Archives: Design & Planning

Say Goodbye To Cheap Light Bulbs

By Todd Fratzel on Energy Conservation

Incandescent Light Bulbs No More The end of the road has finally come for the cheap light bulb. As of January 1, 2014 incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured or imported into the United States. The original law to ban them back in 2007 was delayed with larger 100 watt and 75 watt…

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Custom Colonial Style Fireplace Mantel

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry, Interior Decorating

Custom Fireplace Mantel There’s something about a beautiful fireplace and mantel that really makes a home feel warm and inviting. A fireplace mantel can also be a beautiful prominent architectural feature. I’ve built a couple custom mantels over the years and the one featured in this article is my latest one in our new home.…

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How To Install A Wall Safe

By Todd Fratzel on Closets & Storage, Safety

Installing a Biometric Wall Safe Many home owners choose to buy safes for their home to protect valuable jewelry, documents and even guns. One of the more popular choices today are the biometric wall safes. Installing a safe in the wall provides extra security and takes up very little room. In addition, the cost of…

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Fall Protection – OSHA Guideline for Residential Construction

By Todd Fratzel on Safety

Fall Protection Systems for OSHA compliant Residential Construction If you’ve ever worked on a roof, scaffolding, or pump jacks 2 or 3 stories high you know it can be a bit frightening. But like we often do in the construction industry, we grin and bare it, never complaining, never admitting our fear or vulnerability. But…

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Dust Containment at a Health Care Facility

By Todd Fratzel on Safety

Containing Dust at Nursing Home During Renovation Work Dust certainly seems to be one of the hottest safety topics in the construction industry for the last few years since the EPA announced sweeping new Lead Paint Laws. Working in and around health care facilities increases the possibility of infection transfer according to recent studies. Obviously…

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Planning A Home Addition – Ten Tips To Consider

By Todd Fratzel on Design & Planning

Adding Living Space with an Addition Every year thousands of home owners decide to add an addition to their home for increased living space, more functionality or simply a new look to their home. Before jumping head first into an addition to your home look over my list of the top ten things to consider…

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Farmers Porch On Colonial Style House

By Todd Fratzel on Curb Appeal, Decks & Porches, House Plans

Farmers Porch When I designed our new house my wife only had a couple of must haves. The biggest wish on her list was a full length farmers porch. I was skeptical at first because I wasn’t exactly sure how our large colonial style home would look with such a large porch on it. As…

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Building Material Costs Outpacing Inflation

By Todd Fratzel on Construction Costs

Bad News for New Home Construction Market January 2013 – A recent article from the LA Times is painting a bad picture for builders this year. The cost of essential building materials are rising significantly and blowing past the cost of inflation. Combine this with the low appraisals that lenders are handing out and we’ve…

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