Frequently Asked Questions
Money, Lease, and Suitemates...
What’s all inclusive?
For $1295 per month, standard housing expenses such as taxes, sewer bills, electric, water, internet, cable programming, bi-monthly cleaning of common areas, trash and snow removal are included. When things break, we’ll fix them. About the only utility bill you’ll have is your cell phone!
About the lease.
We’ll ask you to sign a 2-year lease. If at some point, shared living is not a fit for you, we’ll get right on finding a replacement tenant and ask you to honor your lease until we bring a new person in.
What’s the process of finding tenants for the house?
After finding the first tenant, from there on in, the process is a democracy and we’ll work together to get compatible folks on board.
Inside the Haus
How does our heating and air conditioning system work?
Each suite has its own heater and air conditioner controls. So, during the edge months of April and October, if one person likes a warm room and another person likes air-conditioning, choosing one or the other is not a problem.
Our first floor family room and stairwell are heated by radiant floors. When we run the temperature on the first floor at 70°, the heat traveling up the stairs keeps second floor in the 65 to 68 heat range. Lessons learned, the new coat we installed on the building is keeping the heat in the house.
How do the solar panels work?
When the sun is shining, the energy produced by the sun will either:
- Power the house,
- Charges our batteries, or
- Get transferred to PECO for a credit.
- When the sun is not shining, the home is powered by the batteries in the basement.
FYI: If the PECO power were to go out, we should be able to run the house on batteries for at least a week and maybe longer if the sun is out!
How does Reid Haus breathe?
We have a set of lungs in the basement (also known as an HRV) that moves fresh air in and out of the house on 24 x 7 basis. The yield, great indoor air quality.
What’s special about the lighting?
To maintain consistent lighting throughout the house, we have:
- Soft white LED bulbs throughout the house,
- Track mounted wall washers in every room, and
- Motion sensors and timers installed for lighting convenience.
Why two sets of laundry appliances?
We wanted to make it convenient for our tenants to tackle their laundry.
So, we installed a set of appliances on the third floor to service two suites and there’s a set on the first floor that accommodates suite No. 1. With laundry in the living areas, the only linens that will need to go up or down the steps are dishtowels!
Why filtered drinking water in all five bathrooms and kitchen?
We want our residents to consume “good for the pipes” water.
How do we make this happen?
We have a multistage water purifier located in the basement that removes virtually all carcinogens and contaminants from the water. When you walk up to any sink in the house, you’ll simply fill your glass via the fresh water tap and enjoy.
What’s a hot water circulator?
To make good use of our hot water, there is a doorbell looking button in each bathroom. When you’re ready to shower up, you’ll press the button, all the cold water in the pipes will be pushed back into the tank and you will have hot water ready to go for your shower. With the circulator, there is no more standing around watching perfectly good water go down the drain!
Sink twice toilet bowl
One way for you to help evangelize an appreciation for water is to introduce guests to the powder room just off the first floor family room. In this bathroom, you’ll find a clever sink on top of the rebuilt 60’s toilet. You will also find and old school bar of ivory soap.
How’s it work?
When you flush the toilet, prior to the water going in the tank bowl, it will come out of the facuet allowing you wash your hands!
Over-nite relatives or grand children?
The first floor family room just off the patio could easily accommodate a daybed or hide-a-bed.
For bigger family groups, we have a very clean Air BnB with a Harry Potter nook just a couple blocks away on Coates Street.
Each of our tenants will have access to locked storage in the basement.
Kitchen Layout and Design
Gena, a seasoned kitchen designer invested a whole lotta thought designing a kitchen with pantries for living. She documented all of her cooking engineering - we’ll share this with you soon!
What type of appliances are in the kitchen?
The refrigerator is the biggest GE we could fit in our kitchen. You can learn more about this icebox by googling model number PYE22KSKFSS.
The induction cooktop / range is from the GE profile line. Model number PHS920SF2SS.
BTW: She’s a beauty to cook with!
The dishwasher is 2 drawer Fisher and Paykel. Model number DD24DAX9. It’s the most convenient dishwasher we’ve ever used!
In terms of the garbage disposal, we’ll be using our natural vermiposter in the back yard (more about garbage disposal see “Accessibility and Housekeeping”).
Our Monthly Instant Pot Event
On a monthly basis, we’ll have an Instant Pot event at one of our community homes where contributors will bring their Instant Pot or compatible pressure cooker loaded with a delicious meal.
Things we’ll accomplish during our 90 minute event.
- Each “Instant Potter” will talk about their ingredients, timing, substitutions, challenges and field questions. During each talk, fellow i-Potter’s will sample the recipe.
- After all contributors have presented, our nutrition/foodie lead Sandy Gargus will talk about the nutritional side of the recipes and trade ideas & concepts with participants.
- All recipes will sit on an easy to retrieve spot on the Internet, and
- At the end of our session, each contributor will take home a ball jar sampler!
What’s an Instant Pot?
It’s a pressure cooker on steroids and the foundation for some of the best one pot meals you’ll ever consume. Reid Haus comes standard with an Instant Pot, an appliance that could also be a mainstay for outside lunch on our sunny 3 season patio.
Accessibility and Housekeeping
How is this home accessible?
When the need arises, we have engineered our steps to accommodate stairclimbers which will allow someone in a walker or with a cane to easily get around the house
In terms of cleaning, twice a month, Isidra will clean the common areas, sweep the front porch and gussy up the three season outside room. If you’d like her to clean your suite, after settling in on a price with her, she’ll get your cabin all gussied up!
Trash and recycling
We’ll have two cans out back and one of the local young guys in the neighborhood take care of putting out the the trash and recycling cans every Thursday night and bring them back on Friday.
How we’ll tackle garbage at Reid Haus?
Rather than use electricity, water and a garbage disposal, we’ll be making organic soil by feeding table scraps, coffee grinds and yes, egg shells to voracious red worms living in a BugaBay vermiposter.
To learn more about vermiposting, go to http://www.bugabay.com/
Outside the Haus
Solar powered outside grilling and cooking?
All doable - here’s what we have in place:
- Our 1930’s vintage porcelain sink,
- Solar powered electricity,
- Convection hotplate and oven, and
- A private, soon to be flowered up outdoor patio.
Can we garden?
Absolutely! If you want to grow some of your own veggies, we have a local community patch on Rebel Hill (two miles away) where you’ll be able to get dirt under the fingernails and enjoy fresh, home grown produce during the months of July, August, September and October.
How are we going to dress up the house with flowers?
We’ll be working with the folks at Nurturing Nature farm this spring so we can have blooming flowers in our street side patch and the raised bed on the south side.
Hummingbirds hanging out at Grove?
With our ally Lauren (she has a colony of Hummingbirds in Phoenixville) helping with this initiative, we’re going to make this happen!
It’s all about the native plants we’ll have in the works as soon as the springtime weather rolls in. Stay tuned :)
What kind of hummingbird compatible tree will we be installing?
Chris Carrington, our backyard lead has that all figured out. Can’t wait to see it full of those harrier jump jet type birds later in the year!
Why have an awning?
An awning is a proven old school way of solving house overheating issues during the sunnier months. It totally works!
Why an awning made from repurposed car hoods?
We want to teach our young physics students that virtually study the home that with creativity, smartly designed products can have a second life. The other reason why we made this awning from recycled car parts, with the functional headlights, it’s a pretty good look!
Fueling your car
In case you own an electric car, you’ll be able to plug-in and charge your car with the sun. No need to pay Exxon or Sunoco!
The Juvecia trellis
Above our parking area, we’ll be installing a trellis where we’ll grow Italian squash.
- Shade from large squash leaves,
- Air filtration, and
- Lots of low hanging tasty fruit!