Pearl Sutton

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since Oct 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Pearl Sutton

R Jay: I am sorry you have learned the hard way about wheelchair accessibility too. Too many of us know more than we want to about that, don't we?

The separate cooktop and oven have already been bought. The countertop heights, not sure if I discussed them on this thread or another... There will be multiple heights, for different uses, including chair height. Chair height kitchen sink too. Plumbing under the sinks tucks flush against the wall, the cabinets under the sinks are roll out modules so they don't have to be there at all.

I have always thought whoever decided 5 degree grade has never been in a chair. Especially has never been in a chair with any strength or energy issues going on, when I am in one it's because I'm very weak, as well as in pain.

Carpets: I just moved from the desert, the low humidity there makes for serious static build up. Leather gloves are your friend!!

All of our outlets and switches are measured for us both walking or sitting. Me and mom are each only 5 foot 2 to start with, a lot of switches etc are just the wrong height even when we are healthy.

I wish more people considered these things when they designed houses. The rental we are in right now has 2 steps to go from one to room to another in several places. That's hard for me on bad days right now, and if I was worse, would be impossible. This rental has a lot of issues for me though. It looks like a nice normal house, and my sisters can't understand why I hate it. They have never lived in my body. They think the steps are cute. "Keeps it from being boring!" Keeps me in pain.

Some days I wish there was a way to put people into a body like mine for a week, so they understood. I bet houses would be designed VERY differently after that. And it doesn't need to look bad, just have the ability to be useable no matter what is going on. It's not hard to design well. 

Thanks for reading this and chiming in! If you think of other things for accessibility that I may need to consider, tell me! Hardest thing is being getting the garage floor level with the house door, it's weirder to make happen than you'd think. I really don't want it ramped if I can help it. Codes has different opinions about how it should work than I do. Wish I could put them in this body for just a week....
1 day ago

Xisca Nicolas wrote:
Do you mean it is impossible to heat water and send it hot downward to the tank where I want the heat? And then dispose of the cool water again downward?

Xisca: Yes, it is possible to heat the water up top and dispose of it downward.
The problem you are having is just terminology, most "radiant systems" are a closed loop, to one extent or another, the water is reheated and recirculated many times, so that's what he is expecting you want. What you are describing is called an open loop: heat the water once, and that's all. So the problem isn't with your idea, it's just with the words being used. Basically, the pump is to take the water back up to be heated again and used again. If you don't need the water to be used more than once, a pump is not required. But if you wanted to reuse it, pump it back up the hill and heat it up again.

I would suggest if you are only heating the water once, heat it as hot as you can make it, so you get the most effect from it. Most of the radiant systems use fairly low temperature water (under 100 F) and just keep it circulating. If are doing as hot as you can and you use a wine container (I don't know what a wine container looks like) make sure your domestic hot water use line comes off the bottom so you are using the cooler water off the bottom of the tank and the hotter water on the top of the tank is heating the cave up. I'd insulate the front of it, so the heat goes back into the rock, but make it so I could could take that front insulation off easily if the room was just too cold and I wanted a bit more heat.
5 days ago
Jerry McIntire:

I don't know of any PUR SIP makers who have the steel skins available. There is one in Florida that makes magnesium board skins which are mold-proof and don't need sheetrock.

I looked into those hard, I would LOVE those! As of a couple of years ago (have not looked lately) there seems to have been pretty bad issues with the magnesium board being inconsistent, some of it was structurally failing, some of it had heavy metal contamination issues. I can't afford to build something and then have to do it again in a few years. The supply system for consistent magnesium is just not there yet. Those were my first choice after the ICF, but the steel ended up being a safer bet.  They are also very heavy, a crane is required to move them, not a very DIY system, and with the labor issues in this area, the more I don't have to get much help with, the happier I am.

...Have a great day sir, and put me on your prayer list please :D

Glad to!

Thank you, I need all the prayers I can get, this is being terrifying.
6 days ago
Jj Grey: Thank you! Glad you like it! But I don't want YOUR house, I want MINE!! :D  Do you have drawings of yours? I'd love to see!

The sinks are on the north wall because the north view is beautiful, good thing to stare at when you are working at the sink. Stove doesn't need much venting, I have never used an exhaust fan in my life, doubt I'll make such a mess I need one at this point in my life. The house exhales from the bathrooms, and from the kitchen wall toward the garage, so if I had to, I could crank the kitchen vent fan up.

The basement is work space, not living space, my studio, workshops, and weird herbal stuff making spaces. If you had ever seen the messes I make, and how bad they overflow, you'd know why we put it someplace it's contained! Actually we wanted it all on one level, but the cost was prohibitive. I will make it so I can get up and down easily later. The stairs are designed to be what I am able to do on most days. I don't have to wait till I'm older for the stairs to suck, I have had serious problems since 1996. So I have a lot of experience in what I am able to do on what kind of days. They are a long slow rise, not steep, I had a builder tell me "You'll lose all your basement space if you do that!" I said "If I can't get down there, it doesn't matter how much space is free!"

The main living level is all wheelchair accessible, the loft thing is more decorative and air flow than useable space. That will need to be accessed twice a year, at season change, to shift the air flow system, other than that, if we can't get up there, it's no big deal. Possible we will find a setting for the vents so even that won't be required. My last house it took me a couple of years, but then I no longer had to adjust my vents for season change.

The slope of the land dictated the size and shape of the rectangle, this wasn't what we started with when we drew up our ideal house before we bought land. I think this is version 6B, if I recall correctly. We also started with ICF, before I learned that it was still going to need all the siding and sheetrock etc, and was going to cost a fortune and look like everything else out there. BLAH! I like cool houses. No vinyl siding desired. I need a mold-proof house, no sheetrock desired. I planned to use the ICF interior walls as the surface, put the outlets into the foam, do something like wallpaper to cover it. Fire codes don't allow that.

The worst thing about the building codes is I'm the last property in the city limits, my hedgerow is the city limit. If I were just on the other side of that fence.... I tried to get un-annexed out of the city, but they have weird hoops to jump, that can't be jumped till we have already built. Short version is I can't put an RV on the place till I build, and I can't try to get out of the city till I have lived on the property for 3 years. So house will be 3 years old before I can try to get out again. This is the ONLY thing I disliked about this property. Other than that, it's good land, no historical chemical use, great neighbors, fair location, etc.

Thank you for reading it all! Did you see the other post about the land also? It's all one system, the whole design was conceived as a unit and it meshes together.

1 week ago
Brad Hengen:
Added to my shopping list! Thank you! I knew they existed, had not looked up where to find them. :D
1 week ago
Jerry McIntire:
Thank you for the citrusinthesnow link! I had lost that one, been wondering where it was, could only recall what the home page looked like.

I wish there was someplace doing the steel sips affordably with PUR instead of EPS, but I have not seen it. I have only seen the OSB sips made with it, and those won't work for too many reasons, most of them involving money for waterproofing, siding, interior sheetrock, and the people to install all of it. The steel will be done when it's up, no roofers, siding guys, etc, and no sheetrock inside to get moldy if it gets wet. The only way we are affording this is to eliminate all of that. And for my health, I have to have a mold/mildew free home. If you have seen anyone selling steel sips with it, please tell me, I'd prefer it, but have not seen it offered. Before I realized how bad the labor market is around here, and how much it was all going to cost, I had asked a place in Colorado (probably the same one you meant) for a base price on the OSB sips. It would have worked, if that was all that had to be done. Having to add all the rest took it up to unaffordable.

Thank you for your kind words, and for reading my detailed plans! There's a LOT more to it all, but it would be another 4 posts this size to explain it, and drawings that would take me longer than the actual work will :) There's a LOT of function stacking, layered systems, things dependent on where exactly something else ends up in reality, and non-standard interior work that is just not easy and quick to explain. And then you get into the pretty parts.... It won't be bad to make it (I hope!) but trying to explain it is complex.

Have a great day sir, and put me on your prayer list please :D
1 week ago

Chris Kott wrote:

Second, I would love it if what happened to PCs, where there was enough standardisation that people could assemble their own PCs from components available off the shelf, would happen for smartphones, electric cars, and virtually any other electronics we use. If everything was modular, swappable, and designed for disassembly and upgrading, these products, from largest to smallest, could be customised and repaired, and individual components, which might also be repaired, can be swapped out when necessary. Those individual components could be fixed or recycled, and only those components, meaning that much less will make it into even the recycling stream, should people be able to, say, buy a smartphone body they like and can keep as they upgrade it over the years.

Of course, we need to modify the planned obsolescence part of the consumerist culture to include these things, which requires a shift (that I hope is already underway) away from the mentality that we can have constant, unrestrained growth in a finite system like our planet.

It costs money to landfill garbage. It costs money to recycle, in the short term, more money than landfilling. I think we need municipal governments to turn it around, ban non-recyclables, fund local, environmentally and socially responsible, job-creating recycling jobs that, as a byproduct of efficiency and cradle-to-cradle planning, produce higher-grade recycled materials. If their focus was broadened to include the whole system, recycling becomes the cheapest, best option over the whole term.

I am SO appalled by planned obsolesce, by unrepairable items, and by the whole system seeming to think this is an OK thing. I buy appliances etc that I need second hand so I can them get old enough that they can possibly be repaired if I need to. If it has a circuit board, I don't bring it home. If it has no screws I can remove and violate it's long expired warranty, I don't bring it home. The toaster we use is older than I am, toasts just fine. Doesn't do bagels, or sense when the toast is done, just toasts the bread.

I'm a big fan of appropriate tech (not sure what others classify as that, so I may be out of step with them too) I decide what I need, and buy the lowest tech version of it I can find. I do use machinery, but I don't use the latest and greatest, I use what functions adequately for my purposes. I have seen most people not actually define their needs, so they buy the latest and greatest that will do what they need, and then some, and be unrepairable when it craps out. THAT is the mentality I'd LOVE to see change in the world. More niche markets for modular components that can be made to do what you actually need. I don't need my phone to do facetime or tell me the stock market. I DO need it to be able to look things up on the net when I am far from my computer "What just bit me, do I need to panic?" "Is this a plant I want to keep or something that I will regret not killing now while it's young?" (I moved to a new climate, and am learning a LOT still.) But to get just what I need seems to be an unreasonable request. My Iphone 4 is more tape than glass at this point, and is running OS version 6.1.3  I shudder to think what will happen when it totally craps out. I will still need a pocket net connection, and I'll still find nothing that just does what I want.

This system of obsolescence is not sustainable, and needs badly to stop, and it takes changing how people think to make it happen.
1 week ago

Alicia Donathan wrote:
I've heard mixed things about electronics recycling.  Does anyone know if it's worth it, environmentally? 

Depends on what you classify as "worth it." I think giving a recycle place a chance to do something with it is at least better than the zero chance it has  if it's dumped in a landfill, can't get much worse than that. So I'd say "better than zero." And some days that's all we can do. Passing anything functional or useful for parts to a thrift store or repair place is my first choice, then recycle, then if you have no other option, trash. I'm personally at "do I need to buy this thing to start with?" but still have things that I got before I got to that stage that I am dealing with.

Many points for you Alicia for getting off diaper trash!! That's a hard one when you are tired and busy!
1 week ago
Heh, cool! He is a wise man, I like his style. He thinks like I do, I can understand why he does things. I despise people who do things "because this is how we have always done it." with no good logical reason they can explain.

I don't watch video if I don't have to, I read, that book is the current textbook at the colleges, new edition, I couldn't get it used, one of the few books I have paid a lot of money for (Mollison's big black Design book was another) some things are worth it to me. The local library gets me a lot on interlibrary loan, the lady who does it says after seeing what I have borrowed that I should get a degree when I'm done. She says she flips through them, doesn't understand much at all. She was invited to see the house when it's done, and is looking forward to it.

1 week ago
Good morning! Quick reply while I eat before I get out the door...
Bricks were what I had expediently when I got annoyed one cold morning, I grabbed 3 landscape blocks off the tree ring in the front yard of the rental. Put them on a thermal break platform to keep heat and dirt off the carpet, and placed them in front of the radiant heater, put a small fan on low that blows upwards diagonal between the heater and the bricks. I leave the fan on 24/7, and the heater on low, this room is nice now, and it was really bad before. Took the bricks a day or two to dry out and warm up, but then the thermal mass effect kicked in, and it works well.

I, too, have seen the lots of pumps type bad designs. I am using for my reference book Book on  Hydronic Heating  (not a book for people who don't like college level textbooks) and I found the author by a series he does on a site called The Glitch and the Fix  The Glitch and the Fix I liked his style and his knowledge. One of his things is don't overdo the pumps.

I appreciate your comment about too close to the toilet melts the wax ring. Wondering I can thermal break it, I would love to end up with an air flow duct that blows on the toilet to warm up the cold porcelain, as thermal mass in the bathroom, as well as decadence, but the wax ring could be an issue... Need to look up wax ring melt temps...

Out the door....
1 week ago