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Thoughts and Ideas

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by poacher, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Ok well I'm getting ready to build a house. I'm going to be my own General and it seems that pretty much everyone I've talked to has had at least one idea that I thought was worth looking into. So I've decided that if I am gleaning that much info from my immediate area then I should be able to get more by posting somthing here. So with that in mind give me some ideas.
    They don't have to be earth shattering just somthing that if you were to build again or somthing that you've seen that you thought was worth keeping in mind.

    For instance all doorways on the interior of the house will be a full 3/0 door. That way I have 36" to move stuff in and if I have to use a wheelchair or somthing like that it will fit. The Front door is going to be 4' wide to assist in getting furniture in.
    If it is security minded or self reliance in nature please understand that while I may use the idea it's only good as long as no one knows so.....

    So without further ado throw out the thoughts and opinons. Oh it's in town on two city lots. Town is not huge but close to major metro area. My BOL is still safe.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    DO your self a favor and buy this book while you are in the planning stages. MUCH more expensive retro-fit some of these ideas than to build them in initially.


    I'd also give some thought to living without electricity. Most of our modern homes are not built to live without AC and are not practical to heat with central wood heat. The older style homes were built with a thought to nice cross ventilation. Cathedral ceilings are also not practical to heat cool with out forced ventilation. Just a couple thoughts off the top of y head. I'm headed out of town and will check this thread on Monday.

    Oh yeah. When wiring, even if you have no thoughts of solar or other alternative energy yet, wire in a separate box that controls some of the convenience circuits like outlets and lighting. You can wire in the transfer switch or extra load panel now even if you are all 'on grid' to start.
  3. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    Depending on your local codes I would plan on conduit runs, one on every wall for TV, cable/satellite, phone, CAT5. in my addition I put single gang junction boxes on several of the walls with conduit running down and the face plate is one that I can snap in the connectors, if I ever want to change I just pull a new wire. Try to run everything to a central point for the main connections.

    Problem I have in the rest of the house, we don't (or didn't) run conduit when we built the house, electric is romex wire attached to the studs so now there is no easy way to change or add if I wanted to.

    My other thought if I ever build again, main door would be a double, with one inactive leaf, so then I would have a full 6' width to move things in
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    If you'll have a basement, use a double wide hatch. Four ft front door might as well be a double. Dutch door even better, single wide so you don't have to open the whole thing (just the top half) for strangers. You can use a slider to the porch for large pieces in and out. You might have the structural guy arrange some load bearing walls so you can close in a room for hiding things. He will know the structure can stand it, but won't know you built the walls later. If you can arrange is, go with ground source heat pumps, it will probably take vertical wells to get the exposure you need, but in the long haul you'll save mucho buckos on heating and cooling. 24 volt relay lighting system, saves money on wiring but sets you back for multiple switches, Very convenient. Code says outlets every ten feet, double that. Wire every room for internet, or plan on a wifi setup someplace convenient. Of course, if you put in the tv cable to every room, it'll be an easy thing for the cable guy later. At least 200 amp electric service, more (say 400) is better (especially if you have major power tools, like compressors and welders) and use 220 V appliances, much less juice to pay for. Go ahead and rig the breaker box for manual switchover to the gennie, even if you don't have it to start with, adding the hardware later can be pricey. Separate the circuits serving lights and outlets so you have two circuits in every room, if a breaker pops, you can still see.

    STill thinking, maybe more later [booze]
    Hah. Duped a couple of SE's ideas. Great minds --

    Less obvious. Make sure there are enough sill cocks so you don't have to drag a bazillion feet of hose around to water the thorny things you have under the windows. A nice touch is a few outlets under the eaves for plugging in Xmas lights, and enough outlets on the outside to run trimmers and the like without another bazillion feet of extension cord. Arrange things so you can load the guns into the car directly in the garage so the neighbors don't go squirrelly on you when you load out for the range.
  5. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    All you have to do is build one house and all the things you should have done come screaming out at you.

    Another thing I'll set my next house up for is a outdoor wood burner, even if I don't use it, plan now for it then the add is simple. I have forced air now and hate it, of course I have about a 6 month heating season, my next will either be wood or hydronic, or combo of both, I hate that first blast of cold air that comes out the duct.
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Invest $100 and have a whole house fan installed. Easier done when building than later on as I did.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Fix it up, best as you can. Wait for the right moment if you can and SELL IT. (I'm not being a smart ash)

    Move to the country. Rest easy.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Make sure that whatever circit runs refridgeration is also hooked to a primary light (ie refridgerator hooked to kitchen light, freezers on circit with a light constantly used) that way if the breaker for the fridge or freezer trips you know it before stuff gets warm and goes bad.

    If you can do it, put up shutters for all the windows that when open as normal look like the standard decorative ones but will actualy close and back them with steel plate (or if want to can enclose plate in pretty wood on both sides). This way if stuck there for a while in a SHTF situation or BO temporarily etc. the house can be secured by closeing and locking steel shutters that in normal ties at least look purely decorative and not uncommon.

    Make sure the entry doors open out. If you have a solid door that opens in its till easy to kick in, if it opens out and the door is solid and frame is even decent its impossible to break the door in without time and a big battering ram. Have talked to cops that do raids, they HATE main doors that swig out for just hat reason, a total BITCH to breach!

    Make sure to have the very MOST possible storage space in the house. It will help not only with preps but also with organization and keeping house from being cluttered if theres plenty of places to put everything.

    If you want to go all out for security AND help insulate (though makes it hard to CHANGE the temp) then use the conduit for everything in the walls then insulate with sand between the inner and outer walls. It will give about 4" of sand and even among the most powerful rifels I have seen demoed, noe of the bullets would penetrate more than 6" of dry sand. Sand also has great thermal mass and a couple inches of sand will keep one side at normal temp with a blow tourch on the other side for a long time.

    If you can afford it, even if not in an area subject to hurricanes, check into huricane rated windows. From the demos I have seen they are near impossible to break through. The demo I saw (on a building show not an advertisement) the guy had a crow bar and 30 seconds to break through to win a $100 bet and couldnt do it. It wouldnt stop bullets but would slow a burglar WAY down.

    You might conside looking into a holding tank for water that could store 500-1000 gallons of water accessable by a manual pump, battery back up pump or gravity. Obviously this would HAVE to be in a basement or on a cement floor since 500 gal would be like 4500 lbs but again if had to wait to leave or rode out a short term situation when water service went down 500 gallons of water will EASILY last a family of 3 about week to 10 days for all drinking, dishes, bathing, cooking and flushing toilets etc with very little conservation (no doing without, just not being wasteful) on anything other than on laundry and if its used for all these needs but conserved a bit can easily last 3 weeks and could be drinking, cooking and spit baths for considerably longer than that.

    I also agree on the wireing to make sure and set it up from the start to be able to hook in a generator and have a seperate box for this with just the stuff you need to be able to run in a power outage (fridge, thermostat, freezers, required lights, etc depending on whats easy to do without and what you feel you need or will screw you if its off for days.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    +1. Did that in Michigan, saved an a/c plant. Go variable speed.
  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I don’t know about there but whole house fans are a code requirement out here.

    Insulate the system, go with hard pipe, not flex, and hard duct not duct boardHave a make up air system to add fresh air to the house, and the whole house fan will pump out stale air on a timer.
    You wont believe how well you will sleep and rest with a touch of fresh air mixed in.
    In your area, gas or electricity for heat?
    If your going with a heat pump get the highest sear rating you can get, it will save you money.
    Hot water heaters, I would go with instant on, and make one sink a separate one from the rest for a back up.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://survivalmonkey.com/forum/ />[/SIZE][/U][/B]
    [SIZE=3]<FONT face=Get AC, it will cost way more later on to add on.

    <font face=" />
    <FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=3>Plumbing:
    <FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman">Go with PEX piping, it won’t split if it freezes, real handy stuff. And you will have a central valves system to adjust the water pressure and temp to each faucet.
    <FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=3>An outdoors faucet that has hot and cold is handy its really nice to have hot water available when cleaning outside and not have to haul buckets of hot water.
    <FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=3><FONT color=#800080>http://www.luxuryhousingtrends.com/archives/2006/07/outdoor_faucet.php

    <FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=3>More later

  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Make sure that whatever circit runs refridgeration is also hooked to a primary light (ie refridgerator hooked to kitchen light, freezers on circit with a light constantly used) that way if the breaker for the fridge or freezer trips you know it before stuff gets warm and goes bad.

    Code violation: All fixed appliances or places where you know a fixed appliance is going to sit much be on a dedicated circuit with nothing else.....so do it after the inspector leaves. :D

    Personally, if "I" were building a new house, I'd design the whole thing for being off grid right from the get-go. I'd have a combination of 120v run off an inverter and 12v circuits to use low voltage DC produced directly by solar/wind/whatever and battery stored.
  12. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Small things that make a BIG difference: compact florescent light bulbs and a passive solar water heater. They don't cost that much up front, but will save you tons down the road.
  13. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    my inlaws have a very nice modern wood burner outside there place it keeps there water hot and warms there house i like that idea. just my .02, good luck
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Up there, a/c is problematic (unless you are planning for northern Wisc to suffer from Gore's forecasts.) But if you want it, you need the ducts anyway unless you are willing to go to the expense of fan coils for each room.

    One way around the cold blast is to set the furnace up with a variable speed fan and controller that keeps the air moving at a much lower speed when the furnace is not firing. (Not a bad idea to do that anyway, prevents the stratification that can happen in well insulated homes.) Worked well for me in Washington some years back.

    But I still prefer hydronic --
  15. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Justa wild thought: Thought I'd like to dig a trench perpedicular to the basement wall (as long as the backhoewas onsite) and roll a 4" high x 12 foot culvert in it to provide an escape route tunnel and heavy fall out protection. you may have to reinforce the hole in the block walland provide a hidden access ( code??? who knows)
    ...justa brain ramble..
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The code thingon the refridgeration depends on location. Im lucky here and dont have to dealwith codes at all, IIRC in KC the electric codes didnt apply if it was done by an owner-occupant but I THINK it was actualy required in some areas to have the refridgerator plug wired to the light fixture.
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