored in it. By keeping the heat above 38° it will keep the garage foundation from heaving in the cold winter months. Also if the garage is attached to the house, the house benefits by heating the garage the common wall is now warm for the house interns saving you heat on said house wall.

Having it warmer also helps your vehicles start faster as well as better engine oil viscosity, because the engine block is starting warm.

Using a compact ceiling gas heater works great. We have installed several of these units. You can bolt them to the roof framing members and or floor joist system. You can mount them up tight or drop them down to a lower height if you have a 9’- 14’ high garage ceiling. By installing the unit at the back of the garage and blow air cross the garage to the far front corner this will get the greatest way to stabilize the temperature in the garage. This will also dry your car off and the floor. By keeping your garage temperature at or above 38° you should never have the garage floor flaking or popping of concrete from the winter weather.

This furnace also can be vented both out the wall and/or through the roof of the garage. Giving is a way to really maximize your opportunity for the best installation.

Insurance companies- claims

Insurance agents sell you on the fact that when you sign up with an insurance company you will have full coverage minus the deductible. You set the deductible amount than this sets the payment schedule. In Minnesota if you have hail damage on the roof and/or siding the insurance company only has to replace the damaged sides of the roofing, and siding on the sides that were damaged. Even if the color does not match from old to new roofing and siding, this is the Minnesota law. Another clever word the insurance companies use is “depredation” they use this word in a cleaver way to avoid payment of funds. Example a house was build 15 years ago with a 25-year shingle they say 3/5’s of the shingle life is gone. The insurance company call it depreciation the roofing job costs $3,000.00 x deprecation (3/5) = $1,200.00 minus the deductible is the check they give you. Yet the coverage you bought for insurance was full replacement value. What they have done is swatted the phrase (% of funds until completion) with the word (deprecation). When the roof is completed, and you force them, then they will pay the balance of the deprecated funds being held, But not the bill incurred by the homeowner. What do you mean? The actual bill for a new roof costs $11,000.00
Yet when you have to have your roof torn off and reshingled because of hail. The insurance companies don’t play fair. The insurance company gives you enough money for the homeowners to reshingle and side the buy themselves with no contractor help. The money you got from the company is enough to pay for the permit and supplies only.
Have fun. .
Minnesota requires that the building contractor must be licensed to work in Minnesota. To get a license you must have 7.5 hours of schooling a year.
Liability insurance must be above 300,000.00, and Workmen’s comp. Insurance.
The contractor has a lot of overhead that must be spread over the 250 working days for the year.

Yet with construction there are always rough weeks were we have to work 60-80 hours and other weeks there is no work. On the average we work 35 hours a week because of this the office overhead has a shortfall of funds Taking money out of the owners pocket lowering his wages.
With the way the insurance companies are paying out funds to get theses houses fixed. Good contractors will not fix insurance claim houses, leaving the door open for poor quality and scam artist contractors willing to do these jobs. Hugo city hall is very upset about the poor quality of contractors working in their city. They can’t figure out how to get a better caliber contractor to do these jobs.

Electrical panels done right

Let’s look at the first electrical panel. There are 3 problems with this panel. #1 The 2 high voltage lines and the neutral line coming into the the main shot off switch are painted white. These is not legal, The 2 high voltage lines required to be marked in black and the neutral must be marked in white. This is not only a state code but a national code.

#2 If a person needed to add and outlet on an existing circuit and opened up and an existing outlet box cover and saw the white wire he would automatically think black with black wire, the white with white wire and ground, with ground wire. 98% of the time you would be right, but if the white wire is not labeled properly in the panel as a 220-volt, at the same time the outlet box is also improperly labeled you would cross wiring a 110-volt appliance with 220-volts and burn it out that is if it doesn’t start a electrical fire.

The 3rd problem is this panel is a 2nddairy sub panel. When you wire a sub panel the neutral wire must go to the neutral bar and the ground wires must go to the grounding bar. They cannot be mixed it the law.
On this next photo this electrical panel was done properly. The high voltage lines are labeled properly as well as the 220-volt circuits and the neutrals and grounds are supported properly.

Bathrooms say a lot about the people living in the home.

Are you sending the right message.
Before you remodel your bathroom,

Think long term 5 ,10, 15 ,or 20 years and/or 2 or 3 different types of jobs or hobbies you might have in the future.
You may spend 10 minutes and up 2 hours a day in this prep room. Doing things right in this room will set your mode for the rest of the days you live in this house.
Thing to think about when you design a bathroom;

Number of people needing to use this room at the same time; 2 or 3 kids, a couple, 2 or people staying over IE relatives and friends, room mates, etc.
With these things in mind your now ready to start answering questions.

a. Think about cleaning
B. Bathing
C. Midnight strolls
D. Getting your makeup on
1. Lighting
2. Putting on makeup
3. Storage
4. Accessibility to storage, and left or right handed people
5. Accessories- hair driers, curling
6. 6. Room accents


Attic spaces

Older homes have a large advantage over new homes. The designs of these gracious older homes have large attics with fun ways to convert theses spaces into unique personal rooms.
In this attic space we converted a trusses roof system to create a personal office for this family.

We had some fun with personal area we installed quarter sawn white oak with accent walnut strips in the corbels, top rail of the panel system and the desktop edging.

Is copper plumbing supply lines good for you?

The elements written about below are used in all modern house drinking water delivery systems.
These quotes can from different EPA web sites. A little disturbing I called a number of officials this late week to talk about copper drinking water supplies. What I found out was they were more concerned about the brass in the drinking water than the copper piping it’s self.

The 1st element is copper, and then 2nd element of brass is zinc. The amount of zinc varies between 5% and 40% by weight depending on the types of brass required.

“The 1991 rule aims to minimize lead and copper in drinking water by reducing water corrosivity. Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage.”

“Everyone must absorb small amounts of copper every day because copper is essential for good health. High levels of copper can be harmful. “Breathing high levels of copper can cause irritation of your nose and throat. Ingesting high levels of copper can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Very-high doses of copper can cause damage to your liver and kidneys, and can even cause death.”

“A wide range of clinical symptoms have been associated with zinc deficiency in humans (Abernathy et al., 1993; Prasad, 1993; Sandstead, 1994; Walsh et al., 1994). The clinical manifestations of severe zinc deficiency, seen in individuals with an inborn error of zinc absorption or in patients receiving total parenteral nutrition with inadequate levels of zinc, include bullous pustular dermatitis, diarrhea, alopecia, mental disturbances, and impaired cell-mediated immunity resulting in intercurrent infections. Symptoms associated with moderate zinc deficiency include growth retardation, male hypogonadism, skin changes, poor appetite, mental lethargy, abnormal dark adaptation, and delayed wound healing. Neurosensory changes, impaired neuropsychological functions, oligospermia, decreased serum testosterone, hyperammonemia, and impaired immune function (alterations in T-cell subpopulations, decreased natural killer cell activity) have been observed in individuals with mild or marginal zinc deficiency.”

“Lead does not noticeably alter the taste, color or smell of water. The effects of low levels of lead toxicity in humans may not be obvious. There may be no symptoms present or symptoms may be mistaken as other illnesses. The only way to know the concentration of lead in water is through sampling and laboratory testing which is described in greater detail in a subsequent section.”

You need fresh air in your house.

New houses need fresh air

The answer will move to action. A person will breathe in and vent per breathe 1/2 liter in quiet breathing to 6 liters or 1.58 gallons per minute.

Each person takes between 4 and 10 million breaths per year. The max volume of air that we take in and breathe out is called vital capacity. It’s about 4800 ml or about 5,000,000 gallons of air.
Each day, a person takes between 11 thousand to 28 thousand breaths per day per person or in other words about 13,698.6 gallons.

Calculates to 1,831.23 cubic feet per person must come into the house per day.
With this understanding, by tightening up our houses we need to bring in fresh air or we are going to poison our selves with our own exhaust air (CO2).

Installing an air exchanger into a new home is not an extra item that the state is forcing on us to do, but instead it is for our protection.
Having the Air Exchanger running 1 minute per hour per person in the house plus running it to remove humidity in the bathrooms while showers or hot tubs are running help stabilize the humidity in the entire house.

Wood Specifications On Tall Walls

Framing material and sizing has changed for tall walls, theses changes in Minnesota law is for the better.

Load bearing walls exceeding the 9′ height fall under a new law. The higher the wall, the better quality the wall this may mean thicker the studs.

Included in this new law you no longer can use Utility grade, Standard grade, No.#3 grade or Stud grade lumber of any species are not permitted. The change in law is because of wind resistance against the exterior tall walls.

Using a better species of wood than SPF (Spruce, Pine, Fir) will make a stiffer wall. SPF is the cheapest wood species that you can buy.

Classification of common grade lumber. Common grade boards generally contain more knots than the select grade. Common grade is divided numerically from 1 to 5 with 1 being the best in appearance. No. 3 and No. 4 common grades are most frequently used for such applications as sheathing or sub-flooring.

Lumber grade numerical system changes title when it is shipped to large discount stores. Having changed to names the consumer has know idea what he or she is buying. Changing the name the discount stores are able to sell more product to unsuspecting customers.

Economy is the lowest grade available. This is usually junk wood, damaged material taken off of railcars. You can get a lot of twist, wane, and huge loose knots with economy grade lumber.

Utility is the next grade up in quality from economy. The discerning consumer can usually find a few useful pieces of lumber at this grade. One of the functions in large commercial lumberyards is buying utility grade lumber in bulk and upgrading it to ‘stud’

Stud grade, as implied by the name, is the most common grade used to build the framework of houses. Thus, the electronic device used to find lumber under drywall in a house is called a stud finder. Since the primary purpose of stud grade lumber is to hold up a house, very little twist is allowed, although you can have large amounts of wane and large knots.

Standard and better grade is similar to stud grade. The difference between the two is not so much in the size of the knots or the amount of splits or wane allowed, but in the fact that standard and better grade is used for lumber that is 12 feet and longer while the stud grade is used for 10 feet and 8 feet pieces in grading.

No.2 and Better grade. This grade usually allows for smaller-sized knots and a minimum of wane and splits.

An even finer quality of wood is 1 and better. This is the crème de crème of lumber and should consist of small, sound and tight knots, only inches of splits, and practically zero wane.

Above 1 and better is select grade lumber. This is an even higher quality than 1 and can be used for high-end decorative purposes. Examples of this would be western red cedar, spruce shiplap, and tongue & groove wall paneling. Having mentioned that as an example, great effects can be had using lower quality cedar as paneling, incorporating its defects to achieve a western, weathered look.

Heating- Types of Fuels

• Electricity

Electricity has been the most costly in the past 30 years, but with energy costs jump on oil it may be the way to heat and cool the home.
• Gas

Next to electricity gas would be the easiest product to maintain.
Simple concepts and the largest number of contractors work with this type of equipment.
Gas has long been the leader in affordable heat.
• Oil

Oil is a good option, the concepts are simple but there are very few contractors who really understand how to fix the equipment when it needs maintenance.
• Solar

Some solar systems are very easy with little to no maintenance.
However, the investment and size of the equipment is often large for the small return of investment.
• Wood

Wood, appears to be cheep, but requires vehicles, chain saws, a huge source of wood and teenagers.
• Hybrids

Dual fuel, Water source heat pumps, and much more are good options.
The concepts are simple but there are very few contractors who really understand how to fix the equipment when it needs maintenance.

Heating- Types of Cooling

• Forced /Direct Cooling

With direct conditioning of the air, you will get the quickest response from the equipment onto the air that is possible.
I.E. Coming home to a cold house the air will cool down the faster because you are directly cooling the air.
You can moisten, clean and condition the air. More…
• Radiant Cooling

With radiant conditioning of the air, it will take forever to get the home cool in a desirable amount of time.
To my knowledge – no one makes this type of equipment.
The concept is the same as the earth losing heat at night into space.
I know of a couple of people who ran cold water in their radiant panels, only to find out that the humidity condensed on the panels and piping and ruined the non-stone construction of their homes.
• Convection Heat

See Radiant Cooling above.