House Design

Although I have not yet designed the house I have many of ideas. Here is a list of some of the characteristics that the house will have

  • The general idea is a small, passive solar, super-insulated home in the saltbox style.
  • The house will be small maybe in the 1100 sq ft range. Not including porch space.
  • No basement – on slab due to the high water table and the fact that concrete has a high carbon footprint
  • The foundation will be insulated using ICF’s for the stem wall and foamboard under the slab
  • There will also be a skirt of foamboard buried around entire perimeter. This will effectively raise the frost line so the stem wall does not have to be four feet deep–less excavation and less concrete.
  • The wall system will have a double stick frame wall design. This will allow for more insulation and less thermal bridging. Overall the wall will probably be about a foot thick.
  • I have heard good things regarding the Zip system for exterior sheathing and will probably be using it.
  • Stained cedar shingles or clapboards with a rain screen
  • Metal roof, ideally standing seam. It should be white or silver to reflect as much heat as possible.
  • Solar hot water system
  • 2 foot overhangs to keep water away from the house
  • Cathedral ceiling or open ceiling space to the second floor on at least part of the house
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2 thoughts on “House Design

  1. Spartan and Hannah,
    I am looking forward to reading about your plans, the beginning of the construction, and learning about home building. This is very exciting!
    Jay, aka Dad

  2. I’d advise a design that allows you to forgo gutters. That also means having the lot graded so that the run-off from the roof doesn’t go in the basement (which you aren’t going to have) or turn your garden into a swamp. Your large overhang idea is compatible with this foregoing gutters. Gutters are the bane of my existence.

    Also, I’d advise a bigger house, maybe an in-law apartment, so when Janet and I move in when we are old and infirm, we will have lots of privacy.

    peas,
    Andy

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