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Anyone want to help layout our 3 acre property?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 176
Location: springfield, MO
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My wife and I have been saving for a few years now and we finally have are land and we are in a place to start building. Here is what we are starting with:



There are almost no trees on the property except a few small cedars on the north side. The house will be a walk out basement with a top floor of roughly 1500sq ft. The house in the example below is probably a 5000 sq ft home so it has a much larger foot print so keep that in mind.

Here is what I have so far. If you guys have any suggestions I would love to hear it. There is a subdivision to the east, mostly wooded 10-20 acres to the north, wooded 40 acres to the south.


and a labeled version:
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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it's magic, how did you do that ??

anyway..looks good, and the first thing i would do is plant the trees obviously. Have you read gaia's garden? you might consider food forests for your edibles..And I'd surely put in more trees.
 
Peter Hartman
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Location: springfield, MO
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I just took screen captures and used a program called http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ to add all the layers in.

I will be planting trees this fall if all goes well. I have read (and own) Gaia's Garden. I am considering reading that again or something else I would like to get some large trees on the west/north side of the house, possibly pines that shed needles for use as mulch. I do want to maintain a good amount of pasture for animal use.
 
pollinator
Posts: 544
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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I love laying out property like this! It is so much fun to dream and plan on a bare slate like you have here. I have a few questions before I can contribute much of anything though. First... how many acres total is that? And is the black line across the middle a boundary line for your property or meant to be a fence or something for pasture area? Also, where are you -- climate zone? Can you list some of your long-term goals so we know what you have in mind for your homestead? That will certainly help in laying out a plan.
 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
Posts: 544
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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OOPS! Scratch the question about acreage. I just realized your subject line says 3 acres. But I did remember a book you might be interested in -- 5 Acres and Independence by M.G. Kains. It specifically addresses farming on a small acreage and has some useful ideas.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I would want to have a better idea of the contours and how water moves across the land, with possible location of swales as well as the pond. Also rain tanks on the house. Consider putting the fruit trees closer to the house as part of a food forest, and using that more remote location for other kinds of useful trees. Also , be mindful of the alignment of the house on the path of the sun, if you want a passive solar house or good placement for PV panels. If ventilation is important you'll want to consider how the house is aligned to the prevailing winds. If your area experiences severe storms from a specific direction frequently, consider not putting the entrance on that side. Since there is not a house currently on site, you can play with how it is placed on the land, it doesn't need to be placed square on the land unless that makes sense for other reasons such as sun and wind exposure. Designing according to the idea of zones is helpful, with all the most used or visited things placed close to the house.

Here's a blog I like by some folks with a suburban lot who have crammed an amazing amount of stuff in a small area. It's tropical, but all their ideas could work in a temperate zone with different plants: http://www.happyearth.com.au/garden-design/
 
Peter Hartman
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Haha ok I can give you more info. This is in southwest MO. I believe we are in 6b. The land slopes east and North is up in the pictures. The black line is roughly the southern property line.

Long term I would like to produce a significant amount of our vegetables, fruit and meat. When people ask how much fruit I always say I want to have to much. I like to be creative and make things as efficient and low maintenance as possible.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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On that much land you should be able to produce all your vegetables, fruit and meat (poultry, rabbits, fish, goats), as well as most of your calories. Except some difficult to produce things like oils, you should be able to grow a complete diet, in my opinion. That's a good region for growing, I think you can feel optimistic about the possibilities.

 
Peter Hartman
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I would want to have a better idea of the contours and how water moves across the land, with possible location of swales as well as the pond. Also rain tanks on the house. Consider putting the fruit trees closer to the house as part of a food forest, and using that more remote location for other kinds of useful trees. Also , be mindful of the alignment of the house on the path of the sun, if you want a passive solar house or good placement for PV panels. If ventilation is important you'll want to consider how the house is aligned to the prevailing winds. If your area experiences severe storms from a specific direction frequently, consider not putting the entrance on that side. Since there is not a house currently on site, you can play with how it is placed on the land, it doesn't need to be placed square on the land unless that makes sense for other reasons such as sun and wind exposure. Designing according to the idea of zones is helpful, with all the most used or visited things placed close to the house.

Here's a blog I like by some folks with a suburban lot who have crammed an amazing amount of stuff in a small area. It's tropical, but all their ideas could work in a temperate zone with different plants: http://www.happyearth.com.au/garden-design/




Our current house designs place the garage on the north (hopefully blocking the north wind) and our living areas kitchen, dining and living rooms will be on the south and east walls. The one neighbor that commented on wind direction said she thought it usually came out of the west. I do want to maximize solar gain, and there may be a solar water heating system in the future but I have no plans for a major photovoltaic system at this point. Since we will be doing a walk out basement the house really needs to face pretty much east. Most of the property is on an east slope. There is some water drainage through the property during heavy rains I have been told. here is the low area:


and water runs from south to north.

Here is a topo map I have found of the property but the lines are spaced so far apart I have not found it useful. The square near the drive on the center is the old grey barn on the west of the above pictures.

 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
Posts: 544
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Our current house designs place the garage on the north (hopefully blocking the north wind) and our living areas kitchen, dining and living rooms will be on the south and east walls. The one neighbor that commented on wind direction said she thought it usually came out of the west. I do want to maximize solar gain, and there may be a solar water heating system in the future but I have no plans for a major photovoltaic system at this point. Since we will be doing a walk out basement the house really needs to face pretty much east. Most of the property is on an east slope. There is some water drainage through the property during heavy rains I have been told. here is the low area:

Here is a topo map I have found of the property but the lines are spaced so far apart I have not found it useful. The square near the drive on the center is the old grey barn on the west of the above pictures.



Are you sure that topo map is of your property? Because it sure doesn't match the photo or your description. You say your land slopes to the east, but in the topo map, there is a stream curving around on the north and west sides of the property with a pretty steep slope on those sides. Your photo shows land that looks relatively flat, and there does not appear to be a stream anywhere near on those sides. The topo also shows 5 small ponds already in place -- which I do not see in the photo. If you have a legal land description on your deed it should give you the exact longitude/latitude (or at least a description that should allow you to find it on a platt map) and you can zero in on it in Google maps to find both aerial and topo maps of the exact site. If you PM the description to me, I can help find it for you. I have done surveying (field school archaeology training) so it should not be too hard.

I just had a thought... there is no scale on these and the topo doesn't extend far enough to read the elevations, so its hard to tell, but it occurred to me that the topo may be of a bigger area than your photo shows. If that is the case, can you draw a line around your property, so we can compare them exactly? It seems to match better with some areas than others, but overall this map shows a fairly steep terrain with the high ground mostly to the southeast and a good-sized stream on the opposite corner. It is puzzling for sure.

By the way, I am in SW Missouri as well. Down near Cedarcreek. Where are you?
 
Peter Hartman
Posts: 176
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Deb Stephens wrote:


Are you sure that topo map is of your property? Because it sure doesn't match the photo or your description. You say your land slopes to the east, but in the topo map, there is a stream curving around on the north and west sides of the property with a pretty steep slope on those sides. Your photo shows land that looks relatively flat, and there does not appear to be a stream anywhere near on those sides. The topo also shows 5 small ponds already in place -- which I do not see in the photo. If you have a legal land description on your deed it should give you the exact longitude/latitude (or at least a description that should allow you to find it on a platt map) and you can zero in on it in Google maps to find both aerial and topo maps of the exact site. If you PM the description to me, I can help find it for you. I have done surveying (field school archaeology training) so it should not be too hard.

I just had a thought... there is no scale on these and the topo doesn't extend far enough to read the elevations, so its hard to tell, but it occurred to me that the topo may be of a bigger area than your photo shows. If that is the case, can you draw a line around your property, so we can compare them exactly? It seems to match better with some areas than others, but overall this map shows a fairly steep terrain with the high ground mostly to the southeast and a good-sized stream on the opposite corner. It is puzzling for sure.

By the way, I am in SW Missouri as well. Down near Cedarcreek. Where are you?



Actually I am not totally sure, but I think this is right. I think I may have been given wrong information on the direction the water runs possibly. I have highlighted roughly where I think the property is on the topo map.


That stream runs on the adjacent properties. That pound closest to the old barn has since been pushed in. I don't have any of the property info at the moment, but I can look into it if you think it would be helpful.

This property is in Nixa. So we aren't to far apart.
 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
Posts: 544
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Yeah, that definitely is a much bigger topo map than the photo shows. It explains everything a lot better too. The area you have outlined is fairly flat overall and does appear to slope slightly to the east. I don't know what the intervals are on this because there is only one elevation visible, but they are usually 20', so in that case it looks like the land there doesn't drop more than 20' over the whole 3 acres. That clears things up a bit.

Small world! My mom & dad live in Nixa too, and my sister is in Highlandville, right down the road. In fact most of my immediate family lives between here and Springfield. Its nice to know there are more permies in the area!
 
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well if you are going to build your house i would face it south if posable for with lots of widows on the south facing wall for the solar gain in the winter and have a place for solar panels and wind genrator if you plan on going that rout if you are going to plant and orchard i would do it close to the barn shorter walk to feed the animals
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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google maps will give basic contours; from what I can tell, your current topo map is not going to be helpful
Not knowing the contours, or all sorts of other stuff, I'll throw a few random thoughts out there...
I'd try to have the driveway on contour if possible, or it will be an endless battle to maintain it.
I can't really gauge the distances on your mock-up, but it looks smaller than 3 acres. Apologies if you said, but where's the Northern boundary?
Mock-ups can be hard to read, but in NZ we'd have the longest house wall, with big windows, facing the direction of maximum sun, or a bit offset.
On a similar note, roofs are built so solar panels have maximum exposure.
Something I would suggest is to design in the ability to add elements later, especially with the house. For example, if you have a woodburning stove, but can't afford a wet back, make sure the stove can take one later. Also, get the hot-water cylinder installed so it can be hooked up in the future.
A wet back and solar hot water would be way, way higher on my list than pvs.
How about giving the food forest more space? If the N boundary is in the top of your photo, the ff looks rather 'sqeezed in'. I imagine seeing the contours will reveal all sorts of possibilities...
The low area looks great for planted-up swales, especially to protect your roading.
Is it possible that the high-tunnel would shade out the garden in winter? Hmm. I just realised, you probably can't actually grow stuff outside in winter!
What's your fencing plans?
Ok, ok, I'll stop For now...
 
pollinator
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If I ever have to build a house I will have an attached green house so that I can use the greenhouse heat for supplemental heat in the house. It would have a brick or stone floor and attach to a combined livingrooom/kitchen area.

Deciduous trees would be planted to shade it in summer. My current green house is planted under deciduous trees and it is working out great -- it is just not attached to my house.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Leila Rich wrote:google maps will give basic contours; from what I can tell, your current topo map is not going to be helpful



I think it's a little helpful, it shows the fall of the land where the water runs across the right side. But smaller contours would need to be determined with a laser level, which is a fun project to do with at least one other person. We've been staking some contours on our place for future rain harvesting earthworks and it's been really interesting!

What's been very helpful for me is to study other people's site designs, from the small suburban design of http://www.happyearth.com.au/garden-design/ to the multi-acre complex design of http://permaculture.org.au/2012/06/01/zaytuna-farm-video-tour-apr-may-2012-ten-years-of-revolutionary-design/

The permaculture concept of zones is very helpful, and from my own personal experience, it's good to keep things small and close to the house initially, and gradually work outward as one gets control of the area. I started out planting trees away from the house and they mostly died. Lately I've been developing areas closer to the house. Eventually most of the land will be restored for wildlife, as we probably don't need more than one acre for our own needs, except firewood. So with a smaller place like 3 acres, I would plan dense food gardens and poultry close to the house (zone 1) of no more than one acre, maybe some goat pasture slightly beyond that (zone 2) of another acre, and develop one entire acre as a woodlot which could also include food-producing trees such as standard fruit trees and nuts. This could also be sometimes included in the goat zone in order to keep down blackberries or other invasive brush.
 
Peter Hartman
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Alright, sorry it has taken me so long to get back. We brush hogged the property so it is easier to see.



The picture was taken from the south west corner of the property facing the north east corner of the property. I think the property is actually about 1.5 acres. The area where the house is slopes north and east. We have been told we could walk the basement out from either direction. The plan at this point is to walk it out east. There will be lot's of south facing windows and we will have a small attached greenhouse once I have collected enough glass. We will be meeting with an architect tomorrow to finalize house plans. We hope to find enough in the budget to at least run water line through the basement floor for solar heat in the future. Haha yes the high tunnel will shade out some of the garden but it will be the only garden in the cold months. The chickens will be moveable so we will see where the end up. I plan to start the food forest directly north of the house to start things out. I will work outwards from that point.
 
Posts: 1124
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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on the greenhouse i would highly recommend doing a underground design of some sort, such as a walipini with a cold sink in the middle

the small pond is nicely placed, i like its location, i would do maybe one more at another location, perhaps within a reasonable distance from the house for a little bit of thermal stability throughout the year to help with heating/cooling costs just a little bit more

i would certainly recommend a large number of swales, beign flat as it is they dont have to be very deep in my personal opinion, i would even do a good number of them that arent even the recommended 4 inches deep so that you can place them in more locations without interuppting travel conditions on foot or whatever small vehicle you may decide to use in the future
obviously a lot of trees, for design, you could maybe design it almost like a vine with sprawling fan leaves of vegetation, with the vine and the veins beign your pathways made with some kind of mulch, this would give lots of edge and plenty of places to enter and harvest the system without compacting the soil and causing issues, plus it would look pretty cool on google maps in a few years:p

i would use the existing driveway(since it kinda curves around the propertyy anyway) as the main stalk of the vine-ish design, though that may have been something you drew in in your mock-up
 
Peter Hartman
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Correction I have no Idea why I said this is 1.5 acres, I meant to say 3.15.

I like the walpini Idea. I will have to look into that.

I would like to get another pound near on the south west property line but I don't know that it is possible on top of the hill like that.

Do you have any picture examples of really small swales like that?

 
Tyler Ludens
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Small swales are also called "berm and basins" there's some pictures here: http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
 
Devon Olsen
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chicken dog hugelkultur
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i dont have any pictures, but im thinking instead of digging down 4 inches and building a 4 inch berm as is suggested by lancester, you could simply level out a bit of ground for a foot or two, slow it down but not really catch it, though im only thinkin of this where you might be traveling, everywhere else i would still do the normal swales that are recommended

as for gettin it on the hill, just dig in and build a bit of a dam/berm on the downhill side with a bit of hte extra dirt, building an elevated pond would give oyu the benefit of super oxygenated water for any lower pond that the overflow runs to, giving you those super energetic fish that are talked about on the krametorhoff
 
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
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Not sure why your proposed driveway borders your property all the way to the far corner? Vehicle traffic would compact that whole stretch of useless land, which would shortly become potholed, constantly need maintaining. And your trees shouldn't be on the far side of it smashed up against a fence, the compaction would suppress their root growth.

If I were you I'd put the driveway down the middle, with the shop and garage at 3 o'clock on the east as close to the road as you can get it: shortest unusable driveway possible. Then a path from the garage to the house, probably through/past the garden/zone 1, and then the house in the middle of the property. This would mean that all ares of the property would be easier to walk to and keep track of! Site the pond where it would do the most good heating/tempering any climate problems you might have in your garden.

Do not put down any footpaths for the first year. No paving, no gravel, no nothing. When the year is up, look at where walking has beaten paths into the earth. Make THOSE permanent -- now you have perfectly useful paths and nothing to remove/replace.
 
Peter Hartman
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One of the main reasons the driveway is in that location is the slope up is much more gradual there, the slope further south is much steeper. Reasons the house is not on the east side: The bottom/east side of the property has running water through it during heavy rains, The east border is a subdivision and we do not want to be that close to it, We do not want to be right on the gravel road (privacy, noise, ect).

I like the idea of having the pond near the garden. Does it really help moderate the temperature that much? Say 1 degree of frost protection? any real world examples?
 
P Thickens
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Peter Hartman wrote:One of the main reasons the driveway is in that location is the slope up is much more gradual there, the slope further south is much steeper. Reasons the house is not on the east side: The bottom/east side of the property has running water through it during heavy rains, The east border is a subdivision and we do not want to be that close to it, We do not want to be right on the gravel road (privacy, noise, ect).

I like the idea of having the pond near the garden. Does it really help moderate the temperature that much? Say 1 degree of frost protection? any real world examples?



So having the house in the center of the property is unacceptable? You could run the driveway to it via a switchback so it runs from upper right to center, kinda like the compass arm pointing NE or a clock showing 3:07.

Yes yes yes the pond really does help moderate temperature problems. It's how sepp holzer dealt with such cold temperatures. It's also a fantastic source of nutrients! You may want to look into graywater harvesting for placement as well -- I wish to hell that our place had the showers on the HIGH side of the property so that natural gravity would draw the drainwater to the orchard! So I did a quick sketch. The trees along the road will help filter out all the noise and prying eyes from the development. The place between the garage and the house is an orchard in which to graze your animals. The garden is down the slope from the house, so you can drain your greywater into its pools for filtering, then use those pools for fish, wildlife, watering the garden, and any ducks/waterfowl you may want.
quick-sketch.GIF
[Thumbnail for quick-sketch.GIF]
 
Peter Hartman
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P Thickens wrote:

Peter Hartman wrote:One of the main reasons the driveway is in that location is the slope up is much more gradual there, the slope further south is much steeper. Reasons the house is not on the east side: The bottom/east side of the property has running water through it during heavy rains, The east border is a subdivision and we do not want to be that close to it, We do not want to be right on the gravel road (privacy, noise, ect).

I like the idea of having the pond near the garden. Does it really help moderate the temperature that much? Say 1 degree of frost protection? any real world examples?



So having the house in the center of the property is unacceptable? You could run the driveway to it via a switchback so it runs from upper right to center, kinda like the compass arm pointing NE or a clock showing 3:07.

Yes yes yes the pond really does help moderate temperature problems. It's how sepp holzer dealt with such cold temperatures. It's also a fantastic source of nutrients! You may want to look into graywater harvesting for placement as well -- I wish to hell that our place had the showers on the HIGH side of the property so that natural gravity would draw the drainwater to the orchard! So I did a quick sketch. The trees along the road will help filter out all the noise and prying eyes from the development. The place between the garage and the house is an orchard in which to graze your animals. The garden is down the slope from the house, so you can drain your greywater into its pools for filtering, then use those pools for fish, wildlife, watering the garden, and any ducks/waterfowl you may want.



The house will have to go further back due to the septic system most likely. That will be determined in the coming weeks. I think I like the idea of having a small orchard on the east side, I may try that but again the septic may be right there so it will have to go a bit further out from the house. My other concern with that is the trees blocking the early morning sun. Most of the windows will be facing east and south. Any thoughts? I don't plan to use grey water on the kitchen garden but with the orchard downhill on the east side that may work. We are going to try to build the house so grey water is something we can do in the future. The greenhouse definitely has to be up the hill and on the south side. It needs maximum winter sun. The shop was placed in the north west corner for a few reasons, the other side of the property is another barn with a barren horse lot. It is the least scenic direction, It will take minimal dirt work to level the site (your location would cost thousands) and it acts as a buffer from the cold north west wind for the house. I guess I could turn the north property line into a small grazing area, but it will require a large amount of fencing.
 
P Thickens
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Peter Hartman wrote: My other concern with that is the trees blocking the early morning sun. Most of the windows will be facing east and south. Any thoughts?



It seems like you need to do a lot of research on how to build energy-efficient houses, I have a little knowledge on that and can only say: having porches with overhangs and overhanging trees helps reduce heating and cooling costs. The sun being blocked from getting to your windows on a 110-deg day might not be a bad thing. If the trees block the sun from the garden, that's a problem, but they would have to be RIGHT ON the garden border, not near the road, to be an issue.


Peter Hartman wrote: I don't plan to use grey water on the kitchen garden



Good idea. However the MULTIPLE ponds I modeled were reed beds, there to filter graywater into perfectly usable water, good for ducks, fish and (of course) watering the garden.


Peter Hartman wrote: The greenhouse definitely has to be up the hill and on the south side. It needs maximum winter sun.



Put the greenhouse where it can work with other elements. You could heat it with animals' body heat, but not if it's too far from the pens to be accessable. Or compost, but why would one want to run compost an acre TO the pile, and then an acre FROM the pile back to the garden?


Peter Hartman wrote: The shop was placed in the north west corner for a few reasons, the other side of the property is another barn with a barren horse lot. It is the least scenic direction, It will take minimal dirt work to level the site (your location would cost thousands) and it acts as a buffer from the cold north west wind for the house. I guess I could turn the north property line into a small grazing area, but it will require a large amount of fencing.



Trees are much better at buffers, tall hedgerows are the best. Consider ringing your property with trees, such as a woodlot or wild grazing ring. Then you won't have to worry about wind drift, chemical drift, what the developers are going to do with the neighbor's old property, keeping wild animals out, or how you're going to heat your house in the winter.
 
Peter Hartman
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P Thickens wrote:

It seems like you need to do a lot of research on how to build energy-efficient houses, I have a little knowledge on that and can only say: having porches with overhangs and overhanging trees helps reduce heating and cooling costs. The sun being blocked from getting to your windows on a 110-deg day might not be a bad thing. If the trees block the sun from the garden, that's a problem, but they would have to be RIGHT ON the garden border, not near the road, to be an issue.



Over hangs help in the summer but they block sun in the winter. I was talking about the trees in the orchard area that you set up directly to the east of the house. The stuff down by the road will have no effect that far down the hill.


P Thickens wrote:Put the greenhouse where it can work with other elements. You could heat it with animals' body heat, but not if it's too far from the pens to be accessable. Or compost, but why would one want to run compost an acre TO the pile, and then an acre FROM the pile back to the garden?



The crops I grow in the winter do fine with no external heat source. I do very little composting and only for seed starting. Everything else I pretty much let it rot in place.

I think I could put in a swale along the west side of the garden connecting to a pond and get similiar results as the grey water system, and that would require no pumps.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Peter Hartman wrote:

Over hangs help in the summer but they block sun in the winter.



Overhangs can be designed to block the summer sun but allow the lower winter sun to enter the house.

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/Shading/Shading.htm
 
Tyler Ludens
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If you're planning to use greywater here is a good reference: http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/index.htm
 
Peter Hartman
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Tyler Ludens wrote:If you're planning to use greywater here is a good reference: http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/index.htm



Thanks for the link. One thing I am not finding is soap options for a grey water system. We generally use homemade soap, I just don't know what is acceptable.
 
Peter Hartman
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alright I found this list:
-chlorine or bleach
-peroxygen
-sodium perborate
-sodium trypochlorite
-boron
-borax
-petroleum distillate
-alkylbenzene
-”whiteners”
-”softeners”
-”enzymatic” components

Grey water is a project for the future. I would much rather spend time money and energy on a harvesting rain water right now.
 
Peter Hartman
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We just got our first round of plans back:

 
Tyler Ludens
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Peter Hartman wrote: I would much rather spend time money and energy on a harvesting rain water right now.



From my own experience, I think that is an appropriate priority. I have not been thrilled with my efforts at using greywater.
 
P Thickens
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You have four seperate hot cold and sewer drains, six seperate wetwalls? Why not back the wetwalls onto each other and line the sink/toilet/showers up on the same wall so you can save on plumbing equipment, install, and maintenance costs? Because, let me tell you, having to find the leak under the house when you have six seperate possible problem areas (and what looks like 8 vents [holy crapsticks! Your roof is going to be swiss cheese!]) is no fun at all.
 
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I wanted to second a couple points made here recently.

Firstly, designing a proper overhang that will shade in the summer and allow sun in the winter is easy with any roof style, and I would say is a must, but it is also a design in conjunction with proper room placement on the south side of the house to maximize where you want that solar gain.

Secondly, I agree with P Thickens that clustering your plumbing is more efficient in many aspects, including minimizing drain runs and leak detection, as well as distance from the hot water heater to each fixture.

Thirdly, regarding greywater. I would up the placement of greywater on the priority list for several reasons. Since no matter where you get your water from (well, rain, city) it still has to drain out somewhere. Why not focus on that first? Also, plumbing for greywater is a piece of cake when you are doing new construction (I'm doing it at my place now, photos when i get organized), but a rightous PITA when trying to retro it in after the fact. Its even fairly easy to do if you are trying to bypass code issues, although I plan on going the extra mile and do it "by the books" to show support for it, since the legislation is so new for it in my area. Here is another area where clustering plumbing fixtures can help consolidate exit pipes for simplicity.

::On a side note, I wanted to clarify something about venting that I recently got clarity on from our local plumbing inspector, as I am doing my own plumbing (the homeowner can pull permit and do his/her own plumbing (= )
The venting that exits the roof, no matter how many vent stacks combine in the building, need only be the same cross sectional area as the drain that exits the same building of the same fixtures. Does that make sense?
 
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I hope I don't offend here, but that house seems crazy to me... garage entering into the bedroom areas? And you have to walk all the way across the house to get to the kitchen from the garage? That would make me frustrated fast.

Having to walk thru the master bathroom to get to the closet?

For layout on the property, I'd start with mapping your sectors, then co-locating needs and yields... just use circles and general shapes, its the relative size and position that matters.

I'd spend some time this summer, longer if possible just observing and interacting... looking for those little clues about where natural moisture and dry areas are etc.

I agree with the person who said put the paths where you walk, next year.
 
Peter Hartman
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Peter DeJay wrote:I wanted to second a couple points made here recently.

Firstly, designing a proper overhang that will shade in the summer and allow sun in the winter is easy with any roof style, and I would say is a must, but it is also a design in conjunction with proper room placement on the south side of the house to maximize where you want that solar gain.

Secondly, I agree with P Thickens that clustering your plumbing is more efficient in many aspects, including minimizing drain runs and leak detection, as well as distance from the hot water heater to each fixture.

Thirdly, regarding greywater. I would up the placement of greywater on the priority list for several reasons. Since no matter where you get your water from (well, rain, city) it still has to drain out somewhere. Why not focus on that first? Also, plumbing for greywater is a piece of cake when you are doing new construction (I'm doing it at my place now, photos when i get organized), but a rightous PITA when trying to retro it in after the fact. Its even fairly easy to do if you are trying to bypass code issues, although I plan on going the extra mile and do it "by the books" to show support for it, since the legislation is so new for it in my area. Here is another area where clustering plumbing fixtures can help consolidate exit pipes for simplicity.

::On a side note, I wanted to clarify something about venting that I recently got clarity on from our local plumbing inspector, as I am doing my own plumbing (the homeowner can pull permit and do his/her own plumbing (= )
The venting that exits the roof, no matter how many vent stacks combine in the building, need only be the same cross sectional area as the drain that exits the same building of the same fixtures. Does that make sense?



Here is my issue with the over hang, to get a proper over hang that shades in august will also mean that it is shaded in early april when I have windows full of seedlings started. I am going to have to come up with some kind of external moveable shading. I currently have the overhang at about 18 inches. That will give us shade may-july so it will cover a big chunk of the hot weather.

I understand that clustering plumbing is more efficient but it comes at the cost of other things. Our top priorities when I drew up this basic design was to get certain rooms facing certain directions.

Kitchen on southeast corner for easy access to garden on south and outdoor cooking area on east.
open floor plan
office on south for seed starting
Master bath on outside wall for window
Laundry on west for clothesline access (clothesline on west so it is out of sight)
Garage on north for buffer from north wind and limited windows north side of house.
Limited exterior corners for cost savings


Things start getting hard to arrange quick. Plumbing is just one of those compromises.


And for the grey water... We will be on a septic with lateral lines. The water we use will stay on the property and it will keep a portion of the pasture greener. The water will not be pumped to some off site sewer treatment plant. We get nearly 45 inches of rain a year here. That money that would go towards a greywater system could be put to much better use collecting rain water from the roof. If budget wasn't an issue I would do it.


Lacia Lynne Bailey wrote:I hope I don't offend here, but that house seems crazy to me... garage entering into the bedroom areas? And you have to walk all the way across the house to get to the kitchen from the garage? That would make me frustrated fast.



We spend much more time bring in produce from our garden (all year) than bringing in groceries from the store.

Lacia Lynne Bailey wrote:Having to walk thru the master bathroom to get to the closet?



We have looked at several houses in the area that were set up this way. We maximize bedroom wall area this way.




 
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sepp's book will also help!!!
 
Peter Hartman
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karen denman wrote:sepp's book will also help!!!



Thanks I have it requested from the library. It is still a few weeks out yet though.
 
karen denman
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peter…

you may want to just buy a copy… (barnes & noble) it can be there in a couple of days & (my suggestion only) is NOT to lose the weeks you are waiting for the library book & you will want to keep & use it for reference on a constant basis…. just my opinion…..there is soooooo much info in it!! i am totally changing my 32 a ranch in the rogue valley to a food forest (getting older & don't like weeding…. now using weeds to indicate what my soil best supports without having to send soil into the extension service)

i am NOT trying to tell you what to do (currently listening to paul's call about forum ethics….. ) in my experience this is a book i will use and keep forever!!
kd
 
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