Renovation with Green, Efficiency and budget in mind
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Stafford Home Services

The Stafford team descended on Desonyer this week like an parachute brigade. A particularly effective and talented brigade at that. The week started with George from Stafford HVAC laying out the ducts and discussing placement of ducts as well as the placement of the new furnace and AC unit. He was very patient and helpful, offering many options and their benefits. These guys don’t just know how to do things one way, they are full of ideas and are flexible as heck. That’s a good thing in my book.

One thing he explained is how he was going to mount the basement ducts a couple inches lower then I had first assumed. He said these critical few inches would make the ducts that much more quiet, as they would better isolate the vibrations of ducts and movement of floor. Brilliant! He was also very concerned with the placement of vents for cosmetic and functional reasons. He explained many situations where ducts would be a problem. If it were up to me I would have ended up choosing locations that would have essentially heated the outside and the furniture. Nothing like a great HVAC contractor to save the day!

Next was the Stafford Electric team. Kris came in on Thursday and walked through the entire space with me and Jason from Stinson Builders. Even though we had blueprints (do they still call them that?) and had previously discussed many of the options, Kris insisted on walking through every detail again and making sure we were all on the same page and that we were moving forward in the best possible way. As we walked through, Kris proposed new options that were better then the old, like recessed lighting in the basement guest bedroom and workout/craft area. Jason and Kris pointed out that those spaces would benefit by having finished ceilings. I am so happy that I began this process with Stinson Builders; Jason’s subcontractors are friendly, committed to the job and my satisfaction, and unbelievably helpful.

One exciting idea Kris cooked up, for the rest of the basement was to put in conduit and cage lights, in between the floor rafters Something like this (but cheaper, more industrial, and steel instead of brass):

This is perfect for the industrial look I am going for. I had the ceiling spray painted with BIN paint which has shellac in it (the only thing sure to lock out the lingering dog and cigarette smoke odors.) which I tinted a light blue-grey. I think it’s going to look great. Thanks Kris!

As we walked around the space I got a glimpse at the complexity of a good electrician‘s job. The melding of practicality, ease of use, efficiency, code compliancy, cosmetics and the like creates for a difficult terrain. Make sure you have a great firm like Stafford Home Services’ electric department to navigate the landscape or you may find yourself pulling things out later (at much higher expense), and being disappointed with the results.

One simple, electrical Green Renovation solution that Stafford is installing is dimmer switches at all locations. (there are even 3-way, adjustable light switches!) Did you know light dimmer switches were Green? Well they are. Kris and Dan told me about a Green Home workshop they attended that trained electricians and home services on going Green. Evidently the human eye only needs about 80% of a room’s full lighting. They were shown a demo and said they could not tell the difference, once their eyes adjusted. I assume that’s a 20% savings in lighting bills! Nice!

As we walked through the space, Kris stopped one of his electricians and had him move a flush, floor-mounted electrical outlet. It was just a rotation of a outlet that already had been installed. The electrician did not look happy but Kris insisted. I went back later and saw why: to rotate the box, there had to be new framing to support each unit. To think, here they are making more work for themselves, work that I would not have thought of until another contractor was done and gone, and they doing it just to make sure the aesthetics are just right. That’s the kind of electrician I want!

All said and done, this has been a good week. Stay tuned next week for updates on the Green electrical and Green HVAC installations.


1 comment

1 Kris Thompson { 11.09.09 at 7:38 am }

I believe you should always have a good well thought out plan to start your job, But the most critical part is a walk through with the client locating every electrical item.There are so many things you just do not think about on paper!