Observations and Thoughts

04DEC2015 - After living here for 4.5 years, what would we change if we could go back in time? That is, how could this house be better?

Interior

Entry Way

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Powder Room

Geberit wall-hung toilet would make it much easier to clean.

A quieter fan (instead of the $13 one) would be an improvement.

Office

The light is not bright enough and is too enclosed to put in higher wattage bulbs. I think LEDs will solve the problem.

We had another Ethernet jack installed on the south wall. Put the CenturyLink modem in the mechanical room.

Living

A cable chase behind the fireplace would be good to allow speakers on either side.

Another set of GU-10 pot lights near the fireplace would allow a lit “walkway”. The existing lights would be moved south by a foot or so.

Dining

The window wall had MIRO hardware (aluminium) which had to be replaced with ICON handles (316 stainless steel) for $300. And, the door handle failed after 2 years and had to be replaced for $350.

We had 3M Prestige 50 window film installed on the window wall for $851.

Kitchen

We installed NON lighting (IKEA) above the cabinets and a remote switch for $60.

Pull out shelves in the lower cabinets would be a huge improvement.

The original fridge stuck out too far and we replaced it with a “counter depth” fridge. Which still sticks out too far.

We replaced the air switch for the lights with a dishwashing detergent dispenser.

Microwave/exhaust fan above range is almost useless for venting fumes. We plan to replace it with a proper (400+ CFM) vent hood.

The builder installed the lowest end Bosch dishwasher. We replaced it with a Bosch SHE55M15UC ($900 list price) as it is much quieter.

The builder-installed Insinkerator Badger 5 garbage disposal was crap. It is the lowest-end model. We replaced it after 3 years with an Insinkerator Compact Evolution which is more powerful and much quieter.

Reading Room (West Bedroom)

Speakers in the ceiling would be nice.

The small volume for ceiling fan light only allows CFLs. Not true now that LEDs have improved.

Bathroom (shared)

A quieter fan (instead of the $13 one) would be an improvement.

Only one towel bar was installed which would be inadequate if this bathroom were used for bathing.

Middle Bedroom

A better ceiling light. The fan is not necessary.

Laundry Closet

Build in shelves on the side were installed by the builder. That meant that the washer and dryer would not fit properly. We paid $100 to have them ripped out and replaced with overhead shelves.

The original dryer hose installation was botched. Next time we will buy a condensing dryer so the vent is not needed.

Master Bedroom

The small volume for ceiling fan light only allows CFLs.

Master Bath

The original fan/duct was 3-inch 50cfm. The bath volume requires a 117cfm fan. We had the fan/duct replaced with a 4-inch 100cfm model. We should have spent the extra money for a quieter fan.

We spent $333 to have the after-market version of EnduroShield protective glass coating installed on the shower glass. The factory-installed version is the same price and has a longer warranty.

We replaced the fan switch with a timer for $32.

Tub is beautiful, but too small at 63-inches.

Geberit wall-hung toilet would make it much easier to clean.

Master Closet

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Media Room (Basement)

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Basement Bathroom

A quieter fan (instead of the $13 one) would be an improvement.

Only one towel bar was installed which is inadequate when you have guests. We spent $50 to install another one.

Basement bedroom

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Mechanical Room

We installed a backup sump pump and battery backup for $900.

The single light bulb was inadequate and we spent $40 installing more lights.

Exterior

Entry/Sidewalk

We would heat the sidewalk/entrance concrete that lies in permanent shadow during the Winter.

Garage

Our storage shelf is 4-feet deep. Six would be better. Also, the fiber board shelf surface was installed rough side up so we spent $90 to cover it with Masonite.

Landscaping

The builder’s standard was builder’s standard. We spent $7000 to install a planter in patio area, low-voltage lighting, 3 trees, and many shrubs. We installed a shared patio in the front for $4000.

Stucco

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Fence

We stained the fence to extend its life.

Utilities

The outdoor faucet in the front should be 3 to 6 inches higher above the ground level.

The electrical outlet boxes are too small when you try to plug in a GFI plug attached to a power washer.