A few years ago we were asked by one of our contractors to design and build their dream home. They planned to live in this house into retirement. With that in mind we set out to provide a stellar product. This was the first house we used the Chief Architect software to design. The design was very complex and we were so new to the program that the process was tough. It was a “trial by fire” situation but I think the software paid for itself in this first job. There were so many custom details and tricky construction situations and the program allowed us to zero in tight before any material was purchased. It was sweet.
This house was designed with energy savings in mind. We built it to use geothermal collection to help heat the drinkable hot water and radiant in-floor heating system. It has a wood burning fireplace in the vaulted, timber framed great-room. The walls are insulated with blown-in natural fiber insulation. The covered porch in the back has an infrared heater that does not heat the air. Instead it “excites” the molecules of any mass underneath it making it warm. The main idea is that heating the air and then heating the person in the hot air is very inefficient. When you skip the air and heat the person directly, you save a ton of wasted heat/energy. They are amazing units. Since then we have put several of them in other outdoor rooms. When you stand under it, you feel like you are in a hot shower without the water.
The project was a success. In the end it is nice to know that we are the general contractor that other contractors choose for their own projects. We are a “contractor’s contractor.” Is that like being a man’s man? I don’t know if the analogy holds there. Here are some pictures of the finished product with some rendered comparisons from the design. Thanks for checking this out.
-Squalicum Builders Team