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Old 05-16-16, 10:08 PM   #1
Fordguy64
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Default I think I'm building a house!

So im not very good with these long winded posts but this just might be one.

Well im close to having my house ready to sell. if all goes well i will have it on the market this time next year. if it all works out i should come away with 50k in my pocket! so this leads up to me not wanting a house in the city anymore and the want for more land?!

so I've started this thread to get some ideas and hopefully share some things that I've found as far as insulation and better building techniques.

so ill start with some basics of the plan.

the house will be located in the Cincinnati Ohio area.
will be post frame style building with a full walk out basement
should be 1600-1700 sqft 3 bed 3 bath one bath in basement other two on main floor.
open floor plan nothing special but a good solid house..
28'x60ish' house.

the basement:
8-10" thick poured concrete walls with proper footing for the area.
4-5" pad for the floor
8' ceilings (im 6'5" and tired of hitting my head in the basement)
two layers of rigid r10 insulation around the walls of foundation with a sealer of some sort on before the insulation.
Should I insulate under the slab? I'm not planning on radiant floor in the basement.

main floor:
2" spray foam on the whole exterior wall with the rest of the cavity being batts of insulation or blown-in should be about a 7" cavity. that should lead to about r27 on the walls.
windows will be triple pain or what ever the latest and greatest windows are.
i will be running floor trusses. they will span the 28' side of the house with no support beam in the middle! clicky

ceiling/attic:
same 2" spray foam with the rest of the r50 being made up with spray in insulation.

general info:
Geo thermal for heat and AC
desuperheater for heating water
large whole house fan (i love mine in my current house)
basic house with open floor plan possibly some vaulted ceilings.
metal roof and siding (something like this
)

interesting video i found on foundation insulating (long but informative)
https://youtu.be/kwn0Vjw_ji0

Just looking for thoughts and opinions

We havent decided on a floor plan just yet but we are narrowing it down.
I will post up a few of the final ones when we get closer to that.
Ive started drawing the house in solid works and i will share that as it progresses

let me know what you think

Ha i almost forgot the most important part. Im planning on being my own general contractor. Ive been rounding up people that i know in various trades.
I currently have:
Metal siding and roof at cost from an old friend of mine.
I know two hvac people that are more than willing to help.
i have 2 electricians one family and one from work.
i have access to a backhoe and a trakhoe.

i just need to find a plumber and some one who does concrete.
the rest of the house will be done by myself and with the help of friends and family

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Old 05-17-16, 10:38 AM   #2
Daox
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That is very exciting!

I would definitely insulate under the slab. It won't cost much more and the passive house standard does call for it.

Another area that passive house is super critical on is air sealing. Thats arguably more important than the amount of insulation in areas. This should be key. Since the house will be sealed up so well, you'll also be needing an HRV or ERV.

Please keep us updated with how things go and share the design work too!
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Old 05-17-16, 03:12 PM   #3
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Have you considered going with SIPs? My dad is using SIPs for his addition and they are incredibly easy to deal with.
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Old 05-17-16, 06:08 PM   #4
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I haven't but I imagine they are rather pricey? I didn't see any average $ per sqft? I'm trying to do this on the cheap so that's why I'm going to diy as much as possible. Care to share any details on his project?
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Old 05-18-16, 10:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordguy64 View Post
I haven't but I imagine they are rather pricey? I didn't see any average $ per sqft? I'm trying to do this on the cheap so that's why I'm going to diy as much as possible. Care to share any details on his project?
Sure. I don't know exactly how much they cost, but my dad got them from thermasteel corp. He has the 7 1/2 inch panels, equating to an R-35. They are a bit cumber-sum, but my dad did a majority of the work himself (though I am sure my mom helped some too). The roof panels next too the house were a pain, but I believe a new construction would be much easier. Heck, if you do this in the summer, you could probably hire a local 14-16 year old boy(s) for cheap!

Please note, these pictures were taken about 3 months ago (you can see there aren't any leaves on the trees yet).

The addition is on a concrete platform (foam and concrete floor) approx 12" in the air.



A bad interior shot, but you can see how the window framing is already built into the panels.


Vaulted ceilings, approx 20' peak.
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Old 05-20-16, 06:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. I will look into it. So I found out that the county I live in offers a free pre build/planning meeting. You can meet with engineers and architects and till then what your plans are and they will help you get started on the right path. Ill be doing that later this year
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Old 05-20-16, 07:51 AM   #7
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Fordguy64

New home plans. Nice. With a walk out basement, very nice. Using steel on the exterior great idea.

You will save a lot of money doing a lot of work yourself and I would humbly suggest to spend money you save wisely on better building materials. Have a look at the building block ICF. This is a Leggo type foam block that is stacked and concrete and steel re-enforcement rods are placed inside. Insulation and structure in one go. These start on the footings and rise as a foundation and house walls.

The basement floor absolutely insulate. As a walkout basement you may use this as a living space. Again I would humbly suggest consider at-least running the plastic tube for in-floor. The tubing is inexpensive and goes in rather quickly But! more over if you or the next owner ever find the lower level too cool to be comfortable and think a warm floor would be the answer-not having the option to connect some heat to tubes that have been installed as a fore-thought would be heart-breaking.

Have you thought of solar heating?? We save a lot of money with the sun providing space heating.

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Old 05-20-16, 08:53 AM   #8
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I have looked into the icf. Not seriously yet. But I have priced out materials. Seams that they have an r17. I've estimated the cost at 7k for the icfs to do my foundation. But the rigid foam might be the winner. As it's only 2k to do the foundation and have an r20. But it's not totally out of the question yet. I am considering solar heating but that might be down the road a little ways yet. I forgot to mention that I will be building a large garage at the same time of the house. Should be something around 40x50 with a slab. I do plan on putting radiant in that. I did consider putting the tubing in the slab of the basement. But I've also considered doing a dual zone for the fro thermal and just havin. It do both the main floor and the basement.

In another thread I started I started building a waste oil burner. I plan to continue the development of that and use that to help with heating house and garage.
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Old 05-20-16, 11:38 PM   #9
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After many years in and around construction, last year I had my first ICF experience, I am a believer.
Materials Cost is about the same as single use plywood forms, the walls go up very quickly and easily, rebar, conduit and plumbing all can go inside the walls, draft proof, insect proof pretty much fireproof (depending on the styrofoam used). No form stripping and when it is done it's insulated.
All my footings are on high density foam, with foam on both sides as well.
My floor slab will be insulated and will have hydronic heating. Have made extensive use of Laminated Ferro Cement walls and also have used quite a bit of styrofoam ground up and mixed with concrete.
My house is a bit unusual as we started out with a problem site, it is taking a long time to build but its just the two of us rather ancient specimens and the occasional helper.
Good luck with your house.
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Old 05-21-16, 01:39 PM   #10
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There have been some very good answers here and many refer to specifics. But they miss the important point (IMHO) . . . .

Far more important are making early decisions that allow you later options for decisions.

Huh?

For example . . .

Site placement. Just one obvious issue is a south roof orientation for later solar PV and/or hot water panels. But another is placing the home in a place that allows use of an open loop geothermal heat pump (lower down pond, stream or whatever). Your site in hilly Ohio will give you this choice. You have vast quantities of close to the surface ground water. You don't need to do an expensive closed loop system.

Another is placing infrastructure for later use. Right now, you perhaps can't afford putting in PV solar panels. But you can and should put in AWG 4 stranded and insulated copper wires for each hot leg and neutral from the main panel area somewhere up into the attic area. Same with piping for the hot water panels.

You may be not be able to afford geothermal right now - or in slab thermal. But put in the larger return ducts (a major mistake of many not to do this) at the time of construction. Put the PEX tubing in the slab. For now you may not be able to hook either up. Go with a cheap propane heater for ducted heat, but it can be replaced later.

ICF, SIPS, 6 inch closed cell foamed studs, etc - doesn't really matter. Put in what your time, energy and resources allow. Buy good windows, but now is not the time for Marvin. In ten years, I expect much higher energy standards for windows anyway.

In the southern Ohio area you will need a basement (or very deep footings). Make sure to insulate the outside walls with closed cell foal sheet insulation BEFORE back filling. A major, major PITA to dig this out later.

Really look at your resources. Your wish list, if built by a contractor, is in the $150-175 per sq foot (or more) range. Do you have kids, do you have a spouse? Can they help - or are they realistically in need of your time. Doing all this by yourself can mean a very unhappy spouse with divorce - and them getting the house anyway.

What are your skill sets? Can you barter? I once got "paid" for a consult with an exchange of a band playing for my wife's birthday. The band had such a good time they stayed until 2 AM. A great trade.

Maybe you can't afford a metal roof right now - no biggie. Put on a three tab and then in fifteen years, put on a metal one.

The real key to long term energy savings is to rationally insulate and irrationally button up. Get real crazy with 6 mil plastic, foam and attention to detail. Test the house envelope for tightness while you can still seal holes/spaces. This means a blower door test before sheet rocking.

A tight house obligates you an ERV or an HRV. This is one of the essentials with insulation and minimizing infiltration.

Your description of helpers is great - but reciprocity looms. If you have them help you with a big job, are they then going to ask (rope you into) an equally large job?

Not trying to be any sage as BOY have I screwed up at times with biting off too much. We all do, but think of the big picture first. Identify options and don't sweat the small stuff - especially the stuff that can be easily replaced, painted or will need to be repaired (roofs with hail for example).

Great ideas and you have hit almost every one of them. Keep us posted.


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