Friday, November 28, 2008

Let's talk toilets (part 2)

So we've made the plunge (get it?) and bought our toilets. In an earlier post, we described why we were excited about the Toto brand. In continuing to research, it seems that Toto really is the way to go. We wish we could afford their dual flush line but decided on the affordable Eco Drake. It gets rave reviews from Terry Love's website and at 1.28 gpf is a good environmentally friendly option. With the soft close toilet seat (which must be purchased separately), the price per toilet came to right at $250. We purchased the toilets on and they are currently running a free-shipping promotion. Sweet deal!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eames plywood lounge chair

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we bought one of these online this weekend, too. We've always loved the look of them. I bought an Eames-reproduction (Plycraft) black leather lounge chair on Ebay this summer (pictured below) and this is Ryan's little matching Eames item. They will look adorable together.

My eBay beauty...


So Ryan and I made two purchases this weekend: industrial-looking stools for the kitchen island and a vessel sink for the master bathroom. The sink will sit atop a fantastic old cupboard that we found at a local antique shop a few weekends ago. The combination of the modern sink and the rustic base should be fab. And you won't believe where we purchased both the sink and the bar stools...COSTCO. The online prices are unbelievable and shipping is included.

Costco garage stool: $49.99

Costco square vessel sink: $89.99 (pop-up drain included!)

We also bid on Ebay for a wall-mounted faucet for the vessel sink that looks like this:

Here's the base for the vessel sink.

Lily, our yellow lab, had to check it out...

And then she posed with it...

And then her brother Gus wanted in on the action...

I guess it's about time the other half of our family made their appearance on the blog!

Found a couch!

So after recovering from the disappointment over our doomed order (and a lot more researching), we think we've finally found a modern, eco-friendly, affordable couch for our new home. Introducing the the Giselle from Boston Interiors!

It's currently on sale for $799 (normally $899) and the website says they deliver nationwide (although you can't purchase furniture online). And here's the great part. It seems to be eco-friendly. "All wood is renewable and harvested from American sources. Cores are 10-15% soy based chemicals. All non-toxic water based glue used in frames and cushions. Foam is free of CFC." Woohoo!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Window selection

Although I have been researching windows for awhile, I am just now beginning the process of eliciting quotes from manufacturers. We want the most energy efficient window possible...but are looking for something that's cost efficient, as well. After doing some reading, we've ruled out vinyl and wood. It seems like fiberglass is the best product on the market. There are a number of manufacturers of fiberglass windows. The most readily available in this area is Marvin's Integrity All-Ultrex line. We initially assumed this would be our choice. The price is reasonable and there is a Marvin showroom and distributor less than 5 miles from our building site in Williston. However, the Integrity line does not yet include casements and awnings (of which we have quite a few in our plans). I talked to a rep. from the company two weeks ago and he said he thought it was unlikely that those options would be available by next summer when we build. Frustrating. Marvin's Infinity All-Ultrex has the options we want but it is a more expensive line.

On the up side, this little snag has given me time to reflect on our original decision to go with Marvin and to investigate whether there are other comparable options within our budget. In reading wonderfully helpful posts from fellow bloggers on their window decisions, I have learned of other companies that produce excellent fiberglass windows. I can't express how helpful and educational following the building experiences of other bloggers has been. Read these couple of posts to gain an even richer understanding of the differences between the various fiberglass options available.

The guys building the 100k house in Philly are debating between Marvin and Accurate Dorwin. Jason Hammond (From the Ground Up blog) chose Accurate Dorwin. The folks over at EcoDeep Haus went with Inline.

I sent off emails to all of the following this morning to begin the quoting process:

Accurate Dorwin (Winnipeg, Canada)
Inline (Toronto, Canada)
Fibertec (Toronto, Canada)
Thermotech (Ottawa, Canada)
Marvin Integrity (can be purchased locally)

I'll keep the blog updated with quotes as we receive them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Industrial floor coating

In reading the 100k house blog (fantastic blog based in my old stomping ground, Philly), I came across a mention of Eco Tuff Industrial Floor Coating. I did some research and found this information from the product's website:

"Eco-Tuff is a single component, zero VOC, high build, high flex ultra tough waterproof coating material. There are no hazardous ingredients, is non-flammable and virtually odorless. It is engineered for the most extreme environments from freezing cold temperatures to the hottest climates around the world. It is capable of withstanding abrasion, UV, chemicals, hot tire pick-up, and submersible applications. May be used on concrete, wood, fiberglass, and metal surfaces."

It looks like an interesting product. It's very green: non-hazardous, zero VOC, LEED compliant, and includes recycled content. Plus, it is waterproof, abrasion resistant, stain resistant, UV resistant, and does not chip, flake or peel. It is a self-leveling material that rolls or sprays on like an epoxy floor and can be applied directly over a plywood subfloor. Assuming competency on the part of the flooring subcontractor, it can give you a smooth finish very similar to that you'd see on factory floors or in industrial warehouses. It comes in a variety colors and several shades of grey, the color we would probably pursue.

This might be the perfect fit for our first-floor needs. We have been looking for something industrial and modern, not too hard (got to watch out for the pups' joints), and eco-conscious. Oh, and did I mention it's relatively affordable? Here is a picture of it applied.

Also, the company provides top-notch customer service. I emailed them yesterday to find out whether the product is compatible with radiant heating systems. They said it would be fine and the heat would pass through the flooring material without a problem. Sounds too good to be true!