Monday, November 3, 2008

Second Day Of The Home Tour

My boss and I went out on the second day of the home tour. We only made it to 3 homes because they were so far out of town. These homes were what I would call 'industrial' style. Lots of thick earthen or concrete walls, metal roofs, exposed beams and concrete floors. My boss didn't like them. He said they reminded him of a college dorm. 2 of the homes were under-construction which added to their lack of warmth and the other was for sale for $730,000. These people definitely had big budgets.

This first house is being built with a lava rock and concrete mix. The insulating and thermal properties are not really known yet. I guess he just likes the stuff. It seemed easy to mold in to pillars and decorative designs. He added detail of a feather on the roof and there were other sculptural pieces around the property. Seemed kind of cold and castle-like but maybe when it is finished it will look more inviting.

Here's a closer look at the wall and windows.

I'm not sure how much this solar system cost but I am thinking around $30k.

The next house was for sale. It was built with ICP's (Insulated concrete panels) with SIP's (structural insulated panels) for the roof. He had a solar hot water system which also ran through the floor and heated the concrete in the winter. I hear that is a very nice feature to have.

ICP's are on the left. They are assembled with just the foam and wire mesh. Once the walls are all up they are sprayed with gunnite (concrete) on both sides. The SIP's on the right are foam with OSB (oriented strand board) on each side. They were used on the roof.

I liked the color of the stained concrete floors but there was a lot of floor space and it was overwhelming. I wouldn't want that much concrete. I definitely don't want to mop that much concrete!

And the last house was a rammed earth home under construction. I didn't find this style very appealing. I have seen other rammed earth houses that use different colors of earth and look much nicer.

Here's a closer look at the rammed earth wall.

And another look from the inside.

And I just had to get a picture of his chickens. He had a huge garden and the chickens roamed where ever they pleased.

It was another interesting day and I learned about new building techniques. My boss kept asking me what kind of house I want to build and when I am going to build it. I like the SIPs but they are more expensive. Right now I don't think I need a house. I definitely don't need a big house. I can just wrap my shed in insulation and I will be as happy as a bug in a ... shed.


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

When you're done, you can put your shed on the home tour.

Daizy said...

Yup, I've already got it all planned out...a rainwater harvesting, solar everything, greywater for the garden, super-insulated shed house!

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Sounds very neat. Do you have long term plans for your RV?

Daizy said...

My plan for the RV is to sell it because it is a 5th wheel and I don't have a truck to pull it plus it is too big for me to use for travel. I was just thinking that maybe I would buy a nice small travel trailer as my shed's guest house, something I could pull with my little truck.

Anonymous said...

Cool pictures. I would do stained concrete if I lived in the desert or any place warm. Forget it for Seattle though. Give me carpet, so I can walk around barefoot without freezing my toes. ;)

Daizy said...

Hi lindsay, that guy had hydronic heating (water filled tubing) in the floor to heat the concrete. I've never experienced it but they say it is a very nice way to heat a home and warm for your toes. I wonder if it would be warm enough to heat a whole house in the north. Oh, and in the summer supposedly, he can put cold water through the tubing to help cool the house.