Category Archives: Aged Home Upgrades

Retrofitting Hydronic Heating

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Energy, Floors, HVAC | No Comments

Our client wanted heated floors in their existing home. There was a partial basement and crawl space access. I remembered a system that we have used before that circulates fluid beneath the floor and felt that this would be a good option to offer.  It uses glycol and is separate and detached from the plumbing system. We decided to offer a radiant heated under floor system for a home that had a mixture of hardwood floors and Tile floors. The home already had a forced air system but the idea of warm floors was a big hit. It took 7…

Read More

Laminate Countertops

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Customer Service, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

There are several big names in the laminates used for countertops, Formica, Wilsonart, and Nevermar are the ones I come in contact most frequently, Others in the market are Arborite, & Pionite. Unfortunately, the word laminate has become synonymous with flooring, which makes conversations about materials very confusing at times. For years you had only two choices for counter tops, Like Kleenex, Formica became a household word for the stuff on your countertops if you didn’t have tile. Formica was initially discovered as a substitute “for Mica” as an insulation for wiring. It became a viable material for counter tops…

Read More

What Does R-Value Mean?

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Energy, Green Remodeling, Historic District Homes, Indoor Air Quality, Insulation, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have been confused for years about just what the term R-value means. You would think that if you have 16″ of insulation it should correlate to an R-Value. That is all well and good, as long as you are talking about the exact same insulation. What an R-Value is, as it turns out, has lots of variables. R-Value is the commonly used term to describe the thermal resistance ability of insulation. As you recall heat travels through 3 means: Radiation = Heat travels through the air Example: heat from the sun warms you through radiated heat. (It is important…

Read More

Residential Foundation Repairs

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Concrete, Engineering, Understanding your home | 6 Comments

Although we are not engineers, we do get involved in repairing structural things quite often. I realized just how often when a potential client, who is an engineer herself, found it difficult to locate a contractor in town that deals with this sort of problem. Her background is in traffic and her office is full of civil engineers, so it was impossible to get a recommendation for a remodeler who knows what to do for a home with issues. Basements are popular here in Boise. Many of the North End homes had them included in the original structure, and others…

Read More

I Have Knob & Tube Wiring

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Electrical, Trust, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

During almost every remodeling project Levco does, especially in Boise’s historic North End, we encounter Knob & Tube Wiring. It was the craze back in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, it was relatively safe ( compared to kerosene or gas lamps) and it was cheaper to install than the armored cable alternative. Knobs are the porcelain insulators that are nailed in and keep the wires from touching. Tubes are the porcelain insulators that were stuck in holes that the wires would run through. Danger occurred when splices were done improperly because poor connections caused heat and heat caused…

Read More

Mislabeled Electrical Panel

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Electrical, Home Evaluations, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

I realized this issue after a friend called. He had just purchased a remodeled home, and was concerned that his electrical panel was mislabeled. This turns out to be a fairly common problem. What happens is that over the years, our electrical needs change and or problems occur, and an electrician is called to either upgrade or replace a faulty breaker. The electrical paned is opened up and the circuit breakers a rearranged to fit better. Unfortunately, the step that is frequently skipped is relabeling the panel correctly. Years ago, we had half of the gadgets that we have now….

Read More

Aging in Place & Universal Design

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Understanding your home, Universal Design | 2 Comments

These are two terms that are relatively new to the remodeling world. The terms refer to something that has become common place in our culture. Both Aging in Place and Universal Design are fairly docile and tranquil terms in comparison to the terror that lurks in the minds of the folks that are fearful of being institutionalized or sent to to dreaded convalescent home. Lord knows that I have seen them all when it comes to those places in my ambulance career. The truth is that there are some great ones out there, however I recall telling my loved ones…

Read More