Monday, September 11, 2006

Three steps to Heaven

I have a plan and the wheels are turning. My house is being built, off site by an Amish craftsman even as I type this post. It is compact little place 32x20 built on skids and will be dragged down the road and placed on the foundation. The house is rough cut hemlock, post and beam. This is my interim house, where we will live while the real house gets built. It has two 20x10 sleeping lofts on each end and is open to the roof in the middle. Downstairs will have a bathroom, kitchen, and small living area. I love High-tech low-tech marriages and this little place does that well. The south facing outside wall is all argon gas filled windows with a long overhang to keep the sun off them in the summer and invite the sunshine in all winter long. The windows are a re-cycle from a sky scraper up-date, that my guy Marc got his hands on. The roof is steel in red with rigid stryfoam four inches thick all mounted over white pine sheeting, planed smooth on the inside face as it will be an open roof with a skylite over each loft. They have blinds to control the sun. Two sides are getting covered porches to expand the living to outdoors and to give me a place to strip off my dirty duds as I am a SLOB. In my area outdoors is the place to be nine months of the year, the other three can be a real mother as we get winter in all its glory.
For heat I am using an outside wood burning water boiler and radiant heat in the concrete slab under the house with a small propane furnace back-up so I am not a slave to the system when we are not home. The boiler is oversized as it will be used to heat a portion of the barn and the new house that is going to be built into the hillside will use it when it needs it.
A large amount of the materials I am building with are salvage or my own creation. The reason I went to the Amish craftsman was time considerations and his price is right. So we did a barter for his work, I have trees that become logs and he has a mill that makes boards so a deal was struck. I provided the doors, windows, roofing, fasteners, electrical supplies and he is doing the building. My freind Jack is going to help me do the plumbing, electric, and finish work.
This place will provide me with shelter while I build my home and will become a guest house for company when my place is done. The clock is ticking on my working for the man existence, 14 months until I pull the plug. We brainstormed many ideas on how to make this all happen and this little shelter made the most sense to me as we now live 40 miles from the property and a commute seemed like a waste of my resourses and we will have a nice addition to the homestead after the wash is all hung out to dry, for about what I would have spent in fuel to travel back and forth.
The target is to have this livable by spring, move my saw mill to the site plus all my barn lumber that is already cut. The critters will need a barn before I need the real house so here is the progression. The Amish built love bungolo, a small shop to house the tools, the barn and then the real house.
Water? This is a problem I am still pondering. Do I spend money on a drilled well that will eventually not used ? The property has an artisean well on it but it is 4,500 feet away from the house and I am going to create a water feature that uses this supply and also feeds my needs. The property also has a spring fed stream that runs clean water most of the time and three ponds. Right now I am leaning towards drilling because of the time factor and cost of piping the water 4,500 feet at this time. My water feature will be done without a lot of conventional plumbing and be multi-functinal so I do not want to waste my energy doing things twice.
The real house! Wait until I tell you the plans we are going underground! But that is for another post and another day.

1 comment:

magz said...

Pictures! I want PIX!! The Homestead sounds awesum Slip.
Cept fer the winter part.. brrr

Why another house later? The little one sounds perfect!

The water deal sounds like a decision that's gonna need some real studyin... I'd be inclined to say drill; but only when yer sure it wont change the artesian any! See ya round!