Recommendations By Owner Jerry Jackness:
This company makes insulated forms for pouring concrete walls. Picture giant Lego Blocks that snap together and you’ll have some idea of what they are like. Once the blocks are all put together and braced, we fill them with concrete. This is the best way – it makes for a super insulated wall system that is very strong and quiet. A great product if you want an energy efficient home. For more information, go to www.logixicf.com. You can see a list of house designs that have been engineered to work with this product.
This company makes the finest floor, wall and roof sheathing on the market today. They also back up their floor sheathing with a 50 year warranty. We first tried this product more than 5 years ago during a particularly harsh winter and we became sold on it.
The house were building got snowed in before the roof could be installed. It stayed this way over a period of a month or so. The sub floor was covered in snow and ice. When everything finally melted there was absolutely no damage to the sub floor - wow, what a great product! We now insist that all our homes be built with their products. For more information go to www.huberwood.com.
This company makes a radiant heating system that is designed to go under tile work. This product is very energy efficient. It works like this: an electro plastic mat is installed on the sub floor before the tile goes down. This mat is a low voltage device that is self-regulating. A transformer (usually installed in a nearby closet) supplies the power. We used this product on a house that had no heat in the bathroom with great success. For more information, go to www.warmfloor.com.
This is a wonderful product that I first tried on my own home. This is a fiber cement siding that has the look of real wood – but without the maintenance hassles. When I built my first house I wanted real wood siding, so I opted to use cypress and cedar. Almost immediately there were problems. First the stain finish needs almost constant upkeep; second the wood boring insects are relentless. When I decided to build my second house I looked for an alternative. Vinyl and aluminum siding were out of the question – I’m sorry but they look so cheap and fake. Then I came across the Hardie Siding, and I loved everything about it. You get the look and feel of cedar siding but without the problems of wood. I now insist that all our projects consider using this product. For more information go to www.jameshardie.com.
If you are looking for the most incredible garage doors on the market today Designer Doors Architectural Harmony are the way to go. This company has a line of stock garage doors as well as a custom line of doors that are absolutely beautiful – all of them are terrific choices. I have used these doors on custom homes with breathtaking results. The magnificence of the different species of woods, as well as the unique designs of the doors themselves make them a special choice. Go to www.designerdoors.com.
One of my pet-peeves is a cheap door. I have been in million dollar homes only to find that the interior doors are hollow with cardboard cores. These are the same doors that are put in track town homes. These doors have no substance, they are lightweight to the feel and provide very little sound proofing and no fire rating at all. All the doors look the same with fake wood grain finish and the same 6 panel design.
That’s why I love the Masonite Door Company. They make a wonderful line of solid core doors that have a sound and fire rating. The weight of these doors gives them a substantial feel when you go to use them. The company offers many different door designs to help you make your home unique. To find out more about this product go to www.masonite.com. I recommend clicking on new products and check out the SAFE N SOUND line of doors.
We first found out about tankless water heaters while attending the International Builders Show. After talking to several manufacturers and doing research, we decided to recommend Rinnai to our clients. It took almost a year, but we found a forward thinking client that wanted to invest in this energy saving product. After installing the tankless heater the client was delighted. You have unlimited hot water on demand, meaning you don’t have to pay to heat a large storage tank full of water, whether you are using hot water or not. The hot water is made the instant you turn on the faucet and turns off the minute you turn it off. For more information on this energy saving product go to www.foreverhotwater.com.
There are many window manufacturers on the market today and we have used several different ones over the years. In the last few years, we have more and more recommended Jeld-Wen. They have a large selection of window styles in various price ranges. They also made me custom windows for an addition to a 100 year old house and they did a great job.
They have awesome customer service. If clients have an issue, the factory will send a service tech to the client’s house to take care of the problem. I find this kind of service invaluable. Although you may pick any window you wish for your project, we highly recommend Jeld-Wen. For more information go to www.jeld-wen.com.
If you are looking to add an addition on to your existing home or are looking to update your old heating and air conditioning system you should take a close look at the Mr. Slim system. This system uses NO ductwork for heating or cooling your home!
Instead it uses an ingenious split system with a small indoor unit installed on the wall in the room you want to heat or cool. There are 2 small pipes that go outside and connect to the outdoor unit. This system is very energy efficient and extremely quiet. If used to replace noisy window units you will be amazed at the difference in the sound level. The units come with a remote control that can be used anywhere in the room.
I have used these units to heat and cool whole houses, as well as spot heat and cool additions. Because each room can be individually controlled, you don’t have to heat or cool rooms that are not being used and you can set different temperatures for each room depending on use. This product has been around for a long time in Europe and South America and is used extensively in commercial applications. These split systems are now starting to become popular with the American home owner. Find more information at www.mrslim.com.
In our constant research into the best building materials to use on our custom homes, we came across this product. We had been using PVC exterior trim for several years, and even though PVC trim is bullet proof to the elements it has one very annoying property. It expands and contracts excesivly with the seasons. This would drive me crazy when I would go back to a project we had done and see large gaps between the trim in the winter time. I decided we needed a better answer and I found it with BORAL TRIM. This product is dimensinaly stable through out the seasons. It is rated for ground contact. This means you can use this at ground level or at roof intersections that get a lot of water exposure. A lot of man made products on the market cant do this.
This product is made with coal ash and polymers. It is made with 70% recycled materials. It wont rot, crack or splinter and can be painted any color. PVC products don’t like to be painted with dark colors as it absorbs more heat and can cause all kinds of issues.
We have been using this product for about 2 years now with great success. It is now our standard trim on all our exterior work.
We have been using these fans for several years now, and I can’t say enough about there quality. These fans use DC motors that are completely quite and consume 1/3 less energy of a typical fan. The blades are shaped like airplane propellers and are made of bamboo. The shape of the blade allows these fans to move a tremendous amount of air with very little effort. Also these fans are Energy Star rated.
On the last custom home we built we used 6 of these fans. One fan was in the great room that had a 25 foot ceiling. For this room we used the 84” blade model. The amount of air that this model was able to move was very impressive, even from this height.
For more information on these fans check out their web site at:www.haikuhome.com/learn-more-haiku-fans
One of my pet peeves is a noisy cheap bathroom fan. These fans are typically installed in production houses, although I have seen them in million dollar homes as well.
Panasonic fans are the best fans on the market. They are Energy Star 4.0 compliant, making them efficient to operate. These fans have DC motors that self adjust the fan speed to provide the optimal output.
These fans are so quite that you have to strain to hear them run. They are less than .3 (sones) Sones is a unit of how load a sound is perceived. The sone scale is linear. Doubling the perceived loudness doubles the sone value. Your auditory threshold is 0 sones, 1 sone is equivalent to a quite refrigerator running, and so .3 sones is almost 3 times quieter.
We have been using these fans for years now with absolutely no problems or complaints, defiantly one of our favorite products.
Energy efficient solution saves homeowners money. This is an exceptional product. It acts as a thermal barrier with an R rating of 7.4 per inch. It also acts as an air barrier, sealing ever crack and crevice. This is something that fiberglass insulation cannot even come close to doing. In a single application, Heatlok provides better thermal resistance, an excellent air barrier, and a vapor retarder. It also acts as a noise reduction.
The product is made with 14% renewable and recycled content. Spray foam insulation is an energy cost-saving solution, which can offer a sizeable return on your insulation investment compared to traditional fiberglass insulation. With the money you save in energy costs, spray foam insulation pays for itself within a few years.
In addition, spray foam insulation will out-perform traditional fiberglass insulation in every way, and will remain intact and last for the life of the home or building*. Spray foam will continue to efficiently insulate, whereas traditional fiberglass sags and settles causing it to no longer perform at its original R-value.
We have been using this stuff for almost 10 years now without a single failure. Ditra is an underlayment for ceramic tile and stone. Ditra is specifically designed to allow the installation of ceramic and stone tile over any, flat and load-bearing substrate. The integration of DITRA’s uncoupling, waterproofing, load-distribution, and vapor management functions makes consistent results viable.
DITRA provides uncoupling through its open rib structure, which allows for in-plane movement that effectively neutralizes the differential movement stresses between the substrate and the tile, thus eliminating the major cause of cracking and delaminating of the tiled surface.
DITRA provides reliable waterproofing in interior and exterior applications. Its polyethylene composition protects the substrate from moisture penetration, which is particularly important in today’s building environment where most substrates are moisture sensitive.
We use this product whenever we are installing ceramic tile, even if we are installing tile on concrete floors, we insist on using DITRA. You see concrete expands and contracts and without a decoupling membrane the tile installed over the concrete will develop cracks as the concrete moves. The same holds true for installing tile over wooden sub floors. The wood floors will expand and contract at a different rate than the tile causing the tiles to either crack or the grout to pop out or both.
If your tile installer is not using DITRA get a new installer.
Zola is a premier window and door company offering a wide range of products. Zola windows and doors are among the most energy efficient . These windows meet Passive House and Net Zero house standards, these are the highest standards for thermal performance.
Some of the features include:
These windows are for premimum projects that don’t compromise on quility ,energy efficency or luxury.
For more information check out there web site at: www.zolawindows.com
Give me a call if you have questions about these products and how we can best use them for your build or remodel.