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Michael@ChandlerDesignBuild.com   |   919.812.7478
Fine Homebuilding




Instant water heaters save energy and offer endless hot water, but not without some problems. A small tank and a big pump can fix the flaws.






Bend 1x4s between the walls to get an expensive look without a lot of extra work.


"Scissors trusses or structural ridge beams are the common, expensive methods for incorporating cathedral ceilings in houses. For the past few years, though, my company has overcome this economic problem by using angled steel flitch plates supplied by a steel fabricator."

"We try to squeeze every cubic foot of storage out of the houses we design. One of the handiest places to reach for extra storage is under the kitchen sink."
Fine Homebuilding Features Chandler Design-Build
Incorporating Best Practices
Fine Homebuilding December 2011/ January 2012(p.61-65)

Why I Don't Use Cellulose or Blue-Jean Insulation

Healthful Homes Need More than a Huge Hood Fan
Fine Homebuilding #223(p.12-16)

Ideas for Custom Railings
Fine Homebuilding August/September 2011 (p.50)

Timber-Frame Range Hood
Fine Homebuilding (p.88)

Q&A - Direct Water into Gutters
Fine Homebuilding (p.88)

Prepping for Spray Foam
Fine Homebuilding February/March 2009 (p.60-63)

Why Add a Tank to a Tankless Water Heater
Fine Homebuilding December/January 2008 (p.82-85)

Curved Ceiling? No Problem.
Fine Homebuilding Issue #185, March 2007 (p.86-87)

Open Up the Ceiling With a Steel Sandwich
Fine Homebuilding Issue #178, April/May 2006 (p.60-63)

Offset Traps Make Space Under the Sink
Fine Homebuilding Issue #167, Winter 2004

Incorporating Best Practices

How the best builders adopt new materials and building techniques to boost quality and profits.

Best practices loosely describe the methods used to create a well-built house, the definition of which has expanded greatly over the past 30 years. Energy performance, indoor-air quality, and locally sourced materials with lowembodied energy have sidled up to quality craftsmanship and good design as the hallmarks of a great home.

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Why I Don't Use Cellulose or Blue-Jean Insulation

Just because it's recycled doesn't mean it's green. Let me explain why I don't use cellulose or blue-jean insulation:

It happened again yesterday, a young builder came up to me after my talk at the Atlantic Green conference here in Charleston SC and he started to talk to me about the new green house he wanted to get verified that had no-VOC paint and bamboo flooring and blue-jean insulation in it. And it just came out of my mouth with no diplomacy-check engaged, "so what's so green about blue jean insulation?" The poor kid was expecting a pat on the back and what he got was a kick in his assumptions.
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Healthful Homes Need More than a Huge Hood Fan

When designing and building highperformance kitchens and baths, we may find it exciting to use products that bring new textures and style into a home while offering water, mold, stain, and fire resistance. Unfortunately, some of these products may introduce toxic dust and gases as well, and it's not just the kitchen and bath finishes that we need to be concerned with. It's the insulation we choose to make our homes efficient, the furniture we choose to make them comfortable, and the products we choose to keep them clean.
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Ideas for Custom Railings

While there's no shortage of off-the-shelf railing systems from decking manufacturers, there still can be advantages to building your own system. Cost is one. Craft is another. Still another is the ability to deliver a unique outdoor feature that fits a client's desires—and a deck's design—perfectly.
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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

 

 

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Timber-Frame Range Hood

The hood in this North Carolina home is made from recycled heart-pine timbers. Wiring to the roof-mounted fan and to the hoods LED lights runs in channels hollowed out of the centers of the timbers. Copper shelves and slate tiles complete the rustic look.
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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

 

 

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Q&A - Direct Water into Gutters

I’ve noticed that the siding where the roof meets my house is rotted. The step flashing is installed properly, and the rest of the siding above that spot is in good condition. It’s clear that water is getting behind the siding where the drip edge and the siding meet, and behind the gutter cap as well. How can I get the water to run into the gutters instead of down and behind the siding?
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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

 

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Prepping for Spray Foam

Getting ready for a foam-insulation crew means doing a lot more than you'd think.

Spray-foam insulation is gaining popularity these days, and for good reason. Not only does it offer lots of R-value per inch, but it also air-seals the house. I’ve been building custom homes in North Carolina for more than 20 years, and I’ve been using spray-foam insulation for the past four. These days, all my projects get 8 in. to 12 in. of foam under the roof deck, and I often use foam to insulate walls and crawlspaces as well.
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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

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Why Add a Tank to a Tankless Water Heater

Mention tankless water heaters in a room full of plumbers, and the language can get heated pretty quickly—and that language isn't pretty.

Also known as demand water heaters, these compact units have long been used in Europe and in other parts of the world where energy costs are high. Here in the United States, we early adopters remember that in the 1980s, we installed units that roared like jet engines. The slower the hot water ran, the hotter it got, so adjusting the water temperature in the shower was often a challenge. Many of us installed tankless water heaters only to go back later to replace them with tank-type units.
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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

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Curved Ceiling? No Problem.

A cathedral ceiling can open up a room dramatically, but if the ceiling is framed with a massive structural ridge beam, the beam will be a challenge to hide. An obvious solution is either to use bigger rafters or to fur down the ceiling to hide the ridge. Oversize rafters are a waste of wood, so my three-person crew opts for furring. As long as we're installing furring, why not have fun and curve the ceiling? The furring turns a chore into a delightful, economical upgrade. Adding 1x4 furring to the framing package costs less than increasing the rafters to 2x12s or I-joists. We can install the backing and the curved furring on a 27-ft. by 27-ft. ceiling in about three hours.

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Reprinted with permission © 2007, The Taunton Press, Inc.

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Open Up the Ceiling With a Steel Sandwich

My company specializes in designing and building small homes, and I like to vault ceilings in small rooms — bedrooms and screened porches, commonly — that normally would have flat ceilings.

People love cathedral ceilings because they add drama and presence to interior spaces. A vaulted ceiling can make a small room look large rather than cramped and confined. So why are cathedral ceilings usually reserved for living rooms or other large public areas while small rooms get stuck with flat ceilings? Cost.

Scissors trusses or structural ridge beams are the common, expensive methods for incorporating cathedral ceilings in houses. For the past few years, though, my company has overcome this economic problem by using angled steel flitch plates supplied by a steel fabricator. As shown in the drawing below, the V-shaped plate is angled to match the roof peak, and it’s sandwiched between common rafters. Angled steel flitch plates work well for pyramid roofs but can be used to open gable roofs, too.
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Reprinted with permission © 2006, The Taunton Press, Inc.

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Offset Traps Make Space Under the Sink

In fall of 2004 we were pleased to be featured in Fine Homebuilding Magazine. We had a great visit from their special issues editor Charles Miller who came down from Connecticut to photograph a couple of our houses for possible inclusion in FHB. Below is the text of the article.

We try to squeeze every cubic foot of storage out of the houses we design. One of the handiest places to reach for extra storage is under the kitchen sink. But the plumbing can make this space awkward. You can modify a drawer to fit, but then you have an oddly shaped drawer. Instead, if you modify the plumbing, you can add normal drawers and useful storage.

Building codes regulate the positioning of the plumbing trap for kitchen sinks. Although the convention is often "as close as possible," in this area the maximum vertical offset from the inlet to the trap is 24" and the maximum horizontal offset from the inlet to the trap is 30". Staying well within these boundaries, you can reposition the trap and make plenty of room for drawers.

To relocate the trap, attach a PVC elbow designed for use with double-bowl sinks to the bottom of your sink, and run a trap arm towards the rear of the cabinet. Use another PVC elbow to turn the drain into this assembly, put a dishwasher tailpiece directly below the second elbow. Attach the trap adaptor below the dishwasher tailpiece, followed by the trap itself.

This design is also a great way to create knee space under the sink for handicap accessibility. And it works in Bathrooms, although the smaller area under a bathroom sink can mean the trap has to be hidden in the wall behind an access panel.

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Reprinted with permission © 2004, The Taunton Press, Inc.
Photos by Charles Miller

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Dedicated craftsmen having a great time building beautiful, high performance homes for enthusiastically satisfied clients.
Chandler Design-Build919-812-7478Michael@ChandlerDesignBuild.com
Mailing address - 3249 Henderson Field Rd. Mebane NC 27302
Office address – 1610 Jordan Drive, Saxapahaw NC 27340