Archive for the ‘Cool Products for Your Home’ Category
This years #1 favorite home improvement is an Outdoor Living Room. Homeowners, feeling more confident in the value of their homes, are remodeling and making improvements like we haven’t seen in years. This year, creating an outdoor living space, is the hands down favorite project for DIYers and professionals, alike.
Must Have/Wish List Features for Outdoor Living:
- Arbor. Arbor. Arbor.
- Built in seating with cushions
- Firepit or fireplace
- Grilling or Kitchen area
- Drapes for shade and ambiance
- Dining area
- Water Feature
- TV or Projection screen
Consider adding some outdoor life to your dull backyard or builder slab patio. You not only create more space, economically, you create a whole new spot to relax and entertain.
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Zero-Carbon Building Blocks replace traditional cinder blocks. They are a mixture of CO2, mixed with sand, cement, water and recycled materials such as wood shavings and ash. Combined, they create the one of the first carbon-negative, masonry, building materials on the planet.
To read more, click http://inhabitat.com/first-ever-carbon-negative-building-block-unveiled-in-the-uk/
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Garth Britzman’s installation, called (Pop)culture, is a colorful canopy made recycled soda bottles that are filled with a little bit of colored liquid. The bottles, which are suspended by strings, create undulating waves of color that almost remind me of the Dale Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
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This once vacant site is nestled at the eastern bookend between a row of single fronted Victorian terraces and a double fronted Edwardian weatherboard house. The strategy was to critique and respond to ongoing research into the Terrace typology. The built form is essentially an urban infill within a 5.5×14.4m envelope. The perforated house is our response to establish an alternative language to the accepted notion of our cultural attitude towards critical questions of identity and heritage.
Kavellaris wanted the house to be more than just a facade. More than just a message or a graphic stuck to a building. The building was not an urban canvas paying tribute to Venturi’s “decorated shed”, instead the external facade could be experienced internally and is also a multi functional device that constantly transforms the built form from solid to void, from private to public, from opaque to translucent.
By day the building is heavy and reflective and by night inverting into a soft translucent permeable light box. The operable wall or the absence of the facade enabled us to remove the idea that houses are static.
The use of operable walls, doors, curtains and glass walls enables the occupants to change the experience and environment. This architectural manipulation of space blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, the public and private realm. The manipulated spaces overlapped and borrowed the amenity and context of it’s surrounding environment.
The plan inverts the traditional terrace program with the active living zones on the first floor opening onto a north facing terrace thereby generating a primary northerly orientation to a south facing block. The perforated house incorporates passive sustainable interventions by orientating north glass bifolds doors and louvers for cross ventilation as the primary means of cooling. In addition, solar hot water and 5 star rated sanitary ware fixtures were incorporated. The north facing terrace redefines the “family” backyard, reinforced by the childlike mural reminiscing on a past era and making commentary on the changing demography of the family unit and ultimately the inner city house typology. The mural also hides a not so attractive view of the back of the neighbors house.
InfoTube Loves this house…and the way it transforms to fit the life of the owners. We need to see a lot more of this type of architecture in the USA. If you aren’t a Friend of InfoTubes Facebook page, you are missing a lot smart, fun and cutting edge stuff. Click the button at the top right of the page and never be out of the loop again.
Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes
According to energy experts, electrical boxes that hold switches or outlets are major sources of heat loss. Foam gaskets ($3 for a pack of 12 at home centers) won’t completely seal the boxes, but they’ll help. They’re quick to install— just take off the cover plate, stick the gasket over the box, then put the plate back on.
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If you are considering a bathroom redesign, take a look at some of these new sinks. Why just buy the “same old” when you can install an art piece?
Taking inspiration from Nature is the Ammonite Sink, named after the extinct marine animals that have left such bewitching fossils for us along the shorelines of the world. It is fashioned from concrete to a variety of widths, and will give you hours of fun chasing dropped bars of soap out of its depths.
The Artic Sink bowl is looking especially tranquil on a sm0king hot summers day.
Don’t know how hard this is too clean…but it is very relaxing to look at. The Moody Aquarium Sink is from Italbrass. It’s all the rewarding work of a fully-functional fishtank, coupled with the odd sensation of washing your hands in it. The soap dishes on either side of the watertight main basin conceal entrances into the tank, allowing feeding and maintenance, and the whole structure is mounted on an integrated chrome finish brass stand.
We hope that seeing these wonderful sinks will get your creative juices flowing. For daily inspirations and great new product photo’s and reviews…Like our Facebook page. We update it at least once everyday with something unusual or smartly designed.
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A score of billionaires have recently caused a run on condo units at the Survival Condominiums project based in Kansas. The facility is built deep underground in an old, 1960’s nuclear missile silo, and is said to be self-sustaining in the event of a nuclear attack.
A few of the Doomsday ammenities include:
This project offers is much more than just a “Survival Condo Unit”. This “Package” includes mandatory training, a five-year per person food supply, fully furnished and custom designed interior, special equipment for registered members, computer access to condo systems, and much more. Only a portion of the total fee is for the actual Survival Condo Unit.
Each Full-Floor $2 Million Dollar Unit Includes these Key Features:
- Approx. 1820 sq. ft. of Living Space (accommodates 6 to 10 people)
- High-end floor and trim packages of your choosing.
- 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Kitchen, Dining room, and Great Room.
- LED Big Screen TV in every unit.
- State-of-the-art Kitchen: Stainless steel kitchen appliances include refrigerator, dishwasher, dual-fuel (electric & propane) professional range, wall oven, professional ventilation hood, wine cooler or beverage center. Granite or custom concrete countertops.
- State-of-the-art energy efficient washer and dryer in each unit.
- Built in recessed full spectrum LED lighting.
- Kohler bath fixtures and jetted Jacuzzi tub in each master bath.
- Digital HVAC controls.
- State-of-the-Art Home Automation System with structured wiring throughout including closed circuit security system camera viewing, public address/intercom system, digital weather station access, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, satellite TV feeds, public and private Internet access.
- Outdoor “simulated view” window in each unit. Window simulates “Life-Like” outdoor views complete with varying light levels that reflect time of day, creating a normal living experience as if you were above ground.
- Biometric Key locks (you won’t need to worry about losing a key).
- Elevator and Stairwell Accessibility to all Units.
- The $1 million units offer the same ammenity with the half the square footage and serve 3-4 people.
- The Missile Silo is capped by a type of monolithic dome known as a Torus. This dome is capable of withstanding winds in excess of 500 MPH, well beyond the winds of the most powerful F-5 Tornodos which produce winds up to 300 MPH.
- The air supply for the entire facility is filtered by Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) filters and the physical air intakes are protected by what are known as blast valves. Blast valves function to prevent an overpressure air wave created by a nearby explosion from entering the facility and killing those inside.
- The facility has a military grade security system that includes visible spectrum cameras, infrared cameras, proximity sensors, microphones, trip sensors, passive detectors, as well as confidential defensive systems both automated and manually operated.
- The facility has two floors of hydroponic gardens that will provide fresh produce as well as an aquaculture system designed to provide fish for food.
- Additional amenities include a minor medical/surgery center, an indoor pool with waterfall, a workout room, a home theater, a classroom & library, pub & game room, bulk storage, walk-in freezer, elevator, security & communication control center, spare parts, machine shop, high-speed fiber optic network, both online and offline Internet and computer communications.
- And, finally, there is a full-sized pool featuring a massive wall mural and curved ceiling to enhance the feeling of space and height.
- Of course, there will be plenty of guns and ammo, too.
If you think that this project is just a dream of a crack pot…think, again. The developer, Larry Hall, reported that every one of the $2 million full-floor units have been sold…and only a few of the $1 million, half floor units are still available. Doomsday Prophets with an extra $1 million on hand may want to inquire today. Evidentally, these units are selling like there is no tomorrow
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CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.
It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.
“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.
Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.
Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.
Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.
Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.
“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.
These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.
The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.
California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.
Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.
“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”
Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.
Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits.
In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.
He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.
The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.
Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.
Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.
“They chose to come into this community,” he said.
Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.
There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.
Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.
Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.
His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.
“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said.
Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP
InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue. On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism. On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood.. Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased.
A Green or Living Roof… is a concept that has been around for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Cities such as Atlanta, Portland and Chicago now offer incentives to encourage builders to put green roof’s on their buildings. The green roof on the Chicago City Hall (shown below) is one of the earliest and best known examples in the USA.
Why are Green Roofs Good for Man and Earth?
1. Adding Green Roofs to Buildings in Urban Area’s has a dramatic effect on high temperatures, which are increasing. A green roof can decrease cooling costs by 50-90% depending on the amount of glass used in the building. On average, the use of green or living roof materials in cities can reduce overall summer temperatures by 4-7 degrees. Imagine a July high temp of 82 vs 90.
2. Living roofs dramatically reduce storewater runoff and they filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater. They can retain up to 75% of rainfall and reduce the need for expensive underground sand filters that meet storm water regulations.
3. Green Roofs Filter pollution and carbon dioxide out of the air, which lowers respitory diseases such as asthma. Check out the green walled homes built in Austria below.
4. Living Roofs create a Natural Habitat for Birds, Bee’s, Butterflies and Insects in Urban and Rural Settings. They increase our agricultural space and can be used to grow food, herbs, fruiting tree’s and shrubs.
5. Green Roofs Require Little to No Maintenance…and Mowing can be fun
6. Living Roofs dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value and cuts heating and cooling bills about 25% on average. The roof’s also last two to three times as long as a standard asphault shingled roof.
Flower Tower Building – Paris, France
7. Green Roof’s Increase Real Estate Values and Earn LEED’s points
The idea of Green roof’s may be centuries old..but in the 21st century they are becoming new again. They increase life, and the beauty of it…in addition they make financial and environmental sense.
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Infotube LOVES smart and flexible housing like this worry-free, Fold and Go Writers cabin.
When the walls are lowered, they make a great ourdoor deck to set on and take in the starlit skies.
Smart and worry free design inspires your artistic side.
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Be inspired and create a modern, progressive space with Aspect decorative tiles — the radiant look of metal brought to life in an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to high-end installations. The overall look? Clean. Contemporary. Pure luxe. Shine on…with Aspect.
This striking backsplash or wall treatment provides high-tech sheen to a room, or if surrounded by softer textures, conveys luxurious sophistication. Tiles are 3″ x 6″ and are sold in eight-tile packs (enough for one square foot).
These peel and stick metal tile couldn’t be easier to install. Unlike traditional metal or ceramic tiles, with Aspect there’s no grout, glue or adhesive needed. You can literally peel the backing off the tiles and stick them to whatever surface you want. An average homeowner can resurface their kitchen backsplash or fireplace surround in less than 2 hours, with tools you probably own.
The tiles come in 4 modern finishes, bronze, stainless, copper and champagne; tiles are made from 60% recycled material and 99% of the waste in the manufacturing process is recycled. The company is LEED’s certified and products are Made in the USA.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the folks at Lowes Hardware for putting InfoTube back on the store shelves.
Lowes has been a supporter of InfoTube since the early 1990’s, but they made a decision to stop stocking The InfoTube a few years back, when the real estate market hit the skids.
Now, in support of our effort mutual efforts to Support American products and American workers, Lowes has restocked the shelves with InfoTubes, in anticipation of the spring home selling season. As a result, we have been able to add workers and our customers love the convenience of shopping at Lowes. (Lowes will also continue to sell our popular InfoBox, too.)
We appreciate everyone at Lowes and we appreciate all of you. Please look for our products trademarked Red Lids and Caps when you shop…and ask for InfoTube and InfoBox products by name.
Say NO to Chinese imports. Together, we can rebuild our country… one little product and one worker at a time.
Take a look at the imagination and resourcefullness that this home builder used to convert two, abandoned, semi truck trailers into a sweet 2 bedroom cabin in the woods.
First, Locate an abandoned truck trailer that is no longer road worthy.
Place the trailers onsight and weld the two structures together.
Sketch up your Floor Plan and get to work.
Cut through and bring your two worlds together
Stucco over the metal on the trailers to add insulation and prevent further rusting. Cut out your windows.
Install double insulated windows and french doors.
Frame out the house. Add batt insulation between the studs.
Panel the walls, put in the floors and move your furniture in.
Hang up your flat screen and watch the game.
Congratulations to this Green, Creative Homeowner!! Home Sweet Home for a few thousand dollars. Stucco exterior. Double Paned Windows. French Doors. And, 1162 square feet of warm, cozy living space.
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