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Christopher's Forum Posts: 6

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By Christopher in WA on 3/2/2002


After having a lengthy discussion with the author this morning, he requested that I list features of my to-be constructed owner-builder home and I am happy to do so:

1) Structural insulated panels for walls and roof.

2) Fully-insulated and conditioned crawl space.

3) Interior walls 2x6/2x4 with sound insulation batts.

4) Open-web truss floor joists.

5) Fully usable attic space with staircase (8:12 and 12:12 roof pitches allow us to do this).

6) Living room, family room, dining area (no formal one), open kitchen, home office/guest bedroom with bath, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, walk-in closets, mother-in-law unit with kitchen and bath, 2-car garage with 1-car carport/deck of of mother-in-law unit, 3,500 square feet total, designed in accordance with The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka.

7) Heating, ventilation, and hot water are accomplished with a Lifebreath-brand hot water forced air fan coil unit with integral heat recovery ventilator, Turbulent Flow Precipitation HEPA air filter, Takagi TK-2 instant gas hot water heater, 100-gallon hot water storage tank, solar hot water roof panels with evacuated tubes (thermos bottles), Panasonic quiet-vent bathroom fans, and Vent-a-Hood 1,200 CFM range hood.

8) Appliances are primarily KitchenAid, Dynamic Cooking Systems, and Cold Tech (all stainless steel, commercial-grade (we love to cook).

9) Bath fixtures are primarily Kohler Fairfax style.

10) Roofing is MiraVista Slate by Owens Corning.

11) House looks like a "Classical Revival-style Wing-T Farmhouse with Vernacular Undertones" (a house commonly found in the upper Midwest between 1840 and 1880, including a wraparound porch between the first and second floors.

12) Highly recommended books from Building Science Corporation (buildingscience.com): Builder's Guide to Mixed-Humid Climates (Hot-Humid Climates, Hot-Dry Climates, and Cold Climates). The author, Joe Lstiburek (pronounced "Stee-bur-eck"), is the preeminent forensic building engineer in the U.S. and has developed these guides to build homes utilizing building science so that they don't leak, don't grow mold and mildew, are energy-efficient, and are comfortable. I have been using them for the last 3 years as an apartment builder/developer, and they have saved my bacon!! Good luck, Chris Vaughan


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Betty's Forum Posts: 2

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By Betty in Isanti, MN on 11/4/2003


In my house design, it would include the space for extra family, (kids coming home, Mother-in-law, etc.) and that's where I'd elaborate on room saving ideas. Remember how ironing boards used to pull out from behind a door, or wall behind door? and built in china cabinets, especially a bookcase! I want a corner bookshelf in my home on front or corner front of living room, but there's not much room there to go outward.

Some friend put a good-sized hole in the downstairs hallway wall, so we started there with a pretty nice-sized shelf under staircase. I sure need more, each of my children read (7 kids- ages 27 to 7 yr. old twins, and grandsons). Basement bedrooms have that brick coming up 1/2 way or so, so I'm currently putting combo desk/shelf in the corner of room and bookshelf is all the way around 2 walls.

My Mother-in-law apt. would have 1-2 built in dressers too, out of way places tho. Maybe catbox built in to a bottom drawer in laundry room too...


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Jeffrey's Forum Posts: 30

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By Jeffrey in Vail, AZ on 12/9/2003


Design the house for the way you expect to use it. We realized that we would not use a formal living and dining room, so we don't have them. We have a large family room, and an informal dining room, situated off the kitchen (it is large, we can put 10 a the table, and there is room for another smaller table (one side against a window) to hold another four or so.) We wanted a guest room, but a dedicated bath seemed too much. So the guest bath and guest room both open into a small vestibule (for lack of another word) off of the entryway. In the morning and evening, when no one is likely to be going in and out the front door, the bath is almost private to the guest room. But it also doubles as the powder room. We have four boys. We have two large bedrooms for them, with each boy having a sleeping alcove (about 5x9) with an suspended platform for the bed (no legs), that will have their dressers underneath. Each room also has two walk-in closets. The rooms are designed so that we can easily split then into two, the framing for the extra doors is already in the hall. The bathroom for the boys is off the end of the hall. In the center is a double vanity. There is a door to either side, one to the toilet, the other to the tub/shower. so there can be four things going on at once, with reasonable privacy, with only one bathroom. The most intimidating (to me) part of designing your own house is that it has never been built before. We were well into building before I could tell that it would really work!
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Baban's Forum Posts: 3

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By Baban in San Deigo, CA on 9/17/2004


Hi, I would like to see your floor plan ( a rough sketch will do) I have similar requirements. Hope this won't violate any copyright. Regards Baban
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