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Design Concept Challenge: Warmer Look to Cathedral Ceiling than Drywall

Tongue & Groove Painted Pine Ceiling
Our clients has 3 growing boys and 1 good sized dog and were finding their existing space to be too confining. We were hired to add a family room addition to a modestly sized 4 bedroom colonial in Ridgefield, CT. They indicated they’d like a warmer look to their cathedral ceiling than the stark appearance offered by drywall. We referred to our photo gallery of past jobs for alternatives that might fit the bill.

T&G Painted Pine Ceiling 2

We had achieved excellent results and very favorable response from clients and architects using painted tongue & groove pine with 1 key detail added. As we were using center-match T&G stock, we wanted to avoid the inevitable inconsistent gapping that would occur as the material dried over time.

T&G Painting Pine Ceiling 3

We ran our 16 foot T&G stock through our table saw and removed about 1/8” on the groove side along its length. Doing this insures that when each length is butted up to the adjacent length, the tongue will bottom out in the groove and the finished ceiling will align with a consistent 1/8” spacing between boards. 1/8” is too large a gap for paint to bridge it, so when painted, the ceiling yields a continuous, finished look which doesn’t vary visibly with climate generated material expansion and contraction. Result was spectacular!

T&G Painted Ceiling 4

The construction progress of this Ridgefield Family Room Addition can be seen on 2 previous Titus Built posts.  http://bit.ly/haQ0Cv

Going Green: Where to Start?

Conserve Energy - Go Green

1. Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature as needed, and can easily save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

2. Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
A CFL bulb uses 50-75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

3. Use rechargeable batteries to keep dead batteries out of landfills.
Rechargeable batteries have 32 times less impact on the environment and use a fraction of the natural resources disposables do.

4. Choose and use appliances wisely.
Look for the Energy Star™ label on new appliances to choose the most energy-efficient products available, and remember to shut off appliances when not in use. Computers, televisions, and other electronics use a surprising amount of energy on “sleep” or “standby” mode.

5. Don’t do the dishes!
Good news: an energy-efficient dishwasher is more “green” than hand-washing a sink full of dirty dishes.

6. Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazed models.
This requires some initial investment, but will halve the energy lost through your windows and reap rewards in the long term.

7. Insulate and weatherize your home.
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill.

8. Heat only the space you occupy.
Close off rarely used rooms, and heat only just prior to use.

9. Take a shower instead of a bath.
A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow shower heads instead.

10. Use less hot water.
Hot water requires a lot of energy. Install a low-flow shower head and wash your clothes in cold or warm water instead.

11. Be sure you’re recycling at home.
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.

12. Expand your recycling to composting.
Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Composting creates a useful product from organic waste that would otherwise have been land-filled. If you have a garden, your soil will love compost.

13. Plant a tree.
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10% to 15%.

14. Buy an electric lawn mower.
According to the EPA, the average gasoline mower emits the same amount of hydrocarbons in one hour as a 1992 Ford Explorer emits in over 23,600 miles. An electric lawn mower will save you, on average, 73% on lawn care costs and is better for the environment.

15. Buy locally grown and produced foods.
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

16. Buy in bulk.
Not only will you save fuel by making fewer trips to the grocery store, you will also consume less packaging material.

17. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can.
This practice cuts down on waste production and energy use.

18. Reuse your shopping bag.
Save energy and waste by using your own reusable bags instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop.

19. Keep your car tuned up.
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

20. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated.
Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by as much as 4.5%

Ask the Expert: Ladder Safety


Photo: Gutter Cleaning Service, Dallas, TX

With spring’s arrival, you might feel the urge to get outside and start your yard work early. Ladders are useful tools, but if you do not follow the proper safety tips, you could fall and hurt yourself.

A few useful tips that will help make any ladder project safer…

  • Have someone you trust hold the ladder.
  • Before climbing a ladder, make sure the bottom rails are resting on a dry, level surface and the top rails are on firm surfaces.
  • Make sure your shoelaces are securely tied and you are wearing appropriate footwear.
  • Face the ladder while climbing and stay in the center of the rails.
  • Don’t overreach, and do not lean over the side of the ladder; it’s safer to move the ladder to a new location when needed.
  • Don’t try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location while standing on it.

If you do fall from a ladder you should –

  • Get up slowly, if you are able.
  • If you feel like you have an injury which prevents standing or walking, call for assistance. If the injury is serious, call 911.
  • If you are not injured, rest for awhile before putting your tools away and calling Titus Built to finish the job for you.

Okay, weekend warrior, you are ready for battle … Just remember that ladders are useful tools, but they should always be used properly to avoid a trip to the emergency room!

-Robert Mondello