Building a House

Submitted by reb on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:41



* Caution: This article is not professional advice. These are Royce Barber's notes on house renovation and forward-looking home technologies. 
* This article is: Multipurpose house materials and design ideas. An ultra simple list of modern materials in a house in the USA. Practical articulate advice. This incomplete article will be updated gradually. 
* This article is not: Technical. Long winded.
* This article focuses on: currently existing materials/technologies. 
* A house should be: A home. Comfortable, affordable, expandable, upgradeable, recycled materials, integration into surrounding climate/grounds (region/climate specific), industrial, elegant, efficient, resellable, acoustics, aesthetics, safety, ergonomics, expandability, well planned out. 
* A house should not be: Over your budget. Dangerous for children. A money hole. 
* Similar Articles on RoyceBarber.Com: Multi Purpose Tools. CNC Machine. Resources/Subscriptions.


Royce's Dream House - Info to Sort

* Space: Cavern-like great room, reminiscent of the Coarsegold house I lived in. Large crawl space if possible. 
* Low Cost Construction & Maintenance: Low construction complexity. Cube shape. Minimal windows. Extra insulation. 
* Designer Look: Clean crisp designer styling. Bright, clean building, with medium color floor which won't show stains as much as white. 
* Bedrooms: Inviting, cozy, sound dampening. 
* Efficient: Underfloor heating. Cieling fans to pump warm air downward. 
* Roof: Gazibo has water collecting tank, to self-water the garden. Garden uses synthetic grass and real hedges. Mix of real/synthetic plants. 
* Security/Automation: All doors are steel with deadbolt. Mobile RC Camera Bot. Wifi.
* Electrical: Floor power plugs. 
* Entertainment: Roof garden. Wifi. Wall TV. Hot tub. 
* Materials: Metal roof. Steel frame. PegBoard garage walls. Possibly steel foundation rather than concrete. Minimal (if any) wood in frame. 
* Industrial: Materials and appliances. Minimal carpeting. Minimal repair/maintence/care. Land has no pipes/sprinklers. 
* Exterior: No lawn. Natural land topography with added giant rocks. Plenty of random trees. Walking paths. 
* Dimensions: 14x14ft rooms. House is 4 rooms wide by 4 rooms long. 14ft x 4 rooms = House is 56 feet wide + wall thickness. So house is 64 by 64 feet. 8ft cielings with 2 stories is 8+8, + cieling thickness, so house is roughly 19ft tall. Square footage is lower floor and rooms + loft. 



Basic House Parts

* Exits: Windows. Doors. Fireplace. 
* Frame: Steel beams. 2x4 planks. 
* Wiring: Power. Internet. Phone. Satellite TV. Antenna TV. Cell phone extender antenna. 
* Major Appliances: Washing machine & dryer. Dish washer. Sink. Sink disposal. Trash compactor. Oven with stove range. Microwave. Computer workstation.Fridge &Spare fridge. Freezer (vertical or horizontal). 
* Minor Appliances: Blender. Toaster oven. Toaster. Chopper. Waffle grill. George Forman grill. Beater. 
* Water Heating: Instant On via Electricity. Instant On via Propane. Water heating tank. 
* Climate Control: Fire Place. Wood Stove. Propane stove. 
* Natural Gas lines. 
* Propane Tank: Extremely popular. 
* Solar Power: Popular. Optional battery cells.
* Wind Power: Rare.
* Air Ventilation Shafts/Fans/Vents.
* House Vacuum System
* Rooms (See Rooms Heading).



Popular Construction Tools

* Table Saw. Chop Saw. Circular Saw. Tile Saw. Granite Saw. Reciprocating Saw. Nail Gun. Hammer. Crow bar. Chizzles. Power drill. Drill bits. Nails/screws. Pneumatic (air) tools. Battery tools. 




* Double pane. Good energy rating. 



Heating / Cooling

* Sub-floor heating via heat vents or hot wires.
* Swamp cooler.
* Fireplace.
* Pellet stove.
* Portable electric upright oil heater.
* Heat Pump.
* Cool Roof System: Reflects visable, infrared, and ultraviolet sunlight. Reducing heat transfer of the building. Usually a light color. Reduces need for air conditioning. 




* Water Heater: Tankless Propane (uses fire to heat water), Tankless Electric (zaps the water). 
* Induction Stove/Range: 90% efficiency, saves electricity, cool to the touch, cooks fast. 
* H-VAC unit and tubing.
* Major House Appliances: Stove, Fridge, Redundant Fridge or Freezer for garage, Microwave, Washer, Dryer, Vertical Washer/Dryer Combo, Hybrid Washer/Dryer in One, Water heater, Generator, Air Compressor/Tank.




Automation / Security

* Basic cameras and remote internet viewer, window/door sensors, motion sensors, motion lights. 
* HighRes 3D/QTVR/YouTube Walk-Through of house.
* See "Guesstimated Near-Future Technologies" section of this article. 




* Stamped Tin
* Tile
* Metal Sheeting



Kinds of House Frame

* Steel
* Stick Frame
* Trex(tm) Composite Boards
* Outside balcony made of translucent Plexiglas floor/railing. 



Kinds of Rooms Inside a House

* Entry
* Loft or Outside Balcony
* Sun Porch
* Master Bed
* Kids Bed
* Guest Bed
* Kitchen, Mini Kitchenette, and Pantry
* Walk-in Closets
* Basement and Basement Storage
* Living/Great Room
* Baths
* Basement Apartment 
* Garage or Shop
* Laundry
* Office
* Library
* Indoor Pool or Hot Tub Room



Wall Covering, Exterior

* Brick
* Stone
* Stucco
* Painted Boards
* Metal/Vinal Siding



Wall Covering, Interior

* Drywall
* Concrete




* Wood Planks
* Synthetic Wood Look
* Stone Tile



Foundation of a House

* Concrete pad. 

* Steel frame, such as mobile houses or an RV. 

* Raised concrete pillars, supporting your base boards. 

* Raised steel pillars supporting your base boards. 



Septic & Drainage


Water Well




Power: Solar Panels

* Backup Power Cells for power outages. (This is rare).
* Recouping cost of solar panel array takes many years.



Power: Generator




* Electrical
* Internet: DSL. Cable.
* Phone/Fax
* TV: Satellite. Antenna. Cable.
* Security



Plumbing / Pipes

* Water
* Septic
* Fridge Water Line




* Blown into attic with blowing machine.
* Roll of insulation.



Electricity vs Propane vs Natural Gas vs Gas Generator




* Optical Fiber natural lighting.
* LED Bulbs




* Rubber mulch (bark).
* Synthetic lawn.




* Gutters.
* Sidewalk and land sloping away from house.
* Ground water getting into basement.



Handicapped Accessibility

* Wheel chair ramps. Self opening doors. Stair grips. 



Climate Consideration

* Seasonal climate differences.
* Tempature, humidity, elevation, vegetation.



Garage Clutter

* Organizational: Peg board. Shelving. Cubbies. Velcro. Magnets. 
* Tool boxes: 
* Tools: Shop vac. Air compressor. Gas generator. 



Choosing Land Location

* Near a school, stores you like, activities. 
* Crime, traffic, noise, air plane noise, seasonal changes.
* Commute time.
* Family needs.
* Influence of locals on your family.
* What aren't they telling you.
* Resale value.
* Local economy and job market.



House Building Requirements

* County Permits. 
* Leveling the ground for the foundation. 
* Driveway blading and paving. 
* Land zoning. Residential, Commercial. 



Recommended Books

* Lowes and Home Depo have an excellent selection of construction/code/ideas books.



Home Upgrades & Renovation

* Will you get your money back?
* Are the improvements generic and helping resale value?



Quick Real Estate Lingo

* Foreclosed
* Multiple Listings
* Fannie Mae
* Loan
* Financing
* Auction
* Closing
* Morgage
* Equity



Finances, Home Ownership Maintenance

* Monthly Bills: Water, Power, Propane or NaturalGas, Trash, Home Owners Association Fee, Television, Cable Internet, Food. 
* Remodeling.
* New Roof.
* Driveway ReSurfacing.
* Well Pump.
* Pool ReSurfacing.
* Paint the House.



Ergonomics (Your Health)

* Sound-proof sleeping rooms: Dark, sound dampening walls around a bed and or hamock. Nature sounds. Cool breeze. 



House Style/Theme

* Era: Victorian, 
* Interior Designer: 
* Kinds of dwellings: Apartment, Native American TP, Over-a-business living quarters, Mansion, Castle, Bomb Shelter, RV, Mobile Home Trailer, Manufactured (somewhat pre-built) Home, 



Guesstimated Near-Future Technologies

* Textured Solar Cloth Panels glued to tin "Clay Tile" looking roofing.
* AI Experiment: Home automation of lights/computers/temp/security/etc controlled by voice-chat-bot running on Ubuntu Linux OS and or an Android Google Cell phone.



Worst Case Scenarios

* Crime: Poor home security. 
* Family Relations: Divorce. Plans change. People change. 
* Natural Disasters: Flood. Hurricane. Land slide. Termites. Mold. Wind causing trees to fall. Rotting trees. Untreated deck rot. 
* Financial Disasters: Home market value changes. Home foreclosed. Lost a job. Hospital bills. No insurance, or insurance rates change. 
* House problems: Structure not to code. Settling cracks. 
* County demands.
* Financial: Foreclosure. 



Misc Notes

* Industrial TV Projector. Satellite/Cable/Cellular Internet.
* Computer software for home design: 3D home designed. Blueprint software. Budget software. Internet blog of photos/videos. 



Internet Links

* Wikipedia list of construction articles:
* Wikipedia list of "Types of Appliances":
* Wikipedia list of "Home Automation":
* Wikipedia list of "Domotics":
* Wikipedia list of "Domestic Technology":
* Wikipedia about "House":
* Wikipedia about "Roof":
* Wikipedia about "Carpet":
* Wikipedia about "Drywall":
* Wikipedia about "Water Heater":
* Wikipedia about "The Home Depot" hardware store:
* Wikipedia about "Lowes" hardware store:
* Wikipedia about "Sears" store:
* Wikipedia about "Drill":
* Wikipedia about "Harbor Freight Tools" hardware store:
* Wikipedia list of "Pneumatic Tools" (air tools):
* Google Directory:


Sources Cited

* To be determined. My work experience is mostly self taught. 

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