Architecture

While in Luxembourg I spent a lot of time on a bike I rented looking at the scenery. Beautiful countryside. One thing I noticed about Luxembourg is the fact that is it always damp there. The roads seem to never dry completely at certain times of the year, which is odd.

This made me wonder if they have a lot of mold problems there and how they deal with them. A friend took me to his house, a beautiful place at the base of a hill. He said he gets a lot of runoff from the hill and water is a constant source of headaches for him. Most of the homes there are made of concrete (it appears most homes in Europe that I’ve seen were build to last for a thousand years). As he was showing me the outside of the house, we did notice a place where the foundation was cracking in a couple places. It appeared to be from some settling of the ground below the foundation. The house sits on a gentle slope at the base of the bigger hill, and the cracking was on the lower side. I have a friend in the states that owns a concrete company. They are in Richmond Va and do concrete patios, driveways, basements, and foundations. He was able to offer a few thoughts based on pictures we sent, but a local specialist came highly recommended. Obviously this is not the type of job fop the do-it-yourselfer.

Anyway he is an excellent cook and cooked us up a fantastic dinner of scallions, pork shoulder with a remoulade sauce, with leeks and a fine Bordeaux which was perfectly paired with the meal. It was fantastic. I am trying to get the recipe from him and will post it as soon as he sends it.

Architecture

My travels have taken me the world over. I pay close attention, not only to the construction of large buildings, churches, and gardens but also to home construction, always in search of new ideas for my own home.

When I see a good idea, I tend to bring the idea to one of my preferred contractors at home just to see if it would be practical to do such a thing at home.

For example, in Luxembourg in an area of new construction, I saw a really neat idea where a builder had put up two 3-inch thick (roughly) walls with sprayed in insulation between the two and steel rebar support. The inner wall was not the least bit cold as it would have been if it were just one solid concrete wall. The insulation was thicker than anything I had ever seen. Since I am from Richmond, Va., the insulation installer I use is guy named Daniel, so I called him to better understand if this would be an option in my area.