FJ's New Construction Checklist

FarmerJamie

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So I thought it might be fun to start the "wish list" for the possible new homestead, with an eye towards a simpler lifestyle. Open discussion welcome. Land is the big variable, but there will be space for critters and growing stuff, we have a handle on that.

My focus is the house. Technology being what it is today, where does the complexity and benefits fit in versus simple/basic technology? Free wheeling brainstorming requested! We have pretty much settled on the floor plan posted earlier, with some modifications. That can be part of the discussion.

Budget is not a consideration right now, I would rather get the list of ideas as and then prioritize to the budget

For example, the new variable opaqueness windows are an interesting new option.

Without further ado, the start of the list under consideration.
1. Geothermal heating/cooling
2. Handicap accessible, or at least allowances made for future accessibility without large expense
3. Fireplace...traditional or pellet stove insert?
4. Flooring...wife likes the idea of heated ceramic tiles with a faux wood look.
5. Adding to base plan.....a canning kitchen as an addition.
6. Adding to base plan....basement
7. Mod to base plan, redoing pantry/mud room layout.
8. Solar
9. Built in hook up for stand alone generator
10. Some sort of reinforced room in the basement for storm refuge
.....thoughts?
 

frustratedearthmother

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I love the ceramic tile faux wood look. I've seen a lot of tiles the last few weeks working on our re-do.

Ok - you spoke of a canning kitchen. In that theme what about a pot filler at the stove?
 

Britesea

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Pellet stoves require electricity- something to keep in mind. However we bought a special screen/holder for our wood stove that burns pellets (company name is Pelleteer). We've found that using them during the day, with one large piece of wood added at night for all-night embers, seems to give us the best of both worlds.
 

BarredBuff

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Here are some things I would want and/or dream about:

1. A butcher block counter for processing meat.
2. A wood kitchen range in addition to "normal" cook stove.
3. Utility sink for washing hard to handle items. For example, my 930 All American pressure canner.
4. Accessibility for laundry room. Currently, my washer is under the steps and its a hassle to bring stuff up from the dryer and even bigger hassle for stuff that is line dried.
5. Sky lights might be something to look at if possible. That would definitely help on electricity usage for common areas.
6. I know this isn't big technology, BUT storm doors would be a must. I have screen doors right now and they do not last.

Here are some other things I would think about:

1. Have you considered water? Do you want to be cut off from the "city water"? Can you access well water or develop a spring? Could you use a cistern to harvest rain water? A safe water supply for a homestead is a necessity, and is key for being off the grid.

2. Will the layout, and location allow for privacy? The key question is "can I pee off the back porch?" That's the privacy I would want. In the same thought process, I think it would be great to have an outdoor shower too. Especially, in the summer when it is hot and you're dirty and sweaty from working outside.

3. I see your plan also has cathedral ceilings. My house does as well. It's a cabin. One problem I have is condensation on the ceiling, and mold. So, I don't have good ventilation and its a pain to get to clean. If you're anticipating mobility issues that might be a consideration. Also, you lose a lot of heat with these type of ceilings.

4. Does the layout and location allow for protection? Do you have good access to evacuate if you had a fire, or an intruder? Is it easily defendable?

This is probably more than you wanted, but these are things I am thinking about as I look to move soon.
 

Lazy Gardener

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1. Geothermal heating/cooling
2. Handicap accessible, or at least allowances made for future accessibility without large expense
3. Fireplace...traditional or pellet stove insert?
4. Flooring...wife likes the idea of heated ceramic tiles with a faux wood look.
5. Adding to base plan.....a canning kitchen as an addition.
6. Adding to base plan....basement
7. Mod to base plan, redoing pantry/mud room layout.
8. Solar
9. Built in hook up for stand alone generator
10. Some sort of reinforced room in the basement for storm refuge

1. I don't know enough about Geothermal to venture a worthy opinion re: cost/benefit ratios. I would definitely utilize passive solar, including heat sinks, N/S orientation, appropriate roof overhangs to provide summer cooling and winter solar gain. I would add some solar panels on S side ducted into house for heat. I would also add solar for hot water, perhaps tied in with a heat system: wood stove or ? inside rocket stove if there is even such a thing.

2. Handicap accessible. YES! Don't plan to add any HA features later. Cheaper to do it ALL at time of build. Include: w/c accessibility to all rooms, including bathroom. W/C accessible shower and toilet. Ramp that meets ADA standards (1"/ft. rise). Keep in mind that it takes an area at least 5' x 5' to turn a w/c around. Make at least part of the kitchen w/c accessible for the cook! HA will greatly increase your resale value.

3. Fireplaces tend to be not very economical in BTU production.

5. Canning kitchen... one can always dream!!! At least a double sink. And a pantry for food storage, and equipment storage.

9. Generator, directly hooked into electrical. My MIL has a LP model that is set up to come on automatically when power goes out. This is the only way she can comfortably live at home, alone, @ 88 y.o.

A. Laundry on ground level, near bedrooms. Clothesline easy access if you like to hang clothes out. I want to put up a rotary clothes line.

B. Yard set up for easy access to electric and plumbing for animal care. Easy access for plumbing to garden. garden close enough to house to be able to run out for quick harvest during meal prep.
 

Britesea

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Herb garden right outside the kitchen door, if possible, like the early settlers did.

And if you do put in a wood stove for heat, don't go with the smallest rated for your size of house; if the stove is forced to go at full bore all the time, it will wear out faster (yes, they CAN wear out)
 

Lazy Gardener

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Nor... should you get one that is oversized for your home. Our first wood stove was a Papa Bear Fisher. Awesome stove, took a 2' log, but that thing would cook us out! We down sized to a small Jotul, and it does great heating our 1000 s.f. living area.
 

FarmerJamie

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Herb garden right outside the kitchen door, if possible, like the early settlers did.

And if you do put in a wood stove for heat, don't go with the smallest rated for your size of house; if the stove is forced to go at full bore all the time, it will wear out faster (yes, they CAN wear out)
The herb garden already is in my landscape plans. :)
 

FarmerJamie

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Nor... should you get one that is oversized for your home. Our first wood stove was a Papa Bear Fisher. Awesome stove, took a 2' log, but that thing would cook us out! We down sized to a small Jotul, and it does great heating our 1000 s.f. living area.
Yes, need to do some more research on this
 

FarmerJamie

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Here are some things I would want and/or dream about:

.....

Here are some other things I would think about:

1. Have you considered water? Do you want to be cut off from the "city water"? Can you access well water or develop a spring? Could you use a cistern to harvest rain water? A safe water supply for a homestead is a necessity, and is key for being off the grid.

2. Will the layout, and location allow for privacy? The key question is "can I pee off the back porch?" That's the privacy I would want. In the same thought process, I think it would be great to have an outdoor shower too. Especially, in the summer when it is hot and you're dirty and sweaty from working outside.

3. I see your plan also has cathedral ceilings. My house does as well. It's a cabin. One problem I have is condensation on the ceiling, and mold. So, I don't have good ventilation and its a pain to get to clean. If you're anticipating mobility issues that might be a consideration. Also, you lose a lot of heat with these type of ceilings.

4. Does the layout and location allow for protection? Do you have good access to evacuate if you had a fire, or an intruder? Is it easily defendable?

This is probably more than you wanted, but these are things I am thinking about as I look to move soon.
1. Well water most likely
2. Privacy will depend on the parcel
3. We were considering reversible ceiling fans
4. Will depend on the parcel
 

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