Archive for September, 2006

Why Custom Cabinets for a Kitchen No Longer Make Sense

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

It is easy to idealize the past.

I remember watching the “Secret Wedding” scene of Braveheart, where the couple is wed by a priest under the moonlight, afterwards retiring to a mossy rock with a valley or waterfall, etc spread below them. They're naked, of course. They're having a grand old time, as you might imagine.

But what about the mosquitoes? (more…)

Getting To the Truth as You Shop for Cabinets or Furniture

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

A well-informed consumer is always the best defense against “word inflation”. Word inflation occurs as salespersons continually try to get away with calling their products something that they are not.

Classic example: “Solid Wood”. It comes as a surprise to many people to find out that (more…)

House Jacking: A Realistic View, Pt 2

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

House Jacking part 1 is here.

When you're in a dark crawlspace, just trying to get oriented can sometimes be quite a challenge, especially in newer or larger houses.

(I have a trick for this: I drill a tiny hole — a sixteenth or smaller — through some existing feature on the floor like a knot or a seam. Then I push a wire or coat hanger through the hole, through the insulation, and down into the basement. This way it's just a matter of finding that wire to know precisely where I am.)

Next you need to form a theory that explains whatever is happening up in the living space. (more…)

The Mystery of Wood

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Occasionally you overhear something truly memorable.

While earning my Physics degree, I overheard a conversation which I have never forgotten. I was in a computer lab in the science building. (more…)

House Jacking: a Realistic View, Pt 1

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

The first house jacking project with which I can remember being associated was the raising of key points on the interior floor of my childhood home, built around 1920. I was about 10, as I recall. I can remember standing in the dining room, feeling a slight sense of motion beneath my feet, and watching cracks appear in the walls. I also recall being allowed to look, but not participate, in the underpinning of piers and beams. For a few days, our basement became some eery kind of dark laboratory with warm islands of light surrounding the greasy ramjacks and steel supports.

The team assembled for the job was my dad, my older brother, and a friend who said he knew how to fix our floor problems. Although I was confident they had everything under control, I do remember that there was a vague kind of uncertainty that came up through the floor with those muffled conversations.

Twenty years later, (more…)

House Plans Woodwork Upgrade

Monday, September 4th, 2006

The House Plans industry has taken off over the last decade as more and more Americans build custom homes. Increasingly, I've seen add-on services offered to accompany these plans. For example, get your house plans modified by a professional kitchen designer, home theater expert, etc.

Well, I think the time has come for a built-in cabinetry add-in service. (more…)