[thechat] Your dream house: what tech stuff?

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Sun Oct 22 11:13:33 CDT 2006

Elfur Logadóttir noted:

>>As it happens my family will be building 4 homes in the coming three years 

Wow!!  Congrats to the Northern "L" clan!!  Pretty cool.

Well, normal stuff is 'normal' so I'll mention an odd thing or two:

- I saw this interesting gizmo at a home and flower show maybe 10 years ago, 
so _maybe_ it's commercially available now ... and it's specifically for homes 
in 'northern' climates!  You press a button in the evening and the space between 
your double pane windows fills up with tiny styrofoam bits - giving you more 
insulation.  In the morning you press a button and the little bits are vacuumed 
away and stored for the next time they are needed.  The demo was really neat. 
Never seen one actually installed though.

- 'Spider-b-gone'.  More for a lake or forest cabin with outside porches and 
balconies.  It's a small bit of very thin piping. (about the thickness of a 
keyboard cable) It's run about the exterior and set to a timer.  It comes on 
at 3am or so and sprays a bit of bug spray.  Pretty much eliminates walking 
into spiderwebs - or having to sweep them all up before company comes over.
Very popular in the lake communities around here.

- Kitchen junk.  (1) A 'hot water' faucet.  I've been in a few homes lately that 
have a separate water faucet in the kitchen that gives 'instant' hot water. 
No waiting and no guessing on the temp cuz it's set to a constant 140F or 170F 
or whatever.  (2) A flexy hose faucet coming out of the wall by the large gas 
cooktop.  Lets you fill those monstrously large pasta pots while they sit on 
the stove and not have to move them.  Very handy!

- Coloured concrete.  You can now have your driveway poured in a lovery 'rose' 
shade to match your trim or just to be different. 

- Electrical outlets in the floor.  "Large" "open" "greatrooms" are nice and all 
... but I really hate trying to hide the electrical cords for the coffeetable lamps 
under throw rugs.  I had some brass electrical outlet fixtures put into my 
living room floor and I'm quite happy with them.  Hide them under a couch or 
something and still have power where you need it without folks tripping over 
the cords. 

- Electrical outlets in the eaves?  Some of my neighbors have electrical outlets 
in their eaves.  Makes short work of putting up their Christmas lights ... which 
is actually about the only thing they are good for.  Is it worth a couple hundred 
for a convenience you only use once a year?  Some folks think so!

- Misc.  (1) I once had a neighbor with a 6' deep trench cut into the middle of his 
garage floor. He liked working on his car and it was cheaper than buying a lift.  
(2) I've seen a few houses with a 1/2 bath in the detached garage.  A very good 
idea I think.  Keeps muddy children out of the house a bit longer and the sink 
gives you a nice place to wash up all kinds of things you might not want to drag 
into the house.

All for now,


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