House update – Jan 2012


So Teresa and I have been shopping for a truck. There is one that I want to buy and I think we’re ready to do so but she needs a bit more convincing because of the width of the beast. We’ve also made a few design tweaks in the past few weeks so I wanted to post a a shot of the new design. In the new design (if you’ve been following along) you’ll see that we got a bit wider. In our effort to be more efficient we took a page from Dan Phillip’s book and created a design that will fit the code without us needing to double up headers, cut short our other materials and so on.

By making the structure wider we’ve been able to rearrange some things and can actually put in a second bedroom on the main floor. This will also allow us to slide the washer and dryer over closer to our bedroom and to vent the dryer out beyond the master bathroom or to keep that moist warm air inside in the winter.

One other major change that we’ve made to the design is that we’re not going to berm the north wall (the top of the picture). To do so we’d need to use a large amount of concrete and insulation on that side of the building. It’ll be more cost effective and environmentally friendly to not berm and build a porch to meet the sidewalk. Then we can also build wattle fencing under the porch, add a door, and store things like gardening equipment under the porch. The porch and the greenhouse (for the back of the house) are not included in the above image but they are very much a part of the plan so don’t worry – we didn’t forget them!

Overall – aside from adjustments that an engineer or architect might make to ensure code compliance this is basically the design we want to go with!  There is room for us to have a kid (or two), room for office space in the loft, and the yard space will give us enough room to grow (with luck) 80% or more of our own food. I was even reading today about how to grow wheat and other grain crops in small spaces and am confident that we could be mostly self-sufficient in just a few years.

One minor change that we might make (to this design) is to do a combined sink/toilet that would look something like this:

This would save on space in the second bathroom and allow us to put a small closet in that bedroom. The water from the sink would be used to flush the toilet and any excess would flow down the toilet drain. The tank would be accessible from behind the sink but when not needed you could put all the stuff that women tend to fill a sink-top with right on top of it (just keep the lid closed if you plan to do so).

As always be sure to let us know what you think of the plans or if you’re interested in helping out and as always thanks for reading!

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