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hoef

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Posts posted by hoef

  1. I concur... wonderful photos.

    Which bldg is the one porchman and lockmat singled out. You've managed to shoot that building in such a unique and wonderful way that i cant even identify it.

    Cool pics!! Thanks ... Likewise I wonder which building this is....

  2. I am looking to get a swimming pool. I would like input on builders. I live in Cinco SW. Also, any input (pros/cons) on decking and coping would be nice too. I have 2 small children and would like it for recreational purposes. Also, is it any cheaper to build in the winter? Thanks!

    We are in a similar situation and are currently evaluating Platinum Pools, Cascade Pools and our contractor's guy (haven't seen him yet). Platinum pools is the only company I found with a decent website (http://www.platinumpools.com/) that has offerings in various price ranges. Our neighbors used Cascade. It is like buying a car ugh.

  3. Hi,

    Sorry first of all for posting my rant but I just have had it with foundation repair guys. First I wasted months to get John Pfister to stop by and check our foundation and lately I am being trying to get Bill Marks to visit me. Bill Marks is a little better because you can actually talk to him some times (John always just left had has his wife answer the phone). However Bill is never in reach of his agenda, always promises to call back (never does) and we even made an appointment for today and he doesn't show up ARGH.

    What is up with foundation men?

    I need a third recommendation for a pier and beam specialist .... thanks!

    Ok I stand corrected .... Bill did show up late in the afternoon and gave a reasonable quote for lifting

  4. Hi,

    Sorry first of all for posting my rant but I just have had it with foundation repair guys. First I wasted months to get John Pfister to stop by and check our foundation and lately I am being trying to get Bill Marks to visit me. Bill Marks is a little better because you can actually talk to him some times (John always just left had has his wife answer the phone). However Bill is never in reach of his agenda, always promises to call back (never does) and we even made an appointment for today and he doesn't show up ARGH.

    What is up with foundation men?

    I need a third recommendation for a pier and beam specialist .... thanks!

  5. Relatively pricey though compared to the area she originally asked about and while certainly pleasant enough, not what I'd call a hip neighbourhood.

    Hip wasn't listed as a requirement and with a one year old being hip might be the last thing on you mind. You can't beat the hipness of the Europeans in our neighborhood anyway ;-)

  6. I would urge you to also consider Southgate (near Rice U) .... Southgate neighborhood is defined by University Blvd, Greenbriar, Main St and Holcomb. You would be close to the Rice Village and very close to Roberts Elementary which has a great play yard setup for the neighborhood. There are many moms with recent babies and it is a true neighborhood were a lot of folks know each other with block parties and socials. Also a lot of expats, internationals, professors and doctors ......

  7. Hello,

    I am contemplating the enormous task of refinishing my existing wooden kitchen cabinets. They are real wood and only have a varnish. Essentially I want to sand them and re-varnish them again. I am looking for some tips:

    1. What kind of sander do you recomment? I have a circular one but I am afraid it will leave scratches
    2. Do you recommend to varnish tem with a roller or a good quality paint brush?

    Any other tips welcome too .... thanks so much

    Hoef

  8. I just did one of these for a client in a wheel chair. We busted the bathroom floor out all the way to the slab. Then we sloped the whole bathroom floor toward the drain with concrete (1/4" of slope per linear foot away from the drain I believe) Then we put the shower pan liner on top of that.We extended the shower pan almost all the way across the room. We had our shower pan test to ensure that the pan held water and did in fact drain quickly toward the drain when the the drain was opened. Then we floated the shower pan liner with concrete, again sloping toward the drain. Then we tiled on top of that. The client requested small "curbs/thresholds" at both ends of the shower just to make sure water stayed in the shower at the corners. We thinset bricks down to the floor and tiled over them. But we could have left that out and had a threshold-less shower.

    flipper

    Ahh ... cool thanks for sharing. That is exactly what I want to do.

  9. The door does not even have to touch the floor at all. It is just commonly done that way to keep water in. There is no requirement to do it that way.

    EDIT: Oh, are you talking about the raised portion under the door? There are ways to recess the shower pan or slope it to get around that ridge.

    Yeah I was thinking of sloping the tile floor towards the drain but have the door directly on the tile. Just don't want to face some code violation couple of years down the road during an inspection when I sell the house.

  10. Inasmuch as these kind of things mean anything at all, it seems fair to say that Houston would have the best claim to be energy capital of the US and the world. I'm certainly not aware of any other city that is as dependent on the energy bidness; certainly not Doha. That said, the economies as a whole of the Gulf states are of course centered around oil and gas production, so in that sense the region is the energy capital of the world.

    Agree, though I would expand it a little and say the Gulf of Mexico region is the energy center of the world

  11. Hi,

    Just curious to find out if any of these contemporary prefab constructions exist in Houston (similar to those found in: http://fabprefab.com/fabfiles/fablisthome.htm). Also is there any thing in the Houston code preventing these from going up? Mind you, these are not sloppy throwaway constructions but high quality green buildings ....

    I really like these two: http://www.rocioromero.com/ and http://www.marmolradzinerprefab.com/

    Any thoughts appreciated.....

  12. Wow.. that looks like a heck of a program for being free.. I'll have to check it out.

    However, it doesnt look like it has nearly as quick the learning curve as sketchup.

    i think for niche wants to convey, the easiest solution would be to import his existing cad files in to sketchup and he should be able to have a model within a few hours.

    Agree it is pretty complex but if you know your way around Maya it should be easy to pickup....

  13. Here's the scenario: I have some ideas that I'm trying to effectively communicate to investors and contractors. 2D top-down drawings have proven insufficient because there are complicating factors relating to code-compliant rise and run of stairs, headroom, the positioning of landings, doorways, corridors, trusses, etc. This isn't new construction, so I've mostly got to work around what's already there. Does anybody know of decent software that I can use to make 3D renderings of my designs so that I can avoid having to hire out an architect?

    Back when I was in high school, I used the map editor for the Half Life game (run on the Quake engine) to recreate my own house digitally and to make a veritable war zone out of it. I don't have the software anymore, unfortunately, but I know from playing around with it so many years ago that I could make due with it, if that's all I had. So if that or some kind of freeware is available, that would work too.

    If you want to go more complex try Blender

    http://www.blender.org/

  14. This is a multiple part question about possibly building a garage apartment in the Heights area.

    (1) What are the financial advantages and disadvantages to garage apartments. Any figures on return on investment aside from renting it out?

    (2) What would be the best course of action to getting quotes? I'm assuming I should have plans ready to receive equivalent bids.

    (3) Any recommendations as far as designers and/or contractors?

    (4) Estimated price? I don't have much room and it will most likely be a max of 24 x 24. $100/sq.ft.?

    We've been looking into garage apts as well .... still haven't made the decision though.

    1) Not sure. The space can't be counted towards your house sqft because it is detached. So you are lucky to get your initial investment back bt not more than that

    2) Call a couple of builders

    3) We had Harvard Heights come by but they weren't very responsive to our request. Rod Frego quoted $80k finished for a 22' x 30' garage + apt. All Star construction quoted $80k for shell and $100k finished

    4) see 3)

  15. I would be glad to answer questions about old house stuff, in particular Pier and Beam construction.

    At no charge :o

    Hi Innerlooper,

    Thanks for your offer. I have a 1938 two story and it seems that the garden is "caving" in, or that the housing is getting higher. What is noticeable is that more of the foundation is exposed on the garden site. We also have cracks all the time. We had a foundation guy coming by and he said that the house is pretty much level and that watering the garden should cause it to rise again. Curious for a second opinion. BTW the foundation guy is Bonilla. Pfister is perpetually unreachable.

    Tx,

    Hoef

  16. I wanted to see if anyone on this forum has personally worked with Su Nguyen and MDGI/StudioMet for a residential Design and Build. I would like to know about your experiences, both pros and cons, and your overall satisfaction, etc.

    Also, if you have any recommendation for other architects with a leaning toward modern/contemporary please share.

    We are contemplating building a home on a fairly modest budget (for a custom home).

    Thanks.

    Hi,

    We really like their work and the quality is outstanding (steel + concrete). Allen Bianchi makes cardboard houses compared to them. We talked with MDGI about a potential project but the price is quite steep (~$200 / sqft) so we let it go (for now). But they were very courtious and open about the project, plan, budget, possibilities etc... I would be curious to learn from others on the board that did go forward with a MDGI house. I am hoping that the price will come down due to the down turn.... Would go with them hands down for $150 / sqft.

    We also like MC2 and we also talked to them ($150 - $180 / sqft) http://mc2architects.com/index.htm.

    And lastly Intexture ($200 / sqft) http://www.intexure.com/

    What is your budget?

  17. What are the best stores in Houston to buy modern furniture like the stuff found at Ikea but higher quality?

    On my list of stores to check out so far are...

    Bo Concept

    High Fashion Store

    Eurway

    Pottery Barn

    Crate and Barrel

    Macy's

    JCPenny

    Dillard's

    Room Store

    Danish Inspirations

    ugh .... true contemporary furniture at Design Within Reach (dwr.com) or Kuhl-Linscomb (www.kuhl-linscomb.com) .... I remember there is also a Minotti and a B&B Italia shore in Houston (google it and you'll find). And lastly Ligne Roset.

    Kuhl-Linscomb is really cool, they have 5 small houses that are all shops .... they are located next to the Wholefoods (Kirby / West Alambama)

    BTW .... definitely better than Ikea, definitely more expensive than Ikea :-(

  18. Since we own all the houses we remodel I don't really have experience as a "general contractor".

    So, out of curiosity, how much do you think a general contractor should make as "profit" on a $10,000 bathroom remodel or a $25,000 kitchen remodel?

    I'm looking forward to the contractors on the forums opinions as well as homeowners who have sub'd out their own remodels and people who have hired people.

    flipper

    Most quotes that I have received that breakout contractor take show about 10% for the gen contractor. Not saying it is right or wrong but that is what I have seen

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