Is Cedar Rapids, Iowa's climate amenable to having sunrooms create solar gain during the winter? We have an unobstructed south-facing dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom and bath which could all open onto it. Total available length is about 50 feet. I assume passive solar is cheapest but don't know if it would work compared to some simple active solar design.
We recently purchased a berm home. The main level is cement and we are trying to figure out if there is an alternative to the costly DriCore for a moisture barrier. Also, will we need a moisture barrier throughout the house for all types of flooring?
I am looking to put new siding on. I live in the mid-west and need something good for adverse conditions and so on. I know that vinyl has certain advantages, like no painting and durability. I am also looking at Hardie plank - which does require painting. Is what better than the other in my climate? What about the cost of vinyl versus hardie?
We like the cool green look of a grass yard, but want to be water-wise with the new home we'll be building soon near Sioux City, Iowa. For trees and ornamentals we'll use drip irrigation. It may be heretical, but we're thinking of artificial turf. Over a 15-year period, what are the costs--sod, installation, water, fertilizer, moving, weeding-- of real grass versus artificial turf landscaping?
I recently purchased a grand 1907 Craftsman in Cedar Rapids. The windows in the entire house are painted shut! What is the fastest way to open up those old windows? I don't want to replace them or damage them, of course.
My husband and I love our 85-year-old farmhouse near Iowa City but we don't love the outdated kitchen. We believe the previous owners remodeled the space in the 1970s so it's due for an update. Any tips for planning a kitchen remodel that brings the character back to our home?
Our neighbors had their kitchen cabinets refaced but were told that some would eventually need replacing anyway since the shells had lost integrity. We're looking at refacing with new veneer and plan to bring people in for quotes. What should we look for if a contractor tells us we need new cabinets entirely?