Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flushing.....Toilet Options

Okay! I am reviewing toilets, it's glamorous research for sure. The main review element for toilets is "gpf" gallons per flush.
The new trend for elongated bowls is annoying with a small bathroom as we have in our 1950's home. There are a lot of great options that have been crossed off our list because they are ridiculously large for our space, and look silly to boot.

So far we've got;

A) Dual Flush, Avg. $170

  • A nice looking one piece
  • 1.1 gpf - 1.6 gpf

B) Low Flow, Avg. $130

  • 1.28 gpf
  • Hard to find without elongated bowl design

C) Waterless Composting, Avg. $1300--What!

  • Seriously expensive
  • Ew, I'm not prissy, but I have a hard time with this idea

D) Grey Water Flush System, Avg $280, plus cost of toilet

  • This system seems like a good idea, it uses grey water from your bathroom sink to flush the toilet so you aren't wasting fresh water every time you flush, the tank is stored in your vanity, but there are some issues that don't make it a great idea yet.
  • You have to buy a toilet that has at least a 1.6 gpf rate, it won't work with dual flush or low flow toilets.
  • It uses electricity for every flush, to pump the water from the storage tank to the toilet.
  • It steals a significant amount of storage and can't be used with pedestal or floating style vanities.
  • For the cost you could buy a really nice low flow and skirt all the issues.
  • If you could get the system at a better price and make it work on low flow toilets, I would be much more excited.

Any other systems I have missed here?

Anyone have any experiences to share?

Green Products Can Be Confusing....

Wow, I have found so many products that will help us do this project green. Living in Washington, we have a lot of companies in the area that are eco-friendly. But it has been pretty challenging figuring out how to evaluate each product. From paint to insulation there are so many options out now. Most products are relatively new, with no real history of performance to rely on. We are cautious folk, I'm not about to spend all our time and money on something that won't last and perform it's function. It's also been difficult to determine how green certain products are, just because the advertising says something is "eco-friendly" does not mean it's even close to the most efficient or effective product out there. So we are trudging through products, one at a time. It's amazing to google each one and find reviews and real data on the pure facts. We are so lucky to have all this info out there. Right now the name of the game is research! Dig, dig, dig!

The Plan

We are in the process of purchasing a 1950's brick home in the Puget Sound. The home had the same owner for 45 years, and older woman who is now in Alzheimer's care. We actually used to live just down the road from this home and walk our dogs past it everyday, but never knew it was there. The home is surrounded by Camilla & rhododendron shrubs that reach above the roof, combined with the three large cedar trees around the house, it is impossible to see where the house is until you are ten feet away. Our first order of business is to prune!
Our mason came yesterday to confirm our assessment of some of the cracks on the outside of the home. All the cracks are completely normal and no threat to the home, so now we are trying to make sure our loan goes smoothly. To help our loan get approved without issue we are going to clean the brick home. The old owner's son is selling the home and the home is generally cleared out. The roof however is covered in moss, a big no no for appraisals, and the inside of the home is quite dirty from years of this woman living there by herself with stuff stacked everywhere. We know this from the seller's agent, who knew the family.
We are going to try and keep up the blog as we go through the process of gutting the home and restoring it as eco-friendly as we can on our super tight budget.
But first we have to get the house!