[thechat] Your dream house: what tech stuff?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sun Oct 22 14:54:57 CDT 2006

On 22 Oct 2006, at 19:17, Joel D Canfield wrote:

>> So, if it were your home, what would you plan for?
>> LAN? WLAN? both?
>> tv/music/lights centrally controlled or ?
> my favorite thinking-launching point for home design: Rex Roberts'  
> "Your
> Engineered House" (1964, updated endlessly by Charlie Wing; ISBN:
> 0871311100)

which appears to be online in its entirety:

> When it comes to anything in the walls, put in four times what you  
> think
> you need, and leave space to double that. Honest.


And also, take photos of the studwork frame before the plasterboard
goes on. Then you'll know where the power lines, pipework, conduits
(etc) are when you come to banging nails in.

> Lighting is dead critical - I don't remember if it was C. M. Deasy's
> "Designing Places for People" or one of the handbooks from the  
> murrican
> institute of architectural lighting, but proper lighting makes the
> difference between a life of eyestrain and a natural environment.

True, but it's relatively easy to change as long as you don't hardwire
(sorry!) it in.

> A central music computer, with speakers in every possible room, all  
> with
> separate volume and equalizer.

Of course, there are plenty of software and low-end hardware solutions
out there that don't require a dedicated unit with four figure pricetag.

and iTunes spring to mind pretty readily, and you'd get a
*lot* of mileage from a Mac Mini as a dedicated music server, and
that's even before this comes out:

> DO NOT install automatic lights that turn on when you walk into a  
> room.
> Bill Gates' notes on why it drove everyone crazy in the Gates' 23
> billion dollar home [hyperbole?] are interesting.

Yeah, that's a general "don't over-engineer *anything*' warning. Many
objects have several decades/centuries of evolutionary design behind
them and fit their purpose pretty well.

Motion-sensored lights that turn themselves *off* after a time of no  
sound more sense.

> A home theatre. The real deal, with stadium seating, projector dropped
> from the ceiling, massive sound.

's what basements are made for :-)

> So much more; I too have pondered this for our Irish cottage  
> conversion
> (Step One: buy an Irish cottage; oops, Step Zero: come up with the  
> money
> for an Irish cottage . . . )

Step two: try to get the conversion through planning... New build is  
prolly easier (and less risky - it's never going to be fun to find  
your expensive ready-for-conversion abode is sat on the clay without  

Instructive: the UK Channel4 series Grand Designs:


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