I finally had time to take a break from the undertakings of planning out the particulars of our new eco-friendly home, and think about our progress and some things to keep in mind going forward. So far, we’ve selected a 2.2 acre lot in Eastern Connecticut where we plan to build, and we’ve consulted with an architect firm, Point One Architects, who are beginning to draft blueprints and 3D models.
The planning stage of our homebuilding process is a series of conversations more than anything else. I’ve spoken with the architects about nearly everything — the features of our land, what the home will look like, and the potential for its inner workings. My meetings with the professionals who are helping us build our home are something I enjoy the most — each time I’ve built a home, there are takeaways on both sides that stretch beyond walking through a brand new front door.
Even if you don't have much building experience, it's a good thing to have a good idea of what you would like to get out of a home building project. The goal might seem obvious (to build a home), but building a quality home according to your wants and tastes will require you to have an idea of what you want to include in your new home, what you want it to look like, and have a rudimentary knowledge of the building materials you want to use. If you do your research beforehand, you can walk into the home building process well equipped to deal with things that may come up during the project.
The more knowledge you have, the more you will be able to work closely with the professionals that will be building your new home. Setting expectations and doing research before you start will help ensure that the home you build is a quality structure built according to your wants and tastes.
When my wife Debbie and I met with Point One Architects for the first time to talk with them about our home building project, we already had an idea of some features that we want to include in this new home. This may be our retirement home, so we want our master bedroom to be on the first floor, with a nice view of the mature forest that will be the backdrop to our home.
We want to include energy efficient HVAC and electrical systems, a tight building envelope and photo-voltaic solar panels on the roof. I still need to work out what kind of insulation we’ll be using and a lot of other details about the home’s construction, so I’d like to put this Q&A out there and get some advice from you about what you think would be good features for our new home.
Please comment below and let us know! So far, your emails and comments have provided us with some useful information, and can be a learning experience for everyone.
When my wife and I selected Point One Architects to help us plan out the details of our new eco-friendly home, we chose Rick Staub and Greg Echtman because we'd heard that they were good listeners. They've been mindful of our ideas and goals for this new home from the very beginning, and they've consulted with us every step of the way so that the plans come together just the way we want them to. If you're building a custom, eco-friendly home, it's really important to find someone who will work close with you to help you achieve your goals, and who you enjoy working with.
Anyone who’s building a custom home knows that an architect is a cornerstone to any custom building project. Even if you’re designing a home yourself, an architect can provide invaluable advice and a second set of eyes and ears for your plans.
In our case, we’ve been consulting with an architectural firm from the very beginning. I’m pretty knowledgeable about some portions of the building process, but I’ve decided to trust an architect to plan out the logistics of what I’m trying to accomplish with this home. We’re trying to build something that’s as energy efficient as possible, without sacrificing comfort - we'll need the help of a network of knowledgeable experts, of which the architect one of the most important.
Now that you’ve gotten a chance to have a look at the 2.2 acre lot where my wife and I will be building our eco-friendly home, you may have noticed the fantastic features of the lot where we’ll be building. Our lot is situated in the middle of a large forest that has assumed old-growth characteristics - some of the trees on our land are over 50 years old!Read more
In our last episode, you got a chance to see some of the 2.2 acre lot that my wife and I will be building our eco-friendly home on. We’re lucky to be building our home in Eastern Connecticut, where we’ll get to experience the New England climate - wet springs and hot summers, followed by beautiful foliage in the fall and cold winters to top it all off.
The New England climate is only one element that we’ll have to take into consideration while we plan out the details for our eco-friendly home. When we sit down with the architect to make some decisions about the design and details of our house, there are a few items that we’ll keep in mind, items that every prospective homeowner/builder should think about before building.
There's a lot that can go into building an eco-friendly home. Some eco-friendly homes have features like radiant heating or solar systems that make them truly world class. Tell Dave about what you think are the most important characteristics that every environmentally-friendly home should have! Share your thoughts below.
As I move forward in my homebuilding journey, I know that there are a lot of techniques I can use to build my eco-friendly home. I want to insulate my home so that it has the highest R value possible, and ensure that the other details of its construction are as eco-friendly as possible, including the roofing, flashing, exterior, windows and doors. I know that every step of the way, it all comes down to the details. Every step will add up and contribute something meaningful to the big picture.Read more
What does “comfort” mean to you in terms of building an environmentally friendly home? Share your thoughts and invite your family, friends to join the discussion!