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Building a Home – Raised Bed Gardens

I grew up on a farm in a small town north of Cincinnati in Ohio called Sidney. Besides having cash crops like corn and soybeans, we had a garden for our own use. We used to eat sweet corn in the summer until we’d bust. When I moved to the city, I realized how I’d…

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Building a Home – Tile

Watching the guys prep for and install the bathroom and laundry room tile made me realize how little I actually knew about tile. Every job requires the right foundation for things to move forward smoothly and for a lasting product. In the case of tile, installing the foundation took much more time than the actual…

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Building a Home – Drywall

After the insulation had been blown into the walls, the next step was to hang the drywall. Drywall sheets come in various sizes and compositions, but all of ours were 10′ x 4′ white board. The thickness varied depending on the application: ceiling panels were 5/8″ and vertical walls were 1/2″ (ceiling panels were thicker…

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Building a Home – Gas Lines

The gas line installation was pretty straight forward. We had a ventless gas fireplace, as well as a professional gas range. To my surprise, the installation also included a line into the laundry room for a gas dryer if we decided to go that way. Outside the home, they provided a gas supply for a gas…

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Building a Home – Security

Specifications for our home included security system wiring. Since the security system ran through some of the exterior walls, it needed to be wired before the insulation was blown in. Our general contractor recommended that we explore companies to monitor our home security to make sure the wiring would be adequate for their needs. Several…

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Building a Home – Insulation

Before discussing insulation in new construction, it’s important to understand how it works. Insulation is used to limit the transmission of heat across a distance. For example, we try to limit how much heat is transferred into a home from the outside during summer months. Likewise, we try to limit how much heat we lose…

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Building a Home – HVAC

You’ve probably heard the term HVAC before. It stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Essentially, the system consists of a blower, evaporator, compressor and condenser.  When the system is running in “cool” mode, heat is transferred from the inside of the house to the outside. When it’s in “heat” mode, heat is transferred from the outside to…

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Building a Home – Roof

About the same time the house was being painted, roofers were scurrying around trying to get shingles on both buildings. The shingles being used on our house are dimensional (a.k.a. architectural) shingles made by Tamko. Unlike traditional three tab shingles in which each of the shingles is evenly spaced, architectural shingles consist of two layers…

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Building a Home: Exterior Paint

Things were starting to happen quickly again. The last piece of siding had barely been hung when the paint crew arrived. They brought painters putty and a couple cases of acrylic latex caulk, no paint. They went about filling all the holes, gaps and crevices that might give water access to wood. As I found…

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Building a Home – Windows and Siding

The windows and siding were all delivered on the same day. The framers were also the ones who were to put up the siding and install the windows. Several windows had been installed by the time I got there. “New construction” windows have a nailing fin around the exterior face of the window. Workers would…

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