Have a luxurious master bath but your tankless water heater isn’t performing? Vesta has a solution for that.

Disappointed with your tankless water heater system? Get VESTA’d!

There is something about hot water in a house: you just have to have it!  Just ask 2,800 Atmos customers in Dallas about that. On one of my visits west to my son’s house, I arrived late at night, and he informed me (half asleep he was) that oh by the way, they had no hot water. The heater, a tankless, was broken.

It was about 45 degrees out. I needed two heating pads to warm up that night.  I love hot water and, high maintenance me, I use plenty of it: bathtub, dishes, showers, and, of course, hair.

We built our home in 2000 with four 80-gallon tanks. But in about 2005, builders started singing the praises of the new hybrid “on-demand” hot water heaters: heating water on demand rather than keeping 50 to 100 gallons hot in a ceramic tank with a pilot light. They saved energy because water is heated “only as needed.” Plus they take up much less space than the big old tanks.

I also once had a hot water heater flood in another house life, right during a party. T’was a lot of water. So the idea of a smaller, tankless concept “married” to a tank was quite appealing. 

Except the unit we chose, Eternal, turned out not to be so eternal. 

No sooner than my Eternal was installed, I received a notice of an important part that had to be repaired. Or else!

Their product had as many issues as Donald Trump has lawyers. For one, they used a plastic water pressure switch (a gizmo that makes sure there is water in the unit) with plastic threads, which deteriorated over a short period of time. That caused extensive leaking, which caused property damage and catastrophic failure of the unit. Ugh.

That was the notice I got in the mail, instructing me to replace the water pressure switch. Fortunately, I called and replaced in time, and we never had a leak. The company offered $75 in plumbing support for a certain period of time after which, YOU had to pay the plumber. 

Eternal was a division of Grand Hall. There were thousands of their tankless units out in the field, but the company only reached a small proportion to correct. Which gave the tankless heater industry a bad rap.

Enter VESTA.DS, Inc.   (more…)

white rock cottage

There are a fair number of small houses in East Dallas near White Rock Lake. Many of them were built in the 1950s and 1960s, when closets were tiny, floorplans were divided up with lots of walls, and families were perfectly happy with just one bathroom.

As homeowners renovate some of these houses, they’re rethinking the use of space. Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred exemplifies smart reno choices that make the most of the small footprint of a midcentury house.

The White Rock cottage at 6464 Fisher Rd. near Northwest Highway and Abrams Road measures a modest 1,124 square feet. But nothing feels cramped or confined in the house. Owner and listing agent April McGowan at Keller Williams’ Park Cities office took the house to the studs in 2013 and reimagined a bright, modern interior. The living room and kitchen share one open space that’s multifunctional and well conceived. She tore apart the outdated bathroom and added a second, and they’re both luxe: think Carrera marble floors and a frameless shower with freestanding soaker tub.

Because of its small size, this house will naturally have lower energy bills than larger builds. But McGowan took that a step further, installing low-E windows, new insulation, new electrical wiring, and a tankless water heater to make monthly bills feel like pocket change.

Oh, and did I mention it is zoned for the coveted Lakewood Elementary? I predict this house, newly listed for $269,000, will go fast.


I am going to try and do this for you every Tuesday or so — strut our very affordable Dallas area homes. (Don’t worry, we’ll have tons of House Porn I mean Candy to drool over the rest of the week.) Here’s the deal: the average Dallas home is about $180,000, so it’s nice to see pretty homes at that price. This one at 13506 Purple Sage has been redone so completely and is so loaded I just had to give you an alert. In fact, you may love the inside so much, you may never want to come out. 2430 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, built in 1960.The home is located just east of Northwood Hills in an area I hear is very hot with young buyers. Here’s what you get for $199,900: hand-scraped hardwoods, custom cabinets, granite counters, no joke! Stainless appliances, a media room (I am totally serious!), skylights, two spa baths including a jetted tub in master, diving pool with LED lighting & cool stone deck, pergola, roof top deck with dumbwaiter.  HVAC, windows and new tankless hot water heaters, rear entry garage, sprinkle red and fenced yard, trees, and Richardson schools. And I have just loved the name of this street: one of my kid’s friends from pre-school grew up on Purple Sage — great karma!