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FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014




Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Tips for making your dining room reflect your lifestyle By Joseph Pubillones CREATORS.COM


ining rooms are stellar rooms for drama. Just think of the exquisite scenes set in “Downton Abbey’s” dining rooms. For foodies and aficionados of interior design, dining rooms are often the most important room of the house. Whether you love intimate dinners or enjoy large dinner parties, there are certain considerations. Do you entertain often, or do you have a hectic schedule and mostly serve

pre-prepared foods? Whatever your scenario, the decor of your dining room is as important as the food that is served there. Many older formal homes have separate dining rooms, whereas others are part of a great room or just a dining area. Whatever your home layout or decorating style, you have choices. The shape and size of the dining table says a lot about the homeowners’ lifestyle and entertaining preferences. DINING » 3

Whether you love intimate dinners or enjoy large dinner parties, there are certain considerations. Do you entertain often, or do you have a hectic schedule and mostly serve pre-prepared foods? Whatever your scenario, the decor of your dining room is as important as the food that is served there.

The design of your dining room should reflect your lifestyle. CREATORS.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSEPH PUBILLONES

Welcome to Sunnyside Gardens!



Beautiful healthy bedding plants, flowers, vegetables, hanging baskets, planted containers, seed potatoes & peony root stock

We’ve noticed an increase in the number of people who have difficulty selling their properties. These properties may have public health and safety problems and do not meet local zoning standards. Financial institutions are reluctant to loan to potential buyers of these properties.



By obtaining a Borough zoning permit before construction, you can help ensure your development is marketable in the future. The Borough Planning Department issues zoning permits for projects both inside and outside city limits.

Sign up for weekly drawings

There is no charge for a zoning permit. Usually we can have your zoning permit completed and back to you within 24 hours.


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The Planning Department is located on the second floor of the Borough Administrative Building, 809 Pioneer Road. If you have any questions, please call us at 459-1260.




Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, April 25, 2014

DINING Continued from 2 Choosing wisely will enhance the diners’ experience. Generally, rectangular tables are better for a large number of people. Oval or oblong tables are ideal for medium-sized groups of five or six. Square or round tables work best for those who prefer intimate dining. Most everyone loves a round table. However, remember that when a round table increases in size, it gets wider, thus making it difficult for guests


BUILDING AND HOME IMPROVEMENT to talk to and hear one another across the table. A round table also needs to be larger than a rectangular table to seat the same number of people. A general rule in choosing the shape and size of the table is to follow the architecture of the room. For example, have your table be similar to the shape and proportion of the room — a square or circular table for a square room, a rectangular table for a rectangular room, etc. For those who entertain often, the trend today is to use two smaller round or rectangular tables instead of one

large table. This way, while entertaining, the hostess can sit at one and the host at the other. It also adds an intimacy that is lost at one large table. A more casual and current approach to dining is a higher table (with higher chairs). Inspired by bar seating, this is popular among young families and singles who don’t want a formal dining look. Countertops also are used for dining to make the best use of small spaces. The most important factor when choosing a dining table is the size of the room. A table that is too large will make

it difficult for guests to get in and out of the dining area. There should be sufficient room to pull out chairs (at least 36 inches) and move around. Conversely, if the table is too small, the room will look out of proportion. Materials used for the dining table are often dictated by the style of decor. For example, more traditional styles rely on traditional woods, whereas contemporary styling might suggest a metal or glass table. The style of your dining room should reflect the look of the rest of the home and, above all else, your lifestyle.

View our Building and Home Improvement edition

Are you thinking about home remodeling?

online at

Call us today! 451-0632

Licensed • Bonded • Insured


Mike Ness, owner



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Friday, April 25, 2014

How to keep that roof over your head Tips for when to repair or replace your roof By Chelle Cordero CREATORS.COM


ost of us have heard the phrase “keeping a roof over our heads.” For many homeowners, that’s a literal concern. Household roofs experience weathering, falling debris, and wind or water damage. A roof may leak and require better insulation; supports might need replacing. Or a homeowner could want a new roof for purely aesthetic reasons. Owens Corning, a well-known manufacturer of building products, offers some indications that your roof may need repair or replacement: • Shingle edges are curled or shingle tabs are cupped, bald or cracked. • Your roof is at least 20 years old, or other homes in the area that were built at the same time need roof repair. • The roof looks worn, has dark (algae) streaks or has moss growing on it. Moss

and algae can be removed, but it’s best to contact a professional contractor to avoid damage. When choosing new roof materials, consider the slope (pitch) of the roof, sun exposure, local temperature, weather, storms and yearly climate. (Roofs with 25 percent slope or more are considered pitched.) Check for local ordinances and building and fire codes. A new roof usually costs a homeowner anywhere from $7,000 to $36,000 without structural repairs or modifications, and the life expectancy and durability of the material should be considered. Thanks to newer technology, many of the roofing materials that previously were not considered flame retardant are now treated to increase safety. According to William A. Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, all steep-slope roof systems have basic components: shingles, tile, slate or metal and the underlayment that protects the sheathing from weather; sheathing (boards attached to rafters to cover a house), rafters and trusses to support the sheathing; flashing used at joints to prevent leaks; and the roof’s ability to shed water.

Depending on the roof’s age, the existing material and the reason for the repair, a partial re-roofing could be an option. While this may save money in immediate materials, there are other considerations. There are limits to the layers on the roof, and this might not expose problems with the sheathing or underlayment, and new and old color lots may not match. Consider both your short- and long-term savings and needs. Think about regional influences and budget when deciding on materials. The most common and generally the least expensive pitched roof cover is the asphalt shingle, also called composition shingles. Asphalt shingles are made with fiberglass, asphalt and tiny embedded stones that help protect the roof from the sun’s damaging rays. These roofs have an average life span of 15 to 20 years. The architectural asphalt shingle is a heavier version with fewer crevices for debris that lasts approximately 30 to 50 years. Clay tiles come curved or flat, color-glazed and in a variety of surface textures. A clay tile roof could last as long as 100 years with low maintenance requirements and increased fire protection. Drawbacks to clay tiles include

weight, which may require reinforcing roof trusses, fragility (they can break or chip if walked on or hit by tree branches) and cost. Concrete tile is generally composed of cement, sand and water and is also very heavy. These tiles have a long lifespan of 30 to 40 years and are low maintenance and durable. Normally a class-A fire-rated roofing system, concrete tile is durable enough to walk on, energy-efficient and a natural insulation to noise. Recyclable metal roofing materials include steel, aluminum, copper and alloy strips. Metal is fire-resistant, lightweight, nearly maintenance-free, energy efficient and durable — lasting 50 to 75 years. Natural slate stone is fireproof and waterproof and is frequently used in historic homes. It requires little maintenance and has a long life span of as many as 200 years. Like clay tile, slate is a heavy material. Metal and slate are among the most expensive of all roofing materials. Synthetic slate (rubber composite) is lighter and less expensive than natural stone and is made from recycled materials. It will last 40 to 60 years and is practically maintenance-free.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner



How to add a room over the garage By Pat Logan CREATORS.COM

Dear Pat: I need some additional living space for my family and for an apartment in which my parents will live someday. I was thinking of adding a room above my two-car garage. Is this a feasible project, and how should I design it? Jen D. Dear Jen: It certainly is a feasible project to add a room or apartment over an existing garage. This is actually not uncommon now, as the poor economy has forced many elderly parents to move in with their children. It is much less expensive to increase your living area this way as compared with adding a room on ground level. Also, often the lot is too small to add another room on the ground. Before you start spending any money for an architect’s designs or on contractors, check with your local zoning and building codes department. For example, there may be restrictions on how tall a building can be within a certain

distance of the side lot line. Keep in mind that you will need stairs for access to the new room, which will increase the width of the existing garage. Once you find you can build the new second-story room and not violate zoning, contact a construction engineer to determine whether your garage walls can support a second-story apartment. This might cost a little more than just relying on a contractor or architect, but the peace of mind is worth the extra expense. Most attached garages are constructed with a framed or block wall, both of which are strong enough to support a second-story room above them. A detached garage requires more careful examination. If it will support the room, it is easier to add the new room to a detached garage because you have four exterior walls with which to work. The least expensive way to build the new room and to have the most floor space is to make it the exact same size as the garage below. Unless your budget is extremely tight, it would look a lot better to

offset the walls of the new room back just a little. At least in the front, offset it enough to create a small roof area. You can discuss it with your architect, but a target of about 85 percent to 90 percent of the area of the garage is good for the new room. On the two sides and perhaps also in the front, include a bump-out or maybe a bay window to break up the long flat walls. A small bumpout can provide room for a small closet or storage shelves. This might be a good time replace your garage door. A more decorative garage door, perhaps a carriage-style roll-up one, can also help to break up the appearance of a tall, wide, flat wall. With a heated and cooled room above the garage, installing a more efficient garage door can minimize the increase in utility bills to condition the new room. Plan the roof so its line is at the same angle as the house. If this is not possible, make it different enough to complement the existing house roof. This can be accomplished with the slope, roofing material or color.


KNOW THE LAW Local developers, engineers, surveyors, and contractors should be aware of the storm water plan review and permitting requirements in the urbanized area of Fairbanks.

LIMIT YOUR RISK! LIMIT YOUR LIABILITY! If your total disturbed area equals or exceeds 10,000 SF in the City of Fairbanks or 1.0 acre in the City of North Pole or the Fairbanks North Star Borough, you should contact the City or Borough to ensure you are complying with local requirements!

IT’S THE LAW Obtain all necessary approvals before you dig!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jackson Fox City of Fairbanks/North Pole 459-6758 OR


David Bredlie FNSB 459-1356 OR stormwatermanagementprogram/


Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Breathing space Make bedrooms look, feel bigger By Sharon Naylor CREATORS.COM


ll of the bedrooms in your home can look and feel larger and airier, without the enormous task of knocking down walls or undertaking a huge construction job. It just takes a few easy and often inexpensive interior design tricks to make it seem like you have higher ceilings and lots of extra space. Here are the top tips for making your bedrooms look and feel bigger: 1) Choose beautiful wall colors. Stephanie Saul, design blogger at the Fab You Bliss website, said, “Light and brightly colored walls are more reflective, so painting your small room with such colors can go miles in making a space feel open and airy.” Saul said lighter, more neutral

colors open up a room, while dark hues tend to make a room feel smaller than it is. Cool colors like champagne, light yellow, light blue and light lavender can make the walls appear to recede and the room looks larger. White can be too stark for walls, but a white or ecru shade on the ceiling creates the illusion that the ceiling is higher up. 2) The design experts at Lowe’s website suggest using a monochromatic color scheme on bed linens, rugs, walls and furniture. “Select different shades and textures of your single color,” they said. When there’s less contrast between colors on the larger elements of the room — walls, bed, furniture — the eye blurs the dimensions of the room instead of seeing blocky colors that minimize the space. 3) Use lots of glass. Saul suggests a glass coffee table, since glass tables reflect light and “help maintain a sense of airiness in the room.” And decor elements made of glass, including lamps with glass accents on the base,

also work toward enlarging the space. 4) Hang mirrors. By reflecting light coming in from windows and from lighting fixtures and lamps, mirrors can create a spacious look, especially when hung across from each other on opposite walls. Saul says that a mirror hung in a dark corner isn’t ideal, so look for the lighter spaces in the room and let a mirror work magic there. 5) Add more light. Wall sconces, skylights and torchieres can open up a room. Hanging a pretty chandelier above the bed or over a sitting space by windows has become trendy. And switch from heavy curtains to sheers so that more natural light can get in through the windows. 6) Choose light-colored flooring. Lowe’s design experts said light oak or a light-colored carpet can make a room look bigger and brighter, whereas a dark rug and dark hardwood floors work against your space-creating efforts. 7) Choose furniture in ideal

Create the illusion that your bedroom is larger. CREATORS.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF HOME-DESIGNING

sizes. A big, heavy dresser will shrink the space and may create an unbalanced feel in a room filled with smaller pieces. A king-size bed still has a place in a bedroom, since all of these steps create the effect of added space. 8) Use round furniture. Saul said round pieces can “cut the rigidness and allow for more flow in the room.” Bedside and coffee tables should be rounded, as should chair arms and the shape of the headboard. 9) Choose one big piece of artwork, rather than lots of

smaller framed pieces. The Lowe’s team said one large painting adds visual interest without a cluttered effect. 10) Eliminate clutter. Remove all tchotchkes and small frames from dressers, tables and shelving units, and store them in a collectibles box out of sight. Organize books on bookshelves as well to create orderly stacks, and if possible, display only books in lighter, neutral colors that coordinate with the monochromatic colors of your room. Brighter and darker books can be stored away.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner



Makeover ideas to liven up a small terrace By Sharon Naylor CREATORS.COM


f your apartment or condo has a small terrace, the warm weather of spring and summer should ignite you to make the most of that great spot for entertaining (even if you just have space for two). Imagine stepping out onto your terrace to breathe in the fresh air, perhaps do your morning yoga, serve breakfast al fresco or welcome friends for a terrace cocktail party. Here are the top tips to make your small terrace an enjoyable extension of your home: • Before you start planning your design makeover, it’s important to get permission from your building manager, as many buildings have strict rules about what can and can’t be changed. • Choose a color palette. You might use the same color palette as your living room, so that the inside and outside share a space-expanding monochromatic look (a top trick of home designers for making spaces look roomier.) Or, as SPG Architects’ design experts suggest, match the colors you see in the scenery and buildings around you, such as tan, brown and trendy gray neutrals. Or, as Cortney Novogratz, host of HGTV’s “Home by Novogratz” said,

Make a small terrace into a new and wonderful space for relaxing or entertaining. CREATORS.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF HOMESDIR

choose bright colors. “To make your environment pop with character, invest your budget in bright throw pillows (and) a colorful carpet,” Novogratz said. Top colors for outdoor living spaces include magentas, jewel-toned purples and blues and

ocean blues. If you prefer a more Zen-like space, sage green shades are popular. • Upgrade your seating. Add a small wrought iron bistro table and two matching chairs, or a brightly colored plastic Adirondack chair or two for reclining. Include a low-set table for setting down drinks or your tablet next to your seats. • Add flooring. An outdoor, weatherproof area rug adds comfort for your bare feet and the rug’s color, pattern and texture provide a fresh foundation for your new terrace style. • Add storage. Outdoor-specified ottomans can open up for storage space during the warmer months and provide extra seating for guests. • Bring in textiles. Colorful, patterned outdoor-designated pillows placed on each chair or bench add visual flair to your space, and your bistro table can call for a new, small tablecloth in touchable fabric, and coordinating color. And for cooler mornings or evenings, keep comfy throw blankets handy so that you and guests can enjoy the space even when there’s a breeze or chill in the air. • Go green. Potted plants and flowers add life to small terrace spaces, whether set in planters on the ground or lining freestanding or hung shelves. You also can

grow kitchen herbs in a planter for fresh ingredients in your foods and cocktails. One trend in garden design is the vertical wall, a shelving unit that holds an impressive, lush collection of potted plants and flowers and stands tall against a sidewall of your terrace. • Add lighting. Strung white lights add festive lighting to your space, and LED light cubes or flameless candles create a cozy, romantic and relaxing feel to your terrace. Some condo owners can install new lighting fixtures to modernize this space. • Add sound. There’s no need to call in an electrician to wire your terrace for the piping-in of music. Small wireless speakers can be carried outside and placed on a shelf to add music to your space. (Just bring them inside after each use.) • Accessorize. Novogratz suggests decorating with unusual art: “It doesn’t have to be expensive. Cool accessories help define a space in an exciting way.” Add outdoor-safe pottery pieces, interesting stones or geodes and Etsy-finds such as stone coasters imprinted with botanical or seashell motifs. Wooden signs made from repurposed materials — purchased or made by you — add character and perhaps whimsy to your space.



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If propane service is on your to-do list, take advantage of our new customer offer. Sign up for service by May 31 and receive a free home inspection, including leak/pressure check, appliance inspection and tank inspection, plus half off your first year tank rental. Also, ask us how you can save time with our convenient auto-fill program. Call Crowley today.

456-6040 452-1181


328.4500 170 E Van Horn Rd.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Questions to ask before upgrading your home heating system The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life. Visit the Cold Climate Housing Research Center online at This piece originally ran in February. By CCHRC staff

Q: Should I consider replacing my heating system? A: If you’re thinking about replacing your heating system, here are some questions to ask yourself. A “yes” to any of them may warrant a call to an energy rater or heating contractor. •




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Have you recently upgraded the thermal envelope of your house? The thermal envelope of your house is everything that separates the living space from the outside, including walls, doors, windows, insulation and the roof. If you’ve been sealing leaks, eliminating drafts, replacing old windows with double-pane or triple-pane models or adding insulation, you’ve been making your home more energy efficient. With thermal envelope upgrades, the home will lose less heat in the winter and therefore the heating appliance likely won’t need to provide as much energy. Depending on the reduction in energy use, it’s possible that your heating appliance could become oversized and a smaller system may operate more efficiently • Is your current heating appliance more than 20 years old? Technology marches on. Appliances made today are far more efficient than older models. Not only do they use less fuel, they are also safer and come with more advanced controls to improve efficiency. Also, the methods to size a heating system are better and can be tailored to individual homes. • Is your house uncomfortable? Do you have rooms that are always too hot or too cold? This can be the result of air leaks, inadequate insulation, an improperly sized heating appliance or lack of zoning in your heating system. Start with a call to an energy rater to find out which improvements you can make to solve this problem. If you need to add insulation or seal leaks, take care of that before upgrading your heating system so that the heating system will be sized properly for your home.

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• Who to call? Energy raters will examine your entire house, measuring doors and windows, checking insulation levels, assessing your heating system and testing air leakage rates. The rater will input the data collected from the home inspection into AKWarm — software maintained by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. AKWarm then calculates a home’s theoretical energy requirements, which it prints out as part of an energy rating certificate. This rating describes how efficient different components of your home are on a point scale. Also included in the rating are suggestions to improve performance, which may or may not include the heating system. The rating will help prioritize upgrades, show the energy benefits of each one, and may qualify you for the Alaska Home Energy Rebate Program. Heating contractors will focus specifically on your heating system, evaluating its current efficiency and whether it is sized properly. A contractor can sometimes test for the efficiency of the distribution system (depending on the type) and can give you tips for improving your current system or investing in new appliances. Ask a Builder articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. If you have a question, contact us at or 457-3454.

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Visit the Cold Climate Housing Research Center online at

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, April 25, 2014



Modern tubs are longer, cleaner, freestanding By Sharon Naylor CREATORS.COM


athrooms have become the new stars of home design. No longer just a place to shower, apply makeup and shave, the bathroom is the new oasis of the home, a place to relax and unwind. That is why spending on bathroom remodels is now almost on par with spending on kitchen remodels. Hamish Kofoed, design manager at Mico Designs Ltd., said, “Bathroom design trends for 2014 revolve around the bathroom as a sanctuary, with lush elegant lighting, rich stone and tile work, and luxuriantly deep freestanding tubs. It’s all about luxury, color and a return to quality.” “Freestanding tubs are the new musthave in the bathroom,” Kofoed said. “There’s great design flexibility in this area; anything goes, like modern fixtures with vintage claw-foot tubs.” Freestanding tubs serve as beautiful focal points that some designers say act as “art” in the room. If a freestanding tub simply won’t work in your space, Kofoed suggested “a tiled or marble-frame (tub) semi-recessed into the floor to help free up visu-

Bathroom design trends for 2014 revolve around the bathroom as a sanctuary, with lush elegant lighting, rich stone and tile work, and luxuriantly deep freestanding tubs.” Hamish Kofoed, design manager at Mico Designs Ltd.

al space in the bathroom.” Here are some of the top new trends in bathtub design for 2014: • Soaking tubs. Not everyone wants or uses powerful massage jets positioned all around a tub’s interior. New shower designs with multiple jets offer that indulgence. A simple soaking experience can be far more relaxing. One notable exception to this is the new class of gen-

tle BubbleMassage air baths, in which thousands of warm-air-filled bubbles massage and support the entire body. • Longer tubs. Tall people who have attempted to bathe in standard-sized tubs often find their soak to be less than pleasing because they have to bend their knees to recline into the water. Longer tubs allow for full stretch-out space for taller people — or room for two. • Smaller tubs. For a second (or third) bathroom, such as one designated for kids, smaller drop-in tubs add value to a home. This smaller tub might also be the perfect spot to bathe your dog, so as not to damage your master bathroom spotlight tub. • Black tubs. Bathtubs in sleek black stole the show at the annual Kitchen/ Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. While many modern tub designs are in neutral tones, black tubs are in hot demand, especially when paired with new collections of black fixtures such as matte black chrome-plated faucets and handles. • Whites and neutral colors. As light colors, they give a rich, warm look to a room and, in a monochromatic color scheme, make a space look larger, reflect

light and add to a bathroom’s appearance of being clean and hygienic. Pantone’s annual home design color trend reports feature inspiring shades of the season’s stylish blush tones, ranges of whites and modern grays, as well as new brights to consider. • Fluid curves. Modern faucets and handles are more rounded for a softer look than standard tub hardware of past eras. Faucets and handles, matching soap dishes, and nearby robe hooks and towel racks are artistic, spa-like and modern. • Glass tile. Matt Muenster, a licensed contractor and host of the DIY Network’s “Bath Crashers” and “BATHtastic!,” said, “Recycled-glass tile gives this bathroom an underwater appearance” and reflects light for a brighter, airier appearance. • Radiant heat. The flooring around the tub and shower area can be designed with in-floor heating that warms the bathroom floor so you never step out of a warm tub onto freezing tile. Radiant heat is cost-effective and, when professionally installed, completely safe. A fireplace in the bathroom across from the tub could be another source of warmth and relaxation during a soak.



There are numerous areas throughout the Borough identified as flood hazard areas. People building in these areas without proper guidance are risking their investment. Every year many people in our community spend hundreds or thousands of extra dollars for required flood insurance. These extra expenses can be avoided.

CHECK THE FLOOD POTENTIAL It may seem that your property is unlikely to flood. But just because it hasn’t flooded the last 10 years doesn’t mean it won’t flood next year. Before building, check to see if your property is in a flood hazard area. The Borough Planning Department has a copy of the Federal Insurance Rate Maps that identify the areas susceptible to flooding. Knowing the flood potential of your property could save you thousands of dollars in the future.

IT’S FREE! It costs you nothing to check the flood potential. If your lot is in a flood hazard area you are required to obtain a floodplain permit. Damages will be minimized if a flood occurs, and any required flood insurance payments will be minimized. There is no Borough charge for the floodplain permit.



The Planning Department is located on the second floor of the Borough Administrative Building, 809 Pioneer Road. If you have any questions, please call us at 459-1260.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Friday, April 25, 2014

A Common-Sense Approach to Selecting an Arctic Window In Alaska, we ask a lot of our windows. They must seal tightly yet be operable every day of the year. They must let in light, retain heat, and provide egress - all without becoming fogged or frosted. Failing at any of these leaves us regretting our selection for years to come. Modern windows are steeped in advanced technology but common-sense is more than enough to make an appropriate selection. Choosing the proper Frame, Style, and Insulted Glass are the keys to a warm and durable window. • Frame/Sash Material: Selecting the appropriate material for the Frame (fixed part) and the Sash (moving part) is critical because these establish the strength, performance, and longevity of the window. The most common choices are Vinyl plastic, Wood, and Pultruded Fiberglass. Vinyl is the least expensive but has the lowest strength and is subject to the greatest thermal distortion (due to its high rate of thermal expansion/contraction). Wood frames have an aesthetic appeal but tend to shrink and swell with humidity and are susceptible to rot, mold, and mildew. Pultruded Fiberglass is more expensive, but due to its high content of fiberglass strands, has the greatest strength, lowest thermal distortion (8x less than Vinyl), and can be internally insulated. It is also impervious to moisture and rot. Ideal for Alaska: Insulated Pultruded Fiberglass Frame/Sash

• Window Styles: Each opening style exists for a reason and not all make good arctic windows. The common styles are Slider, Casement/Awning (Crank), and Turn/Tilt. Sliders have a very loose seal to enable them to slide back and forth. Crank windows open outward and have the slimmest frames but only a moderately tighter seal. These have locks along one side and a crank mechanism for closure. They are susceptible to failure because of the force required to turn the crank or operate the closure mechanism. Turn/Tilts have the strongest frames and the tightest seal but are slightly more expensive than other windows. They have a single handle that engages numerous locking mechanisms distributed along the four sides of the window. Turn/Tilt windows tilt for ventilation, turn inwards for cleaning, and have the most dependable escape capability. Ideal for Alaska: Turn/Tilt Window

• Insulated Glass Unit (IGU): The IGU accounts for a significant portion of

13505191 4-25-14BE

the window cost and is responsible for the comfort of the space near the window. The parts that make up the IGU are the Glass, Low Emissivity Coating (LowE), Spacer, and inert Gas Filling. LowE coatings are metallic particles applied to the glass panes. These coatings are what allow the glass to trap or repel radiant heat from the sun. A South-facing window and Northfacing window should be made with different LowE coatings because they receive very different amounts of sunlight. LowE coatings have a minimal cost, but a major impact, so appropriate selection is critical for the comfort of the room. Most windows are shipped up from the Lower 48 and are made with LowE coatings that are ideal for a southern climate but definitely NOT ideal for ours. The Spacer separates the glass panes and contains the Gas Fill. Windows begins to fog when the seal between the spacer and glass fails, allowing the gas fill to leak out and humid air to leak in. The common Spacer materials are Aluminum, Foam, and Stainless Steel (SS). Aluminum has the lowest cost but conducts the most heat and has the highest failure rate. Foam conducts less heat but also has a high failure rate due to its porous nature and susceptibility to thermal distortion. SS spacers are no more expensive than foam but much stronger. This allows them to be made very thin so they conduct only minimal heat. They have the lowest failure rate because they have the greatest strength and the lowest thermal distortion so the sealant between the Spacer and the Glass is less likely to tear. The IGU is typically filled with inert Argon gas which acts as the insulation between the panes. The ideal amount of argon is about ½” between each glass pane. Ideal for Alaska: Triple-pane / Double LowE / SS Spacer / Argon Gas Fill

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, April 25, 2014



A new spin on ceiling fans New models offer bigger style, smaller energy bills By Eric Christensen CREATORS.COM


nstalling a ceiling fan is an easy, inexpensive project that just about any homeowner can tackle. Ceiling fans are a great way to add personal style to a room. And by making your home more energy-efficient, this small investment of time and money can create year-round savings on your power bill. The first step is to pick the right fan for the room, so focus on the features that will have the greatest impact. First, let the size of the room dictate the size of the fan blades. Rooms less than 100 square feet can be cooled with blades 36 inches long or shorter. Rooms between 100 and 200 square feet can be cooled with blades 36 to 44 inches long. And rooms more than 200 square feet might need fans with blades in the 50-inch range. Second, check the pitch of the blades. Fan blades usually have between 12 and 16 degrees of pitch, and generally speaking, the greater the pitch of the fan

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blade, the more air the fan will move. Only after considering these details should you look at a fan’s style and materials. The next step is to focus on the fan’s motor. An undersized motor made from inferior materials will lead to burnout, humming or clicking. A stronger, sturdier motor is worth the money. Look for the motor that generates the most watts and highest speeds. Additionally, pick the fan with the highest airflow efficiency at each of its speeds. A precision diecast aluminum motor will last longer and run quieter because it resonates less than steel. A die-cast zinc motor can run even more quietly. Next, choose an energy-efficient fan. Ensure the fan has received the Energy Star rating for superior energy efficiency. Such fans move more air, and they use less energy than some light bulbs. Finally, decide what fan controls you want. All fans come with pull chains and will be attached to a wall switch, but homeowners with mobility issues might want one with a remote control. And if your fan incorporates lighting, purchase energy-efficient bulbs. Otherwise, fan’s energy-efficiency gains will be lost through wasteful bulbs.

Installing a ceiling fan is one of the easiest ways to save on your power bills. CREATORS.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID YONTZ

After choosing a fan, it’s time to think about installation. Ceiling fan installation is a great beginner DIY project because if you are replacing a lighting fixture in the ceiling with a fan, the wiring is already in place, and the fan can use the same wall switch the light used. However, ceiling fans are often far heavier than lighting fixtures, so a new

electrical box is probably necessary to support the added weight. Remember that poor installation will result in lost energy efficiency. Inspect your lighting fixture’s electrical box. If it was not anchored to a ceiling joist, look for an electrical box with a brace that can be installed between joists to prevent a wobbly fan.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Friday, April 25, 2014

White walls? The trick is choosing the right white “ N By Beth J. Harpaz

It’s harder to choose white than any other color.”


EW YORK — So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from. Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hues: cream, pearl, vanilla, snow, chalk, ivory, jasmine, bone. The closer you look, the more confusing the choices are. You want a plain, basic white, but the purest white on the color chart looks a little harsh next to all those soft shades with just a hint of something else — beige, gray, peach, rose, yellow or the palest blue or green. Often people default to white because they don’t want strong colors in their home. As it turns out, “it’s harder to choose white than any other color,” said Sharon Grech, a color design expert at Benjamin Moore

Sharon Grech, color design expert

This image provided by Benjamin Moore shows a fan deck of paint colors that consumers can look through at a hardware store to help them decide what color paint to buy. ASSOCIATED PRESS Paints. She said Benjamin Moore alone offers more than 150 whites, and “when people are choosing white, I see more people unhappy or making a mistake or being shocked at the color than when they choose other colors.” Watch out if you go with a pure white untinted by any other hue. Leatrice Eiseman,

executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which maintains color standards, says “the purity and cleanliness” of the purest whites “can also make them feel very sterile and cold. And you can literally get eyestrain from too much dazzling white. So you’ve got to be cautious. Most people don’t want to live with hospital white.”

More so than with other colors, whites are influenced by colors around them, so Grech said it’s crucial to try a sample to see how it looks in the room. Buy a pint and paint a 2-by-2foot board that you can move around your home. “Sometimes the sun hits it one way or another at different times of day, or it looks different against the rug, or you realize it’s got a lot of pink in it or green in it,” she said. “It might look totally different in the morning than at night.” The paint sheen makes a difference too, whether matte — a flat paint — or a shiny highgloss. One recommended mix is a semi-gloss trim with matte on the walls. Don’t forget the ceiling. “More people are thinking of the ceiling as a fifth wall,”

Grech said. “Think about it in terms of all the rooms that white is going to be flowing through on the ceiling.” Most people want flat paint on the ceiling, but if you want to bring focus to the ceiling, a semi-gloss or high gloss can look “spectacular” in the right space, she said. James Martin is an architectural color consultant whose company, the Color People, designs colors for buildings. He said “if you’re going to have white, you want to use a warm white — yellow white, peachy white, rosy white. Anything you live with, you want it to be warm.” It’s especially important in an old house: “If you use a warm white, you’ll see all the wonderful details in the surrounding woodwork much better,” he said.

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