fresh home build coming soon

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
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We secured a retirement property and are now in the process of designing a home. I need to confirm the topography, but I am hoping for a daylight unfinished basement with single story above, a modern roof style, with clerestory windows in the middle for natural lighting.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
18,455
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We secured a retirement property and are now in the process of designing a home. I need to confirm the topography, but I am hoping for a daylight unfinished basement with single story above, a modern roof style, with clerestory windows in the middle for natural lighting.
What's a "modern" roof style?
 
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herm0016

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Feb 26, 2005
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What's a "modern" roof style?
high slope and lots of angles so you can pay the truss company 3x as much as you should have and it takes a forest of 2x4s?

seriously though.

you may like the look of something with lots of angles, flats, etc but in the long run you will enjoy a well built and easy to maintain rectangle just as much.

if we were building it would be a rectangle with a single slope roof in a heavy duty metal standing seam. our house now is a rectangle with one set of valley's for the peak over the kitchen bump out. its great!

skyking: cant wait to follow along. it will be challenging but worth it in the end.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
18,455
3,338
126
high slope and lots of angles so you can pay the truss company 3x as much as you should have and it takes a forest of 2x4s?

seriously though.

you may like the look of something with lots of angles, flats, etc but in the long run you will enjoy a well built and easy to maintain rectangle just as much.

if we were building it would be a rectangle with a single slope roof in a heavy duty metal standing seam. our house now is a rectangle with one set of valley's for the peak over the kitchen bump out. its great!

skyking: cant wait to follow along. it will be challenging but worth it in the end.
That's very popular in the area I'm looking at moving to. It is a nice look, but expensive to replace when the time comes, and no fun at all if you have to work on it.
I have 6/12 rule. I won't build anything steeper than that.
 
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bbhaag

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Jul 2, 2011
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Sounds exciting man can't wait to see your updates! I don't know if I will ever have the desire to build a house from the ground up. Just to much work for me. haha
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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single pitch roofs, very inexpensive to build. Quite low pitches, metal roofing, and TJI rather than trusses.
This is not representative, but the roof facing to the right is probably even steeper than our high roof will be.
There are windows facing to the left under that overhang. Those are clerestory windows.
Our lower pitched roof will likely be 1/12.


Here is another example, a little closer but no clerestory windows. I did not know, but these are skillion roof lines.
Ours will face like that, and the windows will face east to let in the early sun. In the summer the 3' overhang projecting over that row of windows will keep out the direct sun for passive cooling. In the winter the lower sun angles will provide more light.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
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Yes the house will be a simple rectangle. I don't care for those chopped up short footings and changes and short walls to build. I will use different finishes like that second picture to break up the lines so it does not look like a lego block LOL.
The roof will really be like that second picture, only more overhang. No little bullshit porch roof.
This would be the south end and I am seriously considering appending a sunroom over a swim spa there. The front would be on the east or right side.
@Greenman I am with you! Standing seam metal can easily work at 1/12. The other roof is probably 2/12. My brother's place was 6/12 and what a PITA to do the skylights and metal roofing.
Ideally I would face the house with the long roof pitch to the south, but the site does not work as well for that. I think our best view would be to the west or left looking at that example, and I want the living room and kitchen to get that.
Since I want to have drainback solar collectors, the low pitch facing the wrong way is not a big hindrance. I can bracket it and point it south off a 1/12 east facing pitch.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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There will be a ton of passive and active elements on it. With the solar panels on the detached garage roof, it will be a zero energy home for sure.
I plan on at least 3' overhangs and eaves everywhere. The eaves are easy with engineered trusses like TJI or PWI, and they are going to be 12"~14" tall for R38. I can project out the overhangs with knees.
I want to put solar air collectors up a significant portion of the south wall, and then put the sunroom over them. That way they can collect heat on the shoulder seasons and times.
The valuation for a sunroom is the same as a garage, less than 50% per sq. ft. of the house rate. Unfinished basement is about 20%.
I'd put heat mass storage in the basement, in the form of baffled boxes of washed rock. I'd collect warm air and heat the rock pile if I was not using it, and also keep the basement really warm. The geothermal heat pump, water heaters, drainback solar tanks and exchangers go down there.
If I kept the basement in the mid-70s in heating season, the floors above would be comfortable.
I have no interest in hydronic primary heat, but may have some small loops under the floor where it counts, in the bathrooms and in front of the kitchen sink.
I'll set up automated systems to extract the heat from the mass storage, by means of powered dampers that divert return air through it.
 
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herm0016

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Feb 26, 2005
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consider fluid storage instead of earth batteries. I have used water for energy storage in our greenhouses and its been great. the new greenhouse will have totes of water that cycle through drain back solar collectors with the tote underground for insulation. Should be simple with a submersible pump. why don't you like hot water heat? If I was building new, I would do split heat pumps for cooling and hot water baseboard.

anyhow.

have you looked at the new Mr. cool geothemal system that includes a side arm for the hot water? made in USA even. we are going to replace the propane here with geo when we can.

solar air collectors: a trombe wall? my wifes uncle has a passive house on top of a mountain here. he has a large trombe wall with about a 12 in thick black brick wall behind the windows. some dampers and a couple fans. seems to work really well.

sounds like you have a good plan, cant wait to follow along!
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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136
I like central air for both. I have split minis now and think they are really a great thing, but they leave holes in the even heating of the home. If I get a geothermal heat pump I can get a 22% tax credit if it is live before the end of 2023.
Having split mini for cool and radiators for heat would work, but the central geothermal does it all with one system.
My wife also has bad allergies, and having a central air handler lets me put in a really beefy electronic air filter system. Same with humidity control. I have nothing against hydronics per se, it just does not suit my goals.
The heat pumps have a desuperheater option to take heat off the compressor and circulate it through your hot water tank.
My brother's domestic tank has been turned off for years, his heat pump provides all he needs as waste heat off the outside of the compressor.
Here is the system I dug in for him in 2011
https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1575

Go through that thread to get an idea of the experience I have gained with his systems. One of his mistakes was not having a circ pump loop from the triangle tube tank in the garage to the domestic water heater. It takes too long to get hot water over there.
My solar water heater system, water heater, heat pump, and any storage will all be very close together, and the hot water tank will be right below one bathroom. A circ pump with timer will keep hot water at the tap at the other bathroom and kitchen.
I have another idea with that. I want to use that circ pump to do those small warm floors where I want them, just having some loops under the floor and insulating the joist bay below.
Between the heat coming off the drainback solar and the heat pump desuperheater, I will have ample hot water for whatever.
I will probably get a 4 ton system from Nick. My brother's system loops are fused to a header underground, and a problem in any loop would be a problem period. With the manifold in the crawlspace or in my case, the basement, I can purge loops individually and if need be isolate a loop if it is leaking.
https://www.geothermalheaters.com/contact/terrasourace-geothermal-estimate-form.html


For the solar heat collection I will use something along these lines, an active collector array.
Link to PDF
His are working great in the NE, and mine will be inside a sunroom at the back wall. That will give me a huge advantage.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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I had a change of heart and now abandoning the basic rectangle in favor of a central 36 x 50 core with a 8x18 bump at the family/craft room, and an 8x16 bump on the opposite corner at the master bedroom end. When building a basement, those long unsupported walls are inherently weaker. Once you break them and put in that 8' long return section they are stronger.
That will leave me with 44' long walls at each end.
One will have the deep fill on it, the other will be largely daylight with only 3' of fill to allow for daylight windows.
On the deep fill end I might build in a short interior concrete pony wall that is located at the central beam line. I will have to put footings down the central beam line under the slab.
Because I have reduced the longest dimension to no greater than 50' I don't need to cross it with a continuous footing for bracing. I can put square spread footings under each beam post.
The upper is now 2070 sq ft. Basement walls of ICF are 13" thick.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
1,872
136
yeah, to hell with all that above. Now we are looking at two stories to secure a view from the highest point. We drove up there today and got to see the mountains for the first time since buying the property. There have been plenty of noice days up there, we were just not up there at the time.
The orientation of the roofs will be north and south facing roofs. Build a master down with a couple of bedrooms up, probably a master up too.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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To do it right, I have to cut down some of my favorite trees argh.
The house will be where the truck is, the trees to the left of it have to go. The tree behind and to the right and everything else stays.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
1,872
136
We finally got to see Mt. Baker, and also see that our view was blocked by trees LOL! At first I was all GAAAH! then I realized the developer next door would take those trees down, thank you very much :D
There it is, hiding in those deciduous trees on the left. Views of Protection Island, Eastern straits of Juan de Fuca, Whidbey Island and the north Cascades. The mountains will pop on the less hazy days.




We can see some peek-a-boo views south of nearby Olympic peaks. The lower half of the property has some snow views to the western foothills of the Olympics.
That was tempting, but I think that part will have less winter sun.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
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If they do cut those trees we will have a similar view of Mt. Baker. This is from the neighbor's deck ~25' above our property.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
1,872
136
I sent an email to a truss company regarding the shop trusses, and got a call back today. Now my gears are turning on the shop/barn/studio build too.
he quoted me about $465 per truss on 2' centers, for a gothic arch 40' wide and 24' high. Shipping from the midwest is going to be 5K if it is a nickel, but that is the price of doing business.
Any shed dormer for a window would require sister trusses, so I figure 40 trusses for the 40x70 dream structure. They would provide engineering on the roof for about 2K and I would want to do some special sauce engineering for a custom support structure. I can safely figure ~30K for trusses plus design work.
I'll get an estimate for curved standing seam roofing panels with installation, because I can't imagine handling curved roof panels that big without an experienced crew. I have installed plenty of flat standing seam, that does not intimidate me at all.
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
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so the shop is a wood truss from the ground or a stem well in a cathedral arch? 40 wide and 24 tall outside peak? I get what you are thinking, but damn, just build a pole barn. your finished price will be lower. its going to be about 70k for my 40x36 installed with a porch on the south end. 150mph wind and 55 snow load with a lifetime post warranty and 50 years on the whole building. insulated with insulated garage doors, windows, etc. I will finish the interior myself.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
1,872
136
There's going to be an 8-ft stem wall, then that 24-ft high roof stacked on top of that. Standard construction of a gothic arch requires a shear plane they call that the mow floor in the barn days. I'm going to build some shear walls at right angles I would call them internal buttresses.
Then I'm going to post up off of those locations to the loft floor with a ceiling height of 14 ft below. 17 ft above that. So it's going to have a huge dance floor. At one end of the dance floor I will build in an ADU. I can have up to an 850 ft² ADU.
Comparing your pole barn to this gothic arch two level monstrosity building is ridiculous.
 
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skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
20,190
1,872
136
The inside height is 32 ft tall! I'm going to demise it with a dance floor above semi truck height at 14 ft and that 17 ft above? I can even have a little loft in the top of that. I'm going to break the roof with some dormer windows probably 6 ft wide and I'll stack them one at a good spot for that loft and then another above like a skylight. Those will function as a window for the little baby loft above. That would be like the Crow's nest of the barn.
 
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Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
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so the shop is a wood truss from the ground or a stem well in a cathedral arch? 40 wide and 24 tall outside peak? I get what you are thinking, but damn, just build a pole barn. your finished price will be lower. its going to be about 70k for my 40x36 installed with a porch on the south end. 150mph wind and 55 snow load with a lifetime post warranty and 50 years on the whole building. insulated with insulated garage doors, windows, etc. I will finish the interior myself.
Do you live in Cambodia?
I'm building an 11' x 20' building that's half home office, half storage. Height to the ridge line is 12'. No plumbing. The cost is $72K and that's a very fair price.
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,103
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Do you live in Cambodia?
I'm building an 11' x 20' building that's half home office, half storage. Height to the ridge line is 12'. No plumbing. The cost is $72K and that's a very fair price.

holy heck. its not cambodia, but it sure is not Californa!

@skyking that sounds like quite a monument that you plan to build.
 
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