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Door Hardware -Kwikset Smartkey

kwikset_arlington_15a

Have you ever had an exterior door lock mechanism fail? In our last home (a builder’s spec home, as we discovered after buying), we had not only one, but two different exterior door locks fail. After disassembling the locks, we discovered that pieces of the lock mechanism had simply broken and were not repairable. Now I’d never heard of a lock breaking from normal use in only 6 years’ time before this. Our guess was that the locks were very inexpensive locks — perhaps the cheapest the builder could find. They looked nice — had that stylish antique bronze [...]

The Owner-Builder

The workshop is taking shape...

The workshop is taking shape…

There’s no doubt a lot of money to be saved by doing some or all of your home construction yourself. There are some simple ways of deciding how to sort that out. In some cases the requirements are governed by law. You may encounter the need for specific equipment, and finally there may be levels of expertise or physical abilities that make it impractical for doing the work yourself.

Building a house is a series of linked projects. Assuming you already own your land the project begins with  research , learning all there is about [...]

Finding the Right Piece of Land

Demographics

Demographics

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out where we were going to homestead. There were several practical, personal and emotional considerations. Of course, financial capacity will drive the eventual choice, but the full spectrum of $/acre within a given region can be rather wide. Each of these factors had its influence on where we decided to purchase and finally build. Having moved 18 times during 30 years of service with the military we had the opportunity to live in and travel through many countries, states and regions. Each location in which we spent time had [...]

Discount Kitchen Cabinets

SketchUp plan

During the design phase of the houseplans, the kitchen is always my domain. I pull out my grid paper, mechanical pencils, and, using standard cabinet sizes, draw out my plan. This takes many iterations and, even now, is subject to change.

I’m very flexible about particular cabinet sizes, depending on what I can buy for a very good price. As many people will do when beginning a project like this, I took my initial kitchen dimensions and started with booklets picked up for free from Home Depot. I think people have the idea that buying cabinets from Home Depot [...]

How to Get a Building Permit

house frame front view

On-line Data

The first place to begin is the web. Most every locale has an official government web site which should contain most of the information you need to start your planning. For this article, I selected a town in Arizona, far away from where we are building to use as an example. I selected Yuma, Arizona. I simply entered the following search and started to explore; “Residential building permit Yuma, AZ”. The first hit took me directly to the government site which answered the basic questions for obtaining a residential building permit. I focused my search on information on [...]