Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane: Blog https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog en-us (C) Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Mon, 04 Oct 2021 19:09:00 GMT Mon, 04 Oct 2021 19:09:00 GMT https://www.hansoncarlen.com/img/s/v-12/u1038328606-o656945943-50.jpg Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane: Blog https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog 120 93 A Picture is Worth 1000 Words https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/10/a-picture-is-worth-1000-words Finishing a project is always rewarding and fun. One of our favorite parts of finishing a project is having professional pictures taken of the beautiful work we have completed. Over the years we’ve learned that having a professional photographer who knows what he is doing is crucial to making the work look as beautiful in the pictures as it is in real life. 

We’ve used the same wonderful photographer for years now, Jon Pece, and every time he takes photos of a project for us, I am amazed with his work! It is fun to watch him use his talent, special equipment and how he brings his amazing skills to life. Take a look at the video and photos below to see behind the scenes of his work and his work!

 

Drone ShotDrone at Hanson Carlen Architecture and Construction

 

Hanson_Carlen_Office_Jan162009_0024Hanson_Carlen_Office_Jan162009_0024

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom architecture custom home photography custom home remodel drone interior brick residential construction spokane custom home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/10/a-picture-is-worth-1000-words Mon, 04 Oct 2021 19:08:48 GMT
Stairs to Your Home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/9/stairs-to-your-home Do you ever see a house that looks fairly new then notice the wrong steps are falling off of the house? This is why we talk so much about the importance of “good bones” to a house. The house may look nice when its finished being built but may not be built well internally. 

When building your new home, we not only make it look beautiful when you look at it but also make sure it’s built to last. Here is something we do to prevent front porch stairs from falling apart. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) good house bones"custom residential homes" "spokane architect" "spokane custom home" "stairs to your home" "custom kitchen" good bones to your home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/9/stairs-to-your-home Mon, 13 Sep 2021 17:57:42 GMT
2021 Chrysalis Awards National Award Winner https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/8/2021-chrysalis-awards-national-award-winner Hanson Carlen is happy to announce the achievement of a national design award in the outdoor living category of Chrysalis Awards 2021!

The Chrysalis Award program recognizes the nation’s best remodeling and design work from all over the United States. 

You can view the award here.

Project summary:

We love repeat customers!  In 2018 we created a gorgeous modern-looking pergola. 

After a successful pergola project, we moved over to the next desired project. The homeowners asked us to rebuild an existing deck and make an outdoor room that tied into the space we had previously finished. We were commissioned to create a special zone outside of the pool area, which was open to many hours of direct sunlight, so we included a special outdoor room with a pergola that matched the work we had completed in 2018. 

Like all pools, it was fenced-in, so we were looking for a way to create a special entrance from the outdoor room. We designed a modern beam pergola that was built with custom curved templets. This modern beam pergola is a ‘gateway’ that leads to the fenced outdoor pool in the backyard. Together the pergola and outdoor room made this outdoor space comfortable and an inviting place to relax with family and friends!

 

Modern Outdoor RoomModern Outdoor Room Modern Outdoor RoomModern Outdoor Room Modern Outdoor RoomModern Outdoor Room

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Chrysalis Awards curved pergola custom kitchen custom residential architecture modern outdoor room modern pergola outdoor living https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/8/2021-chrysalis-awards-national-award-winner Mon, 23 Aug 2021 16:32:58 GMT
Forming Foundations in the Rock https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/7/forming-foundations-in-the-rock When building a home, it can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly to build on a rocky site. 

On this site we hit rock and had to figure out a better way to have the foundation poured rather than the typical way forming is usually conducted. 

This new system we developed helped us save time and money. Check it out below!  

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom home foundation forms foundation forms in the rock new home spokane remodel spokane spokane architects spokane residential home builders https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/7/forming-foundations-in-the-rock Fri, 30 Jul 2021 16:09:28 GMT
Thin Brick https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/7/architecture-starts-when-you-carefully-put-two-bricks-together-there-it-begins Brick has been around and used in building structures dating back to around 4000 BC. Having an exposed brick wall in your home can make your home feel warmer, add texture, increase color and enhance the character of your home. No two bricks are the same! It is fun to sit and gaze at the surface while browsing through a catalog or visiting with family and friend. This adds a lot of charm and quality to your home. 

 

In this project we used thin brick. Thin brick gives you the same look as a facing brick does, but it does have a lower weight which is ideal for interiors. The lightweight feel of this brick allows it to be attached to the wall in a similar way to which tile is set. You do not need a special steel angle support to install, making it easier and actually fun.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) brick custom residential architecture and construction laying brick spokane brick remodel Spokane custom home spokane historic remodel spokane residential remodel thin brick https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/7/architecture-starts-when-you-carefully-put-two-bricks-together-there-it-begins Fri, 09 Jul 2021 20:34:44 GMT
Durable, Easy Care Flooring https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/6/hallmark-organic-flooring There are many different types of flooring. Recently in a new home we built we used Hallmark Organic Flooring. One of the reasons our clients chose this flooring for their home was because of its beautiful wood look and durability. This product will hold up well and be more scratch resistant. 

Another thing we like about this flooring is how easy it is to care for. Hallmark makes a cleaner for this floor called Nu Oil, and also a scratch repair oil. See how easy it is to clean below. 

Hallmark Organic Floors

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) hallmark organic floors hardwood floors organic floors residential remodel spokane architecture spokane builders spokane kitchen remodel wood flooring spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/6/hallmark-organic-flooring Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:01:55 GMT
No More Squeaky Floors! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/5/no-more-squeaky-floors Everyone hates squeaky floors… such a nuisance! Have you ever wondered just why a floor squeaks? Well, one of the reasons a floor may squeak is due to the sub floor separating from the joists. The nails are sliding around in the joist which causes an annoying whiny, griding racket. 

 

To help prevent this irritation, we use a 12-inch 6500 series joist. In the video below we add a special blocking to the end of the joist. This gives you a squeak-free floor and overall better product. So cool!

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom home spokane Custom new home spokane custom residential architecture & construction floor joists high end home spokane historic home remodel historic home spokane kitchen remodel spokane remodel squeaky floors https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/5/no-more-squeaky-floors Mon, 24 May 2021 18:19:19 GMT
Light Bright, Making Things with Light https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/4/lighting-types Over the years lighting has changed so much! Lighting is important to a project’s beauty, so one of the things we like to plan with you when we design your project is a good lighting scheme. Lighting is made up of both decorative and task lighting. Task lighting is light that you don’t really want to see but provides enough light for your home.

One of the lighting types we really enjoy that provides enough light and is fairly discrete is a light from Halo called the ML4. See why we like these lights so well below! 

Types of Lighting- ML4Take a look at how lighting has progressed over the years and one of the lights we've been installing in new homes.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential remodel halo halo lights halo ml4 Lighting lighting types ML4 modern lighting modern remodel recessed lighting spokane remodel https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/4/lighting-types Mon, 26 Apr 2021 18:34:37 GMT
Sewer Distribution- Pressure System https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/4/sewer-distribution--pressure-system When building a new home oftentimes you need a sewer system to be installed along with a sewage distribution system. 

There are usually three basic types of sewage distribution:  gravity, mound, and pressure system. The systems are designed by an engineer based on the soil testing. In this video we will take a closer look at a pressure system and how it works. 

 

Sewer DistributionSewer Distribution types- in this video we look at a pressure system sewer system.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction sewer distribution sewer distribution types spokane spokane custom home spokane new home builder https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/4/sewer-distribution--pressure-system Mon, 05 Apr 2021 17:31:47 GMT
Sewer on Your Newly Purchased Land https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/3/sewer-on-your-newly-purchased-land In our previous blog we talked about site work and how there are three parts to the process of building a new home. We discussed the driveway to your home and what a good road consists of and what to take into consideration.

 

In this blog we are looking at the sewer or the septic system that your new home will require. Where do you start with the sewer if the land you purchased doesn’t already have one?

 

Site workSite work on your new property. Septic systems

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction spokane spokane new home spokane septic systems https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/3/sewer-on-your-newly-purchased-land Fri, 19 Mar 2021 21:11:09 GMT
The Driveway to Your New Home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/2/the-driveway-to-your-new-home

When you have a home built there are three parts to the process. Purchasing the property, the actual construction of the home and the site work. Oftentimes when buying property the site work is overlooked when estimating the costs.

You may ask, what exactly is site work? One essential and sometimes costly part of the site work to take into consideration is the driveway or road to your new home.

In the future blogs we will discuss the process of building a new home, specifically what site work means and the process/timeframe to plan for after purchasing the land on which you want to build your new home.

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) building a home custom home custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction driveway to new home high end home" home builders spokane new custom home new home builder spokane new property site work Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/2/the-driveway-to-your-new-home Fri, 26 Feb 2021 19:22:23 GMT
Bad Bones to a House- Does it Really Matter? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/2/bad-bones-to-a-house--does-it-really-matter A lot of times you will hear us talk about the ‘good bones’ of a house and what that means. How the house is built is critical to a home lasting a long time with no issues.

This home located on Manito Boulevard has its own unique look. It was impressive to the eye but when the house was gutted, we came across some major structural issues. These issues are due to the original builder back in 1930’s not doing a good job. Just like today, back in the 1900s, there were good builders and bad builders. A lot of people say, “They just don’t build them like they used to.” In this case, we are thankful they don’t! 


Bad structureThis 1930s home has terrible structure and bones. There is good builders and bad builders, just like back in the 1900s.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) bad structure custom home custom residential manito park home residential architecture & construction south hill south hill remodel spokane residential home structural damage https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/2/bad-bones-to-a-house--does-it-really-matter Fri, 12 Feb 2021 22:29:13 GMT
Innovative Insulation https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/innovative-insulation Recently, for one of our projects we had the opportunity to try out a new product- Rockwool Comfortbatt. Wow…what a product! This innovation has a lot of cool features. A couple of awesome features are that is completely fireproof, water resistant and soundproof!  It is safer, doesn’t absorb water and blocks outside noise. So, in the cool months it holds heat inside and, in the summertime, retains cool air; thus, lower energy bills…and everyone wants that! Not to mention, it cuts down on outside noise pollution like barking dogs, airplanes circling overhead and chatty neighbors, thus allowing a quieter atmosphere.

In this video we highlight a few features as well as some of the challenges we faced installing it. 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) board builder comfort comfortbatt construction custom home insulation rain residential rockwool screens spokane top https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/innovative-insulation Fri, 29 Jan 2021 20:16:20 GMT
Cheap Cabinets https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/cheap-cabinets In case you have not noticed, there is a HUGE cabinet company based out of Liberty Lake that ships cabinets all over the Nation.

   They have a huge showroom with many ads on television. Their motto is, “Built to a higher standard”.

Folks, there is more to a cabinet than just a pretty face and nice door. A picture is worth a thousand words they say! See below..


    custom cabinetscustom cabinetscustom cabinets custom cabinetscustom cabinetscustom cabinets custom cabinetscustom cabinetscustom cabinets custom cabinetscustom cabinetscustom cabinets

.

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) cheap cabinets custom cabinets' Custom Kitchen Custom Residential Architecture & Construction Kitchen Remodel Residential" Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/cheap-cabinets Mon, 18 Jan 2021 15:30:07 GMT
Cable Rail https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/cable-rail The past couple of years modern designs have been in vogue.  When I started working with my father, handrails were often made from 2” x 2” redwood pickets.   These looked great when they were first installed but were a little difficult to maintain. Later, rails turned to vinyl products that often had expansion problems in the sun.   


Azek Slate Grey decking, Regal Aluminum rail system, home made cable rail

On our last project we blended a hybrid of two materials- aluminum and cable. Cable for the infill and aluminum for the posts. A beautiful outcome that should provide low maintenance.   


Cable Rail, handrail, outdoor handrail, outdoor cable rail, stainless steel cable rail, deck wire, exterior rail, creative deck railCable RailCable Rail, handrail, outdoor handrail, outdoor cable rail, stainless steel cable rail, deck wire, exterior rail, creative deck rail Cable Rail, handrail, outdoor handrail, outdoor cable rail, stainless steel cable rail, deck wire, exterior rail, creative deck railCable Rail, handrail, outdoor handrail, outdoor cable rail, stainless steel cable rail, deck wire, exterior rail, creative deck railCable Rail, handrail, outdoor handrail, outdoor cable rail, stainless steel cable rail, deck wire, exterior rail, creative deck rail

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Cable Rail creative deck rail deck wire exterior rail handrail outdoor cable rail outdoor handrail stainless steel cable rail https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2021/1/cable-rail Sat, 02 Jan 2021 00:00:00 GMT
It's the Details that Count https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/12/its-the-details-that-count In the last few vlogs, we have discussed the Zip R Sheathing and liquid flashing we used on this new home to make the household as airtight as possible. 

One of the final touches we did for this home before the insulation and drywall were installed was to use this foam froth pack. 

In this week’s vlog we will show you how to use the froth pack to seal up any final potential leaks. This will greatly improve the owner’s residence (and yours) and will seal it tightly for only $300. It is definitely worth the money!

 

It's the Details that CountThis foam froth pack is one of the final details we used on this home.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) air tight home custom home foam froth pak new home residential construction spokane spokane residential home builder zip r sheathing https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/12/its-the-details-that-count Fri, 18 Dec 2020 23:45:17 GMT
Tips and Tricks to an Air Tight Home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/12/zip-r-sheathing-part-iii There are a few tricks we learned while installing the Zip System Sheathing. It is critical to make sure it is sealed in all possible places that it could leak air. We used a Liquid Flash on this new home. 

 

In this video, Ethan will show you all the install tips he learned while working with this sheathing. This episode will show you Zip- R Sheathing and how to use Liquid Flash to build an extremely tight house.

 

Zip R SheatingSealing Zip R Sheating so its airtight tips and tricks

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) air tight home custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction new home residential construction spokane Spokane Zip R Sheathing zip r sheathing 2.0 zip sheathing https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/12/zip-r-sheathing-part-iii Sat, 05 Dec 2020 00:07:21 GMT
Ensuring Your Home is Tightly Air Sealed https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/11/ensuring-your-home-is-tightly-air-sealed In our last vlog, we looked at the benefits of using ZIP System Insulated R- Sheathing on a home. 

This type of insulation does a great job in sealing the house, but we found a few extra things to be added when installing the insulation to ensure that the home is tightly sealed to minimize air leaks. In the video below we explain some of the things we did for this.

 

Zip R Sheathing Part 2See how we took an extra step to ensure this home is sealed completely from bugs and air leaks.

 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) air tight home custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction new home residential construction spokane Spokane Zip R Sheathing zip r sheathing 2.0 zip sheathing https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/11/ensuring-your-home-is-tightly-air-sealed Mon, 16 Nov 2020 20:29:04 GMT
Good "Bones" to a Home Start Here https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/11/good-bones-to-a-home-start-here One of the things that we always tell our customers when we first meet with them is the importance of the “bones” of the house. What makes the bones of a house good is how tightly the house is sealed so that air does not escape from the house… which causes you to lose money on heating or cooling.

 

We recently tried the ZIP System Insulated R- Sheathing on this beautiful new home we are building. This type of insulation has many benefits such as moister, air and thermal protection. Take a look at the video below to explore more of these benefits. 

Zip R Sheathing 2.0 Overview

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom home custom home spokane custom residential archiecture & Construction insulating a home new home builder spokane new home insulation residential construction residential insulation sealed home spokane zip r sheathing zip r sheathing review https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/11/good-bones-to-a-home-start-here Mon, 02 Nov 2020 22:54:22 GMT
Gatekeeper to Your Cozy Home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/10/gatekeeper-to-your-cozy-home In our last conversation/blog we talked about Sierra Pacific windows- and we have a bit more to comment upon. Not only are their windows some of the best windows in the Pacific Northwest, their doors are equally as good! Only Sierra Pacific doors have the ability to compliment with grace and charm unequaled by any other, AND they also give a lovely tribute to their beautiful windows with charm and poise. 

 

Take a look at the video below and you will see exactly why we love these doors! 

 

Gatekeeper to Your Cozy Home​​​​​​​In our last conversation/blog we talked about Sierra Pacific windows- and we have a bit more to comment upon. Not only are their windows some of the best windows in the Pacific Northwest, their doors are equally as good! Only Sierra Pacific doors have the ability to compliment with grace and charm unequaled by any other, AND they also give a lovely tribute to their beautiful windows with charm and poise.  Take a look at the video below and you will see exactly why we love these doors! 

 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) beautiful doors custom new home custom residential custom residential architecture & construction Doors front door Quality doors residential doors residential home Sierra pacific Sierra pacific door spokane home builder spokane remodel https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/10/gatekeeper-to-your-cozy-home Mon, 19 Oct 2020 22:42:13 GMT
Beautiful Eyes https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/10/sierra-pacific-windows The eyes are the window to the soul. In many ways, windows in a home are similar. Sierra Pacific windows are some of the best windows you can buy here in the Pacific Northwest. We have used Sierra Pacific for many years not only because they have great customer service but because they also provide great quality windows.

 

Check out the video below to see what makes Sierra Pacific windows so special!


Sierra Pacific Windows

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom windows double hung window high quality windows new home spokane Sierra pacific Sierra Pacific windows stained window windows https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/10/sierra-pacific-windows Mon, 05 Oct 2020 14:59:40 GMT
Iconic Kirtland Cutter- Stimson Home Replica https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/9/iconic-kirtland-cutter-replica If you have walked by or visited the Hanson Carlen office, you may have seen this house model in the window and wondered if this house was actually real. 

It is real! This house model, built by Dewey Hanson before he retired, is a replica of the Stimson house by Kirtland Cutter.  Dewey moved from Minnesota and founded Hanson Carlen Architecture and Construction here in Spokane in the year 1976. 

When you look closely at this house you can see there is a lot of detail and work that went into building this Stimson replica. If you were to tour the Kirtland Cutter house here in Spokane, you would see how closely this model resembles the actual house.

In 2012 the Spokane Journal featured an article on this unique model of the Stimson home. You can read that here. In the video below you can see the great amount of work and detail that went into crafting this beautiful Stimson house.


Kirtland Cutter Home ModelThis home model is a detailed replica of the Kirtland Cutter Home located in Spokane, WA

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Browns Addition Browns Addition Historic Home Cutter Cutter House Glover Mansion Kirtland Cutter Kirtland Cutter Architect Spokane Architects-Kirtland Spokane Architecture Spokane Historic Homes Spokane historic restoration Stimson House Stimson House by Kirtland Cutter https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/9/iconic-kirtland-cutter-replica Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:40:37 GMT
Designing and Building a Barn Cupola https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/8/designing-and-building-a-barn-cupola This past winter one of the projects we were worked on was a beautiful, large wooden barn for a client. For this particular project we crafted a very large and gorgeous cupola. When looking at a cupola from far away (and once a cupola is on top of the barn) it looks a lot smaller than it really is. That’s why when sizing a cupola, it is imperative to get the right fit for the barn, so it looks right. For starters, you take the length of the ridge on the barn and multiply it by 1.25 inches. Another thing we had to take into consideration when we constructed this cupola is how to get the cupola up on top of the ridge of the barn. Since it was extremely heavy, we made the cupola in several pieces so that it could be lifted section by section and assembled on the roof. We primed and painted all the pieces in the shop to ensure a protective beautiful paint job. 

Take a look at the video below to see how Hanson Carlen went about building this beautiful cupola. This cupola even has a weathervane on top of it, what a stunning icon in beautiful Greenbluff! 

Building a Barn Cupola How Hanson Carlen built this beautiful barn cupola

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) barn barn cupola building a cupola custom barn custom cupola Greenbluff Barn residential barn https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/8/designing-and-building-a-barn-cupola Fri, 07 Aug 2020 21:45:04 GMT
Curved Beam- Modern Pergola https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/7/modern-pergola-2020  Last year our Cossette project received two national awards for specialty design on a pergola we created. You can see the awards here.  These awards are extremely difficult to win as we are continually competing against some of the best projects across the nation. This was the first time we have ever won two awards on the same project, so this was a high honor! A special thank you to Jon Pace for the great photos.   

 

This year in an adjacent space in the backyard the homeowners asked us to rebuild an existing deck and make an outdoor room that tied into the space we fashioned in 2018.  We made a “gateway” that leads to the fenced outdoor pool in the backyard. It was a fun project and here are some detailsof how we achieved the beautiful curved pergola.  Our talented and valued employees, Chris and Jared lead this project.   

 

Here is a glimpse into the process of making this beautiful pergola. Curved Beam- Modern PergolaShown in this video is part of the process of building this modern pergola out of a curved beam

MODERN CURVED BEAM PERGOLA

MODERN AWARD WINNING PERGOLAMODERN AWARD WINNING PERGOLA


 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) backyard design backyard pergola curved pergola deck modern pergola national award for design outdoor room pergola specialty design https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/7/modern-pergola-2020 Mon, 20 Jul 2020 19:54:27 GMT
Waterfall Countertop Edge https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/7/waterfall-countertop-edge Waterfall countertops are often used in modern homes for a sleek look. Many people like the look of this because it shows off the material of the countertop design while giving a continuous flow that is pleasing to the eye while it also makes a statement. 

Waterfall CountertopWaterfall countertop, countertop, modern countertop, modern home,Quoizel PCCV2818W, island pendant lights, Cooper ML4, square trim, LG French Door refrigerator, Cambria “Skara Bare”, waterfall countertop edge, Karndean luxury vinyl planks, glazzio Scandinavia Series Baltic Peak, Napoleon Vector, Faucet: Elkay LKAV4061LS chrome, - Blanco option A 441464, modern house, Cambria “Skara Bare”, summit edge

We have used this design in both bathrooms and kitchens. One of the benefits to using this edge-type in a kitchen is that it can better hide appliances, such as a dishwasher. 

 

One of the problems we have ran into while using the waterfall edge is fitting a dishwasher under the countertop. Since this style has a thicker edge, fitting a regular sized dishwasher is not possible- the solution we found to this issue was getting a dishwasher that is made for handicap homes. These dishwashers are lower, and fit perfectly. 

Waterfall countertop, countertop, modern countertop, modern home,Quoizel PCCV2818W, island pendant lights, Cooper ML4, square trim, LG French Door refrigerator, Cambria “Skara Bare”, waterfall countertop edge, Karndean luxury vinyl planks, glazzio Scandinavia Series Baltic Peak, Napoleon Vector, Faucet: Elkay LKAV4061LS chrome, - Blanco option A 441464, modern house, Cambria “Skara Bare”, summit edge

We have also used this style countertop in the bathroom to create a flowing seamless look from the shower to the countertop to match the contemporary style of the bathroom. 


Modern BathroomWaterfall countertop, modern bathroom, bathroom waterfall countertop, floating toilet

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Bare" Blanco option A 441464 Cambria Cooper ML4 countertop Faucet: Elkay LKAV4061LS chrome Glazzio Scandinavia Series Baltic Peak island pendant lights Karndean luxury vinyl planks LG French Door refrigerator modern countertop modern home modern house Modern kitchen Napoleon Vector Quoizel PCCV2818W Skara square trim summit edge Waterfall countertop waterfall countertop edge https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/7/waterfall-countertop-edge Mon, 13 Jul 2020 15:15:00 GMT
Mitsubshi Indoor Unit https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/6/mitsubshi-indoor-unit A few weeks ago, in the last blog I talked about HVAC ductless systems

I wanted to show you an indoor air handler unit. Indoor units can come in many configurations: floor mounted, celling recessed, horizontal ducted and wall mounted. The most common is the wall- mounted design. There are many models to choose from, but we like the Mitsubishi FH series as it is a model with a lot of cool features. The FH system has a sensor that can scan the room and look for humans. This way it can either be set to direct air flow towards you OR away from you!

 

Mitsubishi indoor unit, ceiling recessed, horizonal ducted, Mitsubishi FH series, efficient heating, efficient coolingIndoor minisplit unitMitsubishi indoor unit, ceiling recessed, horizonal ducted, Mitsubishi FH series, efficient heating, efficient cooling

The unit delivers 100% heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Did I mention these are extremely quiet in comparison with a forced air system or the water baseboards I referred to in my last post? The sound level of these units is 19-34 decibels which is less than a whisper: a whisper is about 30db.



Overall, the indoor units are not that noticeable in a room; they are fairly discreet. As I previously stated, maybe you should consider having us install one for you!

 

Mitsubishi indoor unit, ceiling recessed, horizonal ducted, Mitsubishi FH series, efficient heating, efficient coolingMitsubishi indoor unitMitsubishi indoor unit, ceiling recessed, horizonal ducted, Mitsubishi FH series, efficient heating, efficient cooling

As you can see, the remote has many settings.  With the "eye see" feature the unit can tell where you are in the room and direct air towards you or away from you.  

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction home builders Spokane kitchen Mitsubishi outdoor unit Spokane custom residential Spokane finest builders https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/6/mitsubshi-indoor-unit Mon, 22 Jun 2020 21:37:55 GMT
ERV Venting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/6/erv-venting We have made huge improvements over the past 10 years on our homes making them “airtight”. Every house leaks some air, the question is how much air does the home leak?    A leaky house uses more energy because the air from outside needs to be conditioned (warmed in the winter and cooled in the summer) by the HVAC system.  

 

The problem with a house that does not leak much is that the air in the house can become stale and actually contaminated and unhealthy.     

 

Here is a Panasonic Intelli-Balance  ERV  100 FV-10VEC1  we installed.   


Always Have Fresh Air in Your Home- ERV VentingAlways Have fresh air in your home that is also energy efficient with this ERV Venting system

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) clean air in home cooling efficient heating and cooling ERV ERV Venting fresh air heating HVAC system" airtight sealed home https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/6/erv-venting Mon, 01 Jun 2020 15:36:42 GMT
Mitsubshi Outdoor Unit https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/5/mitsubshi-outdoor-unit When I was a kid my parents’ house had hot water baseboard heat. This idea (popular in the late 60’s) was thought to be an upgradeover the traditional cast iron radiators. In fact, they still sell the units and can be fairly comfortable heating. This system was normally a copper pipe with aluminum fins that ran essentially around the exterior of the house.  But… it was noisy.  I remember every morning waking up to the cracking and popping noise of the units as they expanded from the hot water running through them.  Also, one drawback was they provided no air conditioning.

Now for the past 50-years or so, the go-to system for mid-price has been a forced air system.   These systems are typically fueled by gas, if available. If not, an electric heat pump is used.  Many improvements have been made over the years on forced air systems.

With the improvement of building systems and insulation, it takes a lot less energy to heat or cool the homes we now build. This changes the types of heating systems needed, as well. It no longer takes a 120,000 BTU gas furnace to heat the Brady Bunch rancher style home.   

Now, for the past several years we have been using more ductless systems which I believe is the way the industry is heading. Why is this? Simply due to their energy efficiency, size, ease of installation and the ability to control zones on the different areas of the home. Another reason is these systems have no leaking air from ducts which can account for 30% of energy consumption in space conditioning. Add to this the fact that ceilings do not need to be dropped with ugly soffits.  


Mitsubshi Outdoor Unit. Mitsubishi Hyper Heat units Mitsubshi Outdoor UnitMitsubshi Outdoor Unit. Mitsubishi Hyper Heat units

The systems are composed of two parts: the indoor air handler and the outdoor condenser unit. We like the Mitsubishi Hyper Heat units for our climate in Spokane.


The outdoor condenser units in the photo below are inverter driven variable refrigerant flow units. This means they can ramp up or down for just the right amount of heat or cooling needed for the current conditions.


Mitsubshi Outdoor Unit. Mitsubishi Hyper Heat units Mitsubshi Outdoor UnitMitsubshi Outdoor Unit. Mitsubishi Hyper Heat units

This is a huge deal since the majority of heat pump units on ducted systems cannot do this. These units are so efficient that in our area, they can operate more cheaply than natural gas or electricity.   And did I tell you that most of the time they are very, very quiet. This is because most days the fan turns very slowly because conditions are not too extreme.   

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction kitchen Mitsubishi outdoor unit Spokane custom residential https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/5/mitsubshi-outdoor-unit Fri, 15 May 2020 21:19:10 GMT
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/4/august-smart-lock-pro-connect August Smart Lock Pro + Connect 

 

These days there are many different types of smart locks. Recently we installed the August Smart lock at the Hanson Carlen office. This lock is easy to install and can be used with other smart home devices. It is so handy and cool!

 

Here is the August Smart Lock we use at our office:


August Smart LockAugust Smart Lock, smart lock, in home automation, smart home, residential constructon

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) August Smart Lock custom residential design in home automation quick and easy lock residential Smart Home Smart Locks spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/4/august-smart-lock-pro-connect Mon, 27 Apr 2020 17:59:30 GMT
Look Mom, No Hands! (no handles) https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/3/no-handles-on-these-drawers Look Mom, no hands! (no handles)

 

Well in this case it should be… look mom, no handles! 

Notice the large drawers have no way to pull them open in the photo below? No, it is not a mistake! The drawers below are opened by an electronic device that pushes the drawer open automatically when you touch the front of the drawer. This cool hardware (Grass Tipmatic) allows us to leave off the drawer handles and give the cabinet an ultra sleek look.     


Grass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinetGrass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinetGrass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinet

Modern architecture has an element of clean lines and smooth surfaces on many projects. In this project we built a beautiful dividing wall from cabinetry to separate two spaces. On one side of the wall, drawers and art niches and on the other side of the wall was a spot for a wall mount TV.  Notice how the lines on the cabinets align with the desk and other elements of the room. Pretty cool for mom- she can now open a drawer hands-free and say the same thing, “Look, no hands!”  


Grass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinetGrass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinetGrass, Halo, ML 4 square trim, hallmark, floor, black maple cabinets, modern cube light, art display cabinet, tipmatic drawer guides

https://www.grassusa.com/products/tipmatic-plus/

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) art display cabinet black maple cabinets cube custom residential architecture & construction flooring Grass hallmark halo kitchen light" ml 4 square trim modern Modern architecture Spokane tipmatic https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/3/no-handles-on-these-drawers Mon, 23 Mar 2020 14:58:04 GMT
Smart Lights that are Simple https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/2/smart-lights-that-are-simple Do you ever get into bed to read… and when you are done reading you don’t want to get up and turn the lights out? I have! And I have found that having home automation lights has many benefits.   There are many ways to utilize “smart lighting” these days.  We often use Lutron smart home products on our projects which have very robust features and they are very simple to install on a construction project; however, many people are not comfortable wiring in new switches and such.   Hue Philips lights are about as easy as changing a light bulb and can do some amazing things. For instance, you can turn lights off and on from your phone while you are away from home, set timers and routines (so the lights start to dim before your set bedtime) and they work well with Siri, Alexa, and Hey Google to adjust your lights. 


Smart LightsSmart Lights that are SimpleSmart Lights that are Simple. Philips Hue Lights

The Hue light bulb has 16 million customizable color options. Light color plays a major role in a person’s sleep cycle. Blue light keeps you awake, so exposing yourself to blue light before bed will have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. With Hue Philips lights I set my lights to a red hue when it is getting close to bedtime. Switching to a natural red light can help your body wind down and accelerate your sleep cycle more naturally.  I have noticed it helps me get to sleep faster.


Smart LightsSmart Lights that are SimpleSmart Lights that are Simple. Philips Hue Lights

Not only do these lights have unique features- they are also more efficient. One light bulb can have a lifespan that can last up to 15 years or 15,000 hours! The folks at Philips claim that these bulbs are more efficient than an incandescent bulb and use 80 percent less power.


Smart LightsSmart Lights that are SimpleSmart Lights that are Simple. Philips Hue Lights

After using Philips lights for a few months, I would highly recommend them not only because they are so convenient but also because of their efficiency. Brilliant~ Marie


Smart LightsSmart Lights that are SimpleSmart Lights that are Simple. Philips Hue Lights


 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom kitchen custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction hue lights lighting Lutron Lutron Smart Home Smart Lights Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/2/smart-lights-that-are-simple Mon, 17 Feb 2020 20:36:55 GMT
ML4 https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/1/ml4 Lighting is an important element for any space.  It is ideal if a space can have both natural and artificial light. Poor lighting affects our vision and our emotions.  A poorly lit room can put you in the dumps.

Lighting can also affect the aesthetics of a space.  The big recessed cans dotting your ceiling are becoming a thing of the past. New technology in light bulbs has lead to smaller and less intrusive recess lighting.  Our current recess light of choice is the Halo ML4.  

ML4, LED Lights, lumens, square trim lights, modern lights, farmhouse lighting, pendant lights, wood countertopML4ML4, LED Lights, lumens, square trim lights, modern lights, farmhouse lighting, pendant lights, wood countertop

 

These LED lights have a 2” aperture and produce 900 lumens.  They come is several colors with a round or square trim.  The magnetic trims hold the trim tightly to the ceiling eliminating light leaks. Next time you are in a well-illuminated space… look up! What’s lighting your space?


ML4, LED Lights, lumens, square trim lights, modern lights, farmhouse lighting, pendant lights, wood countertopML4ML4, LED Lights, lumens, square trim lights, modern lights, farmhouse lighting, pendant lights, wood countertop

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) barn door farmhouse lighting LED Lights lumens ML4 modern architecture modern lights pendant lights square trim lights wood countertop https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/1/ml4 Mon, 27 Jan 2020 16:16:32 GMT
Handicap Residence https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/1/handicap-residence Handicap Residence

 

Supply and demand is a law that can apply to many things in this world.  As far as housing is concerned, supply is in short supply for true handicap housing.  As architects and builders, we call these homes, “Accessible”. You will often see rentals advertised as handicap, but keep in mind that this only alludes to amenitiesthat are located on the ground floor. Well-designed and crafted housing for the disabled is scarce. This is especially true in single-family homes where there is a market for something nice that does not seem cluttered and institutional.  Here are a few nice accessible features that need to be considered: 

  • A comfortable-size kitchen with sink(s) which may be rolled under and faucet placed on the side within easy reach
  • Built-in and on-counter appliances that are easy-to-reach
  • Windows with low sills that can bring the sun in for a person confined to a wheelchair
  • Low drawers with easy-to-reach items accessible from a seated position
  • Bathroom(s) with a spacious transfer area beside toilet
  • A wooden chair rail that allows people to navigate using touch
  • An entry that hides the ramp within the landscape as opposed to unsightly metal ramps
  • Low-threshold entry doors




Accessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances, Windows with low sills,wheelchair, wheelchair ramp, easy accessAccessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances, Windows with low sills,wheelchair, wheelchair ramp, easy accessAccessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances, Windows with low sills, wheelchair, wheelchair ramp, easy access

As baby boomers become older the need will only increase. Maybe it is time for your next property or home to be truly accessible.  Consider using our architectural services for your personalized design. We have the specialized training to get the details right!

 

Janette Hruban, AIA, is an architect with Hanson Carlen Architecture and Construction

www.hansoncarlen.com 

 




Accessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances Windows with low sills Accessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances Windows with low sills Accessible, handicap, Built-in and on-counter appliances Windows with low sills,wheelchair, wheelchair ramp, easy access

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) easy access" Accessible" "Built-in and on-counter appliances" Karndean "Windows with low sills" "custom kitchen" "custom residential architecture & construction" handicap wheelchair wheelchair ramp https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2020/1/handicap-residence Mon, 13 Jan 2020 22:57:39 GMT
Hunter HC Pro or the Rainbird Smart Wi-FI Sprinkler Controller https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/7/hunter-hc-pro-or-the-rainbird-smart-wi-fi-sprinkler-controller Everything has an ‘APP’ anymore.  This past summer on a rental property we were building, the landscape contractor installed a couple of different sprinkler control clocks.  We tried both models from Hunter and Rainbird.  The idea of a Wi-Fi controller really makes a lot of sense.   Sure, you can stand in your house or anywhere in the worldand turn your sprinkler zones on and off.  But more importantly, the Wi-Fi clock is smart and saves water.  These clocks synchronize through the internet to weather stations nearby your house giving the controller real-time information about current weather conditions. There are settings for most everything -  “Do not water if rain is forecast.” Or,  “Water extra when hot or over xx temperature.”  Gone are the days where you see the sprinklers running when its pouring rain outside.   

As I said, I tried two models: Hunter HC pro and the Rainbird Smart Wi-FI.

"Hunter PRO-HC""Hunter PRO-HC""Hunter PRO-HC" "Hunter PRO-HC""Hunter PRO-HC""Hunter PRO-HC"

"Rainbird ESP-Me""Rainbird ESP-Me""Rainbird ESP-Me"    "RainBird LNK Wifi Module""RainBird LNK Wifi Module""RainBird LNK Wifi Module"
The Rainbird has a plug in module that is purchased separately that will allow the clock to connect to your wireless network.  Let me make this short and sweet, DO NOT BUY THIS!  The app is clunky and very difficult to use and the connection to Wi-Fi is terrible. The app wants to download information from the clock each time rather than storing information in the cloud.    I could not get rid of this fast enough.

The Hunter HC Pro is perfect.  The app is easy to use.  The connection is flawless, and the clock will even keep working on the last settings you set up - if the Internet is perhaps off for some reason. I would highly recommend this product.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Hunter PRO-HC Rainbird ESP-Me https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/7/hunter-hc-pro-or-the-rainbird-smart-wi-fi-sprinkler-controller Wed, 10 Jul 2019 21:15:00 GMT
Wood Countertops https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/6/wood-countertops One of the oldest and most beloved countertop surfaces ever is ...wood!

"Hanson Carlen Office - wood countertops""Hanson Carlen Office - wood countertops""Hanson Carlen Office - wood countertops"

In fact, as I write this I am writing on a wood desk top built in our shop. Wood is warm to the eye as well as to the touch. It looks great with almost any decor or architecture. However, wood is soft and it ‘dings and dents’ quite easily. However, for many the dings and dents are a part of the appeal of wood.  

"Caribou Wood Countertops""Caribou Wood Countertops""Caribou Wood Countertops"

On this project, we are using a wood countertop from Caribou. Caribou is manufactured in Canada, and they have a special process of sealing the wood to make it even more durable. This project has a beautiful walnut island. I think you will be seeing more of this in the future. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Caribou Wood Countertops custom kitchen custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction kitchen Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/6/wood-countertops Wed, 19 Jun 2019 20:45:00 GMT
Booster Pump https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/6/booster-pump “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” claims the Declaration of Independence.  In a society where everyone claims, “I have rights” many groups of people have certainly been added to this list.

This past summer I was frustrated when my lawn sprinklers did not work correctly - dry spots everywhere. What I discovered was that on my street, the City of Spokane was not providing good water pressure at all! Twenty-five pounds of pressure will hardly run onesprinkler head, no less an entire sprinkler system.  My first thought was, “This stupid city - I pay dearly for water every month… why do they not supply an adequate amount?”  Somehow, my cries fell on unresponsive ears with the government, so I was forced to find an alternate solution.    

What I found was a booster pump.  Water goes into the pump from the city line. From there, pressure is boosted with an electric pump motor.  There are many of these pumps available, however most require a separate control switch and expansion tank.  I found a model that had everything I needed built into one small compact unit.  The Gurndfos Scala2  was very easy to install and cured the problem.  Now back to, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

"Rooster Booster""Gurndfos Scala2 Booster Pump""Gurndfos Scala2 Booster Pump"

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction Gurndfos Scala2 Booster Pump Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/6/booster-pump Wed, 19 Jun 2019 20:30:00 GMT
Terminus https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/terminus We use what we call a terminus fairly often.  

A terminus is defined as, “A final point in space or time.” 

"Architectural Details", terminus"Architectural Details", terminus"Architectural Details", terminus


In architectural terms, this could be the end of a long hallway for instance.  At times, a blank wall at the end of the hallway is just fine. Other times you may want to draw attention down the hall to something interesting. This can be done with light, art, a bench or a piece of built-in woodwork. Or you could use a combination of these.  In the photo below, you can see a cabinet with some barn wood used above and lighted with an LED puck light which comes on automatically from dawn to dusk.

Janette

"Architectural Details", terminus"Architectural Details", terminus"Architectural Details", terminus

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Architectural Details custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction Spokane terminus https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/terminus Wed, 29 May 2019 20:15:00 GMT
The Grove https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/the-grove Back twenty years ago we learned from Spokane architect Glenn Davis to put shadow lines on a project in areas where there was an obvious joint or transition. When done correctly, these ‘grooves’ or lines can add a nice flare or architectural element to make a project interesting.   Take this shelving unit shown below.

"Custom Cabinetry""Custom Cabinetry""Custom Cabinetry"

The lines or ‘groove’ follows perfectly level to other elements in the room such as a bench or a bookcase on other walls. With careful and precise planning, these little subtleties make the difference between average work and great work. Thanks Glenn!

"Custom Cabinetry""Custom Cabinetry""Custom Cabinetry"

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Custom Cabinetry custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/the-grove Wed, 29 May 2019 20:00:00 GMT
Hiding The TV https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/hiding-the-tv A few months ago I wrote about, “hiding the TV”    

This past summer we used a product called Wallpaper TV.   

"Hiding the TV", "Wallpaper TV""Hiding the TV", "Wallpaper TV" "Hiding the TV", "Wallpaper TV"

This TV is so thin it looks like a picture on the wall, not a box with an articulating wall-mount- thing-a-mu-jig.   

What is neat about this is that when not in use, it can display an image that looks like art, a beautiful scene or a family photo. This greatly helps the architect and the craftsmen to design and build a better-looking room.   

Nice ones are still very expensive; however, I suspect like all things in electronics, the price will significantly drop in time.   

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Hiding the TV Spokane Wallpaper TV https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/5/hiding-the-tv Wed, 08 May 2019 07:45:00 GMT
We find some strange things in construction! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/4/we-find-some-strange-things-in-construction I remember one day when I was a younger man, my brother, Tom and I climbed through a crawl space in the Corbin Community Center. As we were crawling along, I ran into something that was in my way. I reached out one hand, grabbed ahold of it only to find much to my surprise and horror a cat skeleton – ahhhhhhh … let me out of here!

This past season we worked on a remodel project for a client. One day he came to me and said, “Now that we are remodeling, we can fix this pocket door that has been broken for years.”  I took a look at it and decided that a nail might have been put in it, or perhaps it had fallen off the track. But no, neither presumption was the case. When Travis opened up the wall he found a large mouse nest in the pocket!   And what’s more, the door did not open because it was full of dog food the mouse had been hording for years!  So, the moral of the story is that it is not always the carpenter’s fault. 

"We find some strange things in construction!""We find some strange things in construction!""We find some strange things in construction!"

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Spokane We find some strange things in construction! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/4/we-find-some-strange-things-in-construction Wed, 17 Apr 2019 07:30:00 GMT
Glyph https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/3/glyph Do you use the word “Glyph” very often?  I do not. In fact, I did not know it was a word until this past job.    

So here is the definition: Glyph

an hieroglyphic character or symbol; a pictograph

 

"Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels"

Ok great, so why not put a glyph on a wall?  And I am not talking about having some urchins from downtown roar over to your house with a spray can.    

We were looking for some modern artistic statements for one of our projects and found this surface termed ‘Glyph’; the client fell in love with it immediately. The wall is located in a family room in the basement of this home.  The idea is, as you descend the helix staircase and enter into the basement you directly see a remarkable, softy-highlighted wall which draws you into the family room.  It is stunning and worked out wonderfully!

"Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels" "Modular Arts Glyph Panels"

As for the Glyph product… it is manufactured by Modular Arts.  We have used several of these panels over the years and have found them exciting to work with and of extremely high quality.    

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Modular Arts Glyph Panels Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/3/glyph Wed, 27 Mar 2019 07:30:00 GMT
Scale Matters #2 https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/3/scale-matters This home started out as a ranch type style of home.  Several additions were added onto the home, including an addition of about three times the (original) size of the home. These add-on portions were nice, but they made the entry of the home appear to be out of scale.  We did some planning to see if we could come up with a solution to balance the scale of the home. 

Janette

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Original Entrance
"Scale and Room Proportions Matter""Scale and Room Proportions Matter""Scale and Room Proportions Matter"

Proposed Entrance

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction Scale and Room Proportions Matter Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/3/scale-matters Wed, 06 Mar 2019 08:45:00 GMT
Ceiling Heights https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/2/ceiling-heights "Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions"       "Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions"

Did you know that higher is not always better, especially when it comes to ceiling heights?  Ceilings need to be proportional to the room size. This past year a client came to us; they did not like their living room. The original builder wanted the room to be “special” so he made the room with vaulted ceilings. The problem is, the room would have been bigger if you would have tipped it on its side!  With a bit of design and study, we came up with a solution that took the room from 17’ tall with vaults to a room that is now 14 feet tall with a coffered ceiling. The new appearance is now pleasing to the eye but more importantly makes the room comfortable. 
 

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"Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions""Ceiling Heights", "room proportions"

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Ceiling Heights custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction room proportions Spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/2/ceiling-heights Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:15:00 GMT
Where is My Phone? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/1/where-is-my-phone Radiant Legrand Wireless Phone ChargerRadiant Legrand Wireless Phone ChargerRadiant Legrand Wireless Phone Charger

I typically set my phone on the kitchen counter to charge when I get home.  I know Kim does not like it there very well because of the cords and such. It’s messy in appearance and could potentially sustain damage from splashing liquids. 

Yesterday I was at Nord’s Electric and saw a cool thing!  A wall switch plate that holds your phone and charges it without wires!  I guess it works for anything over an Iphone-8 and/or many android models.   

I came back to the office and showed Kim and Janette.  We ordered 6 of them within an hour!

Radiant Legrand Wireless Phone ChargerRadiant Legrand Wireless Phone ChargerRadiant Legrand Wireless Phone Charger

Radiant Legrand Wireless Phone Charger
 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Charger Legrand Phone Radiant Radiant Legrand Wireless Phone Charger Wireless https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/1/where-is-my-phone Thu, 24 Jan 2019 19:30:00 GMT
Online Reviews https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/1/online-reviews  

Google Online ReviewsGoogle Online ReviewsGoogle Online Reviews

We all look at them. We are thinking about a purchase and we think, “Hmm…I wonder how that rates… are there any reviews?” Yes, I do it too.   Actually, it can be very helpful.   

This past week I began to question this.  At Hanson Carlen, we do not get a lot of online reviews as customarily we only work for a handful of new customers per year. Most of our clients are repeat customers or new ones who come from a direct referral.

The other day, I sat down at my computer to delete junk mail. I noticed something from Google about our business ranking and such, so I clicked on it.  Low-and-behold we had a bad review! It said, “Lacks customer service” Now to me, this is HUGE! The name did not ring any bells. I asked Kim and Janette if they had talked to anyone with this name.  NO was the answer.  After spending some considerable time and research, I found it was an employee of a local tele-marketing company.  I contacted the woman immediately - she claims she called us trying to sell “digital marketing” and we were rude. I spoke with her boss who profusely apologized for the spoof “bad review” and it was taken down within minutes. This person was nota customer, nor had she ever met me or talked with me.  She did not know anythingabout our business but was able to slander us in a public setting.   

Let’s be careful and think twice before accepting online reviews as fact! 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) businesses Online Reviews small https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2019/1/online-reviews Thu, 03 Jan 2019 19:30:00 GMT
Magic Drawers! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/12/magic-drawers Hands full?  No problem…. These drawers open all by themselves! Just simply push on it with an elbow or a knee and the drawer will fully open.  It feels like Star Trek for cabinets! Everyone who sees this just exclaims, “Wow!”

This hardware is from Grass, an Austrian based company and a leader in cabinet hardware.    They call these Sensomatic. This is the newest, hottest innovation in exclusive, beautiful cabinetry. However, be warned that it is very expensive.

     Grass HardwareGrass Hardware Grass HardwareGrass Hardware

Our purpose on this job was not just to wow, but to create a cabinet that was modern- all flush and with no handles or hardware.   Simple, clean, elegant, modern and yes, once you touch it, “WOW!”

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction grass hardware grass sensomatic hardware spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/12/magic-drawers Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:30:00 GMT
Where to put the TV? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/11/where-to-put-the-tv A television set above a fireplace?  You see this often, however oftentimes it looks odd.  In my mind there is something that is “Old World” about a fireplace and having a large electronic device over it makes it look strange.  This leads to the second question, where to put the TV?  When I was a kid, our television was in a wood console like this:

TV

Many people do not like the TV being the feature of a room.  So, the conversation often goes back to, “How can I have a television set over the fireplace and cover it?”  Some manner of doors over the TV is the obvious answer. Back in the good ole’ tube TV days, we often built cabinets over the fireplace with ‘flipper doors’ or doors that could be pushed back into the wall when not in use. These old TV’s where very deep and needed a large cabinet depth. Now the new televisions are made to be thin. However, they are more rectangular in shape. The problem now becomes how to cover them with a pair of doors that now need to be wider than they are tall. The solution we used for this job was to use four doors instead of 2 and put them on tracks that bypassed each other. This solution kept the doors small and free from swinging into the room and also made for the possibility of using four bypass doors instead of 2 large swinging doors. Tracks are fairly hidden into the beams above. 

Hidden tv in family roomHidden tv in family room Perfect balance family room mantelPerfect balance family room mantel

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction hidden tv above fireplace residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/11/where-to-put-the-tv Wed, 21 Nov 2018 22:30:00 GMT
Exposed Beams https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/10/exposed-beams barn wood ceiling with box beamsbarn wood ceiling with box beams

 

Exposed beams in the ceiling can often add a nice element to a room.  Oftentimes they are structural and sometimes they are faux and for aesthetics only.  In this home, the beams that were added not only give a richness to the space, but they are used to define the kitchen and dining area from the living room areas of the home.  Great care was taken to make sure the fireplace was centered on the beams and posts.  Rough sawn lumber was used as a celling treatment.  

Perfect balance family room mantelPerfect balance family room mantel From HallwayExposed Beams From Hallway

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction exposed beams residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/10/exposed-beams Wed, 31 Oct 2018 21:15:00 GMT
Ode to a Capenter https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/10/ode-to-a-capenter Ode to a Carpenter

By Kim Hanson

A carpenter has a keen passion and intimate relationship to the building on which he is working. He knows each material that belongs in the house. He knows how it smells when it is cut and the type of dust it generates. A carpenter knows how many pieces to put together to give enough strength to the wall, yet just enough so that they can lift it by themselves. He knows the proportion of pieces moved today to just how many aches each piece lifted will bring the next day. When a builder walks away from a completed project, he knows a building in a most memorable way that an owner never will.

A carpenter dresses in layers. He instinctively knows to dress warm in the morning when it is 45 degrees and stands ready to peel when the weather warms to 60. Once in a while when the temperature stays in the 70-degree range, he celebrates. When sitting down to eat lunch, he takes a simple bucket or a stool full of slivers, mindful that he is not at a picnic -.

CarpentersCarpenters

A carpenter goes to work knowing he may spend the entire day in a dark, musty crawlspace, or perched upon a warm, steep roof. Or perhaps he may spend a day walking on expensive carpet or a floor made of wood imported from Africa. He may enjoy a spectacular view as he install the siding. The materials he works with may be beautiful to look at (for example, a $20,000 Bocci ball lighting fixture) or extremely hard to lift - like a 500 pound railing. These things are usually beyond his control - a result of decisions made in the office months earlier by clients, the boss or an architect. He must rely and trust the person he works with - sometimes on the other end of a very heavy truss; he tries to be patient and kind as he teaches the newer apprentice carpenter. Carpentry requires teamwork.

A carpenter’s life is hard work. Yet it is full of self-satifaction as he watches his hands take raw materials and turn them into unimaginable beautiful transformations. He works to make things square, level, by the end of the project. He can smile with satisfaction as he hands the key over to the owner.

CarpentersCarpenters

A carpenter is a creative individual, He relies on being self-motivated to arrive early in the dark and pick up his tools 15 minutes after quitting time. He is a smart man to take materials and produce a beautiful, warm shelter to fill a basic human need.  A carpenter is honorable and inspiring to watch.  

CarpentersCarpenters

Thank you to all our valued carpenters at Hanson Carlen. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) carpenters custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/10/ode-to-a-capenter Wed, 10 Oct 2018 21:00:00 GMT
Kitchen Appliance Lift https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/9/kitchen-appliance-lift “That Kitchen Aid mixer is sure cool and fun to use, but it is so darn heavy!” If you have one of these, you can probably relate. The older models had a metal gear box and were built like a tank- they just seemed to go and go. The mixer lift is a great idea- the mixer is hidden, and it is quick and easy to get out and to put away. Let us know if you want us to make a “garage” for your “tank”.

 

Mixer door openMixer door open Appliance LiftAppliance Lift Mixer liftAppliance Lift

 

Hafele Appliance Lift

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) appliance lift custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction drawer kitchen kitchen stand-up mixer residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/9/kitchen-appliance-lift Wed, 12 Sep 2018 21:00:00 GMT
Lower Kitchen Corner Cabinets https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/8/lower-kitchen-corner-cabinets I hate things that slither! Snakes and worms and creepy used-car salesmen come to mind. That being said, I like this slither device.  It is a corner cabinet solution from Hafele called LeMans II.  We use this often and it makes great use of the dead corners of a kitchen cabinet lower unit.     Much better than the Lazy Susan of yester year.   In fact I put one of these in one of our rental units and Kim exclaimed, “Hey! That’s better than what I have in my house.”  

 

Uh oh, now look who’s slithering J

 

Hafele LeMans II - lower kitchen cabinet cornerHafele LeMans II - lower kitchen cabinet corner  

Hafele LeMans II - lower kitchen cabinet cornerHafele LeMans II - lower kitchen cabinet corner

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction hafele lemans ii - lower kitchen cabinet corner kitchen residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/8/lower-kitchen-corner-cabinets Wed, 22 Aug 2018 20:45:00 GMT
Faux Barn Wood https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/8/faux-barn-wood Faux barn wood?

 

This is a cool product!  It is from Coronado Stone and it looks authentic.  It is made from the casting of real boards taken off of old barns. Ok you ask, “Why not just get some real old barn wood, or the real thing?” Well, there are several reasons. Old wood like this is increasingly difficult to find. Secondly, this product is sustainable and is made from clay and not taken from old growth trees.  But for this job, the reason was different.  We wanted to put a product that is adjacent to and touching the fireplace. This meant it had to be non-combustible.   

 

rustic wood accent wall in master bedroomrustic wood accent wall in master bedroom fireplace with barn wood surroundfireplace with barn wood surround Hallway nicheHallway niche

Voila’- a perfect fit!    

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) coronado stone custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction faux barn wood residential https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/8/faux-barn-wood Wed, 01 Aug 2018 20:15:00 GMT
Lift and Slide Door https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/7/lift-and-slide-door Lift and Slide doors are a way to make large wide portions of a wall open to the outdoors all at once.  They bring the outside indoors by making a much larger opening.  Lift and slides are quite energy efficient. When the panel is not open, it is stationary and not on wheels like a traditional slider door.  When the doors are in the open position, they can be stacked on one or both sides of the room or alternately, doors can be put into a pocket that makes them go away completely from the ascetics of the space. 

 

The project below is in a townhouse where the maximum opening was desired. The door was finished with a quarter sawn oak trim and header.

Lift and slide door closedLift and slide door closedLift and slide door closed     Lift and slide door closedLift and slide door closedLift and slide door closed

Lift and slide door closedLift and slide door closedLift and slide door closed     Lift and slide door closedLift and slide door closedLift and slide door closed

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) and closed custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction door lift residential slide spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/7/lift-and-slide-door Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Astronomical Timers https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/6/astronomical-timers We have been using Intermatic astronomical timers like gang busters as of late.

 

"Astronomical timer""Astronomical timer"

We use them mostly in accent lighting such as art or niche lighting or bathroom toe kicks lights. Lights come on at dawn or dusk or most any other scheduled time that suits you. Our customer’s love the way these lights work - not only to beatify, but also as a night light. Once you set them up you can forget them.

Art niche light on an astronomical timer.Art niche light on an astronomical timer.     

  TOE KICK ACCENT LIGHTINGTOE KICK ACCENT LIGHTING ON AN ASTRONOMICAL TIMERTOE KICK ACCENT LIGHTING ON AN ASTRONOMICAL TIMER

However, set up is best accomplished by watching the YouTube video.  Click here

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) astronomical timer custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction niche lighting residential spokane toe-kick lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/6/astronomical-timers Wed, 20 Jun 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Heat Loss https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/5/heat-loss When I was a young man I liked the original Star Trek. Do you remember that Mr. Spock had a Tricorder that could detect anything?   These days are similar; you can buy a little box that will see what the eye cannot see - it can do all kinds of wonders!   My latest purchase was an infrared camera. This little device is useful in construction to help determine cold spots in buildings.  We recently had a project in which condensation showed up. It had an annoying drip every now and then coming from the siding. I took my ‘Tricorder’ and determined exactly where the missing insulation was inside the walls of the house.  An area in the attic was not properly blown-in with insulation. This was easy to see with my new infrared camera. Now if they would only invent transporters it would sure save a lot of time traveling.

infrared heat loss detectorinfrared heat loss detector      infrared heat loss detectorinfrared heat loss detector

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction infrared heat loss detector residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/5/heat-loss Wed, 30 May 2018 21:45:00 GMT
ModularArts Wall Panels https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/5/modulararts-wall-panels Instead of hanging art on the wall, how about if the wall becomes the art?

This can work really well for certain situations.

Color changing LED lighted accent wallColor changing LED lighted accent wall      Custom designed buffet with lighted accent wallCustom designed buffet with lighted accent wall

For several years we have been using a product from ModularArts. This company designs panels to make a very unique statement to a room. The panels are made from (mostly) Gypsum on to fiberglass-based backer board. We have used both the Dune and the Glyph panels.   They go in pretty easily however, making them look seamless takes a little more work. The dune panel took more work to install than the Glyph panel. Lighting is important to consider with this product.

ModularArts Glyph panelsModularArts Glyph panels      ModularArts Glyph panelsModularArts Glyph panels

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction dune spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/5/modulararts-wall-panels Wed, 09 May 2018 21:45:00 GMT
Spring Garden https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/4/spring-garden I love to garden.  Some of my happiest gardening memories are early in the spring when the sun has just risen. The sky is a beautiful orange hue, the birds are singing and the air is silent. I love the smell of the fresh earth trying to burst forth with new life as it sheds the winter’s cold.

DSC00946.JPGspring garden spring garden

After a long winter, I love tilling the soil and planting various seeds. I like to stand back and look at the stakes with burlap strings which mark the rows; I think how soon a miracle will happen and these little seeds will sprout into the tiniest, most fragile plants. I particularly like to watch the first peas of the season. Peas are usually the first thing that comes up in my garden. I get a thrill standing at the vine and eating the first pods. Oh, the sweet, fresh taste!

 

A little later in the season, I enjoy hoeing weeds around the tomato plants. The unique smell is hard to resist - sometimes I pinch off a little leaf and rub it between my fingers. Why don’t they make women’s perfume from tomatoes?

DSC00949.JPGspring gardenspring garden

Late summer is when I like to pick cucumbers and turn them into pickles. I buy some dill, garlic and vinegar. Sometimes my daughter and I preserve pickles together. It’s easy, fun and they keep very well in the pantry. One of the last things I do in my garden before the Autumn takes over is to dig up potatoes. It’s extremely satisfying to dig up large hunks of tubers and store them in burlap sacks in a cool part of our barn or garage.

 

~Kim 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/4/spring-garden Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Tuscan Tile Leveling System https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/3/tuscan-tile-leveling-system I remember an older bully in our neighborhood when I was a young boy in Minnesota. He would say to me, as a third grader, “Don’t give me no lip” and then he would give me a snake bite on the arm.

I chuckled at this memory as we were setting a floor these past few weeks. You see, floor and wall tiles are getting bigger. Gone are the days of the 4”x 4” tiles we used in the 70’s and 80’s in shower walls. So one problem with these giant tiles is lippage meaning the tile edges between the two adjacent tiles are not aligned.  With these large tiles, oftentimes you get one corner perfectly set only to find the opposite side is not even. The solution for this is to use a leveling system. 

Tuscan's on tileLevel

We like the Tuscan Leveling System shown here as it is fast and gives you “No lip”! 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction residential spokane tuscan leveling system https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/3/tuscan-tile-leveling-system Wed, 28 Mar 2018 17:15:00 GMT
Ditra Heat by Schluter Systems https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/3/ditra-heat-by-schluter-systems It is hard to beat walking on warm floors.  I believe that having hydronic or water heated floors is the ‘cat’s meow’.  Several years ago, we wrote an article about heated floors that was featured in Journal of Light Construction.  Not everyone is able to afford this in a new house or remodel.   We use a lot of Ditra Heat by Schluter Systems. It is easy to use and works as an uncoupler to help reduce tile cracks. Here are a few photos:

Ditra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter Systems

Ditra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter Systems    Ditra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter SystemsDitra Heat by Schluter Systems

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction ditra heat heated floors schluter systems spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/3/ditra-heat-by-schluter-systems Wed, 07 Mar 2018 21:00:00 GMT
Rotten Rim Joist https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/2/rotten-rim-joist Do you ever think, “Man! Those guys were idiots—what were they thinking?”

This was the case for a recent project. This home had a concrete porch (from the 1970’s) poured against the house for a walk-out concrete patio. 

Rotten rim joistRotten rim joistRotten rim joist

The problem was, absolutely no consideration was given to the rainwater hitting the porch and running between the framed wall and the new concrete. The results were catastrophic and devastating to the home.

Rotten rim joistRotten rim joistRotten rim joist

We were able to remove the rotten box sill and/or rim joist in sections and replace the deteriorated floor joist members.

Rotten rim joistRotten rim joistRotten rim joist     Rotten rim joistRotten rim joistRotten rim joist

However, it is a very good lesson -

be absolutely sure to hire someone who understands construction to work on your home!

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/2/rotten-rim-joist Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:00:00 GMT
Qualified Remodeler’s 2017 Master Design Awards https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/1/qualified-remodeler-s-2017-master-design-awards Hanson Carlen is happy to announce

the achievement of a bronze design award

in the Residential Specialty category

from Qualified Remodeler’s Magazine.

 

Bronze design award in the Residential Specialty category from Qualified Remodeler’s MagazineHanson Carlen is happy to announce the achievement of a bronze design award in the Residential Specialty category from Qualified Remodeler’s Magazine

     The 2017 Master Design Awards program recognizes the nation’s best work in sixteen general categories of residential and commercial remodeling. The Master Design Awards are open to any professional remodeler and design professional in the United States.

 

PROJECT SUMMARY:

The owner of a 1981 home asked for a dramatic entry. Their desire: to showcase a

grand entrance to their large vaulted living room, which could also serve

as an open stairway to the basement. Located in the center of the house, the entry

width limited the number of options for a stair configuration. The exterior of the

entry competed for aesthetic space with the vaulted

garage but could not be out of scale upon entering the house.

 

Our solution? Outside, a 24-foot high vaulted entry rises above the large

adjacent garage roof. Inside, a ten foot by 14-foot entrance between the front

door and existing living area balances the volume within the home. A small

addition to the front of the house allows guests to move about freely without

feeling confined. A dramatic 15-foot cascading light fixture with multiple

translucent globes hangs above the semi-circular basement stairway to

welcome visitors. The gorgeous stairway rail was uniquely

hand-crafted with special metal.

 

exterior modern entryexterior modern entryexterior modern entry       luxury entry modernluxury entry modernluxury entry modern

 

Helix stair with custom iron railingHelix stair with custom iron railingHelix stair with custom iron railing      L shape modern windowL shape modern windowL shape modern window

Check out more pictures of this modern entry at http://www.hansoncarlen.com/p339604643#hf9314d0

 

Pictures of the 2017 award-winning projects can be seen at www.qualifiedremodeler.com

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction qualified remodeler's 2017 master design awards qualified remodeler's magazine spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/1/qualified-remodeler-s-2017-master-design-awards Wed, 31 Jan 2018 18:15:00 GMT
"No Curb" Shower https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/1/-no-curb-shower A lot of people would prefer a ‘no curb’ shower where the floor flows in evenly from the bathroom. However, from the builder’s point of view this can be difficult.

Question: Why do showers have a curb in the first place? 

typical shower curbcrub showertypical shower curb

You most likely answered, “To work as a dam; to keep the water in.”

You are correct; however, the answer is more complicated. That clumsy looking toe-catcher called the curb hides the fact that the shower floor is higher than the bathroom floor. Why? The reason for this is that to obtain the slope needed to drain the water, the perimeter of the shower floor must be raised. So, just how is a shower pan sloped?  In the olden days, my father said this was often done with a cement gravel mixture called a mud set. Nowadays it is accomplished with a pre-made pan on which tile can be directly applied.  Either way this sloping makes for a difference in floor levels which needs to be covered by a curb.

So how do you make a shower curb-less?  First, you need to lower the floor in the shower area before you build your shower. But this is problematic in the fact that the floor joists are normally installed at the same level with each other. This means to lower the floor in the shower something must to be done with the floor joist. We have worked on many older homes in which they simply just cut off the top 2 inches of the floor to lower the floor. Was structural integrity considered? Probably not! These same homes had old growth lumber where a 2” x 10” actually was a 2”x 10”. Nowadays a 2”x10” measures 1-1/2” x 9- ¼”. So it is unlikely you can just cut off 2” from your floor. The key to this is conundrum is to consider the shower floor during the planning phase of your project and lowering the joist for the shower area when the home is being framed.  See photos. 

"No Curb" Shower"No Curb" Shower"No Curb" Shower

Rough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" shower Rough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" shower

Rough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" shower Rough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" showerRough framing of a curbless shower, Rough framing of a "no curb" shower

Detra matt into curbless shower, "no curb shower"Detra matt into curbless shower, "no curb shower"Detra matt into curbless shower, "no curb shower" "Custom curbless shower", Custom "no curb" shower"Custom curbless shower", Custom "no curb" shower"Custom curbless shower", Custom "no curb" shower

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential construction no curb shower residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2018/1/-no-curb-shower Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:30:00 GMT
What's a buck or two? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/12/what-a-buck-or-two It’s only a buck or two!

 

When we use European hinges on our cabinets, we have come to exclusively use the Grass Tiomos hinge system. It is only about $1.00 more than the flagship hinge from Blum or Salace.   We think it’s worth it for several reasons. 

 

  • It drops or sags less under load than other cheaper hinges- this is important after say, 5000 operations
  • The soft-closing speed is adjustable.  Very cool and can be done by homeowner if needed
  • It is beautiful – no visible screws.  We use the Immpresso model which is just plain sexy for a hinge
  • It has super smooth movement 

Beautiful Hardware !

 

Grass TiamosGrass TiamosGrass Tiamos Grass Tiamos adjusterGrass Tiamos adjusterGrass Tiamos adjuster Grass Tiamos adjusterGrass Tiamos adjusterGrass Tiamos adjuster

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) beautiful hardware https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/12/what-a-buck-or-two Wed, 27 Dec 2017 21:45:00 GMT
Are your pictures level? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/12/are-your-pictures-level Does it drive you crazy when things that are supposed to be level are not?  Nice artwork on the wall does not look quite as nice when it is a half-inch out of level.  Do you have your spouse stand back and say, “Move it down on the right a bit”?   I have a secret tip.  Use a crossline laser level to hang your artwork.  You can easily make every photo in the room spot-right in seconds.  These tools also help with planning on deciding, “What am I going to hang there?”

Use a laser level to hang photolaser to level photosUse a laser level to hang photo

Use a laser level to hang photoUse a laser level to hang photoUse a laser level to hang photo

Best of all, laser levels are inexpensive.  You can buy a homeowner’s model for $40-$60 which will work just fine.  See: https://www.amazon.com/Suaoki-Self-Leveling-Cross-Batteries-Included/dp/B01MYABSZR/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1501540980&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=laser+level&psc=1

Suaoki-Self-Leveling-CrossSuaoki-Self-Leveling-CrossSuaoki-Self-Leveling-Cross

Or, if you would like a high-end model like the “Old World Craftsmen” use, take a look at this:

https://www.amazon.com/Laser-PLS-60521-PLS180-Tool-Yellow/dp/B000QSGRTY/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1501540980&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=laser+level&psc=1

Laser-PLS-60521-PLS180-Tool-YellowLaser-PLS-60521-PLS180-Tool-YellowLaser-PLS-60521-PLS180-Tool-Yellow

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/12/are-your-pictures-level Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:45:00 GMT
Cast stone hoods https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/11/cast-stone-hoods Cast stone hoods

This past year Hanson Carlen became a dealer of Euro Cast hoods.  These hoods are made from genuine crushed travertine stone using a cast and mold process that creates surface variations found in real stone. We believe these hoods bring beautiful elegance to many kitchen designs.

Take a look at the photos:

cast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoods cast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoods cast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoodscast-stone-hoods

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) cast stone hoods https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/11/cast-stone-hoods Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Warm walls https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/10/warm-walls A Better Mouse Trap with Less Money

 

Most of the homes my dad and grandfather built used primarily 2x4 studs for the outside walls.  In the early 1900s hardly anyone used insulation in the walls.  I remember once tearing apart a home built in the early 1940s that was very unusual. It had one single layer of aluminum foil put meticulously in the center of the stud bay held in place by small little lath strips. This might have been a good air barrier but provided little R-value and the time involved putting it in was huge!  

 

In 1945 after the war, my father recalls building 2x4 walls and using a product called balsam wool as insulation. Several years later, dad built our home in 1958 (the home in which I was born) using R-11 fiberglass.  R-11 was quickly replaced by R-13 which fit in the same 2x4 walls. 

 

When I was a very young man in 1976 our company built mostly with 2x4 walls; however, Dad was using insulated sheeting on the exterior walls to boost the r-value.  This stuff looked like it was made from horses hair so we called it, “Punk board”. 

 

By 1980 we began using 2x6’s for walls.  With the added 2 inches, we could get an R-19 insulation batt in the walls.  We thought this was really great! By the 1990s, R-19 insulation was mostly replaced by R-21, a high-density batt that would fit into a 2x6 cavity. Today the building code in our area still allows for R-21.However, homes that contain what I call, “Good bones” and built by superior builders do not stop insulating at code minimum. There are countless ways to increase insulation values and stop air movement in a home.  Thicker walls, foam on the outside walls and so on.

 

So the first question now becomes, “What about longevity and systems that do not allow for wet walls and mold to grow?” and, secondly, how do cost and value play a role?  Like anything, there is a law of diminishing returns on insulation, meaning an R-11 wall will not save twice as much money on energy bills as an R-22 wall.  If I spend $10,000 more and save $200 a year, does this make sense?  You need to look at your goals. If you are looking for a “Net zero-energy home” you will want to go further than someone who wants a comfortable home with reasonable energy bills. 

 

Below is a photo of an R-30 wall that goes well beyond the code minimum R-21. It is quite inexpensive and a good “Bang-for-the-buck”. We are using here 2x6 construction and adding 1-inch of foam followed by a ¾” fir strip.  The foam acts as a thermal break for the stud and the 7.25” cavity allows for an R-30 Bibs system to be installed.

thermal break on the studsthermal break on the studsthermal break on the studs

Below is slightly better at a significant more expense with a double 2x4 wall that gives a thermal break on the studs and allows for a 9-inch cavity for an R-38 value.

thermal break on the studsthermal break on the studsthermal break on the studs

Many builders are using an XPS or EPS foam on the exterior walls to achieve high insulation values. My main concern with foam systems is in the detailing of the windows, doors and roof- to-wall areas under wind-driven rain conditions.  

 

Design and theory are great, but the important thing in any system is good craftsmanship and care in the assembling of the wall you are building.

 

 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) warm walls https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/10/warm-walls Wed, 25 Oct 2017 23:00:00 GMT
Ironing tips and boards https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/10/ironing-tips-and-boards I like to iron. Do you? Most folks I talk to would rather have a toothache than iron, but I like it! There is something clean and relaxing about smoothing out wrinkles and breathing the warm, moist air as the iron shoots out steam. And the ironed product looks brand new when it is hanging all pressed and ready to wear.

 

Following are a few tips I have found to be helpful:

  • Be sure to use distilled water when directions call for it, otherwise the inside of the iron will rust.
  • Cut down on ironing by removing the clothes from the dryer while they are still damp. Then hang them up to finish drying. I keep a large, wooden clothes rack handy for this task.
  • After washing your ironing board cover, let it dry on the ironing board- then starch it! It will stay cleaner longer.
  • To help remove creases in hems, sponge them with a solution of white vinegar and water. Then iron flat.
  • Never use circular strokes — you can stretch the fabric. Iron lengthwise and eliminate wrinkles by blasting the area with steam.
  • When ironing large items, such as a tablecloth or curtains, set up two chairs next to the ironing board and fold the piece carefully onto the chairs as you work on it. You could also iron large items on a tabletop padded with a towel, provided that the table won’t be harmed by the steam or hot temperatures.
  • Iron sensitive fabrics with a pressing cloth — a clean cotton cloth, handkerchief, or napkin. I like to iron fabrics inside out (such as a dark pair of David’s pants) to protect them from becoming singed or shiny. Be sure to iron the legs right side out so the crease is correct (not inverted).
  • If you must use an extension cord with your iron, use a 12-ampere cord. Lighter-weight cords could overheat, causing fires. Make sure that you arrange the cord so you won’t trip over it. I always unplug my iron when I am finished, even though my iron has auto-shut off.
  • Press pleats starting from the bottom, working from the inside of the pleat to the outside. Set pleats with a shot of steam.
  • Let clothes sit for a few hours after you’re finished ironing to allow the creases to set.

Here are a photo of ironing boards we have done

 

Built-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing board Built-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing board Built-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing board Built-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing board Built-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing boardBuilt-in ironing board

 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) ironing tips https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/10/ironing-tips-and-boards Wed, 04 Oct 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Handmade Truss https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/9/handmade-truss Roof systems in homes basically fall into two categories: stick frame and manufactured trusses.   By far the majority of homes today are built with manufactured trusses.  However, 75-years ago most homes were stick framed.  Stick framed houses could be very good or very bad depending upon the knowledge and experience of the carpenter.  I have seen homes in Spokane with 2x4 rafters spanning 15 feet and was amazed that the roof did not collapse (a 2x10 @ 16” on-center would be correct size). On the other hand, manufactured trusses are specifically engineered for roof loads. 

In our early years my Dad showed Tom (my brother) and I how to build our own roof trusses.  This was time consuming and did not have any ‘certified engineered’ design.

Once in a while we still build a timber truss or two for projects, which is fun.  On this project, we are making trusses from glue lam beams and metal gusset and bolts. We cut the parts on the ground and test that everything fits correctly then haul it up to the roof and assemble in place.   What a fun job!

 

 

custom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trusses Making metal gusset for timber trussMaking metal gusset for timber trusspainting bolts to handmade truss Making metal gusset for timber trussMaking metal gusset for timber trussMaking metal gusset for timber truss custom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trusses custom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trussescustom made decorative wood trusses

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) making trusses https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/9/handmade-truss Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Grilling Season https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/8/grilling-season Hosting an outdoor barbeque is a favorite summer tradition. However, more people increasingly find themselves barbequing year-round.  I can remember as a kid spraying lighter fluid all over the Kingsford charcoal and enjoying throwing the match on the coals to hear a satisfying ‘whoosh’ sound. 

Most young couples start marriage barbequing with an old used Hibachi grill. However, as we progress in life so do our taste for fancier grills. The most luxurious outdoor cooking involves a built-in appliance which allows a place for everything handy to the cook. This outdoor area includes a grill which can produce a whopping 54,000 BTUs on three burners. Drawers to store utensils come in handy, as well as outdoor refrigerators that are built in under a spacious quartz counter.   

Outdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ space

Outdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ space Outdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ space

Outdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ space Outdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ spaceOutdoor living and built-in BBQ space

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom residential construction spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/8/grilling-season Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:45:00 GMT
Closet organize https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/8/closet-organize So, you’re engaged?   Then next question to follow would be, when is the big date?  Wait a minute - I am talking about closet storage and organization, not marriage!

Tag Hardware has come up with some nifty products that we have been using for our custom closets called, Engage.   What is great about these products is that they give a soft or comforting feel to the closet environment. Most of the products are fabric covered and offer a richness that is hard to beat. This same fabric also tends to protect clothes from snags and dirt.  Dividers make organization quick and easy. There are lingerie drawers, deep drawers, jewelry organizers, folding stations, pant holders and even shoe organizers in the collection.

So, how about becoming Engaged?

 

TAG Engage jewelry organizerTAG Engage jewelry organizerTAG Engage jewelry organizer TAG hardware closet organizer storage boxesTAG hardware closet organizer storage boxesTAG hardware closet organizer storage boxes Hafele Engage,  Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closets Hafele Engage,  Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closets Hafele Engage,  Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closetsHafele Engage, Luxury closets

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) closet organize luxury closet https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/8/closet-organize Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:15:00 GMT
Is that Oak? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/7/is-that-oak Often when you say to a client, “How about using oak?” they will look anything but impressed.   Why is this? Maybe this is because they were around in the 1980s when everything from furniture to cabinets was made of poorly crafted oakwith a sickly golden stain.  Or better yet, how about hollow core ‘oak’ doors where you can actually see owl eyes in the grain; or O’Sullivan plastic furniture with simulated oak. 
O Sullivan yuk oak  These are not good examples of oak. So when I show these same clients some samples from our showroom, they say, “Is that oak?”  

Quarter sawn oak bathroomQuarter sawn oak bathroom

The reason for this is in the cut of the wood and how it is fabricated.  Quarter sawn oak does not look anything like the rotary cut that is typically in people’s minds. It is made from a different process. Look at some of our photos of quarter sawn oak.

 

So how about oak? Even if you do not like it, be sure to say it in such a way as to not hurt my feelings; after all our office has oak in it. 

 

Quarter sawn Newel Tom Hanson MadeTom Hanson Made newel from quarter sawn oak Quarter sawn oak crown moldingQuarter sawn oak crown molding

Quarter sawn oak cabinets Hanson Carlen Architecture and Construction OfficeQuarter sawn oak cabinets Hanson Carlen Architecture and Construction Office Hanson Carlen office cabinet 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom designed bathroom quarter sawn oak https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/7/is-that-oak Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:15:00 GMT
Attic Venting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/6/attic-venting Most people do not think much about attic space in their home.  In the old houses of yester-year that we often work on, the attic space typically has a floor of some kind and maybe a stairway that is narrow and steep. In these older homes the builders did not typically use insulation or think about energy efficiency, so any make-shift space in the rafters was not much different from the rest of the house. Today these attics are accessed through what we in the trade call a scuttle-hole. This may be located in a closet or hallway in your home.    

Attic ventingAttic venting

This may be located in a closet or hallway in your home.  Most new homes have attic spaces; however in most cases the space is unusable for anything but insulation. 

Most people think the only thing that matters in a typical attic is having a lot of insulation. This is true but the most important thing is ventilation.  Question: Should your attic space be warm or cold in the winter? The answer is cold if you have good attic ventilation.  In the wintertime, the attic should be close to the temperature outside.  Why?  This means your house is properly insulated and sealed. Also, a cold, ventilated attic will not grow mold.  Lastly, a well-ventilated attic will keep your roof from creating ice dams and/or icicles on eaves which are hazards to a home.

In the summertime, a well-ventilated attic keeps the house cool inside.  A poorly ventilated attic can easily reach temperatures over 160 degrees while a well-ventilated attic may only reach 100 degrees.  Once a home is built, obtaining proper ventilation can be difficult.  The best ventilation schemes involve bringing air in low at the eaves and releasing the warmth out high in the attic. I wrote an article on soffit venting in the Journal of Light Construction, Three Ways to Vent a Soffit.

Attic ventingAttic venting

One thing that improves an attic in the summertime is installing a power vent.  This is basically a fan on a thermostat. When the temperature increases to a pre-set setting, the fan will kick on and draw air into the attic.  Oftentimes on a hot day an attic power vent will keep running possibly until 3 a.m. when the air temperature finally cools below say, ninety degrees. The drawback to these fans is that depending upon the conditions of your attic, a slight hum can be heard from within the house when the unit is running.  Also, you can expect to get less than ten years before the motor needs replacing on one of these units.

Attic ventingAttic venting

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) attic airflow attic fan custom residential architecture custom residential construction soffit venting spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/6/attic-venting Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Molding New and Old https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/5/molding-new-and-old This is a short transcript of a lecture on moldings and trim that Janette, our architect, and I gave to the Spokane Preservation workshop.

Older homes often have unique moldings and trim. Stock moldings ‘off the shelf’ rarely match moldings produced 100-years ago. Not to mention that wood from old growth is often hard to find.  You do not necessarily need the tools of a big shop to make some nice molding for your home.  Much can be done with a table saw and a router that many weekend woodworkers have available in their garage.  

Making your own moldingMaking your own molding Making your own moldingMaking your own molding

Hanson Carlen often makes and designs our own moldings and trim; however, we have greatly improved our equipment from when my father and grandfather were in business.

Making your own moldingMaking your own molding

My father, Dewey made many moldings using a table and a simple molding head. Much sanding and finish is needed with this method because the table saws have RPMs that are too slow.  Routers combined with various homemade jigs can also produce some nicely handmade moldings. Shapers and small molding machines are a huge upgrade over table saws and routers but come with a higher price tag and actually take up floor space from your shop. Then there is the big equipment like this 6-head molder. Nice but at what price!

Making your own molding Profimat 23Making your own molding Profimat 23

For more information on the Spokane Preservation Advocates visit http://www.spokanepreservation.org.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom moldings historic homes moldings spokane spokane preservation advocates https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/5/molding-new-and-old Wed, 31 May 2017 07:30:00 GMT
Members of Spokane Preservation Advocates https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/5/members-of-spokane-preservation-advocates This past year Hanson Carlen became a sponsor of the Spokane Preservation Advocates whose goal is, “To preserve and enhance the historic character of Spokane and Spokane County through advocacy, education and preservation.” In February, our architect (Janette) and Kim and I participated in a workshop of historic moldings and woodwork of historic homes.  It was a lot of fun. I often think perhaps one day many of our Hanson Carlen projects will be preserved by future generations.  

Members of Spokane Preservation AdvocatesMembers of Spokane Preservation Advocates Members of Spokane Preservation AdvocatesMembers of Spokane Preservation Advocates

You can learn more about the at http://www.spokanepreservation.org.

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) spokane spokane preservation advocates https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/5/members-of-spokane-preservation-advocates Wed, 10 May 2017 21:30:00 GMT
Darn Grout! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/4/darn-grout Darn Grout!

I do not like to swear.  But one thing that takes me to the brink is trying to scrape out filthy, dirty grout.  

You may have nice tile work, but if your grout is moldy-who cares? Shower floors are the worst, it seems! 

LIMESTONE TILE SHOWER NICHELIMESTONE TILE SHOWER NICHELaticrete Spectra Loc grout

We have a cure that we encourage: do not spare any extra expense at installation for epoxy grout. Not all epoxies are the same, for sure. We like to use Laticrete Spectra Loc grout for our nice tile work. https://laticrete.com This grout is superior to traditional grout for cleaning, yet does not need sealing. It will cost about 3 times more than traditional grout and is harder to install; however, this seems but a small price to pay for tile which will need less cleaning-not to mention it will cut down on feelings of frustration and the desire to curse!

 

     custom wedi tubcustom wedi tubLaticrete Spectra Loc grout and custom wedi tub LIMESTONE TILED SHOWER WITH MULTIPLE SHOWER HEADSLIMESTONE TILED SHOWER WITH MULTIPLE SHOWER HEADSLIMESTONE TILED SHOWER WITH MULTIPLE SHOWER HEADS

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) bath construction custom grout laticrete loc residential spectra spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/4/darn-grout Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:30:00 GMT
Color Stories https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/3/color-stories Color stories is a newer paint from Benjamin Moore that I have found interesting.  These colors are called “full spectrum” which means all that the colors are mixed with no black or grey tints.   The difference between this paint is how it is mixed. Normal paints use three pigments to get the color you would like.  These paints use five instead of seven color tints.    

Benjamin Moore paint “full spectrum”Benjamin Moore paint “full spectrum”

What makes this cool is when applied onto the wall, you get different looks in the depth and overtones of the wall depending upon lighting conditions.   This is subtle way to add sophistication to our projects.

These “colors stories” are only available in the top of the line flagship product line called Aura.  Here's a link to Benjamin Moore Aura paints https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/interior-exterior-paints-stains/product-catalog/awip/aura-interior-paint

A big difference from Tom Sawyer’s whitewash on the fence. 

Benjamin Moore paint “full spectrum”Benjamin Moore paint “full spectrum”

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) & architecture arua benjamin construction custom kitchen moore residential spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/3/color-stories Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:15:00 GMT
Raised Pavers https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/3/raised-pavers      When I was a younger man, we built many decks out of Redwood.  In retrospect, I kind of feel guilt-ridden about using so much redwood knowing how rare and old these beautiful trees are, especially when the reality of it is that redwood does not make the finest decks anyway. 

    These days it seems like every vendor has several decking products.  We have several favorites and some we avoid like the plague.

    As an option to composite or wood, we have used concrete hydo-pressed slabs. Normally you find this type of product used as pavers under a sand bed. 

hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs   hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs

hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs   hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs

     If the correct structure is used, these concrete slabs can be installed above ground on a wood deck frame.  As you can imagine, concrete slabs are heavy and require extra structure.  Care also needs to be taken in the layout of the framing. Slabs are installed on a pedestal support that keeps the stones in line and correctly spaced.  

hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs   hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs

hydo-pressed slabshydo-pressed slabs

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) deck joist pavers https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/3/raised-pavers Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:15:00 GMT
Open soffits - do you like them? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/2/open-soffits---do-you-like-them      In our area of the country, most eaves are enclosed soffits.

WAIT! What is a soffit, you say?

A soffit is defined as:   

“The underside of an architectural structure such as an arch, a balcony, or overhanging eaves

     So why do we have enclosed soffits? One possible reason is economy. In order for an open eave to look attractive, the roof sheeting needs to be something other than sheet goods, such as plywood or OSB. Also, rafters that are just plain 2x4s are not very elegant or pleasing to the eye.

     The second reason for enclosed soffits is venting of the attic. Homes that my grandfather built did not have much venting or insulation. Today’s homes need to breathe… attics need good ventilation and good ventilation starts at the eaves of a home. But how do you get air space into the eave and not bugs? Usually some kind of screen or mesh is used, which typically when used on an open eave is unsightly. 

Once in a while we construct some open eaves like yester-year. Here are a couple of eave projects we have done recently: 

 

soffit construction, HydroGapsoffit construction, HydroGap

New porch for a historic homeNew porch for a historic homeNew porch for a historic home

Old world craftsmanship to match the existing homeOld world craftsmanship to match the existing homeOld world craftsmanship to match the existing home

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) open soffits https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/2/open-soffits---do-you-like-them Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:30:00 GMT
Where to put the microwave? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/1/where-to-put-the-microwave Let’s face it; microwaves are ugly!  Just where do you put an ugly, beastly microwave in a beautiful new kitchen?  I distinctly remember when my mother brought her first microwave home - it was an Amana Radar Range and the size of large dog carrier. In those days when you bought a microwave, you typically purchased a cart with wheels and proudly showed the unit off.   

Willamette06custom white kitchen cabinetscustom white kitchen cabinets   custom wood kitchen cabinetscustom wood kitchen cabinets

These days a more sophisticated approach is taken to a microwave.  We have put them just about everywhere.  For several clients, we have installed a traditional unit in the island.  While this does a nice job of concealing the unit, the disadvantage is all of the bending a person has to do to see the controls and to remove the hot food. I hesitate building a custom cabinet specifically the size of the unit; it seems the longevity of a microwave is quite short - only three to six years.     

  Showalter kitchen 4custom farm house kitchen cabinetscustom farm house kitchen cabinets

A drawer unit is a nice option. It will hide the unit and make controls and food handling easier. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) under island microwave https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/1/where-to-put-the-microwave Wed, 25 Jan 2017 19:15:00 GMT
Azek Decking https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/1/azek-decking Many of the historic homes from the early 1900s were constructed with covered outdoor porches. The surface of the porch oftentimes was 1x3 Douglass fir tongue and groove boards.  I am amazed at how well many of these porches have lasted.   

There are several reasons for this in my thinking:

1.  Old growth lumber.  Fir trees from 100-years ago are not like today’s trees, at all! 

2.  Installation:  Carpenters installed the flooring at a right angle to the house with a slight slope. This allowed any water which may blow onto the porch to drain off naturally using the grove as a gutter, of sort.

3.  Lead-based paint.  Lead-based paint, for all of its disadvantages, has one upside. It sticks to wood like no tomorrow. Yesteryear’s paint stores bragged about how much lead their exterior paint contained! 

Azek DeckingAzek Decking   Azek DeckingAzek Decking

Recently, we have used a product on two different jobs that I am quite impressed with called Azek Porch.  This product truly gives a special look to that of standard decking.  Azek is made from PVC and contains no wood fibers.  Azek will not mold and is very resistant to staining.

Azek DeckingAzek Decking Azek DeckingAzek Decking

There is much to like about this product.  The unfavorable is economics, as the material is very expensive and installation is about double the standard labor of traditional 6” decking.  However, it may well be worth the expense!

Azek DeckingAzek Decking Azek DeckingAzek Decking Azek DeckingAzek Decking   Azek DeckingAzek Decking

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) azek decking custom homes old world craftsman spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2017/1/azek-decking Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:45:00 GMT
How to patch a drywall hole. https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/12/how-to-patch-a-drywall-hole How to patch a drywall hole.How to patch a drywall hole.

Patching techniques vary depending upon the size of the hole. For a golf ball sized hole, the “Pumpkin Patch” works quite well.  

    With a key holesaw, cut away the damaged area in any shape you desire, but angle the blade like the top of a pumpkin cutout. Next, cut a scrap of sheetrock as closely as possible to the same shape and size of your damaged cut-away spot. With a razor knife, bevel the edges to match the angle of the hole. You can fine-tune the fit by holding the piece over the hole and running the holesaw along the two edges together until it fits flush. Then, using 15 or 20 minute mud, butter the edges of the new piece and around the edge of the hole in the wall. Push the piece into place and smooth over with a drywall knife. Use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. When set, skim another layer of regular mud or 15-minute mud (depending upon the time you have to allow it to set) on the spot you are trying to patch. Dry, sand and then you are done.  If texture is needed, a spray can works well.  Practice on some paper first. 

How to patch a drywall hole.How to patch a drywall hole.

For larger holes we often will use a “screw backer board” like the photo above.   Simply cut rectangle larger than the hole and install. Then follow the "Pumpkin Patch" steps described above.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) patching drywall holes residential construction spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/12/how-to-patch-a-drywall-hole Wed, 14 Dec 2016 18:00:00 GMT
Plan first - then build! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/11/plan-first---then-build     This week I was in a beautiful old building that is on the historic register of Spokane.  The owner had decided a fireplace would be nice in the lobby.   A few weeks later I noticed a zero clearance unit being installed – not terribly realistic for a 100-year-old building but I am guessing, with budget a concern, some things can be overlooked.    After a few more weeks, a raised hearth was built and tile put around the unit.  As you look at the unit, your first reaction is ugg – (and not Tom Brady’s shoes) clearly something is wrong here.  

Why hire an architect?Why hire an architect?

Besides just being ugly, the proportions are all wrong here.  The hearth is at 18” off the floor when 10”-12” would look much better. 

The hearth is to long.  The tile overwhelms the unit. There is a 4-inch gap between the hearth and wall on the right.  Planning is essential folks - even if you are on a budget.  A drawing to scale would have solved many of these issues.  

Plan first - then build - or be ready to start over and spend twice as much.  Why hire an architect?Why hire an architect?  

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture historic residential remodeling proportions scale spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/11/plan-first---then-build Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:45:00 GMT
How to choose a paint color. https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/11/how-to-choose-a-paint-color How to choose a paint color.How to choose a paint color.

How do you choose the right paint color for your room?  First, you will need to look at the size of the room and how much direct and indirect light the room receives.  Light plays a critical role when you are choosing a paint color.   Direct light can dramatically change how the paint looks at different times of the day.   People should try to recognize that a color will ‘look different’ in the morning verses evening.  We see color not only by the light source illuminating the object but also by the amount of light the object absorbs. For example, black absorbs all light. 

Today, purchasing light bulbs is more complicated than when I was a child. The only choice was to choose an Edison 60 or 100 watt light.  Now the same bulbs can be bought in different lumens and color temperatures as well. 

Keep these things in mind when looking at “paint chips” in a store,  I find it helpful to hold a sample of pure white next to the potential choice when looking at paint samples.

Here are some good tips I found helpful:

North-facing rooms: Light in these rooms is cool and bluish. Bolder colors show up better than muted colors; lighter colors will look subdued. The use of strong colors is good for these spaces. 

South-facing rooms: A lot of high-in-the-sky light brings out the best in cool and warm colors. Dark colors will look brighter; lighter colors will virtually glow.

East-facing rooms: East light is warm and yellowy before noon, and then turns bluer later in the day. These are great rooms for reds, oranges and yellows.

West-facing rooms: Evening light in these rooms is beautiful and warm, while scant morning light can produce shadows and make colors look dull.

A final tip is when painting a ceiling any color other than white consider using a shade or two lighter than wall color.   Let me know if I can be of any assistance -  I love colors!  ~Janette

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) choosing a paint color custom residential architecture & construction spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/11/how-to-choose-a-paint-color Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:45:00 GMT
Today's Murphy Bed https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/10/todays-murphy-bed I like the name, “Murphy Bed”! Nowadays they call this, “Wall Bed” but I still stick with the old name.

Today's custom Murphy BedToday's custom Murphy Bed

     The bed was invented in the early 1900’s by a guy named, of course, “Murphy”.  According to legend, he was wooing an opera singer. He lived in a one-room apartment in San Francisco, but in the early 1900’s the moral code of the time forbade a woman to enter a man's room where a bed was part of the furniture. Murphy's invention converted his bedroom into a parlor, enabling him to entertain.  For me, somehow I remember when reading to our kids - the first Curious George book when the cute little monkey escaped from a prison guard by a Murphy bed somehow going awry.  

     Today, these ‘Murphy Beds’ appear to be disappearing! Murphy beds still accomplish much of what they did 115 years ago, giving a room more of a ‘double purpose’. However, they do it with sophistication, style, and even glitz.  

Modern wall bedHanson Carlen designed modern wall bed

     Our clients wanted a comfortable place for their grown kids when they come home and stayed for a few days. A place of their own with plenty of space and even a spot to put a few things away.  All of this while not looking like a bedroom the rest of the year.   We designed a complete wall with dual wardrobes and yes, a Murphy bed. 

      wall bed built in dresserHanson Carlen designed wall bed     

     Murphy beds these days are not like an old summer camp mattress, but a comfortable, full-fledge regular mattress - one we picked up at Costco.   Cool built-in night stands were incorporated into the assembly with a power station for a clock or phone charger.  Very smart indeed!

lighting in murphy bedHanson Carlen architecture murphy bed     Side view of wall bed cubbyCubby in Murphy bed

Check out our video!!

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction murphy bed spokane wall bed https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/10/todays-murphy-bed Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Legacy https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/9/legacy Legacy: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past; heritage.

construction legacy

Some of the work we perform is on homes over a hundred years old.   Often we find a newspaper or periodical that was stuffed into the walls during the original construction.  Last year we discovered a paper dated 1938 about Neville Chamberlain pacifying Hitler, which was quite interesting!  Oftentimes, I have found scrawled a board a carpenter’s signature with a date, or an inspection ticket from over 70 - years ago.  At times like this I think, “Wow! Here is a person with a life like mine who is long gone, but has left a little part of themselves in the work they performed.”    

IMG_3628.JPGconstruction legacyconstruction legacy

My father Dewey making a “hope chest” for one of his grandchildren.

 

One of the things I sincerely enjoy about my job is the chance to leave something behind that others will appreciate many years after I am gone.   I have been privileged to see this in both my father and grandfather’s work.   So, do a worthy job in whatever you do and once in a while scrawl your name and date on a board inside a wall!

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/9/legacy Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:00:00 GMT
Night Lights For All Ages https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/8/night-lights-for-all-ages When I was a youngster, I remembering always wanting my mother to leave a night light on when I went to bed.  Somehow the light seemed to keep the nighttime monsters from my bedroom and helped make the night restful.

Now that I am no longer a youngster, I find I am back to wanting a nightlight on; but for different reasons than monsters! I must not be the only guy who feels this way - it seems most of our clients really like and appreciate the nightlights we have been building into their projects. 

_DSC2216Night Lights For All AgesNight Lights For All Ages

Nowadays there many LED options that are very cool and also energy efficient; not like the old orange glowing things we used as children.

Night Lights For All AgesNight Lights For All Ages

(Hafele Lighting)

We have been using these LED lights under floating cabinets, in cabinet toe kicks, in recessed shelving units, glass sinks and such.

Night Lights For All AgesNight Lights For All Ages       Night Lights For All AgesNight Lights For All Ages Piano Room KitchenNight Lights For All Ages in custom white kitchenNight Lights For All Ages in custom white kitchen

Most of the time we put these on dawn-to-dusk sensors with photo electric eyes that sense light or astrological timers that have dusk-to-dawn times built into them for the next fifty years.

Night Lights For All AgesNight Lights For All Ages

So… sleep well and remember, “We leave the light on for you.”

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction hafele lighting spokane under cabinet lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/8/night-lights-for-all-ages Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:45:00 GMT
How to deal with a sloping site? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/8/how-to-deal-with-a-sloping-site     One challenge we frequently face as architects and builders is how to deal with a building site’s slope or grade.   It seems like most sites have some type of elevation change that we must address during design.  Many times by moving some soil around and re-grading we can make a new home or an addition blend into the property perfectly. 

    However, some sites require more drastic measures such as retaining walls.  Walls can be built from a myriad of materials such as rocks, railroad ties, treated wood, metal, concrete, and even old used tires.  Depending upon the slope, material costs can become a significant portion of the site budget.  

The neat thing about the Redi Block product is that it is quite fast to install and is very attractive in the right situation.  Redi Block waiting for installRedi Block waiting for install

    The blocks are large and need heavy equipment to maneuver them into place. 

Redi Block waiting for installRedi Block waiting for install

The blocks lock together with “lugs” and combined with their weight makes for a very strong wall.  They are kind of like Legos for your landscaping.

Redi Block waiting for installRedi Block waiting for install

Redi Block products come in concrete color and can be stained to look like basalt or a number of other natural stones. 

Redi Block waiting for installRedi Block waiting for install           Redi Block waiting for installRedi Block waiting for install

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential construction redi block retaining walls spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/8/how-to-deal-with-a-sloping-site Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:00:00 GMT
How Do You Light Your Face? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/7/how-do-you-light-your-face The older we get, the more light (or illumination) we seem to need.  Once I turned 50, it seemed my eyesight was not what it used to be!  We started buying reading glasses by the pallet from Costco and I still find myself always looking for a pair!   

 

One place where good lighting is essential, at any age, is the bathroom.  

TECH bathroom LightingTECH bathroom Lighting

(TECh Lighting - Span)

Overhead lighting is a given, but side-lighting on the mirrors is vital.

We have found clients really appreciate the LED bathroom lights on the sides of the mirror.

TECH bathroom LightingTECH bathroom Lighting

(TECH Lighting - Rae & GIA Bath Lighting)

If your decor does not allow for this, perhaps a more traditional sconce can also work well.

TECH bathroom LightingTECH bathroom Lighting

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) bathroom lighting custom residential construction spokane tech lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/7/how-do-you-light-your-face Wed, 20 Jul 2016 20:30:00 GMT
How to build a custom tub that doesn't leak! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/6/how-to-build-a-custom-tub-that-doesnt-leak One thing we enjoy is a challenge!

This past year we had a bathroom where the client wanted a tub that could be used as a shower as well.  The problem was that the bathroom wall configuration would not allow for any standard type of tub to be purchased.

Angled shower walls are not normally a problem - but an angled tub?

We have been a big protonate of the Wedi system for several years.  custom Wedi tubcustom Wedi tub

Wedi components are made in Germany and the system is bullet proof when it comes to leaks. 

custom Wedi tubcustom Wedi tub

Wedi is used for tubs in their catalog along with steam showers, benches, and many cool things. 

custom Wedi tubcustom Wedi tub

Our tub was again unusual so we inquired from Wedi about making us one, to which they replied, “Sure!”  Unfortunately, it would have to be made in Europe and shipped here, which was very expensive.

custom Wedi tubcustom Wedi tub

Since the components are available and we have experience with the product, we decided to make our own.  The results were stunning!

custom Wedi tubcustom Wedi tub

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential architecture & construction custom tub spokane wedi https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/6/how-to-build-a-custom-tub-that-doesnt-leak Wed, 29 Jun 2016 20:45:00 GMT
Lighting Up A Stone https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/6/lighting-up-a-stone This was a cool idea!  We found a lovely piece of onyx, which is a gemstone found in various parts of the world.  The word onyx itself comes from the Greek word, “Claw” or “Fingernail”.   The stone most often has a flesh tone color with varying patterns.

lighting an onyx stonelighting an onyx stone

 The piece we found for this project was nice in the natural light but fabulous with illumination behind it. 

lighting an onyx stonelighting an onyx stone                  lighting an onyx stonelighting an onyx stone

We were looking to create a special iridescence wall while providing a barrier from the bathroom to the bedroom.  Our own custom panel lights up the onyx with thousands of LED lights.  

lighting an onyx stonelighting an onyx stone

The lights are on a dimmer so many different effects can be achieved. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residential construction led lights onyx spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/6/lighting-up-a-stone Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:00:00 GMT
Decorative Lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/5/decorative-lighting Last month we discussed how decorative lighting can be described as being the “Jewelry of the Project”, in particular, the Bocci 14 Series light. 

Bocci lightingBocci lighting

Decorative lights can be cool as an element by itself, like this “thingy” that is suspended on cables.

decorative lightingdecorative lighting                  

Lighting can often be used to accent a special piece of artwork or painting.  The TECH Lighting “DJ-Archie” used here can really make a picture that is good turn out to be fabulous.  

wall lightingwall lighting

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) bocci lighting custom residential construction spokane tech lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/5/decorative-lighting Wed, 18 May 2016 07:45:00 GMT
Bling Lighting https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/4/bling-lighting There are two types of lighting we put into our jobs.  First is the task or general lighting. This type of lighting is what we use every day but typically is not genuinely attractive.  Normally, general lighting you try to hide or not notice – hopefully it just goes away.  

                                       Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting                       Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting          

The next type of lighting is decorative lighting,

which is the ‘fun’ stuff but also can be quite expensive.  

Think of decorative lights as the jewelry or bling for an attractive outfit.                     

 

One great light we have used on two projects is the Bocci 14 series light. 

Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting

The Bocci light consists of seamed cast glass spheres hanging from braided metal coaxial cables. 

The light interacts with bubbles and imperfections of the cast glass to produce a glow

reminiscent of small candles floating within spheres of water. 

Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting

 

Every light is unique.  The spheres are randomly spaced based on the total length you request for the light.  These lights add quiet a bit of bling to any room!

 

                              Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting                      Bocci bling lightingBocci bling lighting

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) bocci custom residential decorative lighting spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/4/bling-lighting Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:15:00 GMT
Architectural Tools https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/4/architectural-tools When I started my career I used a T-square and a triangle on a drafting board.

                                         

Later my T-square was mounted on cables from each side of the board or on a mechanical arm, which was an improvement from the T-square.

 

                                     

Nowadays, I still like to sketch my preliminary ideas by hand but most of our work is performed on computers. 

 

                                      architecturearchitecture

 

There are many software programs for architects on the market. We use primarily an Autodesk CAD program for our 2-D drawings. Some software will do 3-D drawings at the same time as 2-D drawings but our office prefers to use separate programs for 2-D and 3-D drawings.

 

                                   Sketch-up kitchenSketch-up kitchen

 

Not everyone can visualize a 2-D drawing in 3-D, so SketchUp is a very beneficial program for 3-D drawings. It is fairly easy to use and can give our clients a clearer vision of their project. 

Sketch-up pergolaSketch-up pergola

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) 3d autodesk cad how architects work how to design a new home sketchup tools architect use https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/4/architectural-tools Wed, 06 Apr 2016 21:00:00 GMT
Designing a Kitchen - Types of kitchens https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/3/kitchen-types One thing we have noticed over the years is that the kitchen space tends to become the center or the ‘hub’ for the home and family.   Kitchens are now, more than ever, taking on multiple uses other than just meal prep and everyday eating. Kitchens have become places for studying, paying bills, a place to put together crafts or wrap gifts, Internet surfing or just a comfortable place for a family hangout. 

How do we determine the best kitchen layout design for your family?  We like to start out with a questionnaire to help us ‘get into your head’ of how you would like to utilize the space you have available.  Is the priority a social, interactive, multipurpose space?  How do you like to cook?   Fun questions like these.  Next, if this is a remodel we try to find out how much space we can devote to the kitchen. In addition, we like to draw some concepts of the new layout and talk you though the various options.

 

Here are four basic kitchen layouts:

Designing a Kitchen - Types of kitchensDesigning a Kitchen - Types of kitchens

One Wall Kitchen:  You will see this kitchen most often in a contemporary loft or urban condominium.  Oftentimes this main kitchen wall will be facing an island that provides more food preparation space and storage.  The big minus for this type of kitchen is that there is not a work triangle; rather, movement is linear from food prep to cooking to cleanup.

Designing a Kitchen - Types of kitchensDesigning a Kitchen - Types of kitchens

Galley Kitchen:  This kitchen looks like two parallel walls with countertop cabinets and appliances on both sides with a walking corridor between the two walls.  This kitchen provides maximum function for a small space.

Designing a Kitchen - Types of kitchensDesigning a Kitchen - Types of kitchens

L-Shaped Kitchen:  You will see this style of kitchen with or without an island or peninsula.  This kitchen offers both screened space and openness; adding a second L can offer two work triangles that are nice for multiple cooks.

Designing a Kitchen - Types of kitchensDesigning a Kitchen - Types of kitchens

U-Shaped Kitchen: This kitchen is three sided which maximizes storage space and countertops.  We have modified this kitchen often into four sides, but it still has one work triangle.  

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) a custom kitchen design kitchen spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/3/kitchen-types Wed, 16 Mar 2016 07:30:00 GMT
What's in Your Drawers? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/2/whats-in-your-drawers We have found that almost every kitchen has a “junk drawer”.  In this drawer you will find some paper clips, a hammer, broken parts, a birthday card from six months ago, a thing that looks like a charger that nobody will claim, a golf ball, lots of barrettes and some rubber bands with hair on them. A kitchen needs a spot like this for most people.  The problem is when every drawer in the kitchen becomes a “junk drawer”.  

Hafele drawer dividersHafele drawer dividers

“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a quote from American author and preacher Charles Goodrich.   Too bad he was not an architect or contractor - this adage makes a lot of sense for a kitchen and especially for drawers.   Drawers are the most convenient space in the kitchen for everyday items.  However, adding organization dividers into each drawer can organize a large, open-spaced drawer into a cooks dream.  Your average person, out of desperation has bought various types of baskets and trays from your typical Target-type of retailer.  These have been made from metal or plastic and inserted into a silverware drawer for sure. While these may help considerably, we have found many of these are not as attractive as you would like to see in your new kitchen.   They also have a tendency to move and shift within the drawer.  To add convenience and savvy, just this past year we began offering a wood drawer divider system that works wonderful and looks fantastic!  Hafele drawer dividersHafele drawer dividers What’s more, these units can be retrofit into your existing cabinet drawers.   Our family loves them – however, we are still keeping our ONE junk drawer! Hafele drawer dividersHafele drawer dividers

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom custom kitchen divider drawer organization spokane wood https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/2/whats-in-your-drawers Wed, 24 Feb 2016 18:45:00 GMT
LED lights have changed https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/2/led-lights-have-changed Over the years, many clients have asked us about bulbs and what is the latest technology.  Several years ago, we were one of the first in town to use LED bulbs in our projects. At that time, the LED bulbs cost $65 per bulb. 

 

Things have sure changed!

LED light bulbsLED light bulbs                 LED light bulbsLED light bulbs

Doug Walter recently wrote an article in the June 2015 issue of Professional Remodeler.   His article discusses many benefits to replacing an incandescent or halogen bulb with a $16.00 LED that might make you think about paying a higher initial cost. He found in most cases, you could recover your investment within the first year.

LED light bulbsLED light bulbs        Not only are LEDs a good cost value, they are considerably cooler to the touch.  Incandescent bulbs can reach temperatures of 200°F and MR16 Halogen bulbs can reach a scorching 400° F.  LEDs are comparatively cooler at 120F!

Another benefit is the extended life of the LED.  An LED bulb can last up to 13 years under normal usage.  That gives you something to think about when you are on that tall ladder changing an incandescent bulb - again.

LED light bulbsLED light bulbs                                      

After looking at the cost/value, the heat produced, and the benefit of not changing a bulb for 13 years, why not buy LEDs?

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom led lights spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/2/led-lights-have-changed Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Drawers - Old and New https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/1/drawers---old-and-new Over the years we have literally built hundreds of drawers. In my grandfather’s day drawers were fit into a cabinet hole with perhaps some wood side runners. These later evolved into a simple wood stick, which was usually in the center of the drawer either on the top or bottom to help the drawer track in straight.   Often these old classic drawers took quite an effort to push and pull the unit especially if the drawer or frame became slightly out of square.  

 

My father, Dewey remembers using wax and perhaps a thumbtack on the bottom of drawers to make the operation smooth. In the early 1950s dad remembers installing several “Youngstown Steel Kitchens”. These cabinets were made completely from steel and were “Very Space-Age” Another big selling point for the Youngstown Kitchens was that your food stayed “Vermin Proof”. After installing a couple of these types of kitchens, the Hanson Brothers went back to building their own cabinets!

 

 

 

Drawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras DynaproDrawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras Dynapro

Sometime in the mid 1960s an architect introduced Dad into the first metal guides- the KV1300. We used these guides exclusively until the early 1980s, as they were a great performer.

The KV1300 was eventually replaced with various side mount guides. Most of these provided full extension of the drawer to the outside of the cabinet.  Weight load efficiency was also increased by the ball bearings of these side mount guides. 

Drawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras DynaproDrawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras Dynapro

 

 

 

In the early 2000s our drawer guides became fully hidden under mount guides with soft close. Currently we use Gras Dynapro, a high performance guide from Austria- very nice! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawer boxes have changed significantly over years as well.   Grandfather used solid wood- most often a soft wood.   Pine or fir would often cup or warp over time, which made the drawer operate poorly.  So once hardwood plywood came into production, this became the choice of many cabinet builders, as it was straight and less likely to warp or cup.  Sometime in the 1990s we started providing hardwood drawers with dovetailed sides.  The dovetails (while making the drawer stronger) also provided a statement of high quality and craftsmanship.  These first dovetail drawer boxes were made from Baltic birch plywood.   After a time we went back to Grandfather’s technique of using solid wood again for the drawer sides- however, instead of soft wood we use maple cut into small boards and then it is glued back up into large slabs that would not warp.  

 

Drawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras DynaproDrawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras Dynapro          Drawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras DynaproDrawer guides, KV1300, Vionairo, Yorkstown Steel Kitchen, Gras Dynapro

 

Today we offer two-drawer configurations, a traditional maple box with dovetailed sides and a minimalist slender metal guide for more contemporary designs.  Both are world-class quality you would expect from Hanson Carlen. 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) drawer dynapro gras guides kitchen kv1300 steel vionairo yorkstown https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2016/1/drawers---old-and-new Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:15:00 GMT
What's Under Your Shingles? https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/12/whats-under-your-shingles Several years ago we transitioned from tar paper to synthetic felt. Tar paper is typically used under shingles or siding as a “last defense” to prevent the elements from getting inside of your home. 

      titanium underlayment vs tar papertitanium underlayment vs tar paper This was standard and all that was available in my dad and grandfather’s day and my own early career.  Tar paper is still the number one seller for roofing underlayment mostly due to the fact that it costs less. One quality of traditional asphalt-based paper is that it tends to shrink after exposed to the sun. Or, on the other hand, if applied in the winter it expands. Either way, this is a problem for us when we lay it all down nicely one day and come back the next day and it looks horrible.    titanium underlayment vs tar papertitanium underlayment vs tar paper When it is applied in the summertime the nails or staples tear from shrinkage and it tends to want to blow off; alternately, in the wintertime, it expands and causes bubbles that telegraph to the finished roofing. We have tried at least 5 different brands of synthetic paper and found titanium to be the best product.  titanium underlayment vs tar papertitanium underlayment vs tar paper Not only does it not expand or shrink, this product makes the roof safer by providing good traction.   titanium underlayment vs tar papertitanium underlayment vs tar paper        titanium underlayment vs tar papertitanium underlayment vs tar paper We can use this for up to 6 months to hold water out of the building until our finished roofing is installed. I wish Grandpa could see this – he might say what he always said in exclamation, “By gum!” 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) felt paper roofing synthetic tar titanium underlayment https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/12/whats-under-your-shingles Wed, 30 Dec 2015 17:30:00 GMT
Claustrophobic Stairway https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/12/claustrophobic-stairway

Claustrophobic is defined as:

“Of a room, space, etc.: not having enough space for people to feel comfortable”.

This is hardly a term you want to describe any part of your house!

 

Claustrophobic StairwayClaustrophobic Stairway

One area that tends to feel claustrophobic is a stairway, say, to the basement or possibly the upper floor of a home. This is especially true on a stairway that has walls extending the full length of both sides. Even though we normally do not spend a lot of time stopping on a staircase, the passage from one floor to another should ‘feel comfortable’.

     Claustrophobic StairwayClaustrophobic Stairway

Over the years we have used several techniques to improve existing claustrophobic stairways.

One such technique is to open the walls; even if only a few feet on one or both sides.  A wall can be shortened at the bottom or top of the stair. The wall can often be replaced by a starting newel, open rail, and tread. You can see in this project, the walls coming up to the last step. Another technique we have found helpful in stairways is to provide a ‘place to go’ at the entry or head of the staircase.

         Claustrophobic StairwayClaustrophobic Stairway    opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway

This can make the trip down the stairs actually more enjoyable every day. Now, ideally this is done with lighting. People are drawn toward light. So the proper lighting at the top or bottom of the stair can make a colossal aesthetic difference. 

opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway

In this case, we add masonry at the bottom of the staircase. Generally, people avoid the basement and certainly do not take any of their visitors to the basement!  In this illustration, the client finds that every guest who comes to the home looks down from the opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway kitchen at the top of the basement stairs and asks, “May I go downstairs?”  This anomaly was achieved through lighting and texture. 

opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In summary, stairways can be a fun and great part of your home and not just for kids who want to play with a slinky toy.

             opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway                            opening up a Claustrophobic Stairwayopening up a Claustrophobic Stairway

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom open stairway https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/12/claustrophobic-stairway Wed, 09 Dec 2015 22:15:00 GMT
Pets Love Good Design Too! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/11/design-for-pets       For many people animals are a very important part of the family. Cats, dogs, birds – all have been part of our family for many years.    Pets need to be considered when planning a new home or remodel. Over the years, we have completed some simple and some rather elaborate concoctions for animals. So here is something we did that you may find interesting; most people with cats seem to keep a litter box in the bathroom or laundry. The question becomes, “How do you hide the darn thing?”  

So we came up with a nice solution -

a sliding door that allows the cat to enter from either end, ‘do his job’ and all in privacy!  

Cabinets for petsCabinets for pets Cabinets for petsCabinets for pets Cabinets for petsCabinets for pets

The nice thing is when it is time to clean the box, simply slide the partition to the end and access could not be simpler!      

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) box cabinets cat custom for hidden pets https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/11/design-for-pets Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:00:00 GMT
Moat https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/10/moat Some days are hard!

We are currently building an addition on a lake front property.  We dug the trenches for our footing and then the next day we came back and instead of a trench we had a moat (minus the dragon).

foundation drainagefoundation drainage

Fortunately, this addition had no basement or crawl space!

We still needed to be able to set our forms and pour the concrete.   We decided the best way to proceed was to lower the water table and proceed in the dry.    To do this, we purchased some large plastic barrels that we cut in half and dug below the bottom of our footing.   In this way, our pumps could work automatically off a float and keep the ditch dry.   Next, we went about the forming and pouring as usual.  Once the concrete had set up (6-8 hours, depending on weather) we were able to stop pumping.  At that point, the water did not adversely affect the concrete, but did in fact, help strengthen the gain as wet cure.  

foundation drainagefoundation drainage foundation drainagefoundation drainage

Not a fun couple of days, but rewarding to get a job done right!

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) home addition home remodel lake house spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/10/moat Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:00:00 GMT
Higher or Lower https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/10/higher-or-lower When I was young carpenter, I remember “Grandpa Mike” made his own homemade water level.   He used a couple of yardsticks and a bucket and some clear plastic tubing to make his own level.  I can remember him exclaiming in his gruff voice, “I don’t need any fancy laser and this thing works around corners! Boy, I bet your laser can’t do that!”

zip levelzip level zip levelzip level

I wish he were still on this earth so I could say, “Not any more Grandpa!  These new devices can work around corners and up two flights!”   This device is called a Zip Level.

zip levelzip level zip levelzip level

How does it work?  Pick a location and reset the device to zero and from there you can go anywhere within a 150’ circumference and measure how far up or down from your original point.  Yes, even around corners!  

zip levelzip level zip levelzip level

We have found this device to be priceless for certain applications, especially for the architects working on “as-builts”.

http://www.ziplevel.com

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom residence home additions home remodels spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/10/higher-or-lower Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:15:00 GMT
Kitchen Cabinet Hinges https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/9/kitchen-cabinet-hinges Do you remember the accordion style appliance garages doors of the 90’s?  The doors never rolled up properly or where always stuck at some weird angle. Cleaning the grease and grime out of the groves was a chore.

            appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges

Things have sure changed for the better.  Now lift-up hinges provide easy access to cabinets and look stylish.  Soft touch hinges work effortlessly with one hand. 

            appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges

                appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges appliance garage - lift hingesappliance garage - lift hinges

Sure beats the two-handed struggle with the old accordion style doors.

http://www.hafele.com/us/

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom cabinets custom kitchen spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/9/kitchen-cabinet-hinges Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:00:00 GMT
Kitchen Circulation https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/8/kitchen-circulation Kitchens have become the central gathering place in most homes today.  So how do we design a kitchen that allows the cook to cook and the guests to congregate?  The kitchen’s circulation pattern becomes the key.  Good kitchens typically have a work triangle that is the main circulation pattern of the cook.  The most effective triangles are between 13’ and 26’.  Providing an area outside of this triangle for guests is critical to a well functioning kitchen.  Many modern homes have islands or peninsula that separates these two functions.  However, you don’t need a counter to separate the areas if space is not available.

                                

Kitchen CirculationKitchen Circulation

 

Not only is the kitchen triangle critical to designing the cook’s area, the distance between countertops and appliances are also critical.  It seems many people think making a bigger kitchen will make it function better.  But, that is not always the case.  If you have to walk around a large island to get your refrigerated food to the sink, you may be spending more time walking than cooking.  You also have to consider how open appliance doors effect your circulation triangle.  Can the cook get around the open refrigerator with a child standing in front of it?  The optimal distance from an island to an adjacent countertop is 4 – 5 feet. This allows a cook to pass another person or an open appliance door without hassle.  Any closer you create traffic jams and any further you are burning extra calories.  These are only some of the circulations issues we evaluate when designing a new kitchen.

Kitchen CirculationKitchen Circulation Custom wood and paint kitchen cabinetsCustom wood and paint kitchen cabinets

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom kitchen eat-in kitchen spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/8/kitchen-circulation Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:45:00 GMT
Darn Crooked Studs https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/8/darn-crooked-studs Last week I was in Home Depot watching a couple of guys who obviously were not carpenters buying some studs.  They were holding each one up sighting down it and turning it over and showing the other guy and then digging down to the bottom of the pile to find the perfect stud.   While I can understand someone wanting decent studs, I had to chuckle because studs are a commodity and not made to use for an heirloom project.   There are many reasons why companies like ours do not buy any lumber from Home Depot, one of which is the lumber has been picked through so thoroughly that all that is invariably left are some nice boards to make propellers on airplanes.

So, what do you do when you need a really straight wall for a tile job or a wall that is tall and needs to be really flat.   Typically carpenters take the lumber that is less than nice and cut it into small pieces to frame windows and doors- aka trimmers and cripples. 

On this particular project, we purchased LSL lumber or timberstrand manufacuted studs. http://lpcorp.com/products/framing/lp-solidstart-lsl/ These studs are made perfectly straight and stay perfectly straight.   They are strong as well! In fact, the only downside is that they are expensive.  These manufactured studs are a green building solution as well. The manufacturing process combines technology to produce high-performing engineered lumber using small-diameter trees that are not strong or straight enough to be of structural value as conventional sawn lumber products.

In the photo below we are showing a couple of LSL stud projects.   So if you really want straight, stop looking at home depot!  

 

LSL studsLSL studs LSL studsLSL studs

LSL studsLSL studs LSL studsLSL studs

 

http://www.woodbywy.com/trus-joist/timberstrand-lsl/

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) custom home construction lsl stud quality craftsmanship spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/8/darn-crooked-studs Thu, 06 Aug 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Old Brick Addition https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/7/old-brick-addition Recently, we have had a couple of clients ask us about old brick.  When you drive around the South Hill, you see a multitude of different types of old brick.  How can I build a garage or an addition that looks like it was built when our brick house was originally built?

Matching old brickMatching old brick

Our client wanted their kitchen remodeled but needed extra space to make the kitchen function properly for their family.  They have a 1930’s clinker dagger brick house.  It was just as important to the homeowner to have the house look cohesive, as it was to have a functioning kitchen. 

Matching old brickMatching old brick

To accomplish this, we designed the addition just large enough so the existing brick we were removing could be used to patch windows and cover the extension on the street side.  This allowed us the change the brick at the corner where it was less noticeable.  We consulted our brick mason on how he could best tie the new brick in with the old.  He was able to find some old clinker dagger bricks from a pervious demo project but more bricks where still needed.  The mason counted the number and type of each brick in a 9 sq. ft. area on the existing house.  He then determined how many new bricks he would need and what they should look like. He took some of the new bricks and spattered them with paint to more closely match the existing brick. Then mixing old with new, he created a cohesive look.  The main factor, which tied the whole wall together, was matching the old dirty grout.  This required adding color to the traditional grout.

Matching old brickMatching old brick

In conclusion, old brick homes can have cohesive additions or garages added if planned and design properly.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) clinker dagger brick house addition house remodel old brick south hill spokane https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/7/old-brick-addition Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:30:00 GMT
Shed Dormer https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/6/shed-dormer  

DormerDormerShed dormer

 

A lot of the older homes we work on have shed dormers.   The purpose of these dormers was more practical in nature in that they added floor area to the second floor of a 1-1/2 story home.  Done correctly, they can offer a nice architectural element to the outside of a home as well.   Shed dormers are different than gable dormers in that they are much wider and are defined by a single-slope roof.   Because they are wider than gable dormers, shed dormers provide more headroom and more space in the upper floor.   Shed dormers also tend to go away, whereas gable dormers are often used as more of a focal point. 

 

This past spring we were asked to design a non-attached garage to a really great looking older home on the South Hill of Spokane.   On two of the options, the client wanted to see what we could come up with for “Living space” above the garage.  

Shed dormers, again, actually add a nice element when built correctly.

 

Here are a few rules for shed dormers to make them look right:

 

 

  • Set dormer face back at least one foot from the wall below

 

  • Keep dormer ridge below the main ridge of the house

 

  • Dormer roof pitch should be at least 3/12 and not less than half the pitch of the main roof

 

  • Be sure dormer window relates to main house windows in size and look

 

  • Hold side check wall back at least 30” from outside gable wall

 

  • Dormer fascia looks best with simplified version of house trim

Dormer 2Dormer 2

Dormer 3Dormer 3

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) dormer shed https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/6/shed-dormer Tue, 16 Jun 2015 07:45:00 GMT
Closet Lights! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/5/closet-lights Most closets are dark.  VERY dark.  Here is a photo of a badly organized and equally badly lighting we just complete.  closet lightscloset lightsBadly light closet- look at the bottom pole... what is down there

In the 1980’s when I built my first home, we thought we were really the bee’s knees when we installed a florescent strip-light on the back side of the closet door header.   “Wow- light in the closet!  I can see something!”  This worked quite well for the most part.  However, the problem was that like most couples, we have too many articles to hang in our closet.   Since most clothes items can be folded and placed on a hanger, we installed double poles thereby essentially doubling our storage- again, brilliant! Conversely, now the light at the top of the closet did not do a very good job illuminating the clothes. The upper pole now effectively blocked the light rays, rendering our genius hoodwinked. Are those pants black or blue?  Is this a tie, or a bathrobe belt? A slipper, or a dead rat?

 

A couple of years ago we started installing lighted closet poles.   These poles use an LED light inside the actual rod to put light were you need it! LED light in the POLES!closet lights 1Lighted closet poles

Now there is no need to remove several items to determine color, etc.  No question about an article’s authenticity. No cause for wonder if you have a sleeping cat lying near your shoe storage.   

LED closet lightscloset lights 2LED allow you to see if the coat is black or blue closet lights 3closet lights 3Close up LED on crowded closet pole you can see the colors and where you need it

 

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Black Blue? Closet LED or https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/5/closet-lights Fri, 01 May 2015 15:15:00 GMT
Make it Level! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/4/make-it-level We were installing a fancy soffit detail in an existing home and found that the ceiling was NOT level.

Make it level 1Make it level 1Here is what the band looked like inside of the room

  Maybe this was because of age or maybe it was built that way originally.   The problem was that the new wide band we were installing was to completely wrap around the room and integrate with the new cabinets, windows and fireplace. Make it levelMake it levelUn-level existing ceiling

 What can we do?  If we were to follow the crookedness of the old house, our windows and cabinets would not be level.   The voice of Bruce Walker, a venerable Spokane architect who recently passed away came to mind, “Make things level that are supposed to be level” So that is what we did! 

 

You can see the pie shape of wood that we fabricated.  This made up for the inch that was out of level.   However, when all was complete, it was hardly noticeable at all!  make it level 3make it level 3Finished look.

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Band Trim https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/4/make-it-level Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:30:00 GMT
Change order! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/4/change-order Change orderChange orderWater in wall
I wanted to follow up last week’s post on the Day of Discovery process.   During the Day of Discovery, we poke around and do our best to see what the existing conditions might be so that we can give you an accurate price.  In fact, most of our projects are so complete that we have an average of less than five changes from the original drawing!   Sometimes however, we find something that could not be seen until the job starts.   In this specific case, we found a floor joist that was severely decayed from moisture.  At this point, we evaluate what needs to be done and write an additional work/change order for the needed repair since it was not included in the original scope of work.  
 
In this case we found a flat roof porch that was not correctly designed or flashed by the original builder; thus, the severe damage inside the wall of the house.   
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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Change order Water in wall https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/4/change-order Fri, 03 Apr 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Day of Discovery https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/3/day-of-discovery  always wonder what it must have been like for Christopher Columbus to discover a ‘new world’!   Since there are no more new worlds to find, we have to take our discovery ambitions in a different direction.
 
Late in our design process of a remodel project, we plan a day, which we call the Day of Discovery.   The main reason for this is that we want the very best information that we can get so that we can give you an accurate final estimate of our design.   Surprises in construction are not accepted as positive. If we can find out a problem by good and ‘due diligence’ then we are all the happier.  For instance, “You are going to need a beam here” then this will help the job progress much more smoothly.    Fiber optic scope in ceilingDay discoverLooking into a ceiling
 
During this Day of Discovery, we will most likely crawl through the attic and make  some small holes in your walls to “scope” what is in there.  Maybe the plumber will stop by so we can discuss how we are going to make the drain lines work.   The more information we attain, the better for both you and me.  
 
What is so great about this Day is that both the architect and contractor look at the existing conditions and uncover the best solution to map a way for a beautiful, functioning new project.    
 
Measurements are verified and checked and compared once again to our drawings up to this point. 
 
Day discover2Day discover2Looking into the floor Day discover1Day discover1Looking into a wall
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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Day of Discover https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/3/day-of-discovery Fri, 20 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT
RUST Bucket! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/3/rust-bucket Most of the time we think of the word ‘rust’ with a negative connotation.  Jesus said,“ Lay up not for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt.” However, on this particular project, we were looking for a little corruption to make a unique statement and breathe life into a bland room!

We wanted to put a band of metal around the room which would serve as a cool element to break up the 16’ ceiling.  

So we purchased some eight-inch steel and set out to rust the new steel: quickly! Quickly!   Rock salt, some acid and some water mixtures were tried.   In the end, we used a mixture of acid and dissolved some copper solution into it.  And behold~ our architects (and the owners) were delightfully pleased!

The metal was attached within 48” x 6” bands with gaps.  The gaps were highlighted with LED light behind them.  What beauty! This was one case where you could not say, “Bad company corrupts good morals”! 

 

Rust bucketRust bucketRusted metal soffit Rust bucket 1Close view rusted metal faciaYou can see the rich color of the rust rust bucket 3rust bucket 3Here was a test sample that did not come out very well rust bucket2Rusting away with acidYou can see the rust developing rust bucket 4rust bucket 4About ready to go

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Rusted metal modern soffit. https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/3/rust-bucket Fri, 06 Mar 2015 08:15:00 GMT
We are family! https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/we-are-family One of the best things in life is when you enjoy what you do! There is an old saying, “Do what you love and never work a day in your life.”  Part of the secret to this is to do what you have a passion for, but another part is to work with GREAT PEOPLE!   Last week we hired a photographer to take some photos. It was fun to eat, talk, laugh and pose with each other; it made me thankful for these people. And it’s nice to be more than just co-workers- we are a team. A team is composed of many players.  Each one of us has a specific purpose and place.  For us, our greatest satisfaction is to work side-by-side, day after day with honest, real, fun people.  We truly love who we are and what we do!

 

<table style="width: 86px;" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td><a href="http://www.houzz.com/pro/hansoncarlen/hanson-carlen"><img src="http://st.houzz.com/static/badge86_25.png" alt="Remodeling and Home Design" width="86" height="25" border="0" /></a></td></tr></table>

 

we are familyHanson Carlen photosHanging around and having fun we are family 1Hanson Carlen family

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) People https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/we-are-family Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:30:00 GMT
Born on a Bridge to Short https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/born-on-a-bridge-to-short Being the shortest in the family, I am constantly asking for help to reach things that are too high. Our daughters are all taller than I, so whenever I ask a favor, the ribbing begins.  “Hey, Small Change” or “”Poor little Shorty” or “Here you go, Short Stuff” and it usually ends with a pat on the head!

One of the hardest things for me while cooking is when I cannot reach an upper cabinet.  Some of our cabinets are 7’ high or more and that top shelf is just too high. Naturally, I tried keeping a short stool handy so as to avoid asking for help. But that dang stool was always getting in the way- there was no good place to store it.  In the past, we have built special places to store stools inside of the cabinets we build for people. However, I look at that and think,  “No way, I do not want to loose precious cabinet space for a stool!”  

This past year we solved the problem- hooray! We had a small, white stool smartly tucked away right in the toe kick of the cabinet.   REVOULIONARY! This stool is small and simple to pull out. It is always on hand when needed, but out of the way when not in use. And it is sturdy! Now nobody messes with “Small Change” when I’m standing on my stool completely independent.  Thing is, I kinda miss the ribbing!

~Kim

 

Step stool 1Hidden toe kick stoolThis tucks right into toe kick Step stool 2Toe kick stool folded into position. This little stool is strong enough for a 300lb man

 

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Toe kick step stool. https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/born-on-a-bridge-to-short Fri, 13 Feb 2015 21:15:00 GMT
Drainable House Wrap https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/drainable-house-wrap One impressive new product manufactured for our specific climate is a drainable housewrap by Benjamin Obdyke.   The main idea of HydroGap is to make a water resistive barrier behind the siding that will allow any wind-driven rain or moisture that gets behind the siding to drain.  The way this product works is thousands of plastic nubbins gap the siding off the wall about 1/32 of an inch to allow water to drain downward and out at the bottom of the wall. 

 

When I starting working with my father in this business over 30 years ago, he and I were using 15lb felt paper behind the siding! This was before the word “housewrap” was coined.  Later, in the 1980s the trade went to various plastics and synthetic housewraps.  The two layers of  ‘tar paper’ (15lb felt paper) that dad and grandpa installed was most likely far superior to the synthetic wraps; this was because the first layer shrunk some and crinkled and was less of a water trap, which allowed the sheeting to dry.

 

A more robust method of doing the same thing is to build a rain screen which actually makes a ¾” gap + or – between the siding and the wall sheeting.   I think the full blown rain screen is overkill for our climate.   Spokane typically has a hot, arid climate during the summer months, bracketed by short spring and fall seasons. Unlike our neighbors in Seattle; they tend to get rain every two days all year long; whereas, our area has the chance to dry out.

 

Last week I drove by a typical Spokane new construction home and took snapshots of the typical “housewrap” job.   Bad product, bad installation, sorry homeowner!    

 

Hydrogap 1Hydrogap 1HydroGap a wrap that drains! Hydrogap 2Hydrogap 2One side done! Hydrogap 3Hydrogap 3Closeup of window. Note Vycorner (green thing) behind 3M 8067 tape Hydrogap 4Hydrogap 4Full Rainscreen method Hydro gap 5Hydro gap 5This is what a bad job looks like. Lets go back to 15b felt!

Here is what a bad job looks like!

Do you really save anything hiring a cheap builder?

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) Housewrap https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/2/drainable-house-wrap Thu, 05 Feb 2015 23:45:00 GMT
Old time Rafter Ties https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/1/old-time-rafter-ties Our client would always say the word,  “Outdoor room”.  At first this meant to me that this room would be outside- perhaps a deck or screen porch.  However, in these people’s mind, the outdoor room was, well... indoor; a space that you could use all winter long and never be cold.  I began to understand that this ‘outdoor’ room was more of a rustic space where you could open the windows in the summer and feel the air.

 As we started working on this space we decided to put rustic boards on the walls and ceilings to make it look like an old barn. But it needed something else.

I remember when I was a child seeing an old barn that had cables tying the two sides together to try to help pull the sag out of the roof ridge. Rafter ties.  Hey! How about some rafter ties in our ‘outdoor room’?  What do these rafter ties do? Nothing, but they look good and make the ceiling more cozy, so how about a cup of hot chocolate in the ‘outdoor room’?

 

Rafter tie 4Large turnbuckle Rafter tieTurnbuckel rafter tie

Rafter tie 1Rafter tie 1Outdoor roof with barn wood board walls and rafter ties Rafter tie 2Rafter tie 2 Rafter tie 3Rafter tie 3Barn wood light for outdoor room Rafter tie 5Rafter tie 5Sneak peek into outdoor room with rafter ties

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) rafter ties turnbuckle https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/1/old-time-rafter-ties Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:30:00 GMT
Air Sealing- Comfort- Home Longevity https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/1/air-sealing--comfort--home-longevity Ecoseal 2 blogEcoseal 2 blogSpraying EcoSeal

There is always something one can be thankful for;  “At least we had a roof over our heads” is one we can all agree upon!   So after the roof, what else are you thankful for on your home?  I would suggest a close second might be a house that does not leak air.  I suppose we have all experienced the discomfort of sitting in an older home where that air feels overall warm but the drafts from outside air just make us miserable.  The problem is, other than comfort and energy use, walls, roofs and floors can have a big effect on the durability of a house.  Uncontrolled airflow through the shell can carry moisture into the framing cavities, causing mold and rot.  

 

This past summer as part of a high performance energy package, we used a product that exceeds EPA energy star requirements that we found quite impressive.   The product is called EcoSeal which, when sprayed on creates a continuous air barrier from penetrating the building envelope! Take a look at the photos.

Ecoseal blog postEcoseal blog postEcoSeal freshly sprayed

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office@hansoncarlen.com (Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane) eco seal https://www.hansoncarlen.com/blog/2015/1/air-sealing--comfort--home-longevity Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:15:00 GMT