Coming into The Home Stretch

(October 2016). The 2017 New American Remodeled Home is coming into the home stretch.  Professional Remodeler and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are cosponsors of the remodeling idea house, which will be featured at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla., in January 2017. We’re bringing you monthly progress updates on the project, leading up to the show.

Since early this year, design/build and interiors firm Phil Kean Design Group (PKDG), Winter Park, Fla., has been working on morphing the outdated 1987 house into a deluxe and energy-smart island-style home.

In the last month extra-large floor tiles were laid throughout the main floor. At 24x48 inches, the porcelain carrera tile product, new from Daltile, requires so few grout lines that it gives the effect of solid marble sheets. The tile work generates less waste than stone because of the durability and break-resistance of porcelain.

Large tiles typically present installation challenges. Henri Girem, of subcontractor Girem Tile Works, used a multi-layer process to install these super-size tiles. After placing a fracture membrane over the slab, he applied thin set, then a 1/2-to 3/4-inch mud set as a leveling compound, then another coat of thin set as a gluing agent, and then the tile. Since thin set shrinks as it dries, he says, a floor composed of such heavy tiles would be uneven without the mud bed.

Giren adds that, due to the manufacturing process, all porcelain tiles larger than 12x12 will have some bellying, however slight. Consequently he straight set the tiles, which aligned all the corners, assuring a smooth, level floor.

Also in the last month cabinetry installation was completed in the kitchen, baths and laundry, with granite tops set in place. A large granite surround has been installed around the great room fireplace.

Plumbing trim out has been finished. Faucets, shower valves, sinks, toilets and the master bathroom tub have been installed. The low voltage contractor completed trim out of the security and audio systems, including motion sensors and speakers.

Electrical trim out is well under way. Recessed cans were installed in all the rooms. Light switches, receptacles and decorative light fixtures are going in throughout the house.

As work has progressed, the trim carpenter has come to do finish work. He put in baseboards when the flooring was done, and installed casings around doors and windows. Next up: crown molding and ceiling work.

Behind the house, the pool deck is complete. Fencing went up around the pool--a code requirement in Florida -- so that the pool itself can be finished, inspected and filled.