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While I have always enjoyed his shows, and he is a true craftsman, I have always thought of it like a reality show: good tv but not very useful in real life. How many people have a huge workshop, $50,000 worth of tools and a custom finishing shop? How many times on shows did you see him make a mistake, and eveyone makes them, even him.
Chris, you need to get out from behind the computer more often. To dismiss the frozen pipe arguement with such a casual attitude is unworthy of Fine Homebuilding.
I have been involved with the construction of many commercial buildings and for higher education where the sprinkler pipes are in insulated spaces, from Oregon to Minnesota to Missouri to Georgia. I have had them freeze and break in NUMEROUS instances. The resultant mess is unbelieveable. The skanky water that has been sitting in the pipes, sometimes for years, is incredible. The mess that is created is worse than a fire.
Moreover, I have never had them discharge for a fire, and have spent millions of dollars installing them. Not that I would build a commerical/educational building without them, due to the heavy occupant load and multiple stores, but you need to know that they really do freeze and not blithly dismiss the objection.
Second, I have had the heads broken off more times than I can count. When this happens the mess is, again, incredible. And yes it does happen.
In a residential application, I would object to them, not from a cost standpoint, but because I think the cost is not an effective use of a budget. If occupant protection is the goal, I would put the money into more effective smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, better fireproofing of materials (including cedar shakes and siding), portable fire extinguishers (and their proper use), and community education for fire prevention and responding to a fire.
Don't be so quick to dismiss reader concerns. Healthy discussion is good, for both sides of an issue. It's what we expect from Fine Homebuilding.
I've said it before and I'll say it again (as have a number of other players): The pictures are too small to be effective. Also, many of the "errors" appear to be regional as some of them are not a problem in my area. It would be nice if the errors were significant and not just a ladder leg Photoshopped off. It would also be nice to be able to see all of the errors by clicking on a button.
Good idea but the photo needs to be larger or oriented better. It's hard to tell there is a 2 x 4 plate on a 2 x 6 wall. Also hard to see the missing framing below the window. And what about the jacket hanging on the ladder? That's a mistake but it's not included.
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