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If I make my uphill patio a greenhouse, won't it make the house hot in the summer?

 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 164
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Okay Mike, this one's for you!

So we're in the preliminary stages of planning a house according to your book in the Spokane area. There's one thing I can't wrap my head around, though.

I can see how the uphill patio would be a very effective way to help heat the home during the winter... but I keep thinking that in the summertime it would just make it unbearably hot. I know you live in roughly a similar climate (We're going to build about an hour N of Spokane) so I'm curious if this is an issue or not? Or would there be some special considerations I'd need to allow for?

One thing of note is that we're thinking about a round design which means due to the curve, we'd probably have more windows facing the uphill patio area, maybe as much as half of our exterior walls depending on how far around we decide to build the greenhouse.
 
Jeff Higdon
Posts: 45
Location: Idaho
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Hello neighbor! Are you building in the Colville area? I have some friends in that area. I live inbetween Oldtown and Sandpoint, ID.

What about making part or all of the glass removable? Or make the highest part of the greenhouse to hinge open like Mike's greenhouse design to allow the hot air to escape. You could also use shade cloth in the summer if it is too hot.
 
Bethany Dutch
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Jeff Higdon wrote:Hello neighbor! Are you building in the Colville area? I have some friends in that area. I live inbetween Oldtown and Sandpoint, ID.

What about making part or all of the glass removable? Or make the highest part of the greenhouse to hinge open like Mike's greenhouse design to allow the hot air to escape. You could also use shade cloth in the summer if it is too hot.


Hi Jeff! yes, we are building very close to Colville I suspect there's quite a few of us Permies in the area. Shade cloth, that would work! I haven't had a chance to read the greenhouse book but that does make sense, a hinged top. Admittedly though I would like to figure out a way to design some part of it to address the heat automatically (always trying to be efficient!) but that may not be possible.

We've been in the Seattle area for the last couple years and next month we're finally moving east and our current landlord has 20 sheets of 6 foot by 3 foot tempered glass just sitting behind the shed growing moss! I'm hoping to convince him to let me take them, that will give us a huge amount of greenhouse glass.
 
Jeff Higdon
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Location: Idaho
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Colville is beautiful, that is for sure! I would have looked for land there, but it looks like the building requlations are too strict, so I have stayed on the Idaho side. I was told that residences there are required to have a $20,000 septic sysem put in, and the homeowner can't install it themselves. I don't know if that is true, but it was enough to make me shy away from it.

Washington also does aerial mapping, and each year they take photographs. The photographs have a different color to them, so when they overlay them, any changes stand out, such as a building structure. I guess that is one advantage we do have with being underground is the stealth factor, though!

Here in Idaho, we can legally have an outhouse, which in many states you can not. The health department said it was a $250 permit to install one, I went yesterday and checked.

I am not against outlaw houses myself, since it should be a basic right to have shelter.

I wish you luck with your house!

Jeff
 
Bethany Dutch
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Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Jeff Higdon wrote:Colville is beautiful, that is for sure! I would have looked for land there, but it looks like the building requlations are too strict, so I have stayed on the Idaho side. I was told that residences there are required to have a $20,000 septic sysem put in, and the homeowner can't install it themselves. I don't know if that is true, but it was enough to make me shy away from it.

Washington also does aerial mapping, and each year they take photographs. The photographs have a different color to them, so when they overlay them, any changes stand out, such as a building structure. I guess that is one advantage we do have with being underground is the stealth factor, though!

Here in Idaho, we can legally have an outhouse, which in many states you can not. The health department said it was a $250 permit to install one, I went yesterday and checked.

I am not against outlaw houses myself, since it should be a basic right to have shelter.

I wish you luck with your house!

Jeff


Actually, Stevens County doesn't have codes... could the city itself have those rules? In any case according to my father (who is a builder) I will be just fine to have a composting toilet. I do know Spokane county is pretty strict though. I know he for sure didn't drop $20k on a septic system for his house!
 
Jeff Higdon
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Location: Idaho
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NO CODES? Uh, where is my listings on real estate in Colville area?!

One does have to go to the right source for information!

While looking up what is required here in Idaho, I looked online. It looked like anything I built would have to be to code. I then went to the bonner county building permit office and talked to them. They informed me that they had no code enforcement that made sure a house was built to code, they only required a building location permit which ensures that a building is located far enough away from water, roads, property lines, etc.

However, they do require a signoff on septic. I then went to the health department, and tried to figure out exactly what is required. I am still not entirely clear on it, but I think they were telling me that if I plumbed the house, then I had to have a plumbing inspection done to hook up to septic, which would make me have to comply with plumbing codes.

They also said there is no diffence between a greywater system and a regular septic. Both require a minimum of 1000 gallons for up to 4 bedrooms, and 250 gallons additional for each additional bedroom.

Of course, if I hooked to electrical lines, then I would also have to have an electrical inspection, which would require me to comply to electrical codes. This I can avoid if I go with alternative energy.

However, on the plumbing I don't know how I can legally get around the plumbing codes since I will have at least greywater, even if I use a composting toilet or outhouse.

If I can't get around the plumbing inspection, I do at least have the consolation that that is my strongest point in the construction of the house. I worked as a plumber for a while, so I do know what I am doing in that department.

I am still checking into what is required for a well to see if I can dig my own or not, and what is required on that.

Jeff
 
Bethany Dutch
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Jeff Higdon wrote:NO CODES? Uh, where is my listings on real estate in Colville area?!

One does have to go to the right source for information!

While looking up what is required here in Idaho, I looked online. It looked like anything I built would have to be to code. I then went to the bonner county building permit office and talked to them. They informed me that they had no code enforcement that made sure a house was built to code, they only required a building location permit which ensures that a building is located far enough away from water, roads, property lines, etc.

However, they do require a signoff on septic. I then went to the health department, and tried to figure out exactly what is required. I am still not entirely clear on it, but I think they were telling me that if I plumbed the house, then I had to have a plumbing inspection done to hook up to septic, which would make me have to comply with plumbing codes.

They also said there is no diffence between a greywater system and a regular septic. Both require a minimum of 1000 gallons for up to 4 bedrooms, and 250 gallons additional for each additional bedroom.

Of course, if I hooked to electrical lines, then I would also have to have an electrical inspection, which would require me to comply to electrical codes. This I can avoid if I go with alternative energy.

However, on the plumbing I don't know how I can legally get around the plumbing codes since I will have at least greywater, even if I use a composting toilet or outhouse.

If I can't get around the plumbing inspection, I do at least have the consolation that that is my strongest point in the construction of the house. I worked as a plumber for a while, so I do know what I am doing in that department.

I am still checking into what is required for a well to see if I can dig my own or not, and what is required on that.

Jeff


Well I can't say I know how to interpret the legalese very well but I do know I don't have to go with a regular septic, I know greywater is no problem. I also know owner/builders do not have to have a permit to build

I do happen to know a really great realtor...

 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 164
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Bumping in case Mike is still around...
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