Today I had lots of fun attending a new-home warranty orientation. After a host of "oohs and aahs" about the gorgeous Brazilian cherry hardwood floors and the palatial whirlpool tub in the master bathroom, I had the good fortune to learn some tidbits about the mechanical equipment in the basement.
This may sound strange to you. However, since early February, my husband and I have been involved in a major remodeling project in our own basement at home. Before the contractors could begin to create a large bathroom and family room, they had to redo the HVAC ductwork, rewire the electricity, add another electric panel, and reroute the water pump in the laundry room. Then, they had the grueling job of digging a large circular hole through four inches of concrete in order to install a high-tech macerator for the new bathroom. All this exposure to the "guts" of HVAC components, plumbing, and electrical circuitry created a simultaneous fascination and appreciation for the technical expertise of builders and contractors.
During this morning's warranty orientation, I was most impressed by the gas fireplace with the high-tech remote control boasting the ability to maintain a desired ambient temperature by raising and lowering the flame automatically. Even more impressive, this remote control emits a loud alarm sound if it is removed from the family room making it impossible to misplace.
In the mechanical room of the basement, my clients and I learned how the expansion tank of the hot water heater functions. We learned the basics about the furnace's water condensation pump, the four-inch thick air filter with anti-allergen ions, and the pre-installed Radon mitigation system.
Beyond the unique educational experience, I gained considerable respect for this particular builder's quality of construction. By planning carefully, using top-notch building materials, and anticipating potential problems before they occur, this builder demonstrated the importance of quality control of construction. If my clients ever decide to finish their basement, they won't have to under inferior construction or redo ductwork.
In addition to the state-of-the art stainless steel appliances or sumptuous Italian marble tile, there are vital components in new-home construction which, though less exciting, differentiate one builder from another. The time that I spent earlier today learning about all the innovations and high-caliber mechanical components in this new home was well worth it. If only I had known some of this valuable information when we built our home 13 years ago!