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G&T ice n slice
4th Feb 2015, 19:39
Was mulling this over and I realised that in almost all dwellings the longest distance between individual rooms is usually on the axis bedroom - kitchen/utilities.

Strange that

Solid Rust Twotter
4th Feb 2015, 19:52
Showers. Why are they designed for use by crippled dwarves?

The shower rose is usually set at nostril or shoulder height and canted at an awkward angle from the wall, causing one to crouch down to get adequately wet, then hop about like a chimp with a nappy full of porridge in order to get to all the bits.

The solution is to mount the shower rose seven feet off the floor on a fitting that extends it at least 20 inches from any wall. Of course the architectural geniuses who design houses continue to fook it up regardless unless you corner them with blood in your eye and threaten bodily harm until they get it right.:rolleyes:

con-pilot
4th Feb 2015, 19:59
Same here, I always thought that having the utility (laundry) room the farthest from the bedrooms seemed a bit odd. Should be one of the closest. Iíve noticed that in new, more expensive homes that many times the washer and dryer are in the master bedroomís closet. After all, that is where the dirty clothes are.

As for really, really expensive homes, they are on the opposite side of the house from the bedrooms, up to the maid to get the dirty clothes there and wash them. :p

As for the kitchen, personally Iíd just as soon have it on the opposite side of the house.

wings folded
4th Feb 2015, 20:22
Showers.

Now you have got me started!

The on off tap and temperature control tap is always directly below the overhead fixed shower head.

So you are forced to stand under the wrong pressure / wrong temperature jet while you fumble feebly with the controls, myopia not helping.

Why has nobody ever offset the controls to the side wall, where you could finesse the output while remaining dry, until the perfect pressure and temperature is achieved?

Whereupon you deign to insert the corpus under the jet in perfect conditions.

Never yet met a shower that satisfies the WF strict criteria.

KenV
4th Feb 2015, 20:30
Same here, I always thought that having the utility (laundry) room the farthest from the bedrooms seemed a bit odd. Should be one of the closest. I’ve noticed that in new, more expensive homes that many times the washer and dryer are in the master bedroom’s closet. After all, that is where the dirty clothes are.


Washing machines are not the quietest of appliances. Neither are dryers. Putting them in the master bedroom closet makes sleeping and doing the laundry mutually exclusive events.

By contrast, kitchens are noisy and by definition are equipped with cold and hot water lines along with large drain lines and gas lines. It makes a whole lot of sense to put the laundry close to the kitchen to minimize the expense of installing all the necessary infrastructure needed by the laundry.

ExSp33db1rd
4th Feb 2015, 20:44
My experience of hotel, and other, showers is that it is always a test of intelligence as to how to operate the damned thing. Does one push, pull, or turn the most obvious control knob/lever, almost always resulting in a deluge of cold water when least expected, and those that need some sort of gadget attached to the bath tap are totally incomprehensible.

EVERY bathroom worldwide, be it private home or hotel is different, and I thought I'd met them all, but no, last month a hotel actually beat me and I had to telephone Housekeeping. Turned out that one had to turn on the bath tap, then fiddle UNDER the spout, which was gushing scalding hot, or ice cold, water at force and locate a ring around the circumference of the spout and pull it down to cut off the supply to the spout and re-direct it to the shower head.

Could only have been designed by some spotty Youf who had been educated on a surfeit of Microsoft Flight Simulator and Windows H'eight or similar. Probably drew the design blueprint on an iPhone thinggy. :ugh:

Capetonian
4th Feb 2015, 21:05
I stayed in a fantastic hotel last weekend in LIS, one of my favourite places.

Very modern bathroom design. I had the same experience as ExSp33db1rd. Three unmarked taps in a row, and underneath the 6 inch wide waterspout into the bath. I turned the first one and out comes scalding water, which I then had to put my hand into to turn it off.

A couple of weeks ago I stayed at the Bloc Hotel at LGW. Very comfortable, ideal for a one night stay, great room overlooking the runway, but a 'wet bathroom' meaning that when you shower, everything gets wet, your washkit, towels, etc, unless you've thought to put them into the bedroom first, you then have to go into the bedroom, kaalgat and barefoot, slipping on the tiles, to get the towel. Stupid.

Then there's those hotels where you go into your room and there's no light until you put the card into a slot, which sometimes is not illuminated so you can't see it.

Then there's .......... hotels where the shelf next to the washbasin in the bathroom is so minute that there isn't even room for a man's kit, never mind the 481 implements, bottles, tubes and jars of potion and lotion that women have!

And why oh why FFS can't hotels put dampeners on doors so that they don't slam shut. It seems to be a feature of nearly every hotel I stay in. Dampeners on some of the guests would be good too.

con-pilot
4th Feb 2015, 21:36
Washing machines are not the quietest of appliances. Neither are dryers. Putting them in the master bedroom closet makes sleeping and doing the laundry mutually exclusive events.


That is why, as a general rule mind you, do not do the laundry when I'm in bed asleep. :p

seacue
4th Feb 2015, 22:46
I attribute the shower problems reported here to the fact that British bathrooms only got pressure hot and cold water in the recent past. Even 1950s American showers were generally well-designed. They were in houses where I lived.

Yes, I dislike the more-recent single-control shower / tub wherein one goes through all the possible combinations to get a suitable temperature. All the time at maximum flow rate.

con-pilot
4th Feb 2015, 22:59
What I do with single control showers, both at home and in the hotel rooms that have them, is to turn the handle to the full hot position, then after the water is hot is to just put the handle in the middle, at that point only minor adjustments need be made to achieve my desired temperature.

At home of course I know the exact position.



I hate showers that can only hit my body mid-chest in their most raised position.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 23:14
"Oh, Oh!. Please Sir, Me Sir. I know this one Sir!"
"Alright Fox 3, if you must"

"OK, you design your own house!"
"and you put the utility and the kitchen and the main bathroom above each other to minimize piping like wot KenV said.
and you do put the shower heads 7 foot up like wot SRT said, with a directable head so you can adjust the temperature without getting wet like wot Wings said, and it doesn't soak the whole bathroom like Capetonian said. And that way you can have the control directly under the head which means both more reliable and cheaper pipework.
And you fit PEX piping so each fitting gets a direct run from the tanks so it only takes 10 seconds to warm up anyway. And those nice single lever fittings from Moen which give constant pressure and you only have to rotate the lever for hotter, like wot ExSp33dbird said. And 'cos each fitting gets a separate feed it doesn't change temperature when someone turns the dishwasher on. And the bath spouts have a really bloody obvious pull on the end of the spout so even your cousin from the Prairies can work it out without asking (check;)). And with separate showers and baths you still get the same single lever fitting but just don't fit the other spout.
And it would be nice to have the laundry next to where you disrobe, but if the washing machine breaks and floods you are f#cked unless it's in the basement in the room with the sump pump, plus it's quieter so you can run it anytime which is important now that more renewable energy means people can often get a discount for using big appliances at odd times. But you make the bathrooms a bit bigger and fit a laundry box, and proper bedroom closets so you can have laundry boxes there too. And you put storage next to the washer & dryer so the bloody family can fetch their own clean stuff instead of mom having to distribute it all. And make the utility big enough to do the ironing there if you're that way inclined, with wireless speakers so you can iron to, like, Mozart, or whatever. "

"Very good Fox 3, apart from the expletives"
"But Sir! If the washing machine leaks in the master bedroom you are seriously f#cked. It'd cost thousands!"
"'Very inconvenienced' will do Fox3"
"OK Sir. Sorry Sir :("


..and I tell you guys, it all works, and it was very cheap, and it's bliss!

Pinky the pilot
5th Feb 2015, 00:36
Very good, Fox 3!:ok:

Two elephant stamps in your diary!:D

Krystal n chips
5th Feb 2015, 06:09
" but a 'wet bathroom' meaning that when you shower, everything gets wet, your washkit, towels, etc, unless you've thought to put them into the bedroom first, you then have to go into the bedroom, kaalgat and barefoot, slipping on the tiles, to get the towel. Stupid


A confused envious inferior writes....

About this shower and wet bathroom...do we assume said shower sprayed water across the bathroom, or, would closing the shower cubicle door, an innovative concept I am sure you will agree, negate the above ?.

wiggy
5th Feb 2015, 06:34
About this shower and wet bathroom...do we assume said shower sprayed water across the bathroom, or, would closing the shower cubicle door, .........

Errrr, I think the point is that it being a "wet room" there is no cubicle, or door, often no curtain and certainly no shower tray, - as a result just about everything in the room gets wet or at the very least damp (including the supposedly dry towels). I do understand completely why many hotels now have them, but as Cape rightly points out they can be a right PITA.

Stanwell
5th Feb 2015, 06:34
KnC.
Pretty simple, mate - there ain't no cubicle in a wet bathroom.

ExSp33db1rd
5th Feb 2015, 07:01
About this shower and wet bathroom...do we assume said shower sprayed water across the bathroom, or, would closing the shower cubicle door, an innovative concept I am sure you will agree, negate the above ?.

You've obviously never experienced a REAL "wet" bathroom. i.e. Asian in my experience (when renting a house in S.E. Asia) albeit with an added "throne" rather than just two porcelain footprints around a hole in the floor. No cubicle with door, no curtain, just a tiled floor with a drain in the middle and a bloody great shower head positioned above it, only very slightly adjustable in direction. Even the toilet paper gets wet, unless you remember to take it outside first.

Course, one can save time in the morning, shower and use the toilet at the same time ( and I don't mean just peeing in the shower. )

gruntie
5th Feb 2015, 07:17
Shower cubicles.
Of the kind that has nowhere to put shampoo bottles - or conditioner bottles - bars of soap - or anything else. Which seems to be virtually all of them.
So we have to use one of those chromed wire things with a hook on that go over a tap or pipe or something. Shabitat must have sold them in their thousands.
So the sudden addition of a shampoo bottle, slippery with its own contents, changes the centre of gravity so the wire thing takes on an immediate tilt that disgorges its entire contents all over the bloody floor. The wire thing, now empty, returns to normal.
Even worse when the controller is perfectly situated to be banged onto full hot by a wet arse while its owner is desperately scrabbling on the floor with soap running in his eyes trying to pick things up.
Don't ask me how I know.

SpringHeeledJack
5th Feb 2015, 07:33
In one's humble opinion, things are done a certain way and then it becomes VERY difficult to go against the trend, even if that which one is advocating makes sense. Ridicule and marginalization often follow and even if there are 'true believers' it is often a generation before the old ways are discarded and the new implemented.

I've noticed that homes that are designed a little outside the norm fail to sell as quickly as the vanilla variety, save for the one customer who finds it fantastic.



SHJ

mikedreamer787
5th Feb 2015, 08:05
I did find an upmarket hotel in China that had only two shower taps - HOT COLD with clockwise indicating arrows for intensity. A no brainer and the shower's up and running in less than 10 seconds.

The bad news is - while one is enjoying one's shower, out of the blue one suddenly experiences scalding heat for a second (sometimes longer) then a return to selected temperature. The cycle is unpredictable and suddenly one can get a full second of nut-freezing cold.

What gives? :confused:

charliegolf
5th Feb 2015, 08:14
Like Foxy, I designed and built (managed) my own house. Walk in wardrobe above the utility room, with a laundry chute twixt the two. That works well. Made the, 'rose too low' error on one of the 3 showers, but the others are good. Didn't get everything right, but it's how to get what you want. 1700 sq ft for £54k ex land, £26k. It took 17 weeks from dig to move in. 20 Years in Dec 15.

CG

Solid Rust Twotter
5th Feb 2015, 08:19
Single source for hot water and same for cold, with individual rooms tapped off the same line. Pity the poor bugger right at the end in rush hour. Similar setup in many places out here.

mikedreamer787
5th Feb 2015, 08:28
Thanks SRT. That's what I suspected.

G&T ice n slice
5th Feb 2015, 08:43
With hotels I think they have a system whereby there is a huge tank of very hot water that is pretty well continuously heated and as part of the 'tank' there is a complete pumped circuit and from that circuit each individual room has an offtake. Ergo every room should have the same pressure/flow of water as the pump responds to fluctuations to keep the delivery pressure constant.

or something like that...

The original thought process for this thread was the old joke

Capetonian
5th Feb 2015, 08:54
I don't understand the technicalities of it, but there are at least two hotels I stay in regularly where the hot water from the shower, bathtaps and handbasin is so hot that it's dangerous, to the extent that they have signs warning of the danger. I don't know what system they have but it comes out hot almost immediately.

There doesn't seem to be any need for such hot water, specially since there is a kettle in the room for making tea and coffee. Is there any reason why they wouldn't save money and the risk of a claim by lowering the temperature on the thermostats?

Reception, when I mentioned it, say : "We'll let the maintenance people know" but nothing ever happens.

MagnusP
5th Feb 2015, 08:54
New bathroom has a floor-level shower tray with the controls outside so no scald/freeze risk now. Shower heads at a fixed 7 feet up are fine for me, but not so good for MrsP who is only 5'1" and doesn't have to wash her hair every morning. Gotta be adjustable.

Utility room is near the back door. Carrying dry washing downstairs is easier than wet, so it makes sense to me to cart a still-light dry duvet cover downstairs to be washed, then the now-heavy wet duvet cover a few feet to the washing line.

Keef
5th Feb 2015, 09:02
Architects are good at the big concepts, but in my experience poor at the detail. The chap who designed our extension produced what he thought we wanted. We love it.

I designed the bathroom bit myself because his design was "somewhat lacking". The shower head is 7 feet up above the middle of the shower cubicle. The controls are at the end. There are three knobs one above the other: flow to overhead, temperature (to to the left, as required by the EU), flow to the wand. Everyone who uses it is told the system and understands it immediately.

There are two inset shelves - tiled - one large enough for the plethora of plastic bottles a lady needs, one little one for my glasses so I can see to get in and out of the shower.

All perfect. I wanted a third shelf, for the "shower cleaning kit" but SWMBO thought that would be silly. So the shower cleaning kit migrates to my "glasses shelf". Should have had the courage of my convictions.

The heated towel rail (on the heating system in winter, electric in summer) is just outside the shower door so the drippingly clean person can reach the towel without having to plan ahead or step out of the shower.

It comes down to "you have to think about it before telling the builder to to ahead".

mikedreamer787
5th Feb 2015, 09:25
one little one for my glasses so I can see to get in and out of the shower.You need glasses to get in an out of the shower Mr Keef? That myopic?

Mate at 71 its time to quit the habit or at least drastically cut down or you'll be blind by 80! ;)

Fareastdriver
5th Feb 2015, 09:41
I built my own shower room as well. The open cubicle has a central shower head seven feet up and on the wall are two sets of controls. The lower is the standard thermostatically controlled temperature and volume controls and the other is the four way directional control.
Up is for the shower head, right is for the wand, left is for the four directionable body jets mounted on the wall and the last is for the foot jets six inches above the floor. The water pressure is sufficient for the body and foot jets to run together at full bore.
This system was copied from a system I found in a hotel in China. It's very pleasant just standing there with six hot jets pummeling your body.

teeteringhead
5th Feb 2015, 10:03
One thinks of the criticisms of the Almighty in designing the human body.

Why put the "recreation area" so close to the "sewage plant"? :E

How would YOU redesign that??

cockney steve
5th Feb 2015, 10:03
Checked into a hotel at midnight, price non-negotiable, but they did relent and allow our Jack Russell in (we had his basket, etc)
First thing he did , was to leave a trail of pee across the artfully arranged throw across the foot of the bed.....we put him in the bathroom, overnight. It had some sort of seamless vinyl non-slip flooring in a creamy-beige.

In the morning, there were 2 very much lighter, cleaner, wetter patches on the floor. we mopped it with copious bog-roll and shampoo.
the over-bath shower was horrendous....move the selector a few microns from scalding to freezing. a work of art to set it.

The reason for scalding water? my guess is that a finite tank-capacity goes further , as the guests use less hot and "dilute" it with more cold. (hotter also lessens the risk of Leigonnaires and other microbial nasties breeding in the system.

David Bass
5th Feb 2015, 12:12
Scalding hot water is a response to legionnaire's disease. UK(/EU?) rules mean it must be above 60 Celsius at the tap end after a certain number of seconds, but I forget how many. Should also not be above 70 Celsius, if I recall correctly.

In other words - too hot to handle but should not be so hot as to instantly scald.

ian16th
5th Feb 2015, 12:16
Developer built houses are built with only one consideration in mind, PROFIT!

If a piece of copper or plastic pipe can be shortened by moving the location of a tap, sink, shower, loo or bath it will be done.

I once bought a house off a developer in the UK, the planned width of the living room was 12'2". With fitted carpet coming in 3, 6, 12 & 15ft widths I could see me having to buy 22" of 15" wide carpet and 'wasting' an expensive lump.

So I calculated that it would pay me to have very thick skirting boards fitted and be able to purchase 12' wide carpet.

So I phone up the builder and ask how accurate the plans were and what sort of tolerance could I expect on the width of the living room.

The reply was; 'It depends where the brickie put down the 1st brick!':ugh:

So I had to hold my breath, when I measured the finished house, the living room was 11' 10" wide :ok:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Feb 2015, 13:10
The cost of building a house to good standards, with much reduced heating and maintenance costs is, with my house, about 3% extra in materials. I believe that's typical. However, there's also labour with a developer's house, and of course 3% is significantly larger proportion of a developer's profits. OTOH, my electrician's and plumber's bill were quite a bit cheaper than normal as I designed the framing and room positions to make their life easier. The plumber was very pleasantly surprised. With a dropped ceiling in the utility also, he didn't have to cut a single joist or stud to run the pipework. He said it halved his labour bill, and he'd never had a house before where they'd thought of that.

There's a whole bunch of things architects/developers don't do.

They have the house facing the road. Mine faces south for maximum insolation.
They don't consider aspect with window positioning. Mine has 21% of the south wall as windows and 3% of the north wall.
They don't insulate for best lifetime efficiency, just minimum code.
They don't design the framing for ease of installation by contractors (elec, plumb, finishers, etc).
They don't design the framing and service positioning for ease of later maintenance/fault-finding.

Frankly, it's just laziness on the part of the architects mostly. They can't be @rsed to find out how all the other aspects of building a house work.

p.s. my kitchen width was designed to be 10' 1/4" finished to accommodate standard kitchen units with 1/4" wiggle room. Actual finished width...10' 1/4".Framing accuracy by...me. If you want a job doing....

sitigeltfel
5th Feb 2015, 13:35
In my experience, architects are only interested in building monuments to themselves. Property development is my game and unfortunately I have to consult them to ensure all the correct standards are adhered to and the necessary papers are available to keep the authorities happy. They typically ask for 10% of the project budget as a fee even if I provide all the concepts and drawings run up by me and my master of works. I have negotiated 4% with the one who has overseen my last three projects and he still seems to be able to run a nearly new Range Rover.

Tu.114
5th Feb 2015, 13:49
Many architects seem to struggle with the concept of getting rain water AWAY from the house. As soon as a dormer is added to a roof, one can safely bet that its roof will not be sloped outward, but inward on the architects initial drawing, thereby allowing rain water, leaves, dead birds and whatever else might land there to stagnate in a quiet little corner where the dormer and the main roof meet. All fine and dandy for the first, say, 10 years, but then all that stagnant stuff will start to seep through, rot the timbers, cause the need for repairs and finally result in the use of strong language. Better have the kids and wife step outside for a second when the bills trundle in and the realization sets in that one could have avoided this simply by sloping the roof the other way; some things they are really not meant to hear.

The finest example of this I have yet seen was a roof not shaped like a lambda, but like a very flat V with one single gutter in the middle.

londonblue
5th Feb 2015, 14:00
A friend of mine lives in a house that has its utility room upstairs next to the airing cupboard. Makes perfect sense to me.

I also saw on TV some time ago an architect had designed his own house with the utility room directly below the master bedroom, with a laundry chute between the two.

charliegolf
5th Feb 2015, 14:48
designed his own house with the utility room directly below the master bedroom, with a laundry chute between the two.

See post 20:ok:

CG

ian16th
5th Feb 2015, 17:13
Fox3

They don't consider aspect with window positioning. Mine has 21% of the south wall as windows and 3% of the north wall.When the Daily Mail sponsored the Ideal Homes Exhibition, they used to sell a book of plans. Many designs, such as a 'house for a narrow North facing plot' and other variations.

So orientation was once planned around.

Mind you I think I might be thinking of the 1960's.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Feb 2015, 17:22
The plans books are still produced, but it isn't what you see the developers building at the moment. I'm not sure of the reason(s).

charliegolf
5th Feb 2015, 17:27
The plans books are still produced, but it isn't what you see the developers building at the moment. I'm not sure of the reason(s)

1. They are bespoke ish.
2. They are not 'volume'
3. They are often larger.
4. As with our houses, Fox, they tend to be up-speced and future proofed wrt Building Regs and the like.

The 'Build Your Own Home' series by Murray Armour (now dead) used to be the 'course text' for house builders. I think someone else has picked up the mantle, keeping it updated, as Armour did.

CG

ExSp33db1rd
5th Feb 2015, 22:29
Many showers have controllers that are not labelled Hot/Cold Red/Blue so the Chinese simplicity mentioned doesn't work, one has a 50% chance of getting it right if the temperature controller is separate from the pressure control.

Then there are Italian showers, where the Hot tap is labelled Caldo !

GrumpyOldFart
6th Feb 2015, 00:22
Whoever thought it was a good idea to mount the toilet roll holder on the wall behind the throne, alongside the toilet tank?


:hmm: