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need help with exterior plan

D E
January 9, 2019
last modified: January 9, 2019

Guys, you all were so helpful in helping me nail down my interior floor plan that Im here to ask for more help. I would especially like to thank Mrs. Pete, Migraine Craftsman, and Marjen who came up with alternative solutions. I would also like to thank indigoheaven for many good suggestions.

so now that interior is done and perfect and needs no more discussion :) I want to present my first draft of the front and see what you guys think.





my big issue, amongst issues I'm aware that I'm fully unaware of, is the two different window sizes.

I have 3x 8ftx5ft, and 2x 6ftx5ft. I put the two lines there to show an internal wall that cannot be moved.

the 6x5 to the right of those lines is to a bathroom.

Total south facing window coverage(not counting door) is 180 sq ft, or 7.2% of floor area, which is right in the sweet spot for "tempered" passive solar. I would hate to reduce the front facing window area but I'm open to ALL suggestions.

thanks all

Comments (56)

  • D E
    jmm,
    thanks for posting. I love those houses. I noticed the lighter colored walls and roofs- I switched to a light colored wall and roof last year and it cut my cooling bill by more than 30%.

    I also love the big eaves. my design has 4 ft eaves and the South Wall is fully shaded from April to august.

    I would have to use external shutters in September and some of October as some of the windows become exposed and that time of the year is still warm here.

    thanks for posting.
  • lyfia

    That roof looks too low to me. You need at least a 4:1 slope for shingles and that is a minimum and may cause leaks still. Aim for a 6:1 to be on the safer side.


    To save money use standard size windows.

  • D E
    hi lyfia, it is a 4 /12 as you suspected. I won't be doing shingles though. I know it's more expensive but the roof will be standing seam metal.

    when you say standard sizes, what do you mean? as in I can open the window catalog and the size is listed?
  • D E
    res, do you feel that 7% of gross floor area is too much?

    thanks
  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    The exterior reflects and is joined to the interior. They are not developed separately, and are not separate clothes that are worn. The exterior reflects the bone structure of the interior directly, and cannot be "improved" without also changing the interior. No amount of clothes changes the bone structure.

  • PRO
    Summit Studio Architects

    Where did 7% come from? If you really want to know, mock this up in Sketchup. Plug in your location and do a solar analysis. I'm guessing you'll find it doesn't perform well.

  • D E

    Summit Studio Architects

    Where did 7% come from? If you really want to know, mock this up in Sketchup. Plug in your location and do a solar analysis. I'm guessing you'll find it doesn't perform well.


    That's what Ive read is what is considered solar tempered and is a goal to aim for, where there is not so much window area that it gets cold at night but one has enough window area that the house warms up nicely during the day.


    I do use sketchup for all my drawings and use the shadow function.


    windows are FULLY shaded from april 23 to aug 23, and fully lit from november 23 to jan 23


    Jan 23 at 1230



    Aug. 23 at 1230



  • lyfia

    Standing seam should be ok for that slope. Also consider that it will be harder with the lower slope to access/place things that will be in the attic such as ducts, electrical and possibly plumbing if they ever need service or you decide you want to add another outlet somewhere in the future.


    Yes with standard sizes I meant you can look in a window catalog or online and see what sizes are available. Most do custom sizes, but it takes longer to get and generally costs more than the same window in a standard size.

    D E thanked lyfia
  • D E
    lyfia,
    thanks for the clarification. yes,I won't use any non standard window sizes.

    regarding the roof pitch, your point is valid about access. I'm hoping that since I'm using a 1 ft energy heel that access will be ok. because of the depth of the house, the height of the roof above the ceiling is 7'4
  • Migraine Craftsman

    Simple I like it, here is my 2 cents.


    Board and batten siding looks good trim out the windows with 1x4s, make sure you get windows with no trim. I also would do a standing seam roof if you can, expensive but it looks awesome in my opinion.


    Just because you have a simple design does not mean it cant look good, I follow the KISS strategy it works well for me lol.


    I attached a some pictures below simple looking house(close to your design) I would have no problem living in.


    What ya think?





    Another idea

    and another


    D E thanked Migraine Craftsman
  • D E

    migraine Craftsman,
    we are from the same school of thought I think.

    affordable shelter that's simple and easy to build.

    I like those ideas you posted. I've looked at that Nicholas Lee plan a dozen times.

    standing seam all the way for me. its what we have on our current house and it's great.

    here is another KISS exterior

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Direct gain passive solar design requires a careful balance between glass type, glass size, thermal storage size, shading, building envelope insulation and nighttime window insulation. Rules- of-thumb were developed in the 70's when computers used punch-cards and can result in over or under heating.

    The approach today is to use more envelope insulation and less glass with the assistance of advanced energy modeling software like Energy 10, Energy Plus (from DOE) or REM/Design to get the balance right. It would be foolhardy to design a passive solar house today without the assistance of someone skilled in the use of this kind of software.

    Don't forget the building code glass to wall ratio restriction; you may need software to calculate the trade-offs using the energy code performance method.

    Just because something looks simple doesn't mean it didn't require careful though and analysis to get it right.

  • D E
    res,thank you.

    I will check my building code to determine the maximum.

    I will also run the free calcs to see how much window is recommended.i know that nowadays we are going towards a tighter envelope with less window but something also had to be said about light.

    I'll post the results here for anyone interested in things like this.
    thanks for bringing this up
  • D E

    Res,

    here is my calculation. please tell me if I missed anything

    I chose an inexpensive window with a u value of .52(very bad) and an shgc of 0.68.


    On the coldest day of the year for my region 10° F, the design loss for 180sq ft and r-value of 1.92 is 5625 btu/hour, or 135,000 btu/day


    on the window heat gain side, inputting clear skies at 52% of the time, and shgc of 0.68 I get 21k btu/sf/month or 122,000 btu/day


    net loss is only 541 btu/hr with no inuslated shutters. This is on a 10 degree F day, which we have yet to hit. our coldest day this winter so far has been 25 degrees F and only for a couple of hours.


    when I add in r5 insulated shutters, I get a net gain by having more window area.

  • Migraine Craftsman


    For poops and giggles get a quote for triple pane windows, most budget ones I know of are made by Plygem. Home Depot carries them you just have to talk to someone who knows their job.


    I edited my post found a quote I got for a 40/40 window (4 feet by 4 feet) triple pane it's their HP2MAX series. The ratings are also in the picture if you want to compare to your windows, and so is the price $149 plus screen $8.51.

  • D E

    you seriously got a 48x48 triple pane window for $149? Wowza!


    thats a pretty darn good u value at that price point.

  • D E


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  • millworkman

    Way too cheap if you ask me, even for Plygems. And why are the prices handwritten in?

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    What building code in what climate zone allows a fixed window U-value of .52? Would it not defeat the principle of passive solar heating?

    Google: Cardinal LoE - 180

  • Migraine Craftsman

    D E I got another 2 quotes from 2 different companies Mountain Building Supply and Builders First Source they were a bit more expensive but not much ($30 or so). the trick here is to get the most simple glass no bells or whistles at ALL. I got quotes belore for $900 per window that company does NOT exist anymore.


    Lol not you can see why I started the youtube channel, I felt bad for my friends and family who got ripped off, so I did something about it, I show how much things really cost no one that I know of does that.

  • D E

    RES

    What building code in what climate zone allows a fixed window U-value of .52?

    I used the .52 as an example of a bad window. so even with a bad window you lose almost nothing adding glass to the south wall.

    I will likely go with a window with a cardinal low e 179.

    u value .26

    shgc .68

    this window in the winter in north texas will gain quite a bit more heat than it loses.


    Migraine Craftsman

    I got another 2 quotes from 2 different companies Mountain Building Supply and Builders First Source they were a bit more expensive but not much ($30 or so). the trick here is to get the most simple glass no bells or whistles at ALL. I got quotes belore for $900 per window that company does NOT exist anymore.

    Agree. I dont need bells or whistles so Im good to go on simple windows :)

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    "I used the .52 as an example of a bad window. so even with a bad window you lose almost nothing adding glass to the south wall."

    That makes no sense to me. Don't invent specious strategies. Pick the best glass and use it for your computer calculations.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    This thread is a wonderful example of how not to proceed with the design of a custom home. A custom home is so much more than the data for a cheap window.

  • live_wire_oak



    I'm not sure when disposable windows every 5-7 years ever started making sense for a build either. I guess it's because people move that often, and want to leave their poor decisions behind for the next owner to deal with.


    Why are you even thinking about fixed windows in a dormitory? They have to be operable egress windows. Along with doors.

  • D E

    RES

    "I used the .52 as an example of a bad window. so even with a bad window you lose almost nothing adding glass to the south wall."

    That makes no sense to me. Don't invent specious strategies. Pick the best glass and use it for your computer calculations.

    I didnt invent anything. that is a window that is available to buy. I used as a worst case scenario. either way the main point when you were trying to help was "will large windows cost you money in heating" and the answer is no.

    thanks

    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    This thread is a wonderful example of how not to proceed with the design of a custom home. A custom home is so much more than the data for a cheap window.

    Thank you as always for your input. there are several ways to skin a cat.

    did you know that 50% of americans have less than $100k in retirement savings? It makes you question the wisdom of not considering the price of your windows when building a house, doesnt it?

    live_wire_oak

    Why are you even thinking about fixed windows in a dormitory? They have to be operable egress windows. Along with doors.

    does every window in the house have to be operable? dont answer that its a rhetorical question

  • D E


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  • ulisdone

    The house you are working on looks nothing like all the photos that have been posted. You need some serious design intervention.

  • D E

    ulisdone

    The house you are working on looks nothing like all the photos that have been posted. You need some serious design intervention.

    Thanks. I spent some time looking through houzz exteriors today for the style of house I like. It turns out that I really do prefer a steeper pitch than 4/12 and it makes a big difference.

    feedback?



  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    It's still a chicken house. You don't care about what it looks like, obviously. You made that abundantly clear in the layout thread. Because the exterior reflects the obsession and interior floor plan.


    So why are you pretending to care about it looking like something other than the chicken house layout that you designed it to be? Is posting silliness and pretending you'll listen how you get your jollies?


    If you seriously wanted an actually attractive and efficient house, it would need to be something significantly other than the 4 corner poulty warehouse that you planned.


  • D E
    mcmansion lover in the house!!!
  • D E

    architecture, baby!

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Anything other than a rectangular box is a McMansion. That's just crazy talk.

  • just_janni

    No one has ever referred to my house as a McMansion. Not. One. Person.

    My home has only 4 corners. Weird, huh?

    2 of houses you have posted look like drive up Motels. The one that I *think* (hope?) is highlighting the roof, is either a school or assisted living facility.

    Because of the dimensions of your house, the steeper roof pitch you like will result in an oppressively sized roof looking like it's driving your house into the ground with it's weight.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Unfortunately, when one appears to know only two quasi-architectural terms: 1) Rectangle, with four corners, and; 2) McMansion, then everything is one of these or the other.

    Keeps the situation simple and avoids dealing with architecture like this:



    For those interested, this is the Frank Lloyd Wright Hana House on the Stanford University campus, Palo Alto, CA.

  • D E
    just janni your house would be referred to as a chicken coop some it only has four corners.

    or green living might call it a shed some it has a shed roof.

    new American architecture is all about those corners!!
  • D E

    non American chicken coops.
    green living is going to have a conniption. how can a house only have 4 corners? impossible.

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  • D E

    assisted living facility and a school? why? because only for corners duh

    if it doesn't have 28 corners it can't be a house.

    I'm waiting for a church reference next.

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  • live_wire_oak

    All of those ^ houses have lengths and heights PROPORTIONATE to their widths. They are small, maybe 1100 sf cottages, with all rooms having exterior windows, and many of them. Proportion is a major design principle that is very helpful to understand.

    When attempting to use nicely designed homes to illustrate points, be sure that you actually understand the point being unintentionally illustrated. Because you just owned yourself.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Looks like the roof pitches vary from 6/12 to 12/12.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Are you unaware that being excessively stubborn, defensive and argumentative is preventing you from taking advantage of the extraordinary combined talent and knowledge of the members here. I, for one, want nothing more to do with this thread and have canceled further notifications.

  • PRO
    Springtime Builders

    I agree a professional's touch could do wonders for the project. In OP's defense, the roof overhangs are functionally superior to all the more recently posted modern examples. I like their aesthetics but cringe to think of the weatherproofing vulnerability and resulting maintenance of having zero overhangs in a rainy climate. The OP also seems to have done a better job than most professionals when it comes to overhang shading performance for passive solar.

    D E thanked Springtime Builders
  • D E

    RES

    Are you unaware that being excessively stubborn, defensive and argumentative is preventing you from taking advantage of the extraordinary combined talent and knowledge of the members here. I, for one, want nothing more to do with this thread and have canceled further notifications.


    I know that looking at four corner houses raises your blood pressure so please feel free to not come back. BUT, thank you for some of the points you brought up about code.


    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Looks like the roof pitches vary from 6/12 to 12/12.


    My latest illustration has an 8/12 pitch


    live_wire_oak

    All of those ^ houses have lengths and heights PROPORTIONATE to their widths. They are small, maybe 1100 sf cottages, with all rooms having exterior windows, and many of them. Proportion is a major design principle that is very helpful to understand.


    haha. You just said - "these are rectangular houses, and they are beautiful but but but.(insert closed minded excuses here)



    If your mind is so closed minded that you cant see anything but a mcmansion as looking good, no example I post will help, and there are many examples as already posted.


    thank you for your non input.

  • tiggerlgh
    Yes 4 corner homes can work. The issue is as you are aware you are posting smaller homes that are proportional, yours is not. Look for homes that are similar sized to yours, not half the size. Then we can talk.
  • D E

    2800 SQ ft four corner home.

    oh snap!!!

  • tiggerlgh

    One side looks great. Look at the others. Looks like a long barn to me on the side., which would be your front. Need to look at whole house but especially the front.


    it also doesn’t have your over hangs.

  • D E

    tiggerlgh

    One side looks great. Look at the others. Looks like a long barn to me on the side., which would be your front. Need to look at whole house but especially the front.

    it also doesn’t have your over hangs.



    but but but. LOL


  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    A turkey would be an eagle but for the fat but weighing him down to the ground, right? The but is everything in design. A cottage would be a ranch but for about the extra 40' in length. A ranch would be a chicken house but for the internal organization, and attention to detail, along with the proportions and material selections. A turkey is not an eagle. It's a turkey.

    If you truly care about what the home will live like, and how it will look, you'd be well advised to pay a lot more attention to classic design elements and stop pretending that you have a clue. As a designer, you'd make a good coffee maker.

    If you don't care, as you seem to want to throw about into anyone's face who has reasonable objections, then give up posting and getting feedback at all. You don't care, remember? So, why ask what anyone else thinks. Just go build your little chicken house and quit trollling. You don't care what people think, or care yo improve at all. You already know it all. Buh bye. Enjoy the dim dark chicken house.

  • jmm1837

    "If your mind is so closed minded that you cant see anything but a
    mcmansion as looking good, no example I post will help, and there are
    many examples as already posted."

    "mcmansion groupie back in the house with more useless drivel."

    That does it. I too am done. Those are total, blatant misrepresentations of every piece of advice you've received on two threads. It is intellectually dishonest (and weak) to combat every critique of your plans by claiming that it must be because we're all McMansion lovers. There are valid points being made, and you're ignoring them all. It is not the people who have tried to help you who are being close-minded.

    Houzz can provide a great opportunity to learn, to find better ways of doing things, and above all, to broaden your vision. But there are some people who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  • D E
    thank you jmm for your previous post about Australian houses. now, if you want to take your ball and go home because I'm building a rectangular house and you don't like rectangular houses, then take your ball and go home.
  • D E

    Im back to a 4/12 pitch. mainly for cost reasons. I dont need attic living space to be taxed, and it will save money in construction.




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