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Community => Non-audio hobbies and interests => Home Improvements and Renovations => Topic started by: nicksgem10s on 27 Apr 2017, 02:46 am

Title: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: nicksgem10s on 27 Apr 2017, 02:46 am
Hello,

We are taking a big leap of faith and buying a home that will need a lot of repairs and renovation before we will be able to move in and call it home.

One of the main reasons we are buying it because it is on a beautiful 1.9 acre lot in a neighborhood that we love.  Our last home purchase was 4.5 years ago when we sought out the worst home in the best neighborhood.  It was one of the best investments we will ever make.  We are basically repeating the process with a property that has even more potential.

AC has a bunch of smart, thoughtful, creative, and handy people so I figured it would be wise to ask what new technology would you incorporate if you were in my shoes.

To be clear this is a brick ranch home built in 1953 with a walkout basement.  The entire home is in really rough condition.  Most of our budget will be needed just to make the home livable for our family (wife, 6 yr old son, 3.5 yr old son).

I am just wondering if you have incorporated any newer technology that has made your life easier, improved convenience, improved efficiency, basically any technology that you feel provides benefits that exceed the cost.  Or anything you find really fun and exciting! 

I anticipate the kitchen and what will become the main living area will be taken down to the studs during the renovation process.  This will allow some options to install some technology while I have access before new walls are put in.

Would love to hear any and all ideas large and small that you would recommend considering for our home project.

Thanks for your help.

-Nick



Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Armaegis on 27 Apr 2017, 07:49 am
If you need heat and intend to stay for a long time, geothermal heating is an interesting options.

Low voltage lighting systems could be an option, but requires a lot of new wiring run around the house.

Point of use water heaters.

A garage with an extra garage door at the back to allow you to pass right through.

Solar panels?
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 27 Apr 2017, 11:02 am
What fuel is used to heat the house?

Agree with geothermal, point of use water heaters, and solar.  But for geothermal to make sense you'll want to super insulate and seal the house first.  No use filling the pail more efficiently if it still has holes, so upgrade windows/doors, add house wrap, and caulk.  We installed Jel-Win windows when we built 12 years ago and love them in terms of sound and sealing (a poor man's Pella window - my favorite).  Point of use water heaters come in tiny electric units (requires wiring) and can give a shock in the shower, under sink models which I've found can be difficult to make work - get a qualified plumber, or larger on-demand water heaters.  With point of use you can rip out the hot water piping.  With the larger/central on-demand heaters I'd look to replace hot water copper piping with PEX (flexible plastic).  Geothermal makes the most sense if not using natural gas, but on-demand only makes sense if using natural gas.

I installed solar in 2015 under a utility sponsored incentive program here in southern Michigan.  Don't think I'd be interested without the incentive. But as it stands I get electric statements, only see a bill in December/January, the rest of the year I get credits and the system is on schedule to payoff in 8 years.  So my system is tied to the grid (much cheaper/easier/smaller to let the grid be my battery) and it works seamlessly, but when we lose utility power the system goes down too.  If the area the new house is in experiences frequent/long power outages might consider adding a whole house automatic standby generator.  If you're interested I'd consider running a 220 volt circuit out to the garage to recharge an electric/hybrid car.

Other recommended do's and don'ts:  one big basin for kitchen sink - love it; granite countertop - expensive and in the kitchen it has chipped from routine use on edges (mostly around the sink) from heavy fry pans; pre-wire for a portable generator if not going with the whole house unit; install a whole house surge protector (cheap); solar powered attic fans; solar tubes (to bring light into interior spaces), and include a dedicated listening room (duh).

My basement study (listen in the front, office in the back) cost no more to build than ordinary finished space.  Used insulated staggered stud walls, exterior fiberglass door with weather stripping, lined/insulated flexible ductwork, laid cheap pad/commercial carpet, and most importantly optimally shaped it - in my case 8ft x 13ft x 21ft.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: witchdoctor on 27 Apr 2017, 01:26 pm
Hello,

We are taking a big leap of faith and buying a home that will need a lot of repairs and renovation before we will be able to move in and call it home.

One of the main reasons we are buying it because it is on a beautiful 1.9 acre lot in a neighborhood that we love.  Our last home purchase was 4.5 years ago when we sought out the worst home in the best neighborhood.  It was one of the best investments we will ever make.  We are basically repeating the process with a property that has even more potential.

AC has a bunch of smart, thoughtful, creative, and handy people so I figured it would be wise to ask what new technology would you incorporate if you were in my shoes.

To be clear this is a brick ranch home built in 1953 with a walkout basement.  The entire home is in really rough condition.  Most of our budget will be needed just to make the home livable for our family (wife, 6 yr old son, 3.5 yr old son).

I am just wondering if you have incorporated any newer technology that has made your life easier, improved convenience, improved efficiency, basically any technology that you feel provides benefits that exceed the cost.  Or anything you find really fun and exciting! 

I anticipate the kitchen and what will become the main living area will be taken down to the studs during the renovation process.  This will allow some options to install some technology while I have access before new walls are put in.

Would love to hear any and all ideas large and small that you would recommend considering for our home project.

Thanks for your help.

-Nick

Have a feng shui expert survey before you lift a finger.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Peter J on 27 Apr 2017, 01:54 pm
If you were my client, I'd ask how long you intend to be here...is it a future flip? A house that vintage, assuming it hasn't been renovated, will likely have iron pipe for plumbing and non grounded electrical possibly with...gasp...fuses! Get that done first if it's your long term home.

Future flip will dictate different approach. No sense spending on things that won't return their investment.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 27 Apr 2017, 03:01 pm
If you need heat and intend to stay for a long time, geothermal heating is an interesting options.


+1!  Or a high-efficiency dual-stage heat pump.  BIG difference in comfort over hot water baseboard in our renovated 1960 ranch.

If the windows are original, replace them with vinyl.   Made a big difference for us and they are quieter.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: macrojack on 27 Apr 2017, 04:05 pm
Your profile says Motown and that says cold winters. If you do strip back to the studs, have the wall cavities filled with closed cell foam insulation. It's good for about R6.2 per inch so you can achieve about R21 in your walls. Prior to adding the insulation seek out and seal any perforations in the shell. Consider fiberglass framed, low-E windows. If your exterior brick is trashed, consider a vapor barrier house wrap, rigid foam insulation sheets and stucco over all of it. The tighter you can make your shell, the easier it will be to heat and cool the house and potentially you will find you can spend less for HVAC. Solar panels are advised as is the on demand water heater. All-electric is a worthwhile goal as well. There are solar hot water possibilities with a tank and electric boost for protracted cloudy times. Sealing off all perforations between living space and attic will be very meaningful. Attic insulation can be cellulose blown in but, if there are no batts in there, filling the rafter cavities with batts first, is also a good idea. After all of that, you may find, depending on floor plan and other factors, that your best bet is an air source heat pump. Try to max out its efficiency when you buy. The extra money will come back to you in energy savings. LED lights, including fluorescent tubes, can be installed for greater reliability, greater energy savings and more light/less heat. AS mentioned above, first thing should be thorough inspection and necessary upgrade of all electrical and plumbing and an upgrade of the service panel if it has never been done -- or not recently enough. Can you provide some photos and description to better enable us to specify.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: nicksgem10s on 28 Apr 2017, 03:54 am
Peter J:  We are planting our roots and plan to be here for many years.  The improvements and repairs we are making at this time are focused on our family enjoying the home and not resale value. 

You guys are the best.  Lots of great ideas to think about.  Now is a window of opportunity for us to plan to incorporate any changes to be made before we actually start living there in a few months.

What fuel is used to heat the house?

It has a monoflow boiler system with baseboard heat.  I have an estimate for about $5800 worth of repair work for the damage to the existing baseboard in various locations for the damage we know about.  It is likely that number will increase as we suspect we may find additional damage to other areas of baseboard once we fix the problems we are aware of.  The boiler was installed in 2003 and it checked out fine by my HVAC boiler technician (separate inspection from the main home inspection).  They installed air conditioning in 2007 and ran all new duct work with an air handler located in the attic.

Geothermal is interesting but I am starting at square one on this topic.  What would it take to get you over to the house to walk through it with me JLM?  I was hoping you would see this thread and chime in.

Insulation is minimal and will need to be addressed. 

thunderbrick/JLM :  We need to replace many windows and I will definitely check into Jeld-Wen as I remember how much Pella quoted us at our first home many years ago.  They started replacing windows but left most of that project for us. 

I am not familiar with point of use water heaters.  I will research.

Great idea on the one big basin for kitchen sink.  Went with two sided version in our current kitchen and we both felt it was a mistake.

No clue on counter material yet as the entire kitchen design is just getting started.  The good news is there is plenty of room and it will be open concept once we get started with working on it.  The bad news is I know how expensive high quality cabinets, counters, and fixtures are.  It adds up quick!  I do not have the kitchen remodeling skills of bigredmachine.  I saw his kitchen thread in this circle and was in awe  :thumb:.

Armaegis:  Love the idea about the garage door but that will have to go in the want column for another day.

Great points made about the electrical.  This is a pretty big line item as the previous homeowner was creative with some of their DIY electrical work  :o.  I had a master electrician (separate from home inspection) review the entire electrical system on one of our inspection days.  We will be having the major electrical work (new 200 amp panel & additional repairs) done by a professional electrician.

Good ideas on the topic of generator solutions.  Have not given this much thought before now. 

Witchdoctor:  I am pretty sure a feng shui expert would back away slowly after entering the home if they looked at it today. 

Macrojack: You are correct it gets cold in the winter here in Southeast Michigan (Bloomfield Hills).  Great ideas about improving insulation and efficiency.  Electrical and plumbing work are two of the first projects.  Glad to have all the thoughtful input on these topics from such knowledgeable people such as yourself.  Exterior brick is one of the bright spots.  The actual structure is in excellent condition according to all the professional inspections we had done.

JLM:  Love the dedicated listening room comment!  Not sure about the dedicated part but there will be listening 8).

Thank you for all the thoughts so far.  I really appreciate all of you taking time to chime in with some great ideas and advice.  I need to get much more active on AC.  It is such a wonderful community of people!

Thank you and keep the ideas coming if you think of anything else.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Nick77 on 28 Apr 2017, 11:55 am
Variable speed fan on heating unit, fresh air intake is also nice. Internet ready thermostat.
Touch faucets in kitchen.
Induction stovetop and convection oven.
Inwall vacuum.
2 shower heads.
Master closet with connected doorway to utility if possible.
Oversize kitchen sink, one compartment is nice.
Undercabinet lighting.
Audio needs wiring to appropriate rooms with surge/filter protection attached to panel or audio room. I have about eight filtered surge protected outlets protecting TV's and audio room.
Highly recommend foam where you can, we weren't able to swing upfront cost and paying for it now. :(
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 28 Apr 2017, 12:32 pm
Dedicated listening space allows to listen to what and when you want.  Insulating it allows for how loud (or more importantly how much quieter with less background noise) you want.  I start listening at 5:30 and don't disturb others.  The next owner can always use it for a den, HT, or whatever.

We have a convection/microwave and rarely use it (very expensive).  Mortgaging stuff like this makes it twice as expensive.

We have central vacuum and love it.  Dirt leaves the house, period.  None of the HEPA filter B.S.  Paid $1300 for it 13 years ago, but build to the house, unless you really love the idea, cramming the house with high tech can be overkill in terms of enjoyment, payoff, and eventual resale.  We also installed an April-aire (Space Gard) 6.5 inch thick pleated furnace filter and most of our windows are fixed units due to allergy concerns.

We have a 10ft x 14ft mud room - too big.  Laundry has turned from a series of events into a lifestyle with a couple of baskets of laundry always there.  But make sure you put a drip pan under the washer (and water heater) with a flood alarm.

We have tons of lights in the kitchen including under cabinet which is especially good if you have dark countertops.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: lokie on 28 Apr 2017, 12:45 pm
There are a lot of home control system out there w heavy marketing activity. For ex... the displays you see in the big box home retailers.

My advice is to stick w "old school" companies like Honeywell, Johnson Controls and the like. Real world experience and great engineers beat the bells and whistles of the Silicon Valley Crowd.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 28 Apr 2017, 01:35 pm
There are a lot of home control system out there w heavy marketing activity. For ex... the displays you see in the big box home retailers.

My advice is to stick w "old school" companies like Honeywell, Johnson Controls and the like. Real world experience and great engineers beat the bells and whistles of the Silicon Valley Crowd.

+1 
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Peter J on 28 Apr 2017, 02:46 pm
Nick, it might be wise to look at the improvements in terms of possibility of retrofitting later vs. doing when there is access and home is unoccupied. Renovating can simply get out of hand dollar-wise, but I don't know that part of the equation. You know what you have to spend, what you're going to finance, etc.

I'm a function first kind of guy, so that's where I come from. Given what little I know of your situation, that list would look something like this;

1. Plumbing. Remove most if not all iron pipe. Supply side would be first priority, drains next. This may include supply from house to street assuming city water. Iron supply pipe original to the house is at the end of it's useful life and better products exist now. If you're lucky supply will be copper. If you're really lucky drains will be too. Don't let the crackheads know though.


2. Electrical. Upgrade to current standards. Add outlets, more than you think you need. Were it me, I'd run Ethernet cabling in every room and at least drop into crawlspace or someplace accessible in the future. Coax probably less of a thing now. Plan on a robust enterprise-grade wireless network like Ubiquiti, 'cuz that's where things are headed. When wiring, you may want to consider some kind of home-run system which facilitates future control with the likes of Insteon and such. Wire for things in the future as much as possible. Heat pumps, bigger AC, solar, etc.

3. Insulation. Old houses suffer in  two arenas here. Lack of insulation and air sealing. The brick veneer limits what you can address on the exterior. Studies have been done that indicate at least 40% of heat and cold loss in older homes it attributable to air leaks, not lack of insulation. Addressing this at the framing level is best and will get you closer to what's currently being done in the most energy efficient homes. The details are important. Although foam can be a good way to accomplish air sealing, be cautious you're not adding vapor barriers where they would be a liability, open cell foam is often a better alternative.

 My guess is the attic where AC lives is not conditioned space. Best practice is to somehow make it closer to that. Either make the entire attic conditioned space, which has it's own set of concerns, or isolate the AC unit and ductwork with insulation. There is much to know here, building science is an ever-changing subject. A savvy efficiency retrofit company would be your best bet. Unfortunately many who occupy that space truly suck at it. Educate yourself to separate wheat from chaff if you're hiring it out. Good place to start reading : https://buildingscience.com/

Most old houses have a built in limitation where walls meets roof.  There's not enough vertical space for high R insulation...just the physical nature of things. Putting huge insulation in center of house doesn't improve things much, but won't hurt. Make air sealing your priority. To retrofit an old structure to SOTA energy efficiency is compromised by the structure itself. Can't make the silk purse from sow's ear, but you can get a lot closer. Maybe a chintz purse.

4. In my mind, it makes little sense to spend on super high efficiency HVAC if your structure envelope shoots it in the foot. Do the core stuff first. It's not something you can measure with your eyeballs, but will make a more comfortable, efficient home out of something that was built when efficiency wasn't on anyone's radar.

Edited to add: it just occurred to me this may be plaster and lath construction. That adds a PIA factor and expense to boot. Also, I think it would be prudent to be conscious of lead based paint and it's potential effect on children in particular. Much to read about this subject, could start here: https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 28 Apr 2017, 03:07 pm
What Peter J said, 100%!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Bizarroterl on 28 Apr 2017, 03:18 pm
I add my vote for plenty of insulation.  Done right, a well insulated home is very comfortable.  Lower utility bills are just icing on the cake.  A couple years back I did a major remodel.  One of the features I wanted was closed cell foam.  I specified it for 2 reasons - greater R value per inch and its sealing value.

The contractor was against it.  "Why would you want to do something like that?"  "It's a waste of money"  He even tried to get my wife on board with his way of thinking.

We ended up with the foam as I wanted.

Then the comments were "This house really stays cool a long time before it starts to warm up" (still in construction w/no AC in mid summer).  "I'm offering closed cell foam insulation to all my clients"  "I remodeled a part of my home and used the foam.  It works great!"   :thumb:

One of the hazards of working with contractors is that they're used to doing things a certain way.  Once you start to ask for untried (to them) technologies they put on the brakes.  New technologies are a risk to their profit and aren't accepted comfortably.  If you really want to push the envelope you should be sure to discuss exactly what you want before you sign off and then be willing to closely monitor the construction process to ensure you get it.  If the contractor isn't familiar with something you desire you may need to become the knowledge source for the contractor.
Regardless, to get the best result you need to educate yourself as best you can so you can ensure you're getting what you expect.  Assuming a contractor knows what they're doing can be dangerous.  IE My brother had an electrician run speaker wire in his walls during construction.  Fortunately he checked before they were closed up or he would have had one wire (not 2) to each speaker location.  The electrician didn't understand the problem.   :scratch:
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Armaegis on 28 Apr 2017, 03:26 pm
Since it's an old beat up house, check the roof for wood rot (or it might warrant a new roof entirely). Speaking from experience here, I've seen bad patch jobs that resulted in lots of creeping damage.

No one's mentioned toilets yet, but upgrade to decent low flow ones and see if your local utilities offer a rebate. For that matter, call up the all the utilities companies and see what sort of rebates they offer for making your home more energy efficient.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Peter J on 28 Apr 2017, 03:28 pm
  IE My brother had an electrician run speaker wire in his walls during construction.  Fortunately he checked before they were closed up or he would have had one wire (not 2) to each speaker location.  The electrician didn't understand the problem.   :scratch:

That's sad, but I can see it happening. The "we've always done it that way" bites my butt on occasion, but this seems to transcend even that...
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: rpf on 28 Apr 2017, 04:26 pm
Lots of great advice.

I have some concerns about (at least solely) using spray foam insulation however. Installer selection is extremely crucial as, if not very carefully mixed and installed (in passes of < two inches deep), they may not set up properly and may permanently smell, or even start a fire. And of course, not perform to spec.

There are a lot of chemicals in them (blowing agents, binding agents, flame retardants which don't actually work, etc.) that are environmentally unfriendly or even unsafe.

They are extremely flammable (have a quick flashover point) and give off toxic gases when burned.

If later renovations are required it is difficult to work around and impossible to remove (without removing the structural pieces it's adhered to).

They do, however, do an excellent job (within the above constraints) of air sealing a building. If you want this advantage then the best approach perhaps would be using the "flash and batt" method, which is a light pass of spray foam (for air sealing) covered with batts. Mineral wool, of course. Fiberglass is garbage, having a fair initial R value that degrades rapidly with a drop in temperature (labelled R value ratings are calculated at 75 degrees F), settling, age, or moisture. Mineral wool does none of these things and has the advantages of not absorbing moisture, not harboring pests, and being truly flame/fire resistant. It is also easier to cut and work with.

See http://www.roxul.com

They also have a sound/fire resistant mineral wool product for interior walls. Used both in an apartment renovation and love the results.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: bentconvert on 28 Apr 2017, 05:11 pm
Some things we've done to our home you might consider:

Since you have a boiler for heating, another hot water option would be an indirect water heater. Basically a well insulated stainless steel tank that uses your existing boiler to heat the water. More efficient, faster recovery, and longer life than standard water heater.

Instead of a standard range we put in a gas cooktop and an in-wall electric oven. It is convenient, especially when you are older, to not have to bend down to move things in and out of the oven.

If you need a new roof look into class 4 roofing. They are more wind and impact resistant and the savings on insurance paid for the increased cost in approximately one year. May be different in your area but worth looking into.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: jpm on 28 Apr 2017, 06:24 pm

2. Electrical. Upgrade to current standards. Add outlets, more than you think you need. Were it me, I'd run Ethernet cabling in every room and at least drop into crawlspace or someplace accessible in the future. Coax probably less of a thing now. Plan on a robust enterprise-grade wireless network like Ubiquiti, 'cuz that's where things are headed. When wiring, you may want to consider some kind of home-run system which facilitates future control with the likes of Insteon and such. Wire for things in the future as much as possible. Heat pumps, bigger AC, solar, etc.


+1

It should go without saying here on AC, but plan dedicated power circuits for AV where they may be wanted while drywall is down as well as possibly whole house protection - others likely have much more expertise on the latter.

While wireless capabilities are improving constantly, so is demand on it's bandwidth. Adding structured cabling (ie Cat6a) and carefully picking your central distribution point is a good idea. Add more cable than you think you could ever need, leave plenty of slack cable at strategic points and try to route it freely enough that it can be used to pull replacement cable through if needed. Use a different color of cable for any segments where you plan to use POE (power over ethernet) and label everything obsessively!

While Ubiquiti put enterprise class access points squarely in the budget of home users (where you'll want POE today) don't overlook the physical security benefit of wired connections, i.e. those would be neighborhood hacker kids have to physically get onto your wire rather than sitting in a car in on the street. Ubiquiti also put powerful routing capability supporting multiple segments (i.e. an isolated segment for those "Internet of Things" devices) within typical budgetary reach. While this may sound daunting, there's a lot of community support for their equipment.

Riser rated cable
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=18592

Wireless
https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap-ac-lr/

Routing
https://www.ubnt.com/products/#edgemax
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Mike in NC on 28 Apr 2017, 06:35 pm
Regarding insulation, any place you might use fiberglass batts, consider using Roxul (mineral wool) instead. It provides better sound insulation and better fire protection.

Along the same lines, for areas where you are replacing wallboard, consider QuietRock or some other sound-absorbing sheetrock. If installed as directed, it will cut noise considerably, which can be benefit. I would especially consider it for privacy around bathrooms and bedrooms.

Have fun!
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: mcgsxr on 28 Apr 2017, 07:26 pm
Lots of excellent advice here for sure.

I have done a few of them myself with help from AC during a basement finishing exercise a few years ago.

Consider a media closet/home run approach to some of the networking stuff.  Pre wiring Cat 6, coax, speaker wire, balanced (XLR) etc can be really useful after the walls go up.  So too conduit to areas you may put gear in the future - I simply installed in wall vacuum tube before the drywall.  Use in wall rated wiring of course.

Spray foam was great in the basement.

I considered a single well sink for the kitchen, but went with the more traditional 2 well approach.  I do LOVE the look of the single well, but as a guy that does dishes, I wanted a place for the drying rack (and not on the counter).

+1 on the granite chipping around the sink.  I believe in my case it was washing the heavy crock pot liner and it slipped in my hands in the sink.  You cannot see it, but it is easily felt.  I have no idea if quartz would have survived or would have chipped anyway.

Good luck, and try to have some fun too!
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Folsom on 28 Apr 2017, 11:15 pm
Smart home stuff? I think being able to check the garage door open/close is a nice feature. Fans like I cover below is really cool now but... I can't think of much that really benefits.

1. Coax/ethernet: You only need ethernet running to locations for TV's or gaming computers. The reality is you can just double coaxial run to the main TV and be fine. 1 cable if you do satellite, 1 cable for Internet. The reason to have the Internet by the TV is so it'll have a high speed connection for Netflix etc.

The one exception is ethernet to your listening area for a server that's located out of the room, really.

Maybe I'm out of touch, but I don't know the purpose or desire for ethernet all over, basically everyone uses wireless computers. Maybe for door bells that have cameras and stuff like that?

2. Electrical: Gut it. Seriously don't live in fear of a fire your whole life. No home from that era has remotely safe wire or sockets. Get a new breaker panel that's got copper bars. Square D is good, but do not get the Homeline bullshit and don't let any "master" electrician tell you the Homeline is cool. The homeline has aluminum bus bars and the GFCI breakers you can use for bathrooms go bad.

Do not use backstab outlets, get Leviton or Eagle with screws on the side, you can test for a decent grip at the store.

For the listening room consider a dedicated line, ideally with JPS in-wall wire, but it'll cost you. Finish it off with a decent socket from DaveC. But also consider a SurgeX panel mount for feeding your outlet/s for the stereo. This is a great option for affordability compared to expensive things that need to be in the room and perform worse.

3. Efficiency is not just insulation: If you can spend the money get windows that are manufactured at high altitudes so they don't need pressure release holes that bleed off the efficiency as the years go by. Good windows on a very hot day are less than 1 degree difference in temperature from the wall. In fact they're so good that if you walk in front of them on a hot day you'll start sweating if it's a big bay of windows.  And make sure you get enough light in the place if you're someone that cares about that. My current place makes me feel like a vampire and it drives me nuts sometimes being in the living room (my stereo is not, thankfully). The windows will have the biggest long term turn around along with insulation, where as lights are not a huge difference. The electrical companies slowly raise prices to compensate for efficiency increases :lol: ; where as you almost can't find a home with truly good windows at any price, unless they were installed after the fact.

4. Cabinets: I don't know what you have there, but don't settle for anything that doesn't use Blum or Salice hardware. Plywood isn't something I'd require, but that's only true if the particle board is as good as Huntwood's. I still prefer their 3/4 particle board. (good god it's heavy).

Think about cabinets for the laundry setup. I like having them below, on the sides, and above the machines. You use front loaders typically for this, but not necessarily depending on how tall the cabinets below and above are. But I like the whole built in. I don't have them in my place but I put in a tall cabinet on one side and wall cabinets across the top. The extra storage is a blessing.

5. The floor: For a listening room you may want to add lots of cross bracing, you can but it took, looks like an X with a board on each end. This keeps down the walking and food tapping from going straight into the turntable. Just something to think about.

6. HVAC vents: Sure, get all of this done/checked now, but BE WARNED... do not locate any vents in the ceiling in your listening room unless you LOVE to clean vinyl. Nice cool air, but does it breath crap all over your records and charge them with static electricity as they play?

7. Ceiling fans: If you want these plan ahead and either having extra wires, or know you're getting Emerson's which do not require extra wires for functions with light and speed (most models I think). Ya they cost like $400-800 a piece depending on options. If you want a cheaper wobbler you'll probably want to run the extra wires so you don't have to use the stupid little strings to adjust it.

8. Save some money for furniture: Just saying... if you want it to look nice and have some nice quality furniture don't forget it cost some $$$$. I've been enjoying a Stickley couch lately and it's nice to know it won't fall apart; and if it did it would get replaced. And I can sit on the arms relentlessly. But it cost as much as a nice pair of speakers or something.

9. Room opening/planning: I'm sure you've talked about opening certain areas up. Consider in the design avoiding any sliding closet doors, maybe use built-ins for closets. I freaking hate the sliding doors for my pantry and regularly study the walls around it thinking about how to destroy their shitty existence.

10. Plumbing: If you don't have a modern sewage line put it in NOW instead of when the family has to poop all the time and you have the lawn all nicely done. And consider other checking/updating as mentioned by others. 

11. Paint: If it's been painted recently and it wasn't with no VOC paints, you might want to redo the nice areas. If it's several years old it doesn't matter so much. Just saying... I don't trust people.



I think everyone else is having nice suggestions. One's I liked/didn't

*Induction stove? EHHHH... RUN GAS even if you aren't planning to use it. I love gas.

*Utility sink, LOVE them. It's criminal I don't have one currently.

*Fresh air intake, wish I had that! You need good filters, but I have to open up my place to get the fresh air in.

*Central Vacuum, never seen one in person, love the idea.

*Ceiling up house from air leaks/bug/rodent inlets

*Toilets, get the ones you want. I personally can't be pleased. The one I use the most is 1.6g flush but it's extremely tough to clog as it's meant to flush dam near anything. Drawback? Comfort height is a total idiot idea IMO. All it does is make it a less natural experience. I prefer lower toilets, with the man sized shape, but the one I use the most if the guest bathroom too so no one can clog my shitter!

*In-wall oven and microwave, big fan myself. I like appliances and such built into the wall. It often allows a larger pantry to be used. The challenging part is a fridge that's in wall (depending on depth available), they usually cost thousands. But some have special filters to keep food fresh longer.

Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: jpm on 29 Apr 2017, 08:04 am
Maybe I'm out of touch, but I don't know the purpose or desire for ethernet all over, basically everyone uses wireless computers. Maybe for door bells that have cameras and stuff like that?

Some reasons: security; reliability; bandwidth; POE. ...

It's so easy and inexpensive to install the cable with the drywall off, and costs so little. Often the biggest challenges with streaming audio tie back to wireless network performance, and 4k TV is coming up faster than wireless networks are evolving.

Wired networking may seem old fashioned, but the stability, low cost and reliability can make a world of difference in eliminating both current and future headaches.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: mcgsxr on 29 Apr 2017, 02:16 pm
I enjoy wireless for end user devices.  I use wired for the infrastructure. 

Allows for spreading wifi all through the property, and reliable streaming to tv's etc.

Save the wifi bandwidth for laptops and tablets. 

If the walls are already open, it's a rounding error in cost for the project to add some wire.

Worth a thought for your project.  You may not want it. 
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: ctviggen on 29 Apr 2017, 03:38 pm
I also like having computers, TVs, receivers, etc. being wired, and using wireless for everything else.  There are going to be more and more wireless (thermostats, fire alarms, appliances, etc.), so you want to take off some amount of bandwidth from wireless if possible.

As for insulation, this is a much more complex calculation.  There was a Find Homebuilding article a while ago that compared various insulation levels (new home), and they reached the conclusion that at some point you're spending much more money for very little improvement.  In fact, you could simply add a slightly bigger set of solar panels and that would overcome the difference in heating/cooling costs and be much cheaper.  One reason is that the heating and cooling costs, while substantial, are only part of the equation.  The cost to run all your AC equipment (computers, phones, receivers, washers, dryers, fridges, freezers, etc.) are fixed.  Even if you reduce heating and cooling to zero, you have a substantial energy use.  For instance, in my house, we have a house connected to an in-law.  We have two microwaves, three ovens, two sets of cook tops, a freezer, hot water for 5 people, two refrigerators, and a pool pump in the summer.  That's a substantial energy load.

Also, while closed cell foam is good at stopping air leaks and has a high R value, it's very expensive.  Multiples of other insulation.  Also, if you have a 2x4 wall that you spray foam, the boards only have an R value of 1/inch, so you're looking at a lower R value overall. Unless you add a thermal break, such as building staggered 2x4s on 2x8 or 2x6 headers.  That would give you a higher overall R value.  Another thing to consider is to have the outside walls sealed with a closed cell sealant, but then fill the walls with normal insulation (Roxul is good) or (even better and not much more expensive) blown in insulation.  There are many other techniques, including building a normal 2x4 outside wall then a 2x4 inside wall separated by a gap to get a complete thermal break and filling this with blown in insulation.  Blown in insulation has almost the air sealing of foam, but is way cheaper.

I further recommend doing more research about water systems.  Point of use sounds good, but it's not efficient and you have to run wiring everywhere.  If you get a heat-pump water heater, that will be much more efficient.  However, it's tricky.  The normal idea is to size the tank appropriately, but what they found with heat-pump water heaters is they have to be larger:  you don't want the heating elements to come on, and if the tank isn't large enough, they will come on more often.  They also have to be in relatively warm locations (cold basements aren't the best), or else they won't be as efficient.

The same goes with using PEX tubing in a home run system.  It sounds great to have everything run individually using PEX, but if you have a bathroom far away from the heater (assuming a central heater), and you have PEX run to the sink and separate PEX run to the shower, if you run water to get it hot in the sink, the shower will be cold. 

Personally, I'd run a large heat-pump water heater and for any bathrooms far away, install a recirculator to get the water hot.  I'd look into solar hot water, too, but those seem very expensive for the amount of improvement you get.  I'd do a comparison between those and a heat-pump water heater.

As for geothermal, those are incredibly expensive.  I hear estimates of 50-70k.  It would take many, many years to get that back.  If you have a heating system already, I'd use a heat pump system with the current heating system as a backup for cold days.  I'd use a variable speed air handler and a variable speed heat pump.  Another think to look into is the new systems where you use an outdoor heat pump and then they run coolant to on-the-wall units. Your house has to be well sealed for those, and they also get less efficient the colder it gets.  We did install those for our in-law unit, though, and she likes them. 
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: ctviggen on 29 Apr 2017, 03:49 pm
If you do want to go solar, you likely "need" a south-facing roof.  Another thing to consider.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 29 Apr 2017, 05:18 pm
CTV makes a lot of good points, but when I looked into geothermal it was in the 30K range as a retrofit.   I was on the cusp of doing that but couldn't get straight answers from the company I was dealing with, and opted for the HE heat pump.  I have a coworker who has a much bigger house and uses ground-source geothermal.  His heat and A/C is less than $100 per month, but then a recent system repair cost him around $5K.    :o
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: WGH on 30 Apr 2017, 04:43 am
A lot of good ideas in this thread, I have been working on custom homes for over 40 years, here are a few things I like:

Open floor plans, older homes often have too many doors and small rooms - remove some walls.
A walk in shower.
R40 or more ceiling insulation
Marvin Integrity Windows - extruded fiberglass lasts longer than vinyl and never needs paint - consider the Low E3-366 glass upgrade because heat gain is much lower:
http://www.marvin.com/integrity (http://www.marvin.com/integrity)
http://www.cardinalcorp.com/products/coated-glass/loe-366/ (http://www.cardinalcorp.com/products/coated-glass/loe-366/)

Blum Tandenbox and Blumotion self closing drawer guides and hinges.
A high quality range hood with squirrel cage fans will keep the kitchen grease free
Under cabinet LED lights on a dimmer
Low voltage ceiling lights in the kitchen
 
In wall HDMI cable from computer area to TV. I like everything hard wired and interconnected - old school always works best when electronics are concerned.

A friend has a point of use water heater and it always needs repairs/replacement long before the break even point.

A really nice custom made entry door.

Wayne
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: ctviggen on 30 Apr 2017, 10:54 am
CTV makes a lot of good points, but when I looked into geothermal it was in the 30K range as a retrofit.   I was on the cusp of doing that but couldn't get straight answers from the company I was dealing with, and opted for the HE heat pump.  I have a coworker who has a much bigger house and uses ground-source geothermal.  His heat and A/C is less than $100 per month, but then a recent system repair cost him around $5K.    :o

If geothermal was $35k, I'd do that in a heart beat (both my AC units are old, use old coolant, need everything replaced).  Most companies where I am won't even quote geothermal because it's so expensive.  And, outside heat pumps have gotten so much better, the improvement by going geothermal isn't much, and you need at least another 10k to drill wells for geothermal.  I'm going to have an estimate soon, but it was for total replacement of one AC unit; I'll see if they'll quote geothermal and replacement of two AC units.

The fiberglass windows are supposedly really good, as they also expand/contract less.  As for heat gain, this is a tough calculation also.  If you have a house in winter where it's cold, you wouldn't mind some heat gain in the winter for south facing windows.  But it's opposite of that in the summer.  Better to add heat gain in the winter, with a covering that provides more sun in winter but blocks sun in summer.  We have south facing windows, and it the heat gain in the winter is amazing.  Sadly, the same in the summer.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: macrojack on 30 Apr 2017, 11:08 am
Wayne - Thanks for the links to Marvin windows. Is there an entry door manufacturer you would recommend? While not as confusing as windows, the entry door is something little understood and never explained sufficiently. Maybe it's as simple as it looks but I thought that about windows too until I started reading. Windows are like speakers in that everyone makes a game-changer according to their sales material.
I have been looking into Alpen Glass windows with the heat shield technology. Their numbers seem to exceed Marvin's best but controversy still lingers over their long term service prospects. Do you know anything about this product? From what I've read, all windows use Cardinal Glass. What makes one manufacturer's product better than another? Is it just frame design and construction? Quality and durability of moving parts? Something mystical?
Also wondering what is recommended for an air exchanger. Is there a sizing formula? A preferred brand or model? Installation tips? Typical cost?
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: WGH on 30 Apr 2017, 08:03 pm
Is there an entry door manufacturer you would recommend?

I highly recommend WGH Woodworking: http://www.wghwoodworking.com/ (http://www.wghwoodworking.com/) (shameless plug)

Alpen looks like a quality product, I don't know what makes one manufacture better than another. One fact of life is that windows sometimes leak so you want a company that will be around in 10 years and stands behind their product. I went with Marvin in my house remodel because my contractor recommended them and they fit into my budget - 7 windows: 1 - 48x68 fixed, 6 - 36x37 gliders for $3355. All the windows have low e3-366 argon filled glass and there is very little heat gain in the Tucson summer even from the West facing picture window.

I think super insulating, modern glass and eliminating drafts is much better than trying to eek out a little solar heat gain in the winter. Winters in Tucson are pretty mild and I have found the combination of a running refrigerator, watching a little TV on the 60" plasma, and cooking dinner is more than enough to heat my home. My gas bill includes the water heater, stove, and gas pack (furnace/AC unit) averages $32/month year round.

Wayne
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 30 Apr 2017, 08:31 pm
OP is located in metro Detroit.

When we built, the best "medium priced" front doors were insulated fiberglass doors from Mennards.  Ours is full stained glass with matching side light and cost less than half (and we liked the design better) than what the builder suggested.  Fiberglass doesn't rust, warp, or decay and it readily accepts stain or paint.

I took a class in super insulated house design a couple of years ago.  R-65 floors, walls, and ceiling/attic with German made triple pane windows were recommended.  One centrally located small split system and a hair dryer sized electric heater is all that's needed for a small house (along with recirculating air and heat exchanger).
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Bemopti123 on 30 Apr 2017, 11:19 pm
Interestingly enough I am also in the process of having gutter out an old house for my mom to live in.  There was extensive mold/leakage damage that we gutted everything to the studs and beams.  I also got myself boracare with mold killer and sprayed that liberaly almost everywhere where I saw either dryrot or mold damage. 

In terms of plumbing, the house was sclerotic in terms of functioning water, everything was redone and the eternal question of PVC vs Cast Iron, PVC won out after getting some info from people who teach people at a trade school. 

Electric was gutted and rewired with a bigger box.  Romex not BX. 

The biggest investment in terms of material was bats of Roxul, which the local HD did not carry.  I got comfort bat for basement foundation walls and got R15 for insulation between the attic and the second floor ceiling in order to insulate from noise and heat/cold.  Moreover I got almost 5 pallets of Roxul R30 with 12 packets of 6 bat each from HD online. 

There was a pleasant surprise when we opened the R30.  It is frigging thick, almost 8" thick vs the R15 which is just 4".  Meaning, if you get the R30, you are getting almost double the coverage of the R15 in the same bundle.  Most of the studs and the cavities of this old house cannot take more than 3-4" of Roxul, meaning, my calculation came out perfect.  I was about to order almost 9 pallets but I tried 5 first and later I was planning to order more but I now have sufficient. 

The house is dead quiet after the Roxul has been placed in the cavities and that is before putting up drywalls. 

Moreover, I am also installing a smart vapor barrier membrane called Certainteed Membrain.  It allows the walls to breathe in order to prevent dampness and condensation within the walls. 

I have specified green drywall under the roof in order to prevent damage in case of leakage.  I will not use the Certainteed membrain on the roof ceilings in order to detect leakage fast. 

I also installed drains on all bathroom floors, in case that there is leakage or an overflow, everything will run to this drain rather than flooding out.  I was told about this by a Romanian Engineer I used to work with and who had a 4 unit rental in Ridgewood NY. 

I am also installing LED fixtures everywhere it is possible and also motion sensor on/switches in order to turn off any lights automatically in case people forget.  I have seen this in Europe.  I call it a wise investment. 

Good luck with the house construction.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 30 Apr 2017, 11:43 pm
If geothermal was $35k, I'd do that in a heart beat

That's the quote I got about 5 years ago.   We live in a relatively low-cost/low income area, outside of town, so insurance company and realtor issues aside, there are no codes or inspections.  I spent 7 years in local building supply sales and have seen some really interesting/scary building that goes on in rural America.  Lot of old houses in the area that have been "renovated" by amateurs, and as a result the rural fire department stays pretty busy.

 :slap:
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Tone Depth on 30 Apr 2017, 11:45 pm
My brother in law replaced his wired network with a fiber network, and was pleased with the performance increase. That might be a new technology to consider for your LAN.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Folsom on 1 May 2017, 01:32 am
Sometimes you can save an awful lot of money going directly to an insulation supplier. I was helping my father with his garage and someone told us to go to the local big supply place. Instead of spending up to $500 for the garage it was around $140. I have to imagine all their other items were cheaper too, like closed cell foam etc.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 1 May 2017, 01:57 am
I've also learned that local contractor lumberyards are often much cheaper on fasteners and many other items.  Often better quality than HD or Lowes.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 4 May 2017, 01:48 pm
So I got together with Nick to see the house in question.  He's in the habit of buying the worst house on the block and he's really succeeded in achieving that goal this time.  Beautiful neighborhood and wonderful lot, but the house is very run down.  I pity the old woman who previously lived there.  Basement is very damp, most of the perimeter hot water heating lines leak, many of the windows have to be replaced, wiring is nearly all wrong, and overall the home is in rough shape.  So the new technologies question is a low priority, but he will have opportunities to apply some of your ideas. 
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: randytsuch on 4 May 2017, 03:26 pm
Heated kitchen floor?  It's really nice to walk on a heated tile floor in the winter, but it does add cost.

I'd run Ethernet to wherever you can, while it's easy.  Consider running it to attic and basement too, may have some use in future.
Put some outlets outside, at least in front and back.

I'd consider running Ethernet for POE security cameras.  They are pretty cheap now.  And if you can't afford them, you can run to a junction box, and add later.
Cover front door, back door, and sides of house as a minimum.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Bob2 on 4 May 2017, 03:55 pm
I'd run Ethernet to wherever you can, while it's easy.

+1
We recently purchased a new washer and dryer. While not requiring Ethernet access they can communicate via smartphone for diagnostic and repair service.
Probably see networked appliances in the not too distant future.
Although I can't imagine firmware updates on a refrigerator........ :o
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Armaegis on 4 May 2017, 06:57 pm
Security cameras is one of the better arguments for PoE that I've heard.

I would shy away from "smart" appliances however. The shelf life on those is not great... the more parts there are, the more potential for break down. I don't need a diagnostic app for my fridge because it has a compressor and a fan, that's it. It's not high efficiency like all the new stuff these days, but the last time it broke down it was a $20 part from the local hardware shop to get it back up again. On the flipside, my friends have a super fancy fridge with all the digital doodads. The diagnostic tools don't do you much good though, because there's literally nothing you can do to fix it as oftentimes the entire circuit board or whatever gets replaced. That was a $400 repair bill.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: randytsuch on 4 May 2017, 08:05 pm
Alarm system wiring?

I would wire doors and windows with magnetic alarm sensors.

Fairly easy to do during construction, much harder to do later.

Yes, you could add wireless sensors later, but then you have to worry about batteries.
With wired sensors, you just need to make sure the wires don't get cut lol.


For electrical wiring, I would make sure neutral is available at all wall switches.  If you want to add zwave or similar later, its easier if you have neutral at the switch.


If somebody already said this, ignore.  I didn't read this entire thread.


EDIT:  Put power outlets by toilets.  Then you can add "butt washer" toilets or toilet seats if you want. 
The kids bathroom has a fancy Toto butt washer, spoiled kids lol.


Randy
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: ctviggen on 5 May 2017, 09:03 pm
I agree with these two, too.  I think neutral is required for a lot of switches (such as Insteon, which I use) and when we redo our bathrooms, we would add in electrical to get a nicer toilet with bidet.  I had to add in a neutral for one of the insteon switches I wired in.  In this case, it wasn't hard to do, but a pain.  Much easier to do in the wiring stage.

I think putting tile in the kitchen is a good idea.  I know people really like wood, but our wood is ruined due to water spills.  We could probably get it resurfaced, but we made the mistake of not doing that when we moved in. We had wood installed in the upstairs, but like idiots didn't think about the downstairs.  We should have had them refinished. Now, there's too much stuff everywhere.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: WGH on 5 May 2017, 10:40 pm
I shy away from new technology, everything I have owned with a LCD screen eventually has gone bonkers at one time or another (which is why I like AVA electronics).

Putting a microprocessor controlled LCD screen on a stove seems like the worst idea ever. Our parent's stove's lasted for 50 years, I can't imagine a new stove lasting that long. So I picked an "analog" stove for my kitchen remodel. True commercial ranges were out of my budget but I discovered NXR through a local dealer and after 4 years I am 100% satisfied. When I went to order the stove the sales person was rude and unhelpful so I bought online from AJ Madison (https://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/DRGB3001X.html) for $2050 (don't forget to order the continuous center grate) with free delivery and saved on sales tax too.

Consumer Reports: A $2,000 pro-style range beats some bigger names in our tests
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/07/a-2-000-pro-style-range-beats-some-bigger-names-in-our-tests/index.htm (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/07/a-2-000-pro-style-range-beats-some-bigger-names-in-our-tests/index.htm)
I disagree with CR reporting "it didn't provide fast cooktop heat, and baking and broiling were so-so", in my opinion the cooktop heat and baking are excellent (I don't broil).

My simple kitchen includes a real quiet 18" Bosch dishwasher (far left), black Blanco Silgranite sink and KWC faucet.
(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=161865)

Commercial style ranges put out a lot of heat so a dual squirrel cage hood is a must, the Ancona is affordable and quiet, get a hood in the $550 price range so it has adequate CFM.

Plan ahead if you decide to go this route, you will need to install a new 3/4" gas line for all commercial style ranges.

Wayne   
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: kenreau on 5 May 2017, 11:00 pm
While not a new tech recommendation, this does go along with implementing it.  We purchased a 100+ year old house this past year and it had at least 2 generations of power and mechanical systems done to it over the years.  I've been fixing and replacing things, along with retrofitting a man cave dedicated home theater room.

My single recommendation would be to strip the drywall/sheet rock on walls and ceilings down to the studs to start.  This allows everyone to see the concealed conditions, locations, access paths, dry rot, problem areas, et al and your mechanical and electrical subcontractors ease of installation of what you need to replace.  Re-sheetrock and paint it all when you are done with the new in wall stuff and you'll end up with a better finished product for probably less money and faster schedule.

Best of luck
Kenreau
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: WGH on 5 May 2017, 11:27 pm
My single recommendation would be to strip the drywall/sheet rock on walls and ceilings down to the studs to start.  This allows everyone to see the concealed conditions, locations, access paths, dry rot, problem areas, et al and your mechanical and electrical subcontractors ease of installation of what you need to replace.

Great idea! My house was built in 1950, just 3 years before the OP's and much of the plumbing leaked inside the walls where the faucets attached. Bathtub/shower drain is new, you only get one chance to do it right before new tile goes in or it become a mess a few years later.

Figure all homes built in the 50's need a new water line to the meter, do it now or you will have a lake in your yard in less than a year (Murphy's Law).
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: thunderbrick on 6 May 2017, 12:18 am
What kenreau said!   :thumb:
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: nicksgem10s on 17 May 2017, 01:37 am
I am blown away with all the responses and helpful ideas.  I am going to need them.

We closed on the new house yesterday so it is official.  No turning back.

Special thanks to JLM that went way out of his way to visit the home and give me some good ideas about how to approach the management of a project this size.  JLM has wisdom way beyond audio.  I am very glad to call him a friend.

Next up is getting our current home sold quickly so I can afford to hire contractors for various projects.

I really appreciate all the great ideas.  Thank you all for putting in time and effort.  I will revisit this thread many times over the coming months.  I will need the inspiration when the going gets tough during the renovation which I know will happen at times.

My current goal is to have it move in ready by the end of August.  It will be a lot of work but I have confidence it will come together this summer.

If anyone has connections / contractor recommendations in Southeast Michigan (48304) I would love to hear them.

Windows
Drywall
Exterior/Interior Doors
Electrical
Bathroom remodeling
Swimming pool

I think the largest projects I am planning to DIY soon are going to be designing our kitchen and installing new hardwood floors for the majority of the first floor.

Thank you very much for all the help!

-Nick
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: jqp on 17 May 2017, 05:15 am
Just read this thread, congratulations. i am looking to do the same kind of thing.

What comes to my mind first is ethernet cabling, like others have mentioned. It seems to be the thing that no one will help you with. Unlike a new technology washer, you can't go down to the appliance center to look at cabling options.

Who knew that Ethernet was up tp Cat 8 (almost)?

You will want the best avilable (not most expensive) - for sheilding, bandwidth, 10Gigabit. Yes 10Gig is about to become a home standard. Also 8K TVs, Robots, LCD wall art, digital networks in the home for everything - art, music, you name it. And don't forget the kitchen...

You will probably want to buy a big roll of Cat 7 for the cable runners to install, otherwise what you really want may not get put in the walls. Plenum Fire Rated.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Folsom on 17 May 2017, 06:33 am
I've seen that Home Depot sells denim insulation. It absorbs sound very well, if you want to make your home quiet, certain rooms or what not, decent R value too.
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: nicksgem10s on 17 Oct 2017, 03:40 am
Update for the many that shared on this thread.  I LOLed when I read my comments from May 17th that the house would be ready at the end of August.

There has been a steep learning curve and a couple of expensive lessons.

We moved our entire family in with my mom and stepdad about 6 weeks ago.  The project has become much larger than I originally anticipated.

The good news is the end is in sight and we plan to be able to call it home in another 4 weeks.

I plan to share some more details as well as some before and after photos.

I especially look forward to having JLM back for a visit once we are officially moved in.  Having seen the before in person I am guessing he will be able to truly appreciate the after.

Thanks again to all and will be sure to mention some of the helpful advice we put to work with our home.

-Nick
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: JLM on 17 Oct 2017, 09:51 am
Glad you're surviving the adventure.  Yes, will be very interested to see what you've been able to come up with.  The home certainly had potential when I saw it.  Hope family counseling won't be necessary.   :)
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: Pihu on 8 Dec 2017, 08:15 pm
Some time ago a Delsot flow heater was purchased at 7 kW. Completely worked a little normally and then, regardless of the fact that at the entrance to it, a very weak stream of very hot water flows even in the 3.5kv mode. Apparently there is something clogged in there. I tried to take out the filter that came with the filter from the inlet pipe - it did not help, so it was already clogged behind the filter (can some garbage workers forget. The question is how to clean it up. I found advice  (https://www.newtanklesswaterheaters.com/how-to-flush-your-tankless-water-heater/)how to flush. How do you think this way will help?
Title: Re: Upcoming renovation which new technologies would you recommend
Post by: ctviggen on 7 Mar 2018, 11:13 pm
While not a new tech recommendation, this does go along with implementing it.  We purchased a 100+ year old house this past year and it had at least 2 generations of power and mechanical systems done to it over the years.  I've been fixing and replacing things, along with retrofitting a man cave dedicated home theater room.

My single recommendation would be to strip the drywall/sheet rock on walls and ceilings down to the studs to start.  This allows everyone to see the concealed conditions, locations, access paths, dry rot, problem areas, et al and your mechanical and electrical subcontractors ease of installation of what you need to replace.  Re-sheetrock and paint it all when you are done with the new in wall stuff and you'll end up with a better finished product for probably less money and faster schedule.

Best of luck
Kenreau

If you're going that far, seriously consider energy upgrades.  Much better/thicker insulation, thicker walls, thermal breaks, air sealing, that sort of thing.