Building house

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doodle
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Re: Building house

Post by doodle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:28 am

Another thing to think about is that two bedrooms is incredibly easy to design for. If you have a house that's a rectangle, for example, just put an interior wall between the two long outside walls to divide the house into a square and a smaller rectangle, then divide the smaller rectangle in half with another wall. Tada! Now you have two bedrooms that open into the open-concept living/kitchen area without needing a space-wasting hallway. After you go beyond two bedrooms, it gets harder to avoid having hallways or lofts. My 3-bedroom house has a 76 wasted feet of hallway. Design to avoid that!
This is kind of what I have done but where would the bathroom go in such a design? It would have to be incorporated into one of the bedrooms....anytime a guest wanted to use the loo they would have to enter through a bedroom, right?
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Re: Building house

Post by doodle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:31 am

On the subject of design, this is one of the more interesting ones I have come across in a while: http://m.imgur.com/a/Ps7Ta
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Re: Building house

Post by Pointedstick » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:49 pm

This is really exciting, doodle. I'm so happy for you!

One thing I really want to stress is that when you do construction-related activities yourself as a DIYer, it will take 500% more time and effort than you think and plan for, pretty much guaranteed, irrespective of how much planning you do. I too took the "volunteer at HFH to get experience" approach and am now a proud new homeowner tacking renovation projects on my own, and this has been my experience. I can actually do everything (awesome) but it takes a long time. And I don't even have a commute anymore; I work from home now. So depending on your work situation, you might not have many hours per day to do this work, and you also need to plan for physical and mental exhaustion, too. Don't expect to want to mortar a course of cinder blocks after a tough workday.

I'm not saying you can't do it yourself, you CAN! It'll just take you a really long time, and you have to plan for that. How will you protect your in-progress house from the rain? What will you do if a work emergency comes up in the middle of a concrete pour? Do you have the physical abilities or specialized equipment necessary to move bulky and heavy objects all by yourself?
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Re: Building house

Post by Pointedstick » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:59 pm

You can get trusses that permit a loft or room; they're called (sensibly enough) "room in attic" trusses.

If you like CMU, there's always dry-stack. You can do the whole house that way and then cover the surfaces with surface-bonding cement. Then just screw two inches of EPS foam to the surface and stucco it. Check out http://drystacked.com/

As for the $9,000 dream home, I believe that guy did it in Thailand or somewhere like that. Labor and materials are a lot cheaper in southeast Asia. ;) Without cold temperatures or building codes (or just simple bribes to get officials to look the other way), that's going to save a lot of money too. Those are simply unavoidable differences when you start talking about building in the USA or any developed country.
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Re: Building house

Post by I Shrugged » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:18 pm

I'd say build what you want.  The resale market might not be as big but you will still sell it.  If you have some land, as it sounds, I think buyers would be more flexible on the house anyway.
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Re: Building house

Post by doodle » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:37 am

Ok...philosophical question here....what is the point of a bedroom or sleeping space that is much larger than the mattress? It seems that if the purpose of a bedroom is a place where you go to lay down and close your eyes it is pretty inefficient to design a space that is large enough to hold a large family gathering in. Watching HGTV though I'm flabbergasted by the number of people that want 400 square foot bedrooms. It seems like that space would be better utilized in common areas where people gather like the kitchen or family room. Any agree that small bedrooms make much more sense?
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Re: Building house

Post by Pointedstick » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:44 am

doodle wrote: Ok...philosophical question here....what is the point of a bedroom or sleeping space that is much larger than the mattress? It seems that if the purpose of a bedroom is a place where you go to lay down and close your eyes it is pretty inefficient to design a space that is large enough to hold a large family gathering in. Watching HGTV though I'm flabbergasted by the number of people that want 400 square foot bedrooms. It seems like that space would be better utilized in common areas where people gather like the kitchen or family room. Any agree that small bedrooms make much more sense?
I completely agree. Can't tell what the point is. Most large bedrooms that I've seen have simply had huge unused areas. Increases heating and cooling loads required to maintain nighttime comfort, too. If the bedroom can fit a mattress big enough for the number of people sleeping in it, plus their end tables, and maybe a bureau and a bookshelf, it's big enough!

And if you're going to turn it into an office, you're replacing  the biggest piece of furniture (the bed) with a smaller one (desk and chair). No reason why it needs to be huge.

My favorite HGTV insanity is bedrooms as big as living rooms and walk-in closets and dedicated master bathrooms as big as sensibly-sized bedrooms. A modern master suite can be like 700 square feet. Madness, I tell you! Madness!
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Re: Building house

Post by doodle » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:09 am

Another thing that makes no sense to me is the five or six burner stove and large oven.....especially for people who live in smaller houses and don't cook thanksgiving size feasts. I think it would make more sense to regain counter space lost to stove top and then simply buy a couple of these: http://www.amazon.com/Max-Burton-6000-1 ... ion+burner

Honestly, when was the last time you used more than two burners at the same time?

To replace the oven I Think a cabinet mounted microwave / oven combo would do the trick nicely: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CMW-200 ... wave+combo
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Re: Building house

Post by l82start » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:31 pm

those look awesome. if i ever take up simple living they will be on the list.   
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Re: Building house

Post by Pointedstick » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:51 pm

My wife and I bake and frequently cook with more than two burners. Never more than four, though, and for that reason, we got the simplest gas oven we could find. Those five burner ovens are nothing more than status symbols. We were at a family member's house for thanksgiving, and THEY had one of those Viking stoves with like 6 burners. I don't think more than 4 were ever in use at once.

Keep in mind the cost of electricity when you think about those induction burners. 1800 watts = about $0.20/hour, depending on electricity prices. By contrast, the hottest burner on my gas oven is 9,000 BTUs, which is 9% of a therm, which is about $1.00, for a grand total of $0.09 an hour.

Of course, if you're not plumbing the house for gas, it won't be worth it because with no heating appliance, modest use, and a small house, the base charge will undoubtedly be higher than your usage fees.
Last edited by Pointedstick on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building house

Post by Pointedstick » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:46 am

doodle wrote: Not a big fan of gas....it kind of scares me actually. Besides I want to run a lot of this off of solar panels.

As far as cooking goes though induction seems like the best way to go. You can program precise temperatures, set them to timers, they respond to adjustments immediately like gas, and because the heating element doesn't get hot they should heat the house less (of particular benefit in Florida)
I totally get being scared of gas. It scares me too. And I also don't like how you kind of can't do it yourself, because you really can blow yourself up. You're in a good situation being in Florida; your needs are mostly cooling which is going to be electricity no matter what for a mechanical system. But anywhere it gets cold, electric heating is outrageously expensive. Gas just makes more financial sense when you want to heat things. And unless you're planning to have a solar hot water preheater (which would be awesome, but complicated), an electric storage water heater is going to be about three or four times as expensive to run on an annual basis as gas for the same quantity of heat produced.
Last edited by Pointedstick on Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building house

Post by Desert » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:08 pm

I agree that the concept of gas being piped into millions of houses is a bit scary.  If it hadn't started a long time ago, I doubt it would be acceptable now. 

I do like gas though.  Burning gas to make heat just makes sense.  Burning gas in a power plant to make a turbine spin to make electricity to run through a resistor and make heat is way too inefficient. 
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