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Ask Slashdot: Ideas For a Geek Remodel?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the don't-forget-the-robot dept.

Networking 372

An anonymous reader writes "What would you do to 'go geek' if you had a major remodel on your hands? My wife and I are re-modeling my in-law's 3000 sq foot single-level house, and we're both very wired, tech-savvy individuals. We will both have offices, as well as TVs in the bedroom and dining room. My question to the community is: What would you do if you had 10-20,000 to spend for this kind of remodel project? What kind of hardware/firmware would you install? I'd love to have a digital 'command center' to run an LCD wall-calendar for the family, and be able to play my PS3 from anywhere in the house (ie, if everyone wants to watch Netflix while I'm in the middle of some Borderlands). What else have geeks done/planned to do? This is a test run for a much, much nicer house down the road, so don't be overly afraid of cost concerns for really great ideas. We will be taking most of the house down to studs, so don't factor demolition into costs. For culinary-minded geeks, I'd love any ideas you have to surprise my wife with cool kitchen gadgets or designs."

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This is the in-law's house right? (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | about 2 years ago | (#41796191)

Invest in a good voice recognition system and write some regexes that will detect your name in various contexts and alert you if they are leaving their house to come over to yours.

Re:This is the in-law's house right? (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41796325)

Remember Rule 1 in remodels:

A poorly planned remodel costs three times as much as originally budgeted.
A well planned remodel only costs twice as much.

Re:This is the in-law's house right? (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 years ago | (#41796659)

That's pretty accurate, but you forgot to mention that the estimated time for project completion will be about 50% of the actual time needed for project completion...

Re:This is the in-law's house right? (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41796699)

Not if you apply the "Scotty Principle"

Dude. One word... (5, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41796197)

Star Trek living-room.

System under glass (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41796207)

The #1 thing I've always wanted to do is put the whole entertainment system behind glass and give it muffled fans and intake filters. I'd really like to eliminate every little bit of noise finally, even the TV has a hum to it. And then there's the dust, which could be all but eliminated by using the right materials for building the enclosure, and the use of the aforementioned filters. I'd give it its own system for control of temp and humidity too, since that's relatively easy if you have all the other parts.

Big red button (0)

rvw (755107) | about 2 years ago | (#41796213)

Every rooms needs a big red button!

Re:Big red button (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about 2 years ago | (#41796385)

You mean like Elmer Fudd's house (FF to 6:09)? []

This is a Public Service Announcement (1)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#41796651)

(FF to 6:09)

Next time, pause the video, right click on it, and select "Copy video URL at current time".

If you're using a FOSS flash player and it doesn't have that feature then just manually add "#t=XXXs" at the end of the URL. []

Surprise your wife? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796217)

Electronic bracelet to warn you if she ever tries to leave the kitchen..

Fucking chauvinist...

Re:Surprise your wife? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796563)

Personally, I'd like an ankle bracelet to warn me when I approach your hyper-PC zone.

Fucking HR drone...

Re:Surprise your wife? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796669)

HR... Human Resources? I don't get it.

Unrealistic budget (5, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 2 years ago | (#41796223)

As a general contractor, assuming you are doing things(paint, flooring, maybe light fixtures and blinds) to the entire 3000 sq ft, your budget that remains purely for tech is going to be approximately zero. Its doubtful that budget would even allow for much of a kitchen/bath update depending on what part of the country you are in.

Re:Unrealistic budget (0)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#41796229)

IKEA remodel.

Re:Unrealistic budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796303)

Agreed, watch a few episodes of this old house... Maybe $250k would be a realistic small budget?

Re:Unrealistic budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796311)

Seconded. Basics like roof, heat, plumbing, insulation, and electric come first. Then kitchen, bath, and floors. Anything high tech will be obsolete and in the way in a couple of years so make that easy to replace (avoid built-in stuff).

Re:Unrealistic budget (2)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#41796645)

Pex for plumbing, geothermal & solar for heat/AC & electricity, closed cell spray foam insulation. And don't go with the cheesy looking 2 1/2" door/window trim or hollow core doors.

Re:Unrealistic budget (5, Insightful)

IdolizingStewie (878683) | about 2 years ago | (#41796381)

I have to think that given that budget, what he means is this is what we have left over for tech upgrades. At least I hope that's what he means.

Re:Unrealistic budget (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796483)

As a general contractor, assuming you are doing things(paint, flooring, maybe light fixtures and blinds) to the entire 3000 sq ft, your budget that remains purely for tech is going to be approximately zero. Its doubtful that budget would even allow for much of a kitchen/bath update depending on what part of the country you are in.

What he said.

If you take the house down to the studs, you won't complete building it back out again on your budget - at least not in my neighborhood...

On the other hand, if you somehow meant that you will have ten to twenty thousand _left over_ for tech stuff, then that will be different. Different, but not by that much - that would leave a decent budget, but nothing spectacular.

Re:Unrealistic budget (2)

bob0the0mighty (904854) | about 2 years ago | (#41796507)

As a general contractor, assuming you are doing things(paint, flooring, maybe light fixtures and blinds) to the entire 3000 sq ft, your budget that remains purely for tech is going to be approximately zero. Its doubtful that budget would even allow for much of a kitchen/bath update depending on what part of the country you are in.

Not if they do most of it themselves. I've redone the floors, moldings, painted, replaces lights and door hardware for less than 4000 in my 1000 sq ft condo. Once you start talking major appliances it gets much harder to save money, but cutting out labor saves a ton of money and you'll learn some useful skills.

Re:Unrealistic budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796509)

Seconded. Spent about 15k and no demolition involved. Just touching up really.

Spent 10k on floors for 2000 sq ft house in the midwest. Wood laminate (tip:avoid piano finish!) for sun room living room and hallway, padded laminate in kitchen and bathrooms and carpet in bedrooms.

Painting can cost anywhere from 500 bucks to a few thousand. Depends on what tech you have. Using a brush and roller means a couple gallons per room at 20 something a gallon. If you have a sprayer already then you could possibly do thinner coats. Either way, hundreds just for the paint itself.

Fixtures and decorations can add up very fast as well. Cabinet hardware is like 5 bucks a pop for a piece of molded metal. Lots of things aren't priced in a logical manner. You can replace a whole thing for less cost than to buy replacement parts for a quick and easy fix. Appliances are a good example.

The best suggestion is if it ain't broke don't fix it, and recycle and reuse as much material as possible.

Did lots of wall and baseboard repair and painting myself to save money. I think anyone going to bare studs on 10k is going to run into a budget problem.

Re:Unrealistic budget (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41796565)

That was my question too... is that budget just for tech? (In which case, it's fairly modest) Or for the entire (to the studs) remodel? (In which case it's ludicrously low, even if they have "free" labor from all their friends.)

Another thing that bothers me, they say it's their "in-laws" house... Are they not the owners? Are the owners onboard?

Kitchen (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796235)

Faucet over the stove.

Re:Kitchen (5, Insightful)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 2 years ago | (#41796401)

Also a proper venting range hood. It's amazing how few houses have this simple thing anymore.

10-20k is a lot for those a world away... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796237)

"What would you do if you had 10-20,000 to spend for this kind of remodel project?"

1. Save as much of it as I could for the next 15-20 years during difficult and perhaps dire economic times.


2. Donate to a real charity which does real work in really poor countries - or fly there myself and contribute with my money, time, and energy.

Ethernet! (4, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#41796239)

Lots and lots of Ethernet ports. Wireless is insufficient for the True Geek.

Re:Ethernet! (4, Insightful)

Auroch (1403671) | about 2 years ago | (#41796267)

Lots and lots of Ethernet ports. Wireless is insufficient for the True Geek.

Well, it's not a bad idea. The wiring can be done in a way that you can thread other things when ethernet is no longer fast enough.

Though, if you're going to do that - why not send all the cords to a central part in the house, and install a command centre there? You can use it to re-direct connections, spy on internet usage, selectively disable (or re-route) certain wires ...

Re:Ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796405)

I recently wired my home for Ethernet - can be done under $500 by one self.

Re:Ethernet! (2)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#41796465)

I wired my old home (single story built in 68) and my new home (colonial built in 80) with gbit Ethernet. It is not hard....please though... get the 6 foot auger bit to properly drill behind walls.

Re:Ethernet! (1)

chrisxcr1 (1210984) | about 2 years ago | (#41796629)

Can you please explain what you do with the 6 foot auger bit? I'm not being a smartass, I would like to run ethernet to several rooms in my house. Thanks.

Re:Ethernet! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796625)

If you've got multiple floors and maybe a basement, then it's a must to run a good network backbone between floors, and if you are opening the walls, put in plastic conduit with a strong nylon string looped through it. (cheap and easy to work with and fine for residential.) The loop of string will let you pull other wires or replacement wires through the conduit later without opening up the walls or dealing with fish tape. As suggested above, wireless is great but wired is still where it's at for trouble free serious bandwidth. (You also can't have a good wireless without wires) Basements are great for a network command center because of being cooler than the rest of the house year round, and you rarely need to get at the equipment physically. It's nice to hide all the equipment but remember to consider ventilation. an open basement is no problem here but if you have several boxes in a closet, consider buying a new door that has ventilation grates. They would have them at places where they sell furnaces etc.. Since you are not likely going to live there forever fiber is probably still overkill and that's what the conduit is for. That said copper is very expensive now so fiber as a backbone is getting more cost effective. Use a high grade CAT6 minimum in the walls. You can use a lower grade wire for runs to wall outlets but always remember that once the walls are closed, any upgrade to the wires is a huge PITA In general, you want to put the best you can afford in the walls so you don't need to upgrade later. runs from the walls can be just what you need now.

Re:Ethernet! (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#41796449)

Lots or Ethernet ports AND WAPs! Wired may be unnecessary for lots of applications (gbit please) but wireless is unnecessary for lots of applications as well and good reception is a must.

Re:Ethernet! (5, Insightful)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#41796493)

And to add to this, redundant tubes. So if one day you decide to switch to glassfiber, extra speakers, or something, you don't have to break up all the wall's again, just run them through those tubes.
Or alternatively you could have all the tubes, valves and wiring neatly side by side running in plain sight at the ceiling, color-coded, and labelled , just like a sub-marine. Then have a "command centre" with the whole system, flowrates, temperature's, power-usage per socket a and other measurements at your finger-tips.
Or maybe not if you go for cosy :-)

Re:Ethernet! (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41796545)

And to add to this, redundant tubes. So if one day you decide to switch to glassfiber, extra speakers, or something, you don't have to break up all the wall's again, just run them through those tubes.

They've got a ranch so just make the basement ceiling accessible (acoustic panels or whatever) and fishing thru uninsulated inside walls is no challenge. Insulated walls are a slight challenge but not too bad.

If you've got 2 stories then the upper story gets wiring fished thru the attic.

If you've got 3 stories then I donno. Suffer I guess.

Re:Ethernet! (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#41796679)

depending on the location, a ranch may have no basement. Attic is still an option, although getting to side walls is difficult. Running PVC conduit up (or down) the wall to an accessible location is cheap & easy.

Re:Ethernet! (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41796609)

I heartily second this. Our house was built with a central cable box and cable in every bedroom. If I had had a hand in building that, it'd have been Ethernet instead. This is probably one of the cheapest "upgrades" you can do once a house is taken down to stud boards, since the cable is cheap on a spool and the end clamps are a dime apiece in bulk. Then just install a commercial grade router to run DHCP for your dozen net drops.

NEST Thermostat (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#41796245)

An other Home Automation tech. It will have meaning to them, save them money, and does not cost too much these days.

Find a worthy cause. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796247)

Why not donate the money to a good cause. Homeless coalition. Breast cancer. Heart association. Seems like a waste to me.

Re:Find a worthy cause. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796321)

Spending his own money on a home for his family is a waste? I assume you live in an unheated shack.

So you're a gamer, huh ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796249)

You should find quite a lot of "ideal gaming room" ideas & pics of actual ones online, with a few tricks on how to put the cables away and still have everything under the hand.

There's an old dude somewhere in USA that built a centralized lock thingy, with his phone he could control all doors & windows of the house. Might takes a lot of wiring though. That story came through HN or /., you should be able to find it for more details (he also got solar panels, water management and such).

Just yesterday I heard about a wireless device + ios/android app to handle the front door, but can't remember the name. It should be out in a month if I recall well.

Lighting automation (4, Interesting)

beernutmark (1274132) | about 2 years ago | (#41796251)

As soon as we moved into our new house I replaced all the switches with an Insteon system and an ISY-99 controller. I absolutely love it. Being able to turn off all the lights in the house from the bedroom is great. I can put the kids lights on timers, see if any lights are on, have the sprinkler system turn on per water need (connected to weatherbug), setback the thermostat automatically when we leave the house, have a night kitchen run scene, etc....

A DIY friendly system and the programming language on the ISY is easy to use and quite flexible.

I have been very happy and wish I had done it on the old house.

#2 favorite thing (actually probably #1 but it is not really a remodel item) is a whole house Sonos system. The perfect audio sync and ease of listening to anything anywhere in the house is great. I used to be a developer for GiantDisc (which still has the best cataloging system available anywhere) but the Sonos ease of use and perfect audio sync won me over.

I tell you what I'd do, man... (-1, Offtopic)

gubon13 (2695335) | about 2 years ago | (#41796259)

Two chicks at the same time, man.

Re:I tell you what I'd do, man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796431)

No, this is house space, not Office Space...

However, back on topic, TV in the bedroom is always a bad idea. We used to have one about 10 years ago. I could never sleep (light sleeper) when my wife was watching it. I had to get rid of it. Much better not having one in there.

Re:I tell you what I'd do, man... (0)

PNutts (199112) | about 2 years ago | (#41796597)

Not enough money in the budget for a cup.

Less is more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796261)

Don't do anything crazy. Just wire the place well and be done with it. I'd run coax, ethernet, and phone line everywhere, and maybe AV or HDMI. Maybe double the coax and ethernet. Have it all run to a router closet somewhere that's out of the way but not too inconvenient.

Spend the rest on nice fixtures/carpet/paint/whatever. 10-20K doesn't go all that far for a whole-house remodel.

Re:Less is more. (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41796557)

I'd run coax, ethernet, and phone line everywhere,

I did that, and now no longer have a use for coax or phone line.

I'd double run any ethernet line so if one cable breaks you switch to alternate. I only need 1 working line to plug a switch into at the point of use.

A house? NO! (4, Funny)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 years ago | (#41796277)

Since you've asked for a true geek solution it is necessary to get out of that immobile structure with it's permanent address and accompanying tethers to "the man". Get yourselves into a geek-pimped Class A motorhome so that you can live off the grid as much as possible. A strict observance of anti-surveillance protocols will be a must, including burner phones. Keep them guessing which Wal-Mart you'll camp in next, and have fun wardriving. Field-strip your gear regularly and don't leave anything behind anywhere. Destroy this message. Good luck.

Re:A house? NO! (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 years ago | (#41796761)

Except this is for the inlaws. Personally I would just rig lots of Ethernet to every room (two or three points in different walls) plus plenty pull lines to every room, make sure that every room has heaps of power points (any three or four metre square room needs at least eight points, two in each corner), and insulate the hell out of the place.

With power and connections everything else can come later if needed.

Also, solar on the roof.

Hidden conduits to allow rewiring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796287)

I've always wondered why homes do not have something like 3-4" PVC conduits running through strategic parts of the house and into each room so that if you need a bit more coax or network or telephone or future tech cable you can run it without ripping down plaster and drilling through joists. Maybe something where you could snap on/off baseboards and have a few inches of space around the room to run wires. In a single floor home you can always come up/down from basement/attic but multi-floor homes this seems very useful. Just in my life I can think of times when I wanted to run telephone cables, CAT-5 or even fiber, in ten more years who knows what the next thing will be.

Re:Hidden conduits to allow rewiring (2, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 2 years ago | (#41796417)

And if you want to eavesdrop on anyone all you have to do is put your ear to the tube.

Re:Hidden conduits to allow rewiring (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#41796695)

Mine does :)

How about a novel idea... (3, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 2 years ago | (#41796289)

And let your in-laws decide what they want..

More to the point, anything too advanced you install, you will have to support...

Re:How about a novel idea... (5, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | about 2 years ago | (#41796349)

My wife and I are re-modeling my in-law's 3000 sq foot single-level house, and we're both very wired, tech-savvy individuals. We will both have offices, as well as TVs in the bedroom and dining room.

Am I the only one scratching my head on this? Are they doing this for his in-laws? Why would they both have offices at her parents house? Is it their house now? Why call it her parents? Did they not pay for it?

Put a digital clock in each room, call it a day, and invest the money in a high yield bond, until you can afford your own home.

Re:How about a novel idea... (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41796623)

Perhaps the parents are moving to Florida?

Re:How about a novel idea... (2)

PNutts (199112) | about 2 years ago | (#41796667)

Agreed. "TVs in the bedroom and dining room". My mom had a TV in the bedroom and living room since the early 60s. For the sarcasm challenged, she is not tech savvy. And I don't thin being "wired" by watching movies and playing game consoles is something to brag about. By that definition my seven year old is wired. Definitely a slow Sunday.

An unusual idea (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796297)

I know that you said this in the abstract, but I'd really avoid having a TV in the dining room if I were you. Not to sound too much like a 1950's stereotype, dining is a social occasion, and dining together is a good time to talk. Have a TV in your office/den and if you're having a lazy lunch etc, take the food there, but try to have a clear space to have dinner together and you'll find it really encourages conversations.

Networked thermostat (1)

RR (64484) | about 2 years ago | (#41796353)

Especially if your house is big enough to require more than one air conditioning system, it's convenient to have them on a network. Not necessarily so you can control them from the Internet, but so you can control them all from one place and turn them off when nobody's at home, to save energy.

Of course, once you have them under digital control, you could add things like schedules and remote monitoring.

Fibre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796365)

Ethernet and fibre. I wired my house and wish I had put fibre and speaker wires to each room. I ran 2 cat5 and 1 coax to every room, and wish I had run 3 cat5 1 coax, 1 set of speaker wires and 1 fibre pair. Futureproofing baby.

Comms and power (3, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41796369)

An adequate supply of CAT5 (or CAT6, really, it's getting cheap enough) and mains sockets in every room.

I'd also look at ecological heat and power measures - wind and solar power, solid-fuel stove and a ground-source heat pump.

Re:Comms and power (1)

m1ndcrash (2158084) | about 2 years ago | (#41796757)

I second that!

TV in the dining room? (5, Insightful)

Guano_Jim (157555) | about 2 years ago | (#41796379)

It's a matter of personal taste, of course, but I'd keep the TV out of the dining room and spend the money on something else. You need a place to get away from information overload.

We've declared our dining room to be a screen-free zone-- no TV's, laptops, iPads, smartphones, whatever. It's the one room in the house where we sit, eat, and converse as a family.

I find the half hour or so when people aren't checking Facebook, tweeting, playing minecraft, checking their calendar, etc to be pretty refreshing. It's amazing what you can find out when you ask a kid how their day was.

put up a $20,000 solar pannel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796387)

Spend on a $20,000 solar panel - no more electricity bills for the next 30 years

Kitchen advice. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796389)

Layout and work flow are key to a great kitchen. Fridges that have cat5 and lcd screens are essentially toys. Spend your money on quality cookware and utensils that are commercial grade.
Think about little things like;
how do I cool stuff down efficiently,
what is the best convection equipment that I can afford.
Where do I rinse vegetables?
Is there filtered water and how well can I clean oversized pots. A pot sink is a better alternative to a double shallow!
Get a small commercial salamander oven that can top brown ...not a cheap toaster oven.

Don't spend your money on toys!

Above all set it up so that more than one person can work in the kitchen at a time without having to worry too much about stabbing each other! Your wife will love you for that much more that all the geek toys you can stuff into a kitchen now a days.

Sure put a sit down bar away from the prep area where you can have a laptop or whatever and put sound in the kitchen but by and large all this is secondary to a well thought out design and quality equipment!

I am a cook and know what really matters in food preparation.

Don't put TVs in the bedroom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796393)

The research is pretty clear that it's one of the worst things you can do for your sleeping habits.

The whole geek house (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796419)

I'm part there but here's my idea of a perfect house:

- Centralized computer closet. Have all your computers in the same place and run HDMI/USB wires to your office, bedroom, etc.
- Then have a *x* (i.e. 2x4 for 2 computer, 4 output) matrix switch for both HDMI/USB in which you plug all your rooms and all your computers.
- Connect those switch's control port to your main computer which would allow control from a web page hosted on that computer
- Now that you're done, from anywhere in the house, with an iphone, you can switch any TV to any PC you have in your closet.
- In my case, I have 2 computers for general use, 1 HTPC running XBMC and a file server running unraid. I can switch those to TVs I have in the living room, office, bedroom, friend's bedroom and even the bathroom (got a TV in front of the bath)

- Now I'm trying to figure out how to have my XBOX centralized like that... it works for the video but the remotes don't work that far. I'm maybe looking at a repeater of some kind.
- I'd also like to add automation to the whole house: Thermostat, lights, etc. Then add the control for those on the web page mentioned earlier.

Mind you, it helps that I have a suspended ceiling, it lets me switch out cables as they improve the technology. Also, as another guy said, 20k is far from enough but you mentioned you wanted to build a house after so that's what I would do. :)

Outlets! (3, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#41796423)

Power outlets every 3 feet.
Network outlets every wall.
Cable and phone in every room.
10 years from now they'll call you and say "Remember when I said I didn't think I needed a power outlet in the closet? Oh man thanks for insisting!"

Remodel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796433)

Put microphones in all the rooms and then use voice recognition just like in Star Trek, recognizing computer as an attention, also adding speakers and controls to control, lighting, electronics, telephone, video surveillance outside, shower temps, electronic library music movies etc. Heating and cooling, mobile access as well from a smart phone as well.

"a major remodel on your hands?" (1)

hack slash (1064002) | about 2 years ago | (#41796435)

Bionic Fingers! Awesome!

Old iPod-touch/android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796437)

I always wanted to mount old iPods and Androids as an intercom/command controls. It would be grand! and at less than $100 each they could save a lot of money instead of intercom systems.

good luck (1, Flamebait)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41796445)

My wife and I are re-modeling my in-law's 3000 sq foot single-level house

We will be taking most of the house down to studs

Do you mean the modern american "royal we" where it means you're contracting a citizen who subcontracts to another citizen who hires illegals to do all the labor at 50% to 100% profit markup each step and you expect to do nothing more strenuous than sign a contract, or you're literally doing the old school "we" as in we're the only people doing work inside the house? This has a huge impact on planning.

we're both very wired, tech-savvy individuals

So doing the grunt work (if not all the work, depending on nanny state building codes) of the electrical work MIGHT be in your grasp, but bare stud drywall work is frankly pretty easy to half ass yet very hard to make look good / perfect.

Plumbing is hard because you need to use a $150 wrench, once, to install some weird gasket that you can't buy at a big box store. Hire that out along with drywall.

TVs in the bedroom and dining room

Yer doin it wrong, if the most interesting thing to happen in those rooms comes out of a TV speaker. If you "have to" eat in front of the tube, sit in the living room like a good couch potatoe. I used to use a TV in the bedroom WRT mid-sleep storm warning siren evaluations, but the phone seems to have taken over that duty.

What would you do if you had 10-20,000 to spend for this kind of remodel project?

Hmm bare walls and a hair over $3/sq foot. Even the cheapest home depot "basement grade tile" costs over half that, and still leaves you with bare stud walls. There has to be a dropped zero in there somewhere?

If you just meant tech, and you insist on new/top of the line only, you won't be able to do much with only $10K.

I think you're in way over your head.

What else have geeks done/planned to do?

You'll be overwhelmed if you do it all at once. The best system is built by accretion, just like a black hole. Way over a decade I started with a nice linux based fileserver... well, add a RS-232 interface and some more software and I've got some home automation, boils down to the worlds most elaborate NTP time disciplined, astronomically aware (sunrise/sunset) timer system. Then add a PCI video capture card and some more software and I've got mythtv. It turns out that cheapie whole house audio (aka just put a speaker in every room with elaborate parallel/series interconnections) is cheap and easy to install, and I've already got a fileserver full of content so buy some speakers and rolls of wire and... Repeat a zillion times adding all kinds of weird stuff and you eventually get my house. I can't imagine doing it at the same time, even worse all at the same time as ripping the house down to the studs.

"Adding tech" is best managed as a permanent process, not an isolated single huge project.

For culinary-minded geeks, I'd love any ideas you have to surprise my wife with cool kitchen gadgets or designs.

This I don't even understand, and I like to experiment with cooking. More convenient storage than a house your size "should" have. A walk in pantry is not out of line plus a closet for appliances / things. Every AC power outlet is a home run 15 amp ckt, no daisy chaining such that running the slow cooker, the lights, and the microwave at the same time trip a breaker. If you really wanted you could blow your entire remodel budget on one (exotic) industrial-grade appliance like a combi-oven. I've often wished for one of those 10 horsepower restaurant dishwashers with a 7 minute cycle time (as opposed to my 150 or so minute 1/2 hp dishwasher).

Speaking of lights most kitchens are designed by interior decorators who apparently are very good at being trendy but eat exclusively at trendy urban restaurants. Be very careful as its possible to get something that looks cool, but is un-usable / un-maintainable / un-cleanable. There's a reason restaurant kitchens look like they do, and its not style... so any "style" frosted onto a real kitchen is by definition going to make it less functional.

I imagine you were hoping for suggestions like a basement rec room with a dumb waiter to the kitchen designed to look like a star trek replicator.

Re:good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796573)

Thank you for not repeating everything your wrote verbatim a third time in a row, I might have started thinking i'd gone crazy.

Re:good luck (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 2 years ago | (#41796591)

The one thing I would do if I had the house down to studs would be CAT6 drops everywhere and speaker wire everywhere with binding post connections. CAT6 is incredibly versatile and the speaker wire is useful too. I have been adding drops as needed in my current house, but fishing wire through the walls is a huge pain. A lot of walls are basically inaccessible since they have insulation in them and fishing wire through THAT is almost impossible.

Re:good luck (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41796619)

For culinary-minded geeks, I'd love any ideas you have to surprise my wife with cool kitchen gadgets or designs.

This I don't even understand, and I like to experiment with cooking.

Me too... Most culinary minded geeks I know are decidely *not* fans of unique gadgets/designs. They're creatures of pattern and habit when it comes to hardware.
The culinary geek world is unlike the rest of the geek world - we don't generally seek the latest and creations because the foundations of the world's cuisines are generally old, tried, and true. Gadgets and new shinies mark the dilettante and the fashion victim, not the culinary geek.

No TV in the bedroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796461)

Bedroom is for sleeping and fucking.

Not a geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796479)

You want to play playstation and punch on your smartphone. A real geek wouldn't be asking what to do, he would be doing it and recording a step by step tutorial. A TV in every room? Why? WHY? What in the world can you possibly need to see all the time?

Kitchen Upgrades and Wiring (1)

cinghiale (2269602) | about 2 years ago | (#41796481)

If your budget allows, go with an in-wall convection oven and a really good vent hood over a gas cook top with cast iron grates. If you got any money left, use conduit and junction boxes instead of just long wire runs to make future changes cleaner.

Conduit, everywhere. (4, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | about 2 years ago | (#41796487)

I'd put some big conduit and wiring ducts across the house, with drops in every room. This way you can pull whatever cables, fiber, etc. you need.

Why are you remodeling someone elses house?

The bedroom is for sleeping or sex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796489)

Not TV, unless you're gonna watch some pr0n while dipping your noodle
in your wife's kugel.

Submerged computer (1)

menno_h (2670089) | about 2 years ago | (#41796511)

Build a mineral oil-cooled PC, put it in a transparent container, embed it in the wall and put an aquarium in front of it. It'll look as if the fish are swimming in the same liquid as the computer.

Conduit (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41796527)

By the time you get your CAT 6 cable pulled, it will be obsolete and you'll need CAT 7. Or 8. Who knows?

Put in wall boxes, pull boxes and some 3/4" conduit runs to a central panel/server location. Then, whatever happens, you can yank the old stuff out and put new stuff in.

For the kitchen, put in a couple of extra 20 Amp circuits (two general purpose circuits are required by code).

For the rest of the house, separate the lighting and outlets on separate circuits. Code (and cheap electricians) allow these to be fed off the same branch circuit. Bu there's nothing more annoying than plugging in something and having the lights go out as well.

Extra lighting in the master bedroom if you like to share videos with other couples. Some of this amateur stuff is pretty poorly lit.

that's not a much of a budget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796529)

Most important things you can do--

- Lots of circuits, lots of outlets... nothing worse then having no power where you need it, or sweating over overloading a circuit

- Conduit... ever wall that I had removed got a 2-gang deep box installed with a 1-1/4" PVC conduit run to it... the idea here is that when you want to change what is in that box later, you can

- Ethernet... wireless is great, but honestly nothing beats a hard-wired connection for speed and reliability. I have a pair of CAT6 jacks behind every TV/Desk and behind every chair/couch/bed in the house... about 20 ports total. Mind you, I only have about 5 of them active because I wasn't willing to spend the cash on a large gigabit switch just for the sake of saying that I had active ports, but if I decide to re-arrange things it's dead simple to swap cables down at the 'patch panel', and in a few years larger gig switches will be cheaper

- Structured wiring at the doors... handy for adding RFID access points to unlock electric strikes, etc... this is probably the single best thing I did in my house. All I carry with me is my wallet and a single car key. The access point also accepts codes entered on a 10-key pad, so you can never lock yourself out, and you never have to lend out a spare key again (and deleting a code is dead simple to prevent future access)

- X10/automated lighting... nothing nicer than pulling up to the house and having lights turn on without your action. The lights in my front hallway are tied to the front door being unlocked... I never walk into a dark house. The bathroom fan is on an occupancy sensor, so there's never a steam filled room when a guest is showering and doesn't turn the fan on. The outdoor lights are all on timers/photocells

- Thermostat... I have a 5/2 day Honeywell programmable thermostat... I know some people here are talking about the NEST, etc... honestly I don't get it. I suppose if you're always coming/going at odd times it could be useful, but for me being able program the thermostat for wake, day, evening, night (and differing weekday/weekend programs) is more than sufficient. The only thing I would consider adding to this would be occupancy sensors... if you're home you want heating/cooling to occur outside the programmed times (or possibly a home/away setting for the various time periods) ... but the idea of putting an occupancy sensor in each room just for this is bit far fetched. Would probably be OK to tie to an alarm system (home vs. away) but I don't have one...

Unwired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796535)

Just keep a single room where you can keep your intimacy in the old fashion...

If you open the walls... (1)

bmajik (96670) | about 2 years ago | (#41796567)

... then put smurf tube _everywhere_. you don't know what wiring you'll actually want where, but putting in the tube now will be a huge help. When I had all the walls in my house open, I made sure to put smurf tube runs, pull boxes, and low-voltage outlet boxes everywhere I thought I could possible want _something_. Years later, I'm still going back and actually running wire through them, on a strictly as-needed basis. It's nice to be able to run a new cat5e run directly from my basement rack to a 2nd floor bedroom in an hour or two, without cutting anything besides the cat5 cable :)

That said, you won't be able to actually do much for 20k.

It's hard to do a kitchen remodel for 20k unless you do gobs of work by yourself. The first one I did was probably 9k, and I did the tearout, the flooring, electrical, sheetrock, cabinet installs, plumbing, etc, all myself. I got the base model cabinetry from home depot.

I also wouldn't go crazy with TVs. I have 2 fixed displays; 1 in a media room where I can chill out and play video games, or where my wife and I occasionally watch something. there's a big projection screen in there. Then there's a smaller flat panel upstairs in a common area that my kids will use to watch curious George, super-why, etc. We don't have any conventional TV service; I wouldn't bother getting one.

We still have POTS, and POTS handsets and wiring in the house (but its star-wired with cat5e, and rnu back to our patch panel, so we can change to ip if we like)

Honestly wouldn't wire for it at this point; if you're both geeks, I'd put an asterisk box in the wiring closet and then use VOIP handsets in the house. We mostly use DECT handsets where like 3-4 wireless handsets go through one wired base.

My wife watches "her" video content on a laptop. Tablets, laptops, etc are much more convenient for media consumption than fixed devices. My wife watches lots of junk tv via streaming services, while sitting in the bath tub. A tv in our bedroom would be of little use, but might contribute to bad habits...

One thing you might want to do is building a wiring closet and server closet. Make your end-user devices as quiet/fanless/small as possible.

Another thing that will be relevant in a house of your size is having at least one computer or device setup with a "guest "account in a common/public area of the house. Make sure it has access to a good black and white printer. Invariably, your guests will need to login, print their boarding passes, etc, before you kick them out after a few days :)

Tighter focus... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 2 years ago | (#41796569)

$10-20k is your budget?

Seems pretty small unless you're doing all your own labor or your own your own contracting company...

A kitchen remodel alone is going to run you between 10-20k... Since this is your inlaws house, why not ask them what they want in it? Do they want to play PS3 in any room of the house? Doubt it. Maybe they want a up to date kitchen with high end appliances? Or they want to rip out all the carpet and put in new hardwood floors with new molding and remove all the linoleum in favor of tile in the bathrooms and kitchen... and then paint the whole interior to refresh the walls/ceiling to go along with the new floors. Or install new 2xpane windows....

All sorts of things that add immediate and long lasting value to the house. If your inlaws sell it one day, telling someone "there's an dust free glass enclosed entertainment center" only appeals to a tiny percentage of buyers, however 2xpane windows and a up to date kitchen appeals to almost everyone.

Also, why are you asking /. what your inlaws want instead of them?

Re:Tighter focus... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41796767)

A contractor-grade kitchen remodel is going to run $30k if you do everything yourselves. A nice kitchen remodel is more like a $50k+ project. You can do a kitchen remodel for under $20k if you don't count any labor, but it means very pedestrian appliances and disposable-grade cabinets.

I think if their budget is $20k, stripping the house to studs is going to result in an unfinished house that is unsaleable. I'd be willing to bet they drop close to $1000 in roll-off rental and tipping fees at the landfill, and at least a couple hundred more in permits.

I presumed they no owned their in-laws home (who are in a retirement center, or beyond). I'd go with finishes and a good wifi system. If there's money, a mini-split HVAC for the two offices. Residential heating systems are notoriously poorly balanced, and getting your office just the right temperature for work is critical for efficiency. A Mitsubishi Mr. Slim or similar will set them back $4000-5000, but will pay huge dividends in terms of comfort and efficiency.

room-by-room zoning (2)

chrispitude (535888) | about 2 years ago | (#41796589)

This is out of your remodel budget, but it's a possibility for future new construction. Consider room-by-room zoning: []

This system places a small, discrete wireless thermostat in every room, which provides two advantages:

* Each room can respond separately to room-specific demands, eliminating hot and cold spots in the house.
* Different rooms can have different temperature programs.

We have the older version of this system (MyTemp) and we love it. It's not cheap, but I only paid the difference between the builder's standard 2-zone system and this system. Some highlights from our own use:

* To simplify scheduling, you can group rooms together to form named zones. For example, we group the master bedroom/bathroom/closet into "Master Suite". Most of the downstairs is grouped into "Living Space".

* We set our toddler's room to more moderate temperatures than our room, since we like it very cold at night.

* Guests can set the guest bedroom to whatever they like. When the room is not used, we simply press the button on the wall controller to put it into "Saver" mode. This runs the room on an alternate program you define with wider temperature swings.

* Any room can be put into/out of Saver mode at any time.

* The temperature of any room can be overridden temporary with arrow buttons on the wall controller. Just came in from mowing the lawn and you're hot and sweaty? Crank the temperature down in the family room and kick back! It changes the temperature of that room only, leaving other rooms in the house/zone undisturbed.

* Each room/zone is completely programmable. For example, our bedroom is on a 7-day schedule (it's always relaxed during the day), but the toddler's room is on a 5/2-day schedule (relaxed during weekdays because he's at daycare, conditioned during weekend days because he takes naps).

* I work from home. My home office always ran hot due to the two computers. With this system, it now directs air conditioning to the office as needed, which has been fantastic. No more fiddling with vents!

* You can bring up temperature graphs for each room that allow you to see the temperature history and heat/AC calls from the room. I can actually see the air-conditioning demand follow the sun on a room-by-room basis as the sun swings around from the east to the south to the west. All rooms stay perfectly comfortable, regardless of whether the blinds are opened or closed, etc.

* For special rooms like dedicated home theater rooms or workout rooms, this system is a huge advantage. Anyone with a home theater can tell you how warm they can get after two hours with the projector, A/V equipment, and a bunch of dead bodies. With Emme, the room will demand as much air-conditioning as it needs. If you don't use the room often, put it in Saver mode as you walk out to save a few bucks.

* House-sized HVAC units have minimum airflow requirements. When only one or a few rooms are calling, the system conditions as many additional rooms as needed to meet the minimum airflow requirements of your HVAC unit, using a pressure sensor in the plenum to account for any flow differences from room to room. It's smart enough to choose the rooms that are furthest from their comfort points, which would have been the rooms that would have called next anyway.

* To save energy, the system can circulate air instead of running your heating/cooling. This is possible because it knows the temperature of every room. For example, in the summer, it can circulate air from your cooler rooms on your first floor to warmer rooms on your second floor, without kicking on the AC compressor.

This may all sound complicated, but it's not. The complexity is hidden from you. You simply create your zones and program temperatures over time, and the system does the rest. The best advertising for this system is the user manual: []

Feel free to ask me any questions; I'd be happy to share our experiences.

Hide it all, keep it practical (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41796601)

One thing I can't stand is in-your-face electronics. Save that for the Epcot Center exploration exhibits.

With 10-20k - even doing it all yourself - you're really just looking at finishes. New floor covering, new paint. If you're handy, bathrooms might be an inexpensive target with new vanities/fixtures/toilet (hint:Toto). The kitchen is pretty much out. Look at your lighting - is it sufficient? Is it economical? Is is pleasing? Look at colors, window treatments, and accessories.

This is where you will live and, possibly, work. TVs are nice, but don't go overboard. Make it efficient - that's the true geek. Examine how your day workflow is, and install all the things you need so you don't waste time on the mundane stuff. Coffee, meal prep, snacks/entertainment gear, phone system (if hardwire, then distribution matters, if you're a cell-only house, check your signal and look into an amplifier to guarantee strong signal that taxes your mobile phones as little as possible).

On the tech side, you can look into hardwiring for data to the offices, but that's it - and it's not even critical to be honest. Go wireless, but be smart about it. 5GHz and a coordinated distribution system is key. A server closet would be nice. Oh - whatever you buy for your main interface and router, get two identical models. $200 sounds expensive until your network goes down due to a hardware failure. A distributed system is going to have setup configurations you don't want to have to re-create from scratch with new hardware.

If you just have 20k to buy "stuff" and the house is already remodeled, you can start thinking about a heavy duty server system with data/video/etc distribution. If you took my advice above and put in a balls-up wireless system, you're way ahead of the curve for a connected house. Fishing new wire sucks. Installing conduit is even harder. Accept the fact that nothing you are using now will work in 5 years, and build your system so it doesn't pigeon hole you into a single system. If you keep your file server and media server distinct, it will give you the option of upgrading gracefully or in parallel.

Of course, this ignores what you really should be doing with your $20k, which is: do the things that will pay dividends first. Look at your energy efficiency (heat pump?, gas?), inexpensive but energy efficient replacement windows, heat pump based hot water heater, efficient but pleasing lighting, proper ventilation, easily upgraded insulation areas, etc..

Energy efficiency (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41796613)

Unless your inlaws are rich they will appreciate you creating an energy efficient house. You could think about solar of some kind, but more fundamentally if you are want things like LCD screens as photo frames you need to get the most efficient ones you can.

What could be nicer? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41796641)

If you're doing a down-to-studs remodel of a 3,000 square foot house, what kind of house are you planning for your "much, much nicer house down the road"?

I live in a 65 year old house that's less than half the size that went through a similar remodel - including completely rewiring and replumbing the house to get rid of the old knob-and-tube wiring and galvanized steel plumbing, and I can't imagine what else I'd want in a house, so I'm curious what someone sees as a "much, much nicer" house than a completely remodeled house. Wouldn't it be more cost effective to pay a bit more now to do a nicer remodel and get the house you want?

Oh, and we did wire for data: coax + cat6 to the livingroom and master bedroom, cat6 to each bedroom (2 boxes on opposite walls) and to kitchen/dining room... all pulled back to the second bedroom closet where the patch panel, and ethernet switch live. Conduit from each outlet box runs to the crawlspace so I can easily fish in new cables as needed.) A pair of PoE powered Wifi nodes in the attic provide good coverage throughout the house and the back deck.

It turns out that except for the livingroom for the cable, most of the wiring goes unused - too annoying to plug/unplug the laptop from the ethernet jack everytime I want to move to another room, so I almost always use Wifi. The full-sized computer in the den is hardwired, but it's rarely used. My Wifi network speed is faster than my internet connection, so Wifi bandwidth doesn't matter except for when the laptops run backups, which are scheduled to run at night.

Why the wide range in available cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796655)

Your low to high range is double. Why such a wide swing?
Aside from that? I don't need gadgets for my house and such. I carry all the tech I need in my pocket. It sounds like you're just trying to waste some money on tech just for bragging rights.

Pneumatic Tubes! (1)

justfred (63412) | about 2 years ago | (#41796683)

Every house needs a serious series of tubes.

Think of it - you could send a sandwich from the kitchen to the den. You could send the mail from the office to the front door. Route laundry and garbage to their appropriate destinations.

Why send electrons when you can send atoms?

(Example, there are lots of others:) []

We can do better than this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796687)

I feel bad, most of the comments here are geared towards non-tech worries like pricing, space, and extra appliances. He came to Slashdot for tech ideas. He seems like he has a lot of money so let him worry about the finances, not us.

Personally, I would have the entire house wired for Cat 6 and also install the latest WiFi (I lose track of which is which). One idea you might consider is having a central computer act as a terminal server, and then placing WinRT or Windows 8 tablets in the walls throughout the house. This would be handy since you don't need a keyboard/mouse to interact, and they can all use Remote Desktop to run your applications off the terminal server. Dedicating a closet as a server closet might be a good idea too.

You could wire the house for HDMI, using maximum length cables combined with repeaters. Have them all connect to an AV selector in your server closet so you can switch between showing PS3 and computer screen at will. I use MakeMKV to copy all Blu Rays I can get my hands on so that I don't have to find the disc anytime I want to watch a movie.

A collection of WiFi security cameras throughout the house should be a given, archiving their data to your NAS device.

Something I always thought would be cool to do is take a room in the house and put projectors in so that every wall is 100% covered, and then show panoramic scenes on them. Not practical, but definitely cool. Imagine walking into a room where you could get a 360 degree view of Niagra Falls, the Grand Canyon, or downtown New York.

First recommendation: get more money (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41796691)

For a 3000SF house, stripped to the studs, I'd recommend about $50/SF minimum for a rebuild if you're going to do it all yourselves. Maybe $80-100 if you have someone else doing the heavy lifting.

RG6, wallplates and your cable/satellite company (1)

Watcher07 (1476391) | about 2 years ago | (#41796701)

Coming from a background in broadband, I'd agree with ka9dgx. Run conduit through an attic or crawl space. Each wall plate would ideally have two coax connections, an ethernet port and usb charging port unless the wall plate is specifically for a device (i.e. wall mounted tv). Having two coax ports allows an easy way to have both satellite and cable (for the internet) without dealing with a specialty splitter. Also, only activate the cable jacks you'll be using and if you are just going to activate a bunch, make sure to have a bi-directional amp (not regular house amp) or else your transmit will end up too high from too many splitters (if you're going with cable). If you do end up going with a cable company for tv or internet, have them send a tech out and let them check the system and show them where you're putting jacks and what the overall plan is so they can help give you on site ideas for streamlining it.

Unrealistic budget (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about 2 years ago | (#41796731)

Seriously, have you priced stuff at all? Unless you are going with cheap, Walmart brand televisions, your TVs alone can eat your budget.

DON'T TAKE IT DOWN TO THE STUDS!!! I was in a house for 10 years that needed some repair work. The first thing I did was take off the wood paneling in one of the rooms almost as soon as I moved in. Bad mistake - I bought the sheetrock, but hanging it was another issue. Then you have to texture. Oh, and you will probably have to put in new insullation. Took me forever to get it done, and it looked ugly because I really had no clue what I was doing.

With that kind of budget, you might be able to do the bathroom, and maybe the kitchen. If the bathroom is small (like the majority of American bathrooms), you may want to expand by knocking out a hall closet or something. Just do a bit of planning. Pay someone to do sheetrocking, then put up tile, tile the floors, replace shower and tub with something really nice, replace toilet (actually go to Home Depot and look at different toilets. It may sound something trivial, but might as well make "having to go" more enjoyable, and a nice toilet you can get out for under $100 on), replace sinks and vanity, replace mirrors, maybe wallpaper if the wife is into it.

That right there is probably about $5-10k, depending on how nice you want to go (you could probably get out for under $1000, but the parts you will be replacing with are probably not going to look as nice as what is already there).

Once you are FINISHED, then you can do the second bathroom.

Replace counter tops, cabinets and appliances in the kitchen. Maybe add an island and replace floor.

Your budget is gone. Forget televisions, forget bedrooms, forget the living room, forget wiring the house.

Seriously, watch a few television shows about people who flip houses. Especially try to catch a few episodes about first time flippers. People on those shows can easily sink $50k-$100k on a house half your size - and that doesn't include tech stuff.

My dream kitchen... (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41796735)

Touch screen computer built into the wall with Internet access. Bookmarks to recipe websites, Food network, and a calendar/planning system for keeping track of food inventories. A small printer to print out labels for foods. Also, iTunes or Pandora, and a good 5.1 speaker system set up throughout the kitchen.

More counter space than any one person could ever possibly need - or so you'd think. Two stoves, two ovens (one convection.) A central island with a bar on one side. A large dry pantry. An entire wall cabinet dedicated to storing cooking dishes. Two refrigerators. A deep freezer. A microwave oven that doesn't have an LCD interface left over from 1985. (Good lord that pisses me off. $350 for an over-the-stove microwave, and the display still only handles 8 characters at a time. What the hell, Maytag?!)

Proper track lighting overhead, and recessed lighting under the top cabinets. One counter taken up by a giant chopping block cutting board. Good tile floor, not linoleum. A comfortable rug in front of the main stove. A proper tile backsplash behind the sink. That new no-touch on-off faucet I've been seen commercials for that basically predicts whether you need the water on by your body language.

The bathrooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796739)

My answers are not typical drool list, I will post things that would make sense.

New breaker, Make sure it was ton's of amps available. Figure out how much you need for everything, add about 30% more for expansion.
I agree with conduit everywhere comment above.
Network closets are nice to have, But if you do make sure that it has proper cooling.

You will like these. They provide a little bit a light, but not blinding at 4am when you walk in the bathroom


Wainscotting and conduit (4, Interesting)

MickLinux (579158) | about 2 years ago | (#41796753)

I would have easily removable wainscotting for access to the walls, and lots of conduit allowing whatever room-to-room connections I might need later. I'd model it on hospital setups, but go cheaper:I'd use luann paneling for the wainscotting, for example.

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