Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Modern Retirement House Design........

I am getting older, and I guess that is a good thing. But being as I am getting older, I am starting to actively think about a day when I will not work every day. That day is still probably several years away, but I am starting to think about what kind of a home I want to live in. What my needs will be, how much space I will need, cost, maintenance, etc.

My wife and I love our current home! It is modern and beautiful, spacious, lots of windows overlooking our woods and our pond. I love the feeling it gives me everyday when I return home! It is everything I wanted and more!

I designed it to be the last home I would ever own. But now with the kids getting older, I am having other thoughts. It was the right size with 3 children living here. Now the house is getting too big, we don't need 10 acres, the steep lane......

I am thinking we can build a smaller home for our retirement years. Besides reducing the size, we would be reducing our investment, freeing up funds for other purposes. We love living in the country but I am thinking of flatter ground, something more manageable in inclement weather. A home that requires even less maintenance than our current home. Landscaping that is super easy to care for, something with a smallish lawn that is laid out so I can perform virtually all of the lawn maintenance from the seat of my tractor.

I need enough space for when my children and their families come to visit. So probably a partial walkout basement. This space will also serve as a safe haven in severe weather and a place for the mechanical systems.

I want a stone patio. No staining or replacing boards when they get old or warp. Just hose it off now and then and use some weed killer as needed.

It will also have commercial windows! Yes, they are a compromise on thermal efficiency, but you cannot beat the way they look and the views they provide.

I am thinking of a simple shed roof with standing seam metal roofing. And a simple carport. A simple and compact design overall, reducing space and materials.

It will be oriented to gather solar radiation in the winter and it will have at minimum an array of solar panels to help offset the energy that we use.

The shell will most likely be built from ICFs. Partially because I can easily construct the basement and exterior walls myself, but also because I think it is simply the best structural building material available with many advantages.

At this point, these are just ideas floating around in my head. But I hope to start doing a little design work later this winter.

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