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  1. #1
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    Default Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    We are going to build a new house in the country. The architect has been hired and we now are in the process of organizing all of our thoughts regarding various design aspects.

    One part of the design I am spending a lot of time with is general dirt control. We are city folks and could notice right away that country living presents a real challenge regarding intrusion of OUTSIDE into INSIDE. So right from the beginning I could see that a lot of thinking and planning needed to be done for dirt control.

    So far I know that a mud room is indispensable. And I can also see that it's important to generally put a 'clean barrier' around the living structures - things like wide gravel walkways and maintained lawns.

    What are some of the other ideas and techniques you have used to build an effective transition from plowed field into clean kitchen?

    Thanks,
    Martin

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    Boot scrapers.
    Door mats.
    Hot water heat instead of forced air.
    Outside entrance to basement.
    Outside entrance to garage.
    Outbuilding for workshop and/or tractor storage.
    Paved walkway between outbuildings and main house.
    Place to put your shoes when you come in the house, like cubby holes or trays.
    Umbrella stands with drip trays near doors.
    More boot scrapers and door mats. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
    I saw a central vac system that had little doors cut into the kick plates under the kitchen like these. Very cool!

    Do you have pets?

    When I was a kid, we had a very smart dog. He'd come in all muddy and we had a rag box near the front door. Mom would say, "Wet feet!" and that dog would plop down, roll over on his back and let us wipe his feet off. Then mom would hand him the rag and say, "Put it away." He'd take it to the laundry room and drop it on the floor in front of the washing machine(then he'd waddle over to the kitchen and sit in front of the dog biscuits until properly rewarded).

    Train your pet to do that. Well, at least get a rag box near the door [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    <font color="red"> When I was a kid, we had a very smart dog. He'd come in all muddy and we had a rag box near the front door. Mom would say, "Wet feet!" and that dog would plop down, roll over on his back and let us wipe his feet off. Then mom would hand him the rag and say, "Put it away." He'd take it to the laundry room and drop it on the floor in front of the washing machine(then he'd waddle over to the kitchen and sit in front of the dog biscuits until properly rewarded). </font>

    My dog's code word is FOOTIES and she will roll over and let you wipe her feet down. . . but I never thought to train her to put the "dog towel" into the laundry room! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    I find that pet can track more dirt through a house than a whole bundle of kids ever will dream of bringing in.


  4. #4
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    Michigan
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    New Holland TC40D Supersteer

    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    * Entrance to a bathroom from the garage.

    We just built, and although the bathroom is close to the garage, I still walk across the foyer tile to get there.

    It is such a pain to take the boots off for a two minute visit.


    Other than dirt, also consider outside air intrusion. I don't know if it gets cold where you are, but consider an "airlock" setup (using the outside door, and a second door into the living space) for the most used doors so wind doesn't blow through the house each time the doors are opened

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    My dog??? Hang on while I catch my breath from laughing so hard! And yes ... at this moment I'm looking at a smudge of dirt on the floor caused by that bad boy.

    So the mud room gets pet gear.

    Thanks for the ideas. I had not considered the idea of separating outbuildings, with connecting walkways.

    One of the things I did on our property (which now has a small cabin) was to build gravel walkways. I did that originally to get walkways on the cheap. But the grinding action of the gravel also cleans your shoes to a degree.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Northern Illinois
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I saw a central vac system that had little doors cut into the kick plates under the kitchen like these. Very cool! )</font>

    Hey, that is cool.

    The Shakers were fond of putting a hidden hole in the floor of each room that you could uncover and sweep the dirt into. The holes led to a box in the basement where the dirt fell and was was collected. If I built a house I would opt for putting these in every room. What a help.

    Cliff

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Main: Case 235

    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    Hey, Martin. We opted for all hard floor surfaces. We had considered this before we started building, but the decision was brought home when we took out the wall-to-wall carpet in the old house. Whereas the carpet may have weighed a couple of pounds per square yard, the dirt contained in it was much more. (Oh, and JazzMom wants it made clear at this point that she vacuumed regularly, and had them steam-cleaned routinely, also.)
    We could not have imagined the amount of sand (dirt) we pick up now that would otherwise be caught in the carpeting. Yuck!


  8. #8
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    Another thing they put under the kick plates along all the kitchen cabinets was some type of dimmable rope type lighting. If he hit a switch at the kitchen entrance, just the rope lighting came on. It was nice at night because it was perfect to guide your way to a midnight snack without blinding you... a soft orange glow to the cookie jar [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( We opted for all hard floor surfaces. )</font>

    Yes, we also have hardwood or tile everywhere for the same reason. Carpets just don't come clean and hold lots of mold and mites and all that nasty stuff. Hardwood you just sweep the floor relatively clean and mop them completely clean. Throw rugs work great and can be tossed in the washing machine.

    Having dogs, I wish we had a bathtub installed about two feet off the ground in the mud room. Sometimes, just washing the feet isn't nearly enough and the trip upstairs to give them a bath is pretty messy.

    Cliff

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Home Design Ideas - Dirt Control

    Further helpful new home hints at: New House Tips please


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