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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/20/2008

Had an impromptu meeting with Architectural Engineer Scott when I stopped by to give them another check for their fee, and we ended up kicking around some house ideas for about an hour. It was very productive:

  • Drainage - Scott hadn't been sure what I wanted to do with the drainage coming off the house, and he wasn't really aware (I think) of what I'd planned to do with the drainage on the road itself. My plan is to trench the gravel road on both sides and lay drainpipe (you know, that neat perforated ribbed black plastic stuff) under both sides. This will run downhill and have cross-connects every so often to relieve possible overflow conditions from one pipe to the other (the high and low sides of the road cross a couple of times). The whole thing will discharge just downhill from the leach field into what is a natural drainage that eventually hits the creek itself.
  • Gutters - Similarly, Scott wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the gutters. We kicked around some ideas and decided to go two ways with them:

    • The gutters over the apartment will drain down into an underground drainpipe that discharges above the creek near that end (the apartment is near the dropoff down to the creek). We'll have to do some backhoeing to make it all slope correctly, but it won't be too bad, and this keeps a bunch of water away from the foundations (important since it's rated as moderately expansive clay).
    • The gutters running the rest of the house will feed into drains underground too, in this case pipes that parallel the French drains that will work to keep general ground water away from the house. The gutters on the "back" will be trenched to slope around the house, then cut down near the septic tank and tie into the road drainage system.  The gutters on the "front" will tie into the drainage pipes running along the driveway, which tie into the road system further down from the "back set". At both of those areas I'll heavily cross-connect, and possibly use larger piping, so we don't get into an overflow situation unless it's just a hurricane-level event.

  • Step-downs - I hadn't been sure if there were any step-downs between the apartment and the garage, or possibly between the garage and the kitchen. Scott confirmed that the only step-downs are two steps between the kitchen area and the living room.
  • Rooftop Deck - A decision needed to be made about the transition from the inside of the house onto the rooftop deck. It was unclear how we might want to do that since the deck is on top of the master bedroom:

    • One option is to have the Lite-Deck slightly thinner over the bedroom so that we have a "normal" step-down from the house onto the deck through the patio door. This is what folks are used to when transitioning outside (in America at least)--you expect to step up or down one or two steps to get to a patio or deck, usually down when you're moving from a living room to a deck area. This requires a bit more difficult engineering job, though, since the Lite-Deck in the library is "normal" thickness--we have to do some work to bridge this and tie them together. It's not too hard and Scott was confident we could do it, but it will be more complicated.
    • Another option is to have the deck at the same level from the inside to the outside, and put the patio door "up" a 2x6 so that a person would have to "step over" the sill. This simplifies the construction, but at the expense of the transition.
After kicking around both options, I decided to stick with #1. It just didn't make sense to set up something that people would constantly trip over, and I'd rather do the engineering while building to avoid that.

(While typing this I thought of one other option--a step up when transitioning from the library to the hallway leading to the deck. This would be done with 2x6s, most likely, just enough to allow the rooftop Lite-Deck to be the same thickness all the way across. We'd essentially be building a "false floor" here. I haven't bounced this idea off of the architects yet, but I think I will--this might be an easier way to go.)
  • ICF bids - Scott was a bit concerned (as is Colleen) that we haven't seen the bids back from the ICF guys yet. We sent the plans out for bids on the 9th, but haven't heard much back yet, though one contractor was having problems with his emails from Scott apparently. Scott promised to ping everybody on Monday (though secretly I suspect Colleen will beat him to it!).
And that was about it. A good, busy hour of discussion where much was learned and settled.

This is all so much fun!


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