You've found it. This is everything we've got to say. Have at it.
In our quest to build a Passive House, we’ve decided to live in the city near our house for 12-18 months so that we can seek out any potential deal breakers. At first, we thought we would just rent, or buy a home that could easily be sold again. But, when you’re dealing with a small town, the real estate market is slim pickings. Fortunately, while we were touring one home, we spotted an empty lot. It turns out that the builder who owns that lot can build us a semi custom home within 6 months.
As an average home owner, the different building certifications come across as a maze of information. Which initiatives are relevant and worth pursuing? Which have actionable information? Which are affordable? It can be overwhelming. While it is clear that architectural firms are the target audience for these programs, we’ve found that quite a bit can be learned about good home building practices just by going through the documentation. We’ve done some of the work for you, and documented our take on the different options. Read on to find our notes, bookmarks, and amateur conclusions.
Whenever we discuss a well insulated house, we’re always met with push back on cost and overkill in general. In preparation, we wanted to see what a few different assemblies might cost. So, we met up with Ryan’s uncle who has been building homes for the past 20 years. He gave us a breakdown on man hours for various applications like house wrap, siding, framing and so on. With that information, we could take material costs and get a rough price.
Determined to question and improve everything we can about home building, we find ourselves looking at trim and the various approaches. At first, we were all in and thought we would remove as much trim as possible: lights, electrical, vents, doors, windows, and so on. As a test, we decided to install a flush electrical wall plate in our current house, and that is when doubt began to creep in. Clean results are far from guaranteed, and may or may not hold up over time. For the added cost and complexity, where should we draw the line? After looking over quite a few options, here is what we have found.