Use standard dimensions to save money

Home design is a complex process that sometimes lead you to hundreds (or thousands) of decisions. But if you are a more practical person and would like to save some money preferred the standard dimensions while planing your house building.

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Ceiling Height

Normally in the US the standard ceiling height is about 8 feet. You also have standard materials to build a 10 feet ceiling but other that that you can have trouble finding some materials for framing. For the basement are a 8 feet height is pretty comfortable, but in some old houses you will see a lower height.

Doors and windows

Doors have a standard height of 80 inches and also have various standard widths. Windows are the big issue here, because you have a lot of variations depending on the brand you will chose. Take care during the windows selection, this one is an important item that have implications also in the comfort of your house during extreme weathers.

Interior doors usually will be hinged swing doors. These doors are limited to a maximum of 36 inches. Remember that if a person with disability will be living there the minimum width is 32 inches. With swing doors the effective opening normal is about 2 inches narrower than the door itself. Door to walk in closets have to respect a distance of 24 to 28 inches.


The minimum corridor width is 36 inches, but a more convenient width is 44 to 48 inches.


Kitchen counters normally have a standard height of 36 inches. Cabinets, ranges, ovens and dishwashers are standardize to this height. The width increments normally offered are 3 and 6 inches. If you are thinking about a unique kitchen cabinet with different measures be prepare to spend more money.

Understanding this process is really important if you want to save money while designing your new house. This decision, among many others, can help you to be align with a budget, and you have to think about that during the preparation phase. You can use this concept in other places of the house. Size the rooms, for example, to be align with the furniture. Identifying the appliances and furniture that you want to fulfill the kitchen and all other rooms will save a lot of money.



How your house works?

Today we are just in the flow of the 4th of July holiday week, so we decided to be soft on the technical aspects of our blog. The tip of the day is about a great reading if you are curious about HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS.

This is the title of a book that will help you understand the anatomy of your house systems (plumbing, electrical, foundation, etc). It is also a great book in terms of illustrations. The author is Charlie King, a home building expert that also specialized in writing great books with great visual art.

The book has 10 chapter, from Plumbing and Wiring to Windows and Framing and Foundation topics. In the day we are writing this post, At you can find it for $13.00 (Kindle Edition) – not a big price in terms of the content that is really good and easy to understand.

Of course it will not be a substitute of a professional help if something big is happening in your dishwasher, but at least you will not be completely lost when the repair team says that you are having a problem in the flapper of your toilet.

Enjoy the reading, and have a nice weekend.

Happy 4th of July

Image result for proud to be an american
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This day is a special day for USA, and our family is proud to live here. The values of this nation are unique: freedom, democracy and liberty, words that are important for all families and societies to understand.

Let’s remember this date and also the efforts that the founding fathers of this unique nation had in the past. Let’s celebrate, and share the joy of this moment.

Water spending: You probably don’t know the numbers

Water is a big problem in some regions of USA because of a lack of lakes and water treatment related with conservation rules. So it is quite frequent for a lot of houses to have a water well.

Pie chart of our water use

Many people underestimate the amount of water they use. Here you have some interesting numbers related with that:

  1. Dishwasher: can use up to 16 gallons of water per cycle (old models). EnergyStar ® models use 6 gallons or less per wash cycle and also save electricity.
  2. Shower: A low-flow shower-head uses about two gallons a minute, or 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower. A standard shower-head uses 2.5 gallons a minute, or 25 gallons for 10 minutes.
  3. Toilet: water use can vary significantly. Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush. Federal plumbing standards now specify that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF), and there are high efficiency toilets that use up to 1.28 GPF.

In Massachusetts the estimated average of water use per person per day is around 75 gallons. For a family of 4 they have to be prepared to use 300 gallons per day of water (if you don’t have a large garden with an irrigation system).

Think about these numbers if you are installing a new well in your house.

Water use and population growth chart
Source: EPA website