FJ's New Construction Checklist

FarmerJamie

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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 t
1. Probably a stand alone block that can be moved
2. Have to think on this one
3. Deep sink, yes, in the kitchen. Deep deep sink for canning kitchen
4. Accessible laundry appliances...definitely
5. Skylights are a possibility, but we worry about leakage
6. Yes on the storm doors.

Good list
 

FarmerJamie

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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.
Geothermal is popular here.

The outside layout design will be fun to do. :)
 

FarmerJamie

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Folks, please keep the ideas coming! My son has started weighing in too. Lololol
 

tortoise

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Without further ado, the start of the list under consideration.

2. Handicap accessible, or at least allowances made for future accessibility without large expense
I'm gathering that your wife's health problems / symptoms overlap some of mine. So I have a few suggestions related to that. Don't procrastinate on wheelchair accessibility, do it now. Do it yesterday. Using a wheelchair at home saves me when my fatigue is bad.

In the kitchen, have a section of counter that is a "kitchen office" area. But really, that's a wheelchair accessible kitchen workspace. One of the most frustrating things about not having a wheelchair accessible home is that I don't have any workspace in the kitchen.

Deep sink is probably not wheelchair accessible, unlikely she could reach the bottom of the sink

If you have a stand mixer and don't have space to leave it out on the counter, get a lift for it. And if you don't have a stand mixer, get one. One of the best devices for those with pain or joint problems.

3. Fireplace...traditional or pellet stove insert?
traditional for sure

4. Flooring...wife likes the idea of heated ceramic tiles with a faux wood look.
100% agree on heated floor, but I wouldn't suggest it as a primary heat source. If she is prone to any blood flow abnormalities, warm feet and cool head are a recipe for syncope.

5. Adding to base plan.....a canning kitchen as an addition.
Outdoor canning kitchen. I literally can't take the heat of canning indoors. I pressure can outdoors on a propane burner, but it's a PITA on the deck. For smaller scale canning, an electric pressure canner is super nice. I set it on the floor.

7. Mod to base plan, redoing pantry/mud room layout.
Make it excessively large - roll-in wheelchair accessible. Consider space for carts. Can't carry hardly anything when in a manual wheelchair, but can roll a cart around the house. But I have no storage for a cart, so it's an annoyance to my whole family. I use a cart for dragging cleaning supplies around the house.

10. Some sort of reinforced room in the basement for storm refuge
wheelchair accessible???
make this room comfy because fear amplifies perception of pain, and can flare up dysautonomia.


Keep gardens close to the house - as close as possible. Alternately, have a driveway to the garden area. I am not usually able to walk to my garden and then still be able to work in my garden. More often though, I work in the garden and them am unable to get back to the house. Have passed out in the garden unable to get out of the sun, DH has had to rescue me from the garden a few times when I've been stuck there.

If you have an outbuilding, such as a barn, run water to the building but also have a water heater out there. probably tankless? I can't do barn chores in winter because of cold intolerance - pain from cold hands. Any water is the worst, severe pain. I can't keep rabbits anymore due to it, or until I find a way around it or convince DH to put a water heater out there.
 

FarmerJamie

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@tortoise thank you, I need to digest your suggestions. Not able to logically construct a thought right now
 

FarmerJamie

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With this CV issue, now is not the time to be making big plans! I think we're all pretty much in hunker down mode.
It's more of the sinus crap preventing me from thinking straight
 

frustratedearthmother

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Hate that you're feeling poorly! Ginger tea! (or whatever works for you) Hope both of you are on the mend :fl
 

Chic Rustler

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as an hvac tech I can tell you geos are pretty awesome. I would probably do a waste water set up if you have a well because they are cheap. or use a pond. my last choice would be buried glycol lines. heat reclaim water heaters can be tied in the geo system as well

I would personally scrap the radiant floor idea. not cost effective unless you are up to the task of diy. stained concrete floors are very cost effective and look nice.

I'd go with a natural draft wood burning fireplace or stove. something that will work without electricity.

I would also look for a real good septic guy and have a traditional septic system installed rather than aerobic. again, electricity.
a separate grey water system would be useful because all that water can be reused to water gardens and things.


stay away from sprayfoam insulation unless you just like having constant humidity/hvac issues.
 

Chic Rustler

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an l.p. generator and transfer switch is very doable. any electrician worth his salt can slam in an automatic transfer switch and it wouldn't cost much for a plumber to pipe in the propane.

solar...idk. solar panels are probably the absolute least cost effective means of generating electricity. the panels production and later disposal aren't very good for the environment either. but a mix of solar and wind turbine with a back up genset would make you pretty much independent
 
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