Are You Creating a First Stage Smog Alert in Your Home?

September 29th, 2007 § 2 Comments


California leads the rest of the States as being the forerunner in enacting progressive environmental changes and as such will continue to apply tighter controls on manufacturing and industry in California. It is no surprise that California’s Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards are higher than other states.

So here we go again! EPA has a fact sheet: Beware of Ozone-generating Indoor “Air Purifiers” It didn’t take much to shock me when I learned I may have been contributing to making my asthma worse. What I want to know is, “why didn’t I know this sooner?” This Fact Sheet from the California EPA Air Resource Board was published March 2006. The LA Times reported in an article dated September 28,2007 that the California Resource Board just banned them on Thursday, stating that studies have found “that they can worsen conditions such as asthma that marketers claim they help prevent.”


Holy guacamole! I inadvertently created my own work place health hazard!

I bought mine because they were advertising on the radio all the time and everyone swore by them. I trusted the advertising. I read all the literature and it all appeared to rid the allergens and that sounded good to me. It must be good for asthmatics, right? Wrong according the ARB. The problem is the makers of these air purifiers can sell them to the unsuspecting public who are led to believe they will benefit from the use of these machines, when the truth is there is no government agency that has the authority to fully regulate these devises. The California ARB is actively working to educate professionals and the public about the dangers of using ozone generators. I am printing this ARB fact sheet and handing it to my doctor this week.

Let the Buyer Beware
I am outraged. I have two of these air purifiers, one in my car and one at work. I run them constantly on purify. Also, I am in the habit of putting the thing to “sanitize mode” once in a while, thinking I was “cleaning the air” by ridding the air of allergens and mold. Now I read in the fact sheet from the EPA that exposure to ozone irritates and inflames the lining of the respiratory system. It causes coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. (I actually brought the one at work from home, thinking that I was doing a good thing by “purifying my office”). In fact, when I come to work, my symptoms worsen, I choke for air and have a difficult time talking without coughing for air. It is horrible being in the middle of a presentation and not be able to talk because I cannot breathe! At home, I don’t have such a difficult time.

In doing further research I discovered that the problem is not just isolated to air purifiers. The lack of government involvement has led to companies who manufacture these types of products to not adhere to any testing standards and market products that are considered to cause potentially damaging health risks.

The recommendation:
The ARB states “We strongly advise against the use of ozone generators in occupied spaces. Other governmental agencies agree with this advise. (2. 3) Excerpted from the March 2006 Fact Sheet, Beware of Ozone- Generating Indoor “Air Purifiers.” For more information, contact the Air Quality Resource Board, Research division Indoor Air Quality Program, (916) 322-8282 (indoor information message line). Or go to www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/indoor.htm
After reading the information, I decided to turn off my Air Purifier. I’ll see if I feel better with the confounded machine turned off. Boy, am I mad!

So what does this have to do with planning my kitchen remodel you ask?
Kitchen’s are a source of indoor air pollution and need to be vented properly. Cooking generates grease, smoke, cooking odor, moisture and even some toxic emissions form gas ovens, ranges and cook tops, wood burning bricked open pizza ovens all contribute to a major source of indoor air pollution in your home. When planning a kitchen you must not overlook the importance of healthy indoor air.

  • Proper ventilation with the use of a vent hood is the most effective source of ventilation. Although they can be noisy, they do not have to be run for long.
  • Recirculating or unvented models that do not require ducting pulls air through a filter and returns it into the room. They are not as effective a method of moving combustion gasses and should only be used in cases where it is impossible to duct the exhaust to the outside.
  • Downdrafts are an alternative to the overhead vent systems. Their biggest drawback is they don’t do as well for cooking with tall pots.
  • Another way to get rid of stale indoor air is with a centrally located device.
  • Fresh air from kitchen windows to help with the exchange of air. Turn your vent fan on to exhaust the smoke and grease and open your window to bring in fresh air. Take care to not let the rush of fresh air to blow out the gas flame.
  • Room Exhaust fans and also the central HVAC Systems distribute and exchange the air.
(Cited from the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Kitchen and Bath Systems).

Other ways to minimize the release of outdoor pollutants indoors:

  • Carefully follow the directions on sumer products such as cleaning agents, paints and glues;
  • Properly maintain and operate gas-and wood-burning appliances;
  • Restrict smoking to outdoor areas.
  • Purchase building materials and wood furniture that do not emit formaldehyde;
  • use candles and incense sparingly, if at all and
  • Clean frequently and throughly to prevent dust and mold build-up.

Kitchen Do’s and Don’ts: Series # 2

September 29th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

DON’T SQUEEZE A RANGE IN A SPACE WITHOUT COUNTERS.


This little space shows they maximize every square inch with storage. Nothing wrong with that. But, the range needs counter space. This is awkward and dangerous not to have a clear landing space between the range and the wall. Was the refrigerator once here and they moved the range in? Awkward.
For Code Requirement check your state and local codes.

DO MAKE SPACE FOR COUNTERS.
A better archway. The range has proper spacing. Great way of handling the corner too. Who says cabinets have to be wall to wall? The spice niche is great. It would have been very boring if the cabinets went into the corner with a lazy susan base and corner wall cabinets. This arch feature is much more attractive.

Here are floor to ceiling cabinets with a better arrangement for the range. I don’t know about this step ladder though, I can see someone tripping on it. Same goes for the area rugs.

The range is still tight, but at least the counter to the left is at least 12″ and to the right there is at least 36″. I would prefer a 15″ minimum on the counter but at least there is an island for additional landing space for something hot out of the oven.

Kitchen Do’s and Don’ts: Series # 2

September 29th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

DON’T SQUEEZE A RANGE IN A SPACE WITHOUT COUNTERS.


This little space shows they maximize every square inch with storage. Nothing wrong with that. But, the range needs counter space. This is awkward and dangerous not to have a clear landing space between the range and the wall. Was the refrigerator once here and they moved the range in? Awkward.
For Code Requirement check your state and local codes.

DO MAKE SPACE FOR COUNTERS.
A better archway. The range has proper spacing. Great way of handling the corner too. Who says cabinets have to be wall to wall? The spice niche is great. It would have been very boring if the cabinets went into the corner with a lazy susan base and corner wall cabinets. This arch feature is much more attractive.

Here are floor to ceiling cabinets with a better arrangement for the range. I don’t know about this step ladder though, I can see someone tripping on it. Same goes for the area rugs.

The range is still tight, but at least the counter to the left is at least 12″ and to the right there is at least 36″. I would prefer a 15″ minimum on the counter but at least there is an island for additional landing space for something hot out of the oven.

Will it fit?

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment


I received this email today:

I came across your blog after trying unsuccessfully, to get an answer from a Kohler technician whether a built-in standard dishwasher would fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. He still could not give a definitive answer after viewing the PDF. Have your ever installed a Prologue sink for a client, and do you know if a dishwasher can be housed under the work space? Thank you!

JJ the short answer is no, a built-in standard dishwasher will NOT fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. If you go back to the installation specs, http://www.us.kohler.com/
onlinecatalog/pdf/1066440_2.pdf
you will see what I am referring to. You will see that they use a large enough sink base cabinet to accommodate this 42″ sink, including the shallow work surface. The Prologue that you want to use has a “work surface” is only 17 1/8″ x 18 3/4“. Kohler conveniently (sarcasm intentional) leaves off the thickness of the work surface in their specs. Can you get to a store that displays it to see how deep it sits into the cabinet? It may be ok, the work surface looks shallow but assuming is not the way to go. What is your counter thickness? An under mount typically sits 3/4″ below the finished surface. Call Kohler back and ask for a supervisor and demand to get a definite answer. This cannot be a guessing game, (but enough of the rant on appliance and fixture specs. I’ll save that for another post).
In any event, if there is space for a dishwasher to slide under the work surface, you can get a little creative. Take a look at what I did below. I put an under cabinet refrigerator under my work surface. It slid in with no problem.

I installed an under cabinet refrigerator under the drainboard- similar to the Prologue. The sink base is 30″ to house the 20″ bowl. I centered the bowl in the 30″ base. The overall sink with drainboard is 36″ wide. The drain board is shallow, so I can slide an under cabinet refrigerator or a dishwasher adjacent to my sink base.


Will it fit?

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment


I received this email today:

I came across your blog after trying unsuccessfully, to get an answer from a Kohler technician whether a built-in standard dishwasher would fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. He still could not give a definitive answer after viewing the PDF. Have your ever installed a Prologue sink for a client, and do you know if a dishwasher can be housed under the work space? Thank you!

JJ the short answer is no, a built-in standard dishwasher will NOT fit under the work area of the PROLOGUE sink. If you go back to the installation specs, http://www.us.kohler.com/
onlinecatalog/pdf/1066440_2.pdf
you will see what I am referring to. You will see that they use a large enough sink base cabinet to accommodate this 42″ sink, including the shallow work surface. The Prologue that you want to use has a “work surface” is only 17 1/8″ x 18 3/4“. Kohler conveniently (sarcasm intentional) leaves off the thickness of the work surface in their specs. Can you get to a store that displays it to see how deep it sits into the cabinet? It may be ok, the work surface looks shallow but assuming is not the way to go. What is your counter thickness? An under mount typically sits 3/4″ below the finished surface. Call Kohler back and ask for a supervisor and demand to get a definite answer. This cannot be a guessing game, (but enough of the rant on appliance and fixture specs. I’ll save that for another post).
In any event, if there is space for a dishwasher to slide under the work surface, you can get a little creative. Take a look at what I did below. I put an under cabinet refrigerator under my work surface. It slid in with no problem.

I installed an under cabinet refrigerator under the drainboard- similar to the Prologue. The sink base is 30″ to house the 20″ bowl. I centered the bowl in the 30″ base. The overall sink with drainboard is 36″ wide. The drain board is shallow, so I can slide an under cabinet refrigerator or a dishwasher adjacent to my sink base.


The Home Know It All

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

I was contacted by Holly Reynolds to let me know that my site has been featured in an entry on TheHomeKnowItAll.com, a comprehensive blog on home improvement, decorating, cleaning and organizing, do-it-yourself, gardening, and easy repair projects. Each day, Monday through Friday, The Home Know-It-All walks readers through the basics of a specific topic related to the home, with links to other sources of information and products available on the web.

My website was featured in the September 18th post on Cabinet Hardware.

Use this link to view the specific article: Cool Cabinet Hardware

Thanks Holly!

The Home Know It All

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

I was contacted by Holly Reynolds to let me know that my site has been featured in an entry on TheHomeKnowItAll.com, a comprehensive blog on home improvement, decorating, cleaning and organizing, do-it-yourself, gardening, and easy repair projects. Each day, Monday through Friday, The Home Know-It-All walks readers through the basics of a specific topic related to the home, with links to other sources of information and products available on the web.

My website was featured in the September 18th post on Cabinet Hardware.

Use this link to view the specific article: Cool Cabinet Hardware

Thanks Holly!

10 influential bloggers (blogs) in our design community are…

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

I was contacted by Stan from Home Rejuvenation to pass the word about a survey they are conducting over at Home Rejuvenation Blog to find out who the 10 influential bloggers (blogs) in our design community are. The purpose is to find out the best in design blogging. Kindly refer to the link as attached http://homerejuvenation.blogspot.com/2007/09/nominate-for-10-most-influential-design.html

Ok Stan, done! I’ve nominated my favorites. Lets pass the word.

Special Delivery: And I Don’t Mean Cabinets

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Last time I talked about Purchase Orders, I showed you a couple of my 3″ ring binders from jobs in progress.

The crunch is on today. I just completed faxing my purchase orders through for a whole house full of cabinetry for one client. Went out to inspect a warranty replacement for another job, went to meet a contractor on another job and then hopped back on another long and detailed purchase order for another client. My deadline is tomorrow to fax the order, make sure it is perfect, items are finished, quantities are calculated correctly. TONS OF DETAILS TO GET IT RIGHT. The one hold up I had on this order was that my clients were not certain they chose the right color. As we waited for a new door sample to be over nighted, the clock is ticking on the construction schedule. We are supposed to be done by Thanksgiving. Anymore delays and we wont make our goal.

The door sample arrives and is gorgeous! Just in time, they have one day left to commit to the color. I am happy they loved the color, a dark Cherry Nutmeg Onyx Glaze.

I stayed late to prepare the change order documents. So when my client showed up with a fully prepared gourmet meal of Salmon and Asparagus Almondine with lovely steamed vegetable, I felt like I got a shot of B-Vitamins! Boy, what a treat! It was really a wonderful surprise and I think I will start scheduling my meetings with her closer to dinner time for now on or at least until tear out date! Just kidding! What a great cook my client is!

But seriously when a purchase order is ready for faxing, you hope to never get that call from a client asking to change the color. Once an order is in production, it is a huge ordeal to change it, not to mention costly. I am so glad we waited to get that sample! It took an additional week,
and as I have told other clients, don’t stress yourself out by trying to get a remodel done in time for the holidays or (insert whatever major holiday or personal event) that is pressing down on a time commitment. Let the work be done in a timely manner. Trying to meet deadlines around a remodel is torture for you and the stress you will put on your contractor could result in poor workmanship.

Special Delivery: And I Don’t Mean Cabinets

September 27th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Last time I talked about Purchase Orders, I showed you a couple of my 3″ ring binders from jobs in progress.

The crunch is on today. I just completed faxing my purchase orders through for a whole house full of cabinetry for one client. Went out to inspect a warranty replacement for another job, went to meet a contractor on another job and then hopped back on another long and detailed purchase order for another client. My deadline is tomorrow to fax the order, make sure it is perfect, items are finished, quantities are calculated correctly. TONS OF DETAILS TO GET IT RIGHT. The one hold up I had on this order was that my clients were not certain they chose the right color. As we waited for a new door sample to be over nighted, the clock is ticking on the construction schedule. We are supposed to be done by Thanksgiving. Anymore delays and we wont make our goal.

The door sample arrives and is gorgeous! Just in time, they have one day left to commit to the color. I am happy they loved the color, a dark Cherry Nutmeg Onyx Glaze.

I stayed late to prepare the change order documents. So when my client showed up with a fully prepared gourmet meal of Salmon and Asparagus Almondine with lovely steamed vegetable, I felt like I got a shot of B-Vitamins! Boy, what a treat! It was really a wonderful surprise and I think I will start scheduling my meetings with her closer to dinner time for now on or at least until tear out date! Just kidding! What a great cook my client is!

But seriously when a purchase order is ready for faxing, you hope to never get that call from a client asking to change the color. Once an order is in production, it is a huge ordeal to change it, not to mention costly. I am so glad we waited to get that sample! It took an additional week,
and as I have told other clients, don’t stress yourself out by trying to get a remodel done in time for the holidays or (insert whatever major holiday or personal event) that is pressing down on a time commitment. Let the work be done in a timely manner. Trying to meet deadlines around a remodel is torture for you and the stress you will put on your contractor could result in poor workmanship.

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