What's your dream house?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Tully Mars, May 28, 2015.

  1. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Or learn to live with less crap
    Tbh kellory this one isn't one of the better designs
  3. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

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  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    None at all, and have you ever heard of a "prepper" with less stuff than the average person? What the heck are they "prepping" for? A bon fire with all that wood? I would expect the trolleys and guide tracks to fail within a year of actual use by a prepper. (From being pushed way beyond it's designed weight limit).
    Tully Mars likes this.
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Again that example is bad design. There are better examples.
  6. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Unachievable, but heating it with a candle and cooling it with an ice cube would be the goal.

    @Tully Mars

    Great topic should be fodder some good discussion.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2015
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  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes....but can you FIT in a shoebox?o_O
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    You and I share a lot of the same ideas on this. Wifeypoo wants a single level, I lean more towards a two story. But as she points out, both of us have bad knees and the stairs get to be a pain some days.. We want something smaller maybe around 2,000-2,500 sq ft. While I've almost always had a full basement this time it would have to be a daylight basement because of the water table I'm thinking. I figure on a 3 car garage attached but only for two trucks so there will be a bit of room to get around. The shop will be around the back and could have a couple bays to store the other cars/trucks built off to the side. Leaning towards propane for cooking, ect and at this point, if we're gonna do this I'm looking at a large solar system for both power and hot water. With as much sun as we get here I think I'd be foolish not to at least consider it.
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  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I figure, a great deal of the upstairs could be storage. No chance of flooding. Seldom need to get into it, but much easier access than an attic.
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  10. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    When I bought the cabin in Colorado I had it set on a full basement. When the trucks and crane showed up the first thing I had them do was to boom the bunks of 2x's, 6x's and a bunk of 1/2" sheet rock down into the basement along with the wood furnace. Saved a LOT of labor later as I had almost everything to finish out the basement already down there.
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  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    "Work smart, not hard."
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  12. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Dream house? Easy. Take a typical ranch or chateau style with ample walkout basement, BUT take the typical rooms and functionality found on the main floor and locate it in the bottom level and move the functionality typically found in the basement and a second story (ususlly bedrooms) and put those on the main level. Then also sink the basement down 3 feet deeper than normal with a reinforced concrete ceiling that is insulated and earth sheltered. You put the main things like master bedroom, kitchen, pantry, great room, etc. below ground in the bunker/shelter. With a concrete stairwell that is securable and sealable, the upper level above ground is expendable or abandonable and you still live in a secure dwelling with minimal energy needs. The walkout would open widely into a goodsize sunroom/greenhouse. It would appear like a normal dwelling and could even but reconfigured like one if ever needed.

    Some thoughts for construction regardless of what you do:

    Poured concrete is the way to go, skip block walls.
    Do not let contractor smear/paint tar on the walks and backfill, it does NOT work long term. Tar coatings outgas over 5-10 years and get brittle. While they greatly reduce moisture vapor from permiating through the concrete to form moisture and condensation on the inside, it does not water proof because when the concrete cracks, and it ALWAYS does, the brittle tar cracks and water can flow through. There are tens of thousands of basements that were super dry until they were 10 years old and then become humid, wet, moldy, etc. A couple better solutions are a rubber membrane on the outside walls which will stretch and span cracks when those occurs. There are spray/paint on coatings (I have used Blue Seal) and also sheet rubber that is glued/stuck to the wall. Another product I really like is called Platon. It comes from Sweden I believe (maybe Norway) and is a 30 mil polyethylene plastic with dimples on about a 1 inch grid that spaces the membrane about a quarter inch away from the wall even after the dirt is backfilled. It allows any water that gets past the Platon to create no hydraulic pressure agaist the concrete but rather run down to the footer drain field around the perimeter.

    Drain tile is cheap, put in backup. I put one at base of footer outside wall, one inside wall at footer base and put another outside on top of the footer at the base of the wall. Consider surrounding the outside drain tiles with gravel, wrap/protect the gravel with landscape fabric to keep dirt from packing the space in the gravel. And if the soil is clay, put several inches of sand over the fabric to reduce the fine clay particles from clogging up the fabric. The whole exterior drain system should look like a 2 foot burrito covered with 3 inches of sand salsa. Run the drains independently to daylight as possible or to a sump.

    It is good to insulate concrete basement walls on the ouside with 2 inch extruded polystyrene. This keeps the thermal mass inside the insulated space and reduces condensation on cool concrete in summer. The foam that will be ouside above grade must be protected/coated and there are stucco like coatings that are quite strong, modestly weed wacker resistant, come in different colors and look a lot like concrete depending upon the application technique. Note you may need to extend the flooring system two inches beyond the concrete basement walls to be flush with the foam retaining a smooth exterior wall eves to ground.

    Generally there will be sand (requires compaction) or pea gravel (does not need compaction) fill spread inside the walls/footers upon which the concrete baseent floor will be poured. In very cold climates consider insulating with 2" extruded poly below the fill putting the fill inside the climate space again adding thermal mass which moderates temperature swings (very handy when using solar collectors or wood for heat. Put hydronic tubing in or under basement floor even if you don't think you'll heat it. PEX tubing is cheap and a couple hundred bucks on PEX now can save thousands if you later decide to heat that space. Personally I like locating the tubing below the concrete and not in the concrete. Others will argue the opposite but they are usually insulating above the fill and not below the fill as I suggested. Putting tubing 2-3 inches below the concrete into the fill reduces the risk of a circuit failing if the concrete floor cracks and heaves a bit. You can also screw, nail or cut into the floor and run no risk of damaging a heating circuit.

    Stud walls:
    Some good suggestions were tendered for stud staggering etc. to reduce thermal bridging that conducts heat between inside and outside wall surfaces. Another technique I have used is frame and sheath walls as you would normally, then attach 1x4"s flat on the outside of the sheathing around all doors and windows. Then put the house wrap on. There will be a 3/4 inche step out around all the doors and windows but you then install a layer of 3/4 inch extruded polystyrene over the entire walls butting upto the 1x4s yielding a flat wall again. This 3/4 inch is very efficient insulation as it breaks virtuall all the thermal bridges even from corner studs, jack and king studs and top and bottom plates. Siding, brick, stone, etc. can be applied over the foam very easily, just need longer fasteners. The one down side is doors and windows with a 3/4 inch deeper jam will be needed which can be harder to find in budget windows but there are trim techniques that can compensate.

    Fill the walls with spray foam! It beats fiberglass hands down as it seals cracks reducing air infiltration. Closed cell is a bit more expensive but is water proof and eliminates the need for vapor barriers and provides about R7 per inch. Open cell is more like R5 per inch but water can penetrate it if leaks etc.

    Conventionally people would insulate above ceilings and have attic spaces unconditioned and generally requiring ventilation. This compromises it's utility for storage etc. as items with thermal mass can still rust due to condensation forming on them when cold weather is followed by hot humid weather. A current trend is to spray foam the underside of the roof and let the attic area be conditioned space inside the insulation envelop. HVAC duct work can be run in that space with less heat loss to a cold attic or heat ingress into the AC during summer. The primary argument against foaming the roof underside has been that the shingles get hotter without the heat transfer to the air space below and compromise their life. This practice has become more widespread and when high quality shingles are used, experience seems to be that claim doesn't seem to be valid.

    There is a good periodic resource for state of the art home construction methods called "Fine Homebuilding.". Tantum Press (I think that's right but maybe not) does sell a DVD compendium of all their articles ever published for like a hundred bucks. I bought it about 6-7 years ago and one of the best Benjamins I ever parted with.

    Have fun.
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  13. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Off in left field...

    When we had our house built I finally got to have my man's reading room the way I wanted it. Number one priority was to have a urinal in it. Not the usual gas station type, but a nice Kohler model with the flush handle above in coming out of the wall. Also put in an old fashion water closet with pull chain and a pedestal sink. Funny when people come to visit that most women don't like to use my restroom, LOL!
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
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  14. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    In all seriousness, I have been considering the Hobbit theme for a house.. Living on the side of a mountain would means digging into the side and having the possibility of dealing with bedrock or house sized rocks to deal with.. Hmm, Friends with special licenses are handy.. Considered the use of pond liners or welded polyetholin sheets as an outer moisture barrier.. The use of usonian prefabricated cement blocks as the interior and poured outer layer with liberal use of drainage rock/pipe.. Like the idea of the boiler and the possibilities of double use.
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  15. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I don't really care about the square footage or the amenities, though I would prefer a ranch style single level home. I can build/add just about anything to fulfill my needs, if the house is missing something that I require.....
    I just would want this in the backyard.... and not a neighbor in site. :)

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  16. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I did something similar, it's a block house (slump block, looks like adobe) and I was going to fir out from the inside of the block with 2X6's, but my framer says, why... just build inside with 2X4's (he was a pot smoker who had some good ideas). I have 8" of block R=2.5, and 10" of blown in fiberglass insulation R=36, so except the XYL wanted so many windows we have a pretty well insulated home, ranch style, concrete tile roof, R=40 in the ceiling, hydronic heating in the slab, solar powered heat.
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  17. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    Apparently it's simply called "subterranean heating and cooling".
  18. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    You do realize I am a white male survivalist living in the buckle of the bible belt right?:D
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  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Lol ok Mars tully. I'm similar only female. All those labels don't necessarily mean more stuff. Survival isn't necessarily about the stuff. Its more about how u use the stuff you have.

    I say this because I have been remaining how to do.more with less. You asked 'dream home' and my response was... small efficient. :)
  20. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Lol they do to me!
    All kidding aside, you are correct, it's not about "stuff". But "stuff" makes life easier on my rapidly aging @zz;)
    The GPS is quicker and easier to help me locate a cache, but I still carry and know how to use a map and compass. I can still load everything my wife and I need on a couple of pack horses, but that RV beside the shop sure is a lot more comfortable come bed time..

    There is no "wrong" answer to my post. Everyone has different dreams. It is my hope that this string will get people thinking and share their ideas for the benefit of all of us. I have a good idea of what "I" want, but have already taken notes to modify my "dream home" because of some excellent ideas posted here.
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