Monthly Archives: March 2014

Im not saying anything anymore…

I got some outside help with an architect friend, he showed me some obvious things I have missed well sort of. Yes I was on track using the power of the sun for my solar plan and my solar compost toilets. I dont know why I didnt think about using this free heat for the house. I added a lot of windows for the great room on the second floor as well as a massive deck and a roll up door that connects the great room to the deck. Well anyway I am praying I dont have to think about home design anymore!


It happened again, just changing rooms so it flows better, check it out, dont you agree?


My thinking was that some devices such as the water heater should be moved more central. The water heater will have two tasks, water heating and in floor water heating. The upper deck is wider to accommodate an indoor/outdoor fireplace which means bed1 got bigger. This also gave me a new room to incorporate my future solar devices and the in floor heating manafold and valving. Im now finishing a Sketchup model of this house so stay tuned!





Design finished, time to go on with all the house systems

So this original design gets drawn for permit. There is a lot of things to think about. My wife wants an approximate cost for building the shell of the house. First I calculated what the walls, floors and roofs would cost- 30 wall panels = $4500, 60 floor and roof panels = $10550 for a total of $15500. These foam panels need a protective skin over them which they call a structural coating, that is another cost. Now I need to think about how much concrete the foundations and the garage floor would cost. I almost forgot the water, drain and sewer plumbing, electrical requirements for the house and finally doors and windows.

With all this we would have a closed house with nothing on the inside. That is ok because the toilet is a composting unit which means a hole in the ground, I have a extra bbq for cooking on my big deck. Most everything I want to use will not be new so it will take time to accumulate all the stuff. As long as we have a good roof over our head, things are good.

This would be a great time to ask everyone we will take donations of any kind- furniture, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, desks, mirrors, door knobs, doors, windows etc.

Final design period, not so fast.

My wife and I sat down for a pow wow to discuss what design to go with. We write down the neg and pos points of all and decided my original was the one to stick with. The fact that the first has the kitchen on the top floor looking at the lake plus there is a deck that also looks over everything too. This design is two story, we hope that the county would accept the Green Rhino way of building and not require too many concrete posts. I did decide that one bathroom is enough so to have one compost toilet. I like the idea of having infloor heating and cooling to eliminate all mechanical ducts. This gives us vaulted ceilings everywhere. I reduced the living square footage to 1314 and slimmed the garage somewhat. The total underroof sq. ft. is 1637.

Design aspects

Its funny to me the fact that I love design and purposely change the complete house design often. I started this project the beginning of the year hoping to start building the summer of 2014. I need to stop changing and get on with the many aspects of drawing construction documents for permit. Keeping in mind always my budget, not sure what that could be but I know a few more things now than when I started. The first being space, there is no need to plan for a large house I’m only going to spend at on a monthly basis. Yes we have kids but really how often are they gonna go up to Show Low? I now think that 1000 sq. ft. is plenty for two. The bigger you go the more money you have to spend, definitely don’t need that. Another thing I desired in my design is a way to see the lake a half mile from the house and totally avoid seeing juniper bushes. A two story house makes for stronger and more structure members which of course means more money. I compromised instead of a second story I decided a deck only is the way to go which is super easy using the foam building system I chose.

The new design is more playful in that there are lots of glass and plan to completely landscape the deck and the covered entryway. This can easily be obtained because of the roof design, three shed roofs that the rain will dump in the same area, the plant area.

I thought the great room with high ceilings could use a couple of Nana walls to fully open this space to the outside.

Below is a couple of shots of the final design period!!

showlow house3 showlow house3b

I am now close to submitting the plans to an engineer for structural approval so Navajo county can sign off and give me a permit to build.