927 Lee Road 268, Valley, AL (706) 773-9274

What’s the Most Durable Grout?

Back when I was a full-time remodeler (1983 – 1991), one of my older brothers, Izzy, taught me how to lay ceramic tile. I really liked the combination of physical work and craft, and the beautiful finished result. My brother and I agreed that it seemed out of whack to lay color-fast, durable, water-impermeable tiles and then surround each one with porous, easily-stained, grout. Yeah, the latex-based cement grouts are easier to work with and can be sealed once they have cured, but it seemed like most of our work with this product—and everyone else’s—had dirty, cracked, grout lines down…


Kitchen of the Week: A Brooklyn Kitchen Designed Around the Key Words “Social” and “Minimal but Warm”

Architect Jess Thomas Hinshaw was at work on her own Brooklyn townhouse when she sold a Lindsey Adelman DIY pendant light from her former place on Craig’s List. The buyer who came to pick it up realized he had toured her house himself when it was on the market: “I very nosey and Jess generously offered a tour of their construction.” A political consultant with a passion for design, he was impressed by what he saw and stayed in touch with Hinshaw as he and his wife, a graphic designer, continued their real estate hunt. Dozens of townhouses later they found a…


Oh, Goodee! Byron and Dexter Peart’s New Essentials for the Home

Byron and Dexter Peart—the Canadian twin brothers who founded indie fashion brand WANT Les Essentiels (the label behind that gloriously gender-neutral tote popular among a certain subset of luxury-minded but sensible creatives)—have a new venture up their stylish, minimalist sleeves. Having sold WANT in 2017, they’ve since been training their focus and energy on Goodee, a curated marketplace where, according to its website, “the conscious-minded consumer can find an array of beautiful, essential, and timeless items for the home.” I recently heard Byron and Dexter speak at Business of Home‘s Future of Home conference and walked away impressed with their…


The Pros and Cons of Solar Storage

In this episode, Chris and Phil head over to the Portland Pod to record because they have not one, but two guests. Geoff Sparrow and Fred Greenhalgh of Revision Energy join the hosts to talk about solar storage! With lithium ion batteries hitting the market at ever more affordable prices, perhaps you’ve considered adding them to a project. The whole gang will sip fancy, sunny cocktails and talk about the pros and cons of solar storage, when to consider it, and your options for installation. The Cocktail: Smoked Pineapple Ingredients:2 oz Mezcal1 oz Homemade pineapple syrup*1/2 oz Cointreau1 oz fresh lime…


Steal This Look: A Classic NYC Bathroom with a Modern Edge

Elizabeth Roberts’ overhaul of Jean and Tzu-Wei Lee’s brownstone in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, is so chock-full of memorable moments that it was hard to condense and curate the images for the house tour that we ran last year. There’s the dining room with views of the kitchen just below it; there’s the chic sunken den; there’s the breathtaking plaster ribbon of a staircase; and so on and so on. We’ve already singled out the epic kitchen for a Steal This Look treatment (you can see it here); now we’re turning our attention to the master bath, a skillful study in…


Blower Door Testing a Living Building

My company recently had the privilege of being hired to provide envelope leakage testing for a new Living Building Challenge project at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, built by Skanska USA, the general contractor. We always appreciate opportunities to work on super high-performance buildings, and this project pushes the limits as far as we have seen. It is also an example of how challenging it can be to perform a blower door test on large and complex buildings. Two test phases The scope of work included one envelope leakage test prior to installation of interior finishes. This test is performed to…

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