Inspiration Home FAQ’s

With one more weekend of the Inspiration Home Open House to go (Aug 25, 26, 10-4) I am finally getting around to answering the most common questions. So here we go:

What is the …
Kitchen counter top?
“Absolute Black Satin” granite. It’s got a more rustic finish and you do have to clean it properly (but not annoyingly) every couple weeks or so. From Granite Gallery in Tumwater. They do a beautiful job and are a JOY to work with.

Bathroom counter top?
Soapstone “smoke” from Granite Gallery.

Master bathroom floor?
I spent two weekends telling people the floor was slate. It’s porcelain tile. Sorry. It’s called “urban concrete” and Granite Gallery spent a loooong day cutting big 24″ x 24″ tiles down to 4″ x 12″. And it looks so nice.

Bathroom shower stall?
The shower pan is a no-lip, ADA compliant, custom pan made of quartz stone and recycled glass. Granite Gallery has it cut in such a way that all the water goes down the drain. There is no standing water remaining.

Stain color on the kitchen walls?
It’s a Martha Stewart color. “Milk Pail,” I think. It IS a stain, though. Not paint. Over pine tongue-and-groove.

Living room wall color?
“Tahini” (HomeDepot MSL072 – Martha Stewart)

Hard wood floor?
The wood floors are solid oak with “natural color” stain from B&R Flooring in Lacey.

Kitchen cabinets?
These are DeWil’s cabinets through ProBuild of Olympia. ProBuild was involved with a lot of materials in the Inspiration Home and they were truly marvelous to work with.

Master bath cabinet?
This is a DeWil’s cabinet as well. The owner’s found a style they liked in a Pottery Barn catalog. They ordered a similar cabinet layout through ProBuild. Scott Homes added legs and the lower shelf and … there you have it!

Decking?
The front porch floor is concrete (and incidentally is sets the home up to be an easy ADA entry). The back deck is TREX from ProBuild in Olympia. (There’s lots and lots of TREX colors and textures out there so pick one you like.) It’s set on recycled content I joists and has a water drainage system so that rain water doesn’t drip onto the garage entryway below it.

What’s a …
Coffered ceiling?
This is a coffered ceiling.

SIP?
SIP stands for Structural Insulated Panel. It’s all we build homes with. We’ve written a bunch on this so here are some good links:
Questions about SIPs: Let’s start with the basics
SIPs Defined
DIY Network’s “Deconstruction” Dishes on SIPs
Are Thicker SIPs Worth the Money?

DHP?
DHP stands for Ductless Heat Pump. This is currently the most energy efficient residential heat source available. This is pretty much all we’re using in our houses these days. There are many DHP brands out there. We prefer Mistubishis because WE like them (so much so that we went through the factory training) but we have other DHPs available.
Check out DHPs Defined.

HRV?
HRV is Heat Recovery Ventilator. We like to use Lifebreath because of its excellent balance between performance and cost. Click the link; it has a great graphic on how an HRV works and why a home needs proper ventilation.

Do you have more information on …
Cost of the Inspiration Home?
Scott says he can build that home for around $450,000. Ish. But remember, the Inspiration Home is totally tricked out; you don’t neeed everything in your house (but we’ll be glad to build it that way if you like!)

Siding?
Siding is HardiePlank Custom Colonial lap siding from ProBuild in Olympia. This style was a new look for us on the Inspiration Home … and it looks pretty darn good, doesn’t it?

Solar panels?
The solar panel system on the Inspiration Home is one that allows you to start small and then add to as your budget allows. South Sound Solar installed it. We’re going to be monitoring it over the next couple years. Keep an eye on this blog for updates.

Solar water heater?
It’s a Velux hot water system installed by South Sound Solar. Water gets heated throughout the day. Electric heating rods inside the water tank supplements water heating needs.

Windows?
Gorgeous, aren’t they? Vinyl Tex Cardinal IG triple paned windows. There is no better vinyl window on the market. We ordered them through Vinyl Tex.

Rain gardens?
For the DIY-er, check out WSU’s site and look for the Rain Garden Handbook download. For the rest of us, Jeffrey B Glander did a great job on the Inspiration Home’s.

Where did you get the …
Lights?
We got most of the lighting from Olympia Lighting Center. The entryway chandelier was customized by Peter Bergford.

Furniture?
Phyl’s Furniture and Brown Derby Antiques were INCREDIBLY helpful. They both lent us some marvelous pieces to get the Inspiration Home staged and looking home-like.

And Lilly! Oh, Lilly of Lilly’s Custom Interiors! She really stepped up, picked out furniture pieces, organized the move and got the place looking beautiful in time for the grand opening.

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