Thursday, September 20, 2007

Planning ahead

Some things to consider when you think you're done insulating...

Where will you put the towel bars, the shower curtain pole, toilet paper holders, wall cabinets, handrails, thermostats, vent hoods, wall hung plumbing, shelving, closet rods?

All of these require different attention to detail. Handrails, towel bars, ventilation hoods, shelving, poles...these all need solid blocking fastened inside of the framed walls. This provides a place to attach the anchoring hardware each of these items requires. For the most part scrap 2x material (2x4, 2x6) will meet the task. Fasten it at the proper height and you'll have no trouble mounting all of your accessories after the sheetrocking takes place. It can be time consuming and forces you to consider finished details at a stage when the house looks quite unfinished but it's worth it to add blocking even if you suspect you might need it in the future, it's inexpensive and allows lots of flexibility. Think about closet walls, shelving locations, soap dishes, hooks for hanging heavy items. There are a few places where hanging a sheet of 3/4" plywood makes just as much sense, esp. if you haven't finalized the layout of particular items. We're doing this on the wall of our mudroom where we know we'll have hooks, shelves, and perhaps a wall cabinet or two but don't know the exact spot where they'll all be placed.

Speaking of vent hoods we're opting for a lower end model with higher end styling from I purchased it for $329 a few months ago. It lacks the finesse and finished details that a Bosch might have but it's a third of the price, I expected it. The buttons that activate the three speed fan are analog to the core, think of your old tape player - push one button in and the other pops out kind of action. I don't mind it but if you're looking for smooth digital action, this isn't your hood. It claims 860CFM which is more than enough power for our little slide-in range, but I'm doubtful we could stand the noise associated with running it at full speed. The aluminum grease filters are of good quality and it's a listed appliance (UL/ETL listed). Purchasing items on the web can be tricky in that regard, especially when it comes to lighting so be careful, your electrician will be hesitant to install a fixture or appliance that's not listed by a testing agency like ETL/UL. We have to run the ducting in the ceiling space before we finish insulating so this is going over to the site soon.

Finishing up these details before we poly the ceiling over the weekend making way for the sheetrocking next Wednesday.

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