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Old 06-13-16, 08:46 AM   #31
Elcam84
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Well at a minimum I would install tubing in all poured concrete. The pex is cheap and you don't have to hook it up right away. Any seccond floor stuff can have the tubing attached later.

As for the geothermal. It's easier for you there than here(ground gets too hot) and if you can dig your own trenches the cost of geo is pretty low compared to a well system. I don't like the idea of using a dri king water well for geothermal as well. It should have its own dedicated wells however that prices geothermal out as at least here Wells are around $25 a foot to drill. Then just the 500' or deeper water well now is a fortune. 200' no longer cuts it most places here now.

Imo the best and most economical geo system is using a pond or lake. Which I don't know why people here who love on the lake don't drop their coils in the lake. Way cheaper to run than conventional.

The 3 phase variable speed heat pump is not a bad idea assuming you can get 3 phase to your house. I wish they would make 3 phase more available to residential. Cheaper motors more reliable and I can buy 3 phase machines without needing a vfd.

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Old 06-14-16, 09:28 PM   #32
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so other things i have been thinking about.

domestic water. pex or copper? i kind of like the pex manifolds with a designated run to each faucet/shower.

attic insulation.. or rather where to stop the "conditioned space" at the ceiling of the first floor or go all the way p to the roofing trusses? all of the mechanicals like hvac will be in the basement. so im thinking of insulating the ceiling of the house and venting the attic
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Old 06-15-16, 07:46 AM   #33
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Vaulted ceilings look nice, but they make heating and cooling the space they cover much more difficult to heat and cool. No matter what you do, the hot air stratifies up there. In the summer, it's not so bad if you keep the air still in the area. In winter, much of your heating energy will live there, keeping no one warm. If the vaulted ceiling vents into the upstairs, and everyone stays there, the effect is not so bad. But then when they go downstairs, you know what happens. BRRR!

For plumbing, PEX is hard to beat, especially with a manifold and solid runs to points of use. Besides not needing to glue or sweat fittings, if the pipe ever needs to be replaced, pulling a solid run from the manifold to the point of use is pretty durn easy compared to hacking and figuring and splicing with whatever.

Last edited by jeff5may; 06-15-16 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 06-15-16, 08:24 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordguy64 View Post
so other things i have been thinking about.

domestic water. pex or copper? i kind of like the pex manifolds with a designated run to each faucet/shower.

attic insulation.. or rather where to stop the "conditioned space" at the ceiling of the first floor or go all the way p to the roofing trusses? all of the mechanicals like hvac will be in the basement. so im thinking of insulating the ceiling of the house and venting the attic
Pex for water.

No attic. Make your roof the Insulating barrier. It's generally the preferred method now but requires spray foam or use sips for the roof.
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Old 06-23-16, 07:39 PM   #35
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so the original plans have changed a lot to say the least. I have been crunching numbers on a lot of things and basically, what I have found is that with the two buildings i had originally planned on building ( house and garage) will cost about 7k more to build as two buildings compared to one building.

The New Plan!
build one 50'x90'-50'X100' building. Go from a 1700sqft basement to a 1000sqft basement(this will also save money) . The rest of everything will be a concrete slab with pex!.

I've also been doing a lot of research on "owner builder". I had always thought that a licensed electrician, plumber had to do the house. but as it turns out some places have an owner-builder exemption. That basically would allow a none licensed carrying person to do plumbing and electric as long as it passes inspection! the plan is slowly coming together. The owner building exemption is a HUGE find! now i just need to find out if it exists where I want build!

obviously part of it will be house and part of it will be garage.
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Old 06-23-16, 08:12 PM   #36
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Most states allow the owner to do all work to their house as long as it meets local code. Here in Tx if you are in a unincorporated area(outside any city limits) there are no permits or Inspections unless it's commercial or a school. Some hear that and think oh well there will be lots of crap built but it's not the case.


As to your house that's a pretty big place even with the downsize to a 1k basement. People that move here from places with basements.... They always say oh I just need a small house around 1800sqft. But when the realize they aren't getting 3600 sqft of living space they then realize that housing costs are much higher here when you consider the actual sq footage.

It's always cheaper to build one big building over two smaller ones. And making a house say 5' wider in one direction has a small impact on construction cost. Houses with lots of inside corners viewed from outside wastes lots of $. Turn that I side corner to an outside and all you add is a little foundation and roofing and adding very little to the heat load but adding lots of cheap sq footage. It's hard to beat square for efficiency of construction, usable space and building efficiency.
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Old 06-24-16, 12:02 PM   #37
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Building a house is a huge undertaking. However it can be extremely rewarding. Go ahead and sign up for Green Building Advisor, and get a subscription to Fine Home Building. The Journal of Light Construction is also a good one, though its harder to read. Also start learning Sketchup, its an invaluable tool that can help you visualize how everything fits together.

Plan on getting a construction loan. Once you start construction they are impossible to get, so get it to start with. Keep as much cash as you can out of equity and in the bank, this gives you the ability to go over budget, and you will go over budget.

Due to my view that a construction loan is mandatory, that makes a very strong argument for hiring a General Contractor, as a GC can keep you from having an extremely long construction time. A good GC will also have access to much better subs than what you likely have access to. As far as construction time goes it took my Dad and I 1.5 years working full time to build our house, and that was with hiring out the foundation, masonry, plumbing, hvac, electrical, drywall, counter tops, and roofing, as well as having a full time carpenter. It took my Uncle the same amount time building a much smaller and simpler house. That time savings makes a good GC a good deal.

No offense but you are way to early in the process to even start designing the house. You need to nail down what your budget is, how much time you have to commit to the project, what your site is like, what your aesthetic preferences are, what you want your operating and maintenance expenses to be, how you want the house to flow and work.

I'm not a big fan of pole barn construction for a house. It's great for barns, but it is more expensive than stick built to get to a finished interior.

I would also strongly consider a 2 story house. It is more energy efficient and it is less expensive per sqft.

I would not touch a GSHP. They are a great idea, but they are too expensive for the benefits, there are cheaper ways to meet your energy goals.

Likewise I wouldn't do radiant in floor heat even in the garage. Unless you are a collector or are going to be working out of the garage, garages don't need to be conditioned space 24/7.

SIPs can be great, and even though they are likely the more expensive option, they can end up saving money by reducing labor and interest payments. That said they can also be a PITA and their ability to save money overall can evaporate quickly. To really save money everyone who even touches them needs to have experience with them.
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Old 06-24-16, 01:36 PM   #38
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How are the pole barns more expensive to frame the interior than a stick built? As far as I know it's the same. Except you can put walls where ever you want because they aren't supporting any loads

As far as heating the garage goes I do spend a lot of time in the garage in the winter. And when say heated I mean 50* at most.
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Old 06-24-16, 02:10 PM   #39
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You still have to build the exterior walls so they might as well support the roof. It's the same reason I don't like pole buildings(metal buildings here) for shops as they are fine if uninsulated but if you want to insulate it well you end up building a building inside your building.


Trusses on 2x6 walls are preferred for cost and efficiency. Also look into 2x6 walls using 2x4 studs. It reduces heat and sound transfer and is usually cheaper in materials as 2x6s are pricey compared to 2x4s.

Also make sure to use the trusses properly. They require support and bracing during install which uses allot of long lumber. Also make sure your drywall is not attached to the truss within 16" of a wall as trusses lift with snow load.
Now if you want you can instead of attaching your drywall to the trusses you can put conventional ceiling joists in but that's allot of added materials cost.

Whatever you do ceiling wise never ever ever ever ever put up furring strips and attach your drywall to it. Yes it seems like a good idea in many respects but the HVAC,network and especially the electrician will be cussing you the whole time and you will end up with more oops drywall repairs because there is no way to know where the ceiling joists are.
Try putting can lights in a kitchen with furringnstrips....


Two story as mentioned has allot of benefits as its cheaper to go up than out construction wise and possible energy savings. Two story houses are more costly to design and install the hvac system and get the whole house comfortable. Usually ending up in a two system house.
You also end up with stairs. Never put the master bedroom upstairs. Always put a full bathroom on the ground floor in addition to the master bath.
Been in too many houses up north that you have to go up a flight of stairs to use the bathroom. They like to put all the important rooms on the seccond floor which is bad planning.

Also single floor is always preferred for happy living purposes. I don't like multifloor houses unless one is a basement as that doesn't count.
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Old 06-24-16, 02:17 PM   #40
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Also if you can get an older copy of chief architect cheap I highly recommend it. It's the best software for drawing buildings. Easy to use. You can download product specs from the manufacturer including trusses or autogenerate stick framed roofs. It will even make a complete materials list and if you put the prices in for materials it will calculate that as well.

Very powerful software and very easy to use. I drew our house in less than an hour and I'm not a quick user. Took longer to get all the measurements than to draw it.

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