Show Notes: Ringing Advice
Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers recorded August 11, 2018.
You’re ears will be left ringing with all the good advice we have in this episode. We’ve got doorbells, we’ve got pipes, we’ve got interviews with a water quality specialist and a Liftmaster professional. Tune in for the best tips and advice in the business!
Did you miss the live episode? Don’t worry, you can still check it out here!
6 Jaw-Dropping Doorbells That Guests Will Never, Ever Forget
Doorbells are your home’s way of saying hello. So why settle for any ol’ ho-hum ding-dong when you could have one that shows off your sense of style, or sense of humor?
Keep your guests on their toes with this nuclear doorbell (Olives Tool, $119.48). Deafening sirens, flashing lights, and a loud voice issuing a warning to residents isn’t particularly welcoming, but it sure makes a statement! Granted, “This is not a drill!” could get old fast, but seeing your visitors’ surprised expressions probably makes it all worthwhile.
This piano chime (Odd Gifts, $27.45), created by designer Jianye Li, allows aspiring musicians to have a little fun while they wait for the host to open the door. You can’t actually compose a song on it, as it’s preprogrammed with more than a dozen pieces of music, but the innovative instrument is waterproof and battery-operated, meaning no hard-wiring is necessary. Sounds like a perfect gift for the pianist-homeowner in your life.
Dubbed the “play anything doorbell,” this high-tech device (iChime, $129.95) comes with a built-in sound library that includes chimes (like what’s played at Westminster), holiday songs (“Deck the Halls”), Halloween themes (sinister laugh, Beethoven’s 5th), “fun sounds” (duck quack), and special occasions (“Happy Birthday,” “Auld Lang Syne”). As if that weren’t enough, you can also record your own greeting or connect it to an MP3 player to create the musical alert you’ve always wanted. Flo Rida’s “My House,” anyone?
If you’re tired of your pooch scratching at the door to regain entry, treat him to his own doggy doorbell (Chewy.com, $29). Rover will be sure to give his bark a break because this gadget has a built-in treat holder behind the yellow push plate. Interesting variation on Pavlov‘s bell, right? Rain- and snow-resistant, this doorbell lets owners choose from 36 tones and can also send a cellphone alert within a range of 250 feet.
Water Quality Association
We spoke with Tanya Lubner the Professional Certification and Training Director of the Water Quality Association. She helps us understand:
1. What is “water quality?”
2. Some common contaminants of water.
3. How can you check your own water quality?
To learn more information: https://www.wqa.org
Your Dream Bathroom
presented by American Standard Dream Bath
Jackson is remodeling two bathrooms. Having spoken to multiple contractors, Jackson needs to know if the galvanized pipes have to go! The Carey Brothers discuss the pros of copper and PEX piping and what the plumbers prefer.
Cooling with a Whole House Fan
Whole house cooling using a whole house fan can substitute for an air conditioner most of the year in most climates. Whole house fans combined with ceiling fans and other circulating fans provide acceptable summer comfort for many families, even in hot weather. In addition to whole house fans, the ducts of your central heating and cooling system can be modified to provide whole house cooling.
How Whole House Fans Work
The whole house fan pulls air in from open windows and exhausts it through the attic and roof. It provides good attic ventilation in addition to whole house cooling. Whole house fans should provide houses with 30 to 60 air changes per hour (varies with climate, floor plan, etc.—check with a professional to determine what is appropriate for your home). The air-change rate you will choose depends on your climate and how much you will depend on the whole house fan for cooling.
Installing and Using a Whole House Fan
Installing a whole house fan is tricky and should be done by a professional. An experienced professional should take your attic measurements and install your dedicated circuit wiring and, if needed, your new attic vents.
Attic ventilation will usually need to be increased to exhaust the fan’s air outdoors. You’ll need 2 to 4 times the normal area of attic vents, or about one square foot of net free area for every 750 cubic feet per minute of fan capacity. The net free area of a vent takes into account the resistance offered by its louvers and insect screens. More vent area is better for optimal whole house fan performance.
If your fan doesn’t come with a tight-sealing winter cover, you should either buy one or build one. If you switch between air conditioning and cooling with a whole house fan as the summer weather changes, build a tightly sealed, hinged door for the fan opening that is easy to open and close when switching cooling methods.
Be cautious when operating these large exhaust fans. Open windows throughout the house to prevent a powerful and concentrated suction in one location. If enough ventilation isn’t provided, the fans can cause a backdraft in your furnace, water heater or gas-fired dryer, pulling combustion products such as carbon monoxide into your living space.
Drawbacks of Whole House Fans
Whole house fans can be noisy, especially if improperly installed. In general, a large-capacity fan running at low speed makes less noise than a small fan operating at high speed. All whole house fans should be installed with rubber or felt gaskets to dampen noise. You can set a multi-speed fan to a lower speed when noise is a problem.
Using Your Duct System as a Whole House Fan
You may be able to use the heating and air conditioning ducts in your home as a means of whole house ventilation. This would involve installing an intake duct to pull air into an attic-mounted system that directs the air into your heating and cooling ducts. A damper would control exhaust air from your home into the attic. Check with a local professional to find out if this option is right for you.
We spoke with Paul Acardo of Liftmaster to discuss
- LiftMaster 8500W Wall Mount Wi-Fi® Residential Garage Door Opener Wins Parade of Products Award at Pacific Coast Builders Conference
- The 8500W DC Battery Backup Wall Mount Wi-Fi® Residential Garage Door Opener’s space-saving design mounts alongside the garage door, freeing up the garage ceiling and inspiring homeowners to get creative with how they use the space in their garage.
- More often than not, the garage is the ‘forgotten room’ of the house. However, in a recent LiftMaster Survey, we found that 83 percent of homeowners wouldn’t buy a home without a garage and 88 percent see the garage as more than a place to park a car. There’s a disconnect in what people want from their garage and how they are actually using it. LiftMaster wants to help homeowners tap into their garage’s full potential.
- The 8500W has built in Wi-Fi and is powered by myQ® technology, allowing homeowners to open and close their garage door from anywhere and receive alerts if its left open. Homeowners will also enjoy the ability to link myQ to other smart home devices with which LiftMaster has partnered.
- Our survey also found that Americans strongly favor “smart” home tech solutions, such as myQ powered LiftMaster Garage Door Openers like the 8500W which give homeowners the convenience of controlling their garage door from wherever they go with smartphone control.
- Additionally, MyQ technology allows homeowners to integrate with other smart home partners for home monitoring and security system access – a great solution for the 91 percent of homeowners who think “smart” home technology is worth the investment.
- With the 8500W homeowners will also appreciate the included MyQ Remote LED Light (Model 827LM) – also controllable with the myQ app – which can be placed anywhere in the garage, providing bright, maintenance-free illumination without having to change a light bulb. Additional myQ Remote LED Lights can be used for an even brighter garage.
- Yet another great feature of the 8500W is how quiet it is. Our LiftMaster Survey found that 73 percent of homeowners identify noise as a key consideration when selecting home devices/appliances. The LiftMaster 8500W is powered by a high-performance DC motor that provides smooth operation and, when combined with the wall-mount design, minimizes noise and vibrations through the ceiling and interior walls.
Additionally, the LiftMaster 8500W features an integrated battery backup system, ensuring continued operation during a power loss.
- LiftMaster is constantly evolving to address homeowners sophisticated lifestyles which is why we also just announced the WLED wit Corner to Corner Lighting
- The new LiftMaster WLED DC Battery Backup LED Wi-Fi® Residential Garage Door Opener includes a Corner to Corner Lighting™ system specifically designed and engineered with advanced technology that helps evenly distribute light to fill the entire garage with 3,100 lumens of daylight-like lighting.
- Additionally, the Corner to Corner Lighting system’s long-lasting LEDs means homeowners will never have to change a garage light bulb again.
- When we talked with homeowners, even those who felt satisfied with their current lighting were eager to find ways to introduce more lighting to their garage. As homeowners look to make the most of their garage, lighting plays an important role in increasing the functionality and quality of the space.
- The WLED provides homeowners with an all-in-one device that combines superior lighting, smart home technology and battery backup to help further maximize the value of their garage.
To get more information check out https://www.liftmaster.com/wall-mount
Why You Should Always Opt for a Ball Valve
Ball valves are better
Whenever you replace a valve—whether it’s a shutoff under the sink or the isolation valve on your water heater—upgrade to a ball valve. Also called “quarter-turn” valves, ball valves have a simple ball inside rather than a screw mechanism and rubber seals. That simplicity means reliability; ball valves almost always work when you need them.
Don’t forget to check out ReSound Hearing Aids, as recommended by Morris Carey!
7 Tips to Boost Safety and Make Your Home Handicap Accessible
Planning to retrofit your home to make it handicap accessible? Fortunately, there are multiple ways to boost safety without tackling a major remodeling project. Instead, focus on a couple strategic swaps to create a functional environment for someone with ambulatory issues or an injury.
- Doorways.Wheelchair width varies, but many are too wide to maneuver freely through doorways. Depending on the doorway’s location, widening could cost $500 to $1,000.
- Showers.Step-in bathtubs often are an accident waiting to happen. To prevent falls, many homeowners convert their tubs to wheelchair-accessible or walk-in showers. For a cheaper option, consider installing a bench seat for extra support.
- Grab bars.These simple additions boost stability in and around the shower, tub and toilet. Professionally installed grab bars cost approximately $100 to $300 per bar.
- Cabinets.High cabinets are difficult to reach for people with mobility issues. Move everyday items, such as toiletries and towels in the bathroom and dishes in the kitchen, to lower cabinets for easier access.
- Toilets.A toilet riser adds height, making it easier to access for people who have trouble bending over. Many risers sell for less than $50 at retail or drug stores.
- Ramps.Adding a threshold ramp to a doorway, or converting a stairway to a ramp not only makes it easier for wheelchairs, but for anyone with ambulatory difficulties. Costs range from around $100 for a low-threshold ramp, to several thousand dollars for a custom ramp, depending on the size and materials used.
- Flooring.Remove thick carpet, rugs and other types of flooring that make it difficult to maneuver a wheelchair or walker.
Gabion Retaining Walls
Gabion is a very ancient system of wall building. This curious name is derived from the Italian for “cage” which describes the primary structure of the wall. The cage is constructed of wire or wire mesh filled with rock or rubble, which requires no special masonry or skilled labor.
Originally cages were made of woven willow wattle, which is more like a giant basket. These were created in ancient military situations up to the Civil War where field structures were required to protect soldiers or artillery. Gabion walls are experiencing a comeback today as a green alternative that utilizes crushed recycled concrete and other waste material instead of rock.
Structurally gabion walls are different, which allows them to be created in virtually any alignment due to the flexibility of the materials. Originally they came to be used as retaining walls in association with waterways, and they can be highly valuable to coastal and riverside homes today. Where there is risk of high water, the gabion wall acts to hold banks and soil layers with a single, somewhat flexible mass of great weight. Unlike block or concrete, which is a solid structure, a gabion retaining wall can move with the earth to retain its integrity despite the ravages of fast moving water. These are far less prone to undermining, and widely used in bank and shore protection.
Recycled concrete makes gabion retaining walls a green solution to bank erosion. Their weakness is in the longevity of the wire basket which may eventually rust away under the right conditions. Newer wire technology, coatings and other materials are extending the life of gabion structures considerably.
A gabion retaining wall is at first a more porous structure through which runoff can travel rather than being forced around to the end of a solid wall. Over time soil particles work their way into the gaps between pieces of rubble making them more solid with every year. The buildup of soil in surface gaps makes them excellent for landscapes because they can support plant life. Older gabions can host a whole community of native plant volunteers that find the elevated locations ideal alternatives to cliff-face nooks and crannies. Over time a gabion left to colonization can virtually disappear in a natural plant community.
Gabions can also be designed with ornamental plants to create a living retaining wall that is less oppressive looking than block or concrete. Plant roots can help the wall hold together decades into the future as they bind together the stones and may one day hold it in place. However, there will be sedimentation due to the water passing through early in the life of the gabion. This problem often eliminates them as an option for residential applications.
Gabion retaining walls are engineered in steps, or in a long flexible sloping shape, with all exhibiting a pronounced batter. This takes a great deal of ground plane to accommodate the bottom tier, which limits their use on spatially challenged sites. Where there is space, this is a more affordable solution, particularly when recycled or locally originated fill is used. In fact, gabion walls can be a perfect match to local landscape boulders to create a more visually integrated design.
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