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

Single-Zone Minisplit System

We’ve bought a mountain house that has only electric-resistance heat (mostly baseboard, and a couple of in-wall blower units).   Imagining electric bills will be horrifying, I’m looking to install at least one minisplit.   The house has a day basement (partially below, partially above grade), a lower floor with bedrooms, and an upper floor with living/dining room, kitchen, and office; each floor is about 850 sq-ft. I believe if I install one minisplit on the upper floor, I will get the most bang for my buck.   Normally you want common/living space to be warmer than bedrooms; also, there are three bedrooms,…


Before and After: Black and White Tile Ideas For Every Bathroom

This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of This Old House Magazine. Click here to learn how to subscribe. A Farmhouse Refresh When starting with a blank slate, it helps to have a strong aesthetic endgame in mind, as Maison de Pax blogger Rachel Paxton did for the attic bath in her family’s 1984 ranch outside Austin, TX. “I knew I wanted a mix of black and white, with wood for the rustic charm that just feels right in this little farmhouse,” says Rachel. Carving out space for the necessities—a sink and a toilet—as well as some luxuries—a claw-foot…


Remodelista in Maine Giveaway: Enter to Win A Design-Forward Weekend on the Coast (and More)

To celebrate the release of our new book, Remodelista in Maine: A Design Lover’s Guide to Inspired, Down-to-Earth Style—and the summer ahead—we’re joining with a few of our favorite Maine makers and design destinations to give away a weekend trip to the Midcoast, plus handmade wares for effortless, practical Downeast style at home.The grand prize? Two nights in a modern tree dwelling overlooking a river, a made-in-Maine ceramic planter, a handwoven wool throw, an all-purpose tote made from recycled sail cloth, and a copy of Remodelista in Maine. Two runners up will also win copies of the book.Enter here by…


Most Cost Effective High R Value Wall Retrofit Insulation for an old brick home with no current wall insulation in Texas

Hello- We own a 1958 brick home in Dallas, TX. We have added spray foam insulation to the attic. We’ve learned our walls do not have any insulation & our rooms get uncomfortably hot in the summers and cold in the winters. We are in the planning phase for a remodel and addition to our home- we’d like to add 2000 sq feet to a 2000sq ft home. We would like to add high R value materials for our new addition. Also, we would like to bring our older half of the home to become more energy efficient. I was…


Fred Rigby Studio: A New Creative Space for Free Thinking (And Wine Tastings)

“‘Showroom’ is not a word I enjoy,” explains the British designer Fred Rigby. “I’d say we’ve created more of an apartment, a home from home.” Fred is describing his new studio space on Gransden Avenue, a short stroll from London Fields in East London. The building—a detached, industrial unit built in 1911—is something of a rarity. “It was owned by a father and son, who ran their cabinet-making business from here, so it’s great that we’re able to bring it back to its former use.”Photography courtesy of Fred Rigby Studio; styling by Laura Fulmine.Above: The Fred Rigby Studio “showroom” with…


Venting Evaporative Cooler “exhaust air” though the soffit. Is it possible?

I have a 1300 square foot ranch home in Metro Denver, which puts me in climate zone 5B.  A few years ago I installed an Energy Efficient Ducted Evaporative Cooler.  It works perfectly, and keeps the house very cool in the summer, even on the hottest of days.  My only concern is the need to have windows open to vent the stale “exhaust air.”  Keeping windows open is a security risk and poses a noise issue as well.   I have seen the Up-Dux barometric damper that allows EC exhaust air to be vented through the ceiling into the attic.  This…

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