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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've settled on a final design concept for my house build (wholesale change from the last design I had been working on for years, wanted to decrease square footage for school tax purposes).

Instead of having a bunch of different threads when I have questions, I'd like to use this single thread and see how it goes.

I have not completed the 3D model of the design yet, as I am stuck on a few questions, which I plan to ask about in this thread.

Disclaimer #1: I am not building the house myself, will hire a general contractor, and likely have to run my design through an architectural firm for final design. I'm just looking to understand the basics so I can argue intelligently what I want from the design.

Disclaimer #2: Never been married, never will be married, no kids, will never have kids. I don't care about resale that the house is only 2 bedroom 1 bath and that it can't be easily expanded, that's the next owners' problem when I'm dead...


Couple pictures of the design:
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Questions to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Question 01:

I want all steel siding and natural stone veneer on the outside, no exposed wood trim or siding etc.

I am a bit confused on the foundation for the attached garage. I would like steel siding on the inside of the garage to go all the way to the garage slab, and on the outside I want to stop the stone veneer ~12" short of any doors and have vertical smooth metal siding all the way to the top of the outside concrete slabs (1 man door, 3 garage doors). Currently I have the garage and rear entrance foundation walls at the same height as the poured slabs, so I am not screwing the steel bottom trim and steel siding into concrete at the bottom, but into the sill plate.

I've been told by a coworker that this is wrong, and that the foundation wall should be a few inches above the slab for moisture wicking purposes (inside and outside of the garage). (we're both mechanical engineers but he has more carpentry experience)

I can raise the foundation wall for the attached garage but I dislike the look of that concrete showing below the metal siding alongside the door openings. I figure grade is basically at the brick ledge of the foundation, which is about 8" below the top of the garage slab, and concrete slabs exiting the door openings.
Sky Building House Rectangle Composite material
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A couple of comments:
-lose the blue lines on black background on the 2-D layout. Maybe its just my sorry old eyes, but I can't barely see the blue.
-You need to show your location. Or at least define the depth of the frost line. Foundations are done differently in different parts of the country.
-Just about anyplace, foundations need to rise to 6 or 8" above grade.
-Do you have a lot yet ? Can you define which way North is ? Might effect windows and doors.
 

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Nice layout. The planning for the utilities should be interesting and I assume the electrical and water entrances will be to the cellar under the kitchen & bathroom.
Do you have the land yet and pondered the position of the home relative to where the power, sewer and water will come from ?
Should be fun to follow along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I fixed the blue lines in the floor plan, hope it helps.

Attached is a section view through the center of the first garage door. The dwg is not cleaned up so yeah, it's messy as it's generated from my 3D model, I won't have all the AutoCAD dwg's done until my 3d model is complete.

To answer a few questions:

1) Yes I have a lot, I have owned it for a while now, going on 18 years... This is how long I have been saving to build etc.
2) Power and driveway is already installed by myself, all 750 ft of them:
3) Here is a site layout, Front of house is facing S-SE. Layout.pdf
4) Before installing the driveway I trenched underneath it for both power and communication 2.5" PVC conduit to both the house location and future shop. Unfortunately the house design has changed so the utilities enter the foundation a bit different and might have to curve the trenches a bit to miss the front porch footer.


Building Rectangle Window Font Electricity
Plant Tree Natural landscape Land lot Wood
Plant Sky Tree Land lot Grass
Plant Tree Wood Land lot Landscape
Plant Plant community Leaf Sky Motor vehicle
Plant Natural landscape Branch Sky Road surface
Plant Sky Natural landscape Road surface Tree
Plant Land lot Grass Tree Track
Plant Pipeline transport Tree Grass Slope
 

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It all appears excellent. Reminds me of work done by an "engineer" I used to work with.
Today's reality is that material prices have soared recently making the timing important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It all appears excellent. Reminds me of work done by an "engineer" I used to work with.
Today's reality is that material prices have soared recently making the timing important.
The timing right now is terrible. I am no longer working full-time let alone OT due to COVID. Lucky I still have a job. So not real sure when I will start the build. Probably not until 2022 tbh...
 

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I like your meticulousness :)

Can you give us an idea of the climate in the location.
Can you give us a floorplan for the second floor.
Can you change the images to thumbnails. That makes it easier for us to scroll back and forth looking for answers, but still allows us to look at the images if we need to.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Ah...there is no second floor. The second bedroom that you referred to in your initial post is the "Office" on the floorplan, I think.
Yeah sorry. For me it is an office. When I'm dead and someone is trying to sell this house it will be called a bedroom etc...

I tried to make some interior renders, but they might be more confusing than helpful. I don't have my rendering cameras and lighting all setup yet.

Wood Shade Flooring Rectangle Floor
Building House Sky Wood Window
Sky Building House Wood Building material
Sky Building Wood Brick Facade


Basically the A-Frame roof splits the house, and has a vaulted ceiling. Above the garage I used attic trusses, and I used attic porch trusses above part of the bedroom/walk-in closet to give me a decent attic above the garage with a pull down attic ladder in the walk in closet. There is another attic above the office & bathroom, with access from the ceiling of the office closet. The attic above the garage would be for some storage, the other attic is not really for anything other than access to insulation & venting mechanicals etc.
 

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Looks like a great location.
Red dirt (or maybe that's just the camera) -- I almost would have guessed in the Carolinas, until I saw the 48" frost depth.
Is that all glass on the North living room wall ? Must be a great view. Make sure you have a patio door there. And plan for a deck, even if you are not building it right away. A natural gas line to the future deck might be handy. (if you got natural gas out there)
Gutter downspout off the SE A-frame (front) might have to have a path under the sidewalk to drain rainwater.
You are missing windows for the basement. I would want some natural light. From what I am seeing, not sure if I am seeing enough height for basement windows without window wells. Windows can be raised above the bottom of the joists, but adds a little cost, if you don't like window wells.
I think you have a full height wall between the kitchen and living room. Myself, I think that would look better if more open.

One thing I would suggest is that you consult with a house designer. Pay the guy his hourly rate just to review what you are doing, for a few hours. Probably will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You will have to pay somebody like him anyways to turn your design into working drawings for permits and for contractors. I suspect he won't be looking for any significant detail. He already has a library of how to do a footing, how to do a foundation wall, how to define a main floor wall section, notes for structural and insulation details, etc, and just copies and pastes a bunch of that into the drawing package. The way I found a house designer to work with is I talked to two or three potential contractors and asked for names of designers they commonly work with --- I went with the name that was common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Looks like a great location.
Red dirt (or maybe that's just the camera) -- I almost would have guessed in the Carolinas, until I saw the 48" frost depth.
Is that all glass on the North living room wall ? Must be a great view. Make sure you have a patio door there. And plan for a deck, even if you are not building it right away. A natural gas line to the future deck might be handy. (if you got natural gas out there)
Gutter downspout off the SE A-frame (front) might have to have a path under the sidewalk to drain rainwater.
You are missing windows for the basement. I would want some natural light. From what I am seeing, not sure if I am seeing enough height for basement windows without window wells. Windows can be raised above the bottom of the joists, but adds a little cost, if you don't like window wells.
I think you have a full height wall between the kitchen and living room. Myself, I think that would look better if more open.

One thing I would suggest is that you consult with a house designer. Pay the guy his hourly rate just to review what you are doing, for a few hours. Probably will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You will have to pay somebody like him anyways to turn your design into working drawings for permits and for contractors. I suspect he won't be looking for any significant detail. He already has a library of how to do a footing, how to do a foundation wall, how to define a main floor wall section, notes for structural and insulation details, etc, and just copies and pastes a bunch of that into the drawing package. The way I found a house designer to work with is I talked to two or three potential contractors and asked for names of designers they commonly work with --- I went with the name that was common.
The lot is located in Western NY, Niagara Falls area, up by lake Ontario. The soil is lake laid sandy loam from the last ice age to about a depth of 9 ft deep, not the best for footings. It's more orange than red.

I do plan for a patio (stone not a raised deck) on the north wall, all that glass overlooks two ponds that I dug and a forest.
Sky Road surface Tree Vehicle Wood
Cloud Sky Wheel Plant Tire
Water resources Plant Ecoregion Nature Natural environment


I originally had a sliding glass door on that wall but removed it for furniture's sake. I also thought it was redundant due to the rear man door exit pretty much right next to that room. I've gone back and forth on a door there. I do have natural gas yes, it will be trenched in with the water line.

The gutter downspout was a detail I planned to get ideas on from the general contractor on what is normally done in that "landlocked" area.

As far as the wall between the kitchen & living room, I did plan to have it lower, but the fridge ended up on that wall as the only place that made sense and the wall would have to be as tall as the fridge, so I just went all the way up.

As far as basement windows I really hate them, and by code here in NY I believe I only need one egress windows due to having 9ft basement walls. I know the GC will tell me I need one, just have not found a spot for it yet, The west wall of the basement will be for the laundry, sump pump, in-floor heat mechanicals as well as the water, natural gas & septic connections. Trying to keep the rest of the basement open for a home gym and a cubicle area I have in my current home. I was hoping to do basement ventilation with fans if needed, and not so concerned about natural light in the basement, the first floor will have plenty. I like it dark when playing video games :)

I have a GC in mind, once I get my design to my satisfaction I plan to ask him for architect references. It's likely to get a permit I will have to have an architect "redesign" what I have come up with. I suspect an architect will want to change my plans, hopefully I don't pay someone and they change so much that I feel like I wasted my money etc. My brother built not long ago and the architect ran him like ~$4000 for plans they picked out of a book...
 

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I am a bit confused on the foundation for the attached garage. I would like steel siding on the inside of the garage to go all the way to the garage slab, and on the outside I want to stop the stone veneer ~12" short of any doors and have vertical smooth metal siding all the way to the top of the outside concrete slabs (1 man door, 3 garage doors). Currently I have the garage and rear entrance foundation walls at the same height as the poured slabs, so I am not screwing the steel bottom trim and steel siding into concrete at the bottom, but into the sill plate.
So, about my garage foundation wall question. Any builders out there who can advise on what is commonly done there?
I’m not a builder, but it’s common in areas where vehicles can pull into a garage with wheel wells full of snow and ice to not have the wood sill plate of the wall sitting on the slab to get wet from the meltwater. Sloping a concrete slab to keep water away from all points where wood is directly on top (with some thin barrier) would be difficult (see image below).

I quite like the visible concrete below the siding on our buildings, not because of the aesthetics, but because I can see that there are no water issues and termites would need to make a visible mud tube across the concrete before they could get to the wood framing above.

I’m curious about your desire for steel siding on the inside of the garage. What is your rationale for that? It seems like a choice that limits your ability to reconfigure things in the future (add an electrical outlet, mount a shelf, etc.). If it is to avoid drywall then I concur with that. We finished the interior of our house garage and separate shop building with ½” plywood sheathing finished with polyurethane. If I reposition a hanging tool bracket the old screw hole blends into the patchwork of knots and other surface defects and the occasional hit from something doesn’t mark up the surface like painted drywall.

Chris

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I’m not a builder, but it’s common in areas where vehicles can pull into a garage with wheel wells full of snow and ice to not have the wood sill plate of the wall sitting on the slab to get wet from the meltwater. Sloping a concrete slab to keep water away from all points where wood is directly on top (with some thin barrier) would be difficult (see image below).

I quite like the visible concrete below the siding on our buildings, not because of the aesthetics, but because I can see that there are no water issues and termites would need to make a visible mud tube across the concrete before they could get to the wood framing above.

I’m curious about your desire for steel siding on the inside of the garage. What is your rationale for that? It seems like a choice that limits your ability to reconfigure things in the future (add an electrical outlet, mount a shelf, etc.). If it is to avoid drywall then I concur with that. We finished the interior of our house garage and separate shop building with ½” plywood sheathing finished with polyurethane. If I reposition a hanging tool bracket the old screw hole blends into the patchwork of knots and other surface defects and the occasional hit from something doesn’t mark up the surface like painted drywall.

Chris

View attachment 645336
I guess I am fine with the concrete showing on the inside, but not on the outside, not on a house anyways, it would not bother me on a shop.

My rationale for steel siding on the inside is to not have to do drywall there, walls or ceiling. When I have my house wired up, all that will be in the garage is a sub-panel and one outlet. I will run all the rest of the wiring in conduit on the outside of the steel as needed as I add benches, my 2 post car lift, etc. I'll probably do the lighting myself at a later date as well.

I have watched some YT vids where people use 4ft or 8ft of sanded plywood then steel above that to the ceiling, can't say I am a fan of that, but am considering that option.
 

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Every house plan has the attic access in the closet, where you can't get a ladder and when you do go up the you have to drape and the clothes as you will bring insulation down with you.
What's wrong with going up in the garage.
 

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You got it Neal.

-remove most clothing from closet
-undo bottom screw from each shelf bracket
-pivot shelf up and hold in place with one more screw
-place ladder and do my stuff in attic
-remove ladder and vacuum insulation from floor

That was my procedure at my last house. New house has attic access in garage.
 
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