Thursday, March 26, 2009

Advice Phase

About a week or so ago we met with Danny Sagan, an architect based in Montpelier to run our plans by him. He had a few concerns and suggestions which we gladly took in hand and we've adjusted accordingly. What is continually amazing to me is the experience of feeling like "we've got it" when looking at the plans, and then going back, working some more, and discovering even better solutions. We will likely end up making a some mistakes, but it will not be for lack of sticking to it and trying to refine our plans. At this point we feel pretty close and we're rapidly moving into construction drawings. The big things we need to figure out at this point are mostly system analysis: how much window area, what capacity heating system, structural calculations, etc...

So, we're doing a lot of advice gathering, talking to builders, friends, designers, relatives, and all relevant combinations of the above such as friend-designers, relative-builders, friend-relatives, etc... The more people we talk to the more comfortable I feel moving ahead.

I helped build a modified Larsen truss framed house two years ago and unless we decide to do differently, that is the method we'll be doing for our house. You can see some photos of that project here. Essentially it is system for building a 12" deep wall cavity which will be filled with dense packed insulation. The challenge is that it is not a widely use method. I hoping to meet with Robert (shown in photo), the guy who designed and led that project to have him give our plans a good look. We'll be speaking with Danny again; Joe, our friend and builder who is going to be working on the project with me this summer has already weighed in, and our pal Adam is coming up tomorrow and we'll pick his brain for any impressions. My uncle Paul is a builder and we look forward to his input as well. Additionally, I recently spoke with Bill Hulstrunk who has offered his expertise as well. He taught the super-insulation class that I took a couple of months ago.

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