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As an example of what can be done, in these before and after photos a full porch was replaced with an addition and a smaller entry porch.
Service AreaWe serve the greater Missoula area, including Missoula, the Bitterroot valley to Hamilton, the Blackfoot valley to Lincoln, the Mission valley to Polson, and the Clark Fork valley from Georgetown Lake to Superior.
We serve the greater Missoula area, including the Blackfoot valley to Lincoln, the Bitterroot valley to Hamilton, the Mission valley to Polson, and the Clark Fork valley from Drummond to Superior. I have a cape cod that I am thinking about a shed dormer or a 2nd floor, below are photo of my house and the idea I had.
He already had a good idea of the type of home additions that he wanted to put onto his home as well as the budget he had available. Adding on top of an existing structure always poses a greater challenge, because you have to protect the existing home from the elements during construction. As you can see in the picture above, we wrapped the exterior with Tyvek house wrap which we purchased from our certified green material supplier Sanford & Hawley. I started with this concept because I was able to consider it before we had a site picked out.
The greatest volume for surface area is provided by a sphere, but while some have built such houses, utilizing their shape is problematic and construction is not standard or typical. An elongated rectangle, the longer it is elongated, the less volume per surface area is available. A cube offers a good volume to surface ratio, but it conflicts with the concept that it is good to elongate East-West axis to allow more South facing windows and to allow greater penetration of sun light on winter days. Keep both concepts (high volume to surface area is good & the need to elongate for southern exposure) in mind when working back and forth between the overall shape and planning spaces (next concept). Our solar house is a lot smaller than our old house, but it is not nearly as small as I would have liked it to be.
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The addition created space for a bedroom, while adding an upstairs dormer allowed us to move stairs and create room for a full bath.
Now this ranch home is spacious enough for the new addition to the family with plenty of bathrooms and space to accommodate a new office & a much needed master bedroom. Luckily for our customer building home additions is all we do, so our experience saves him from any unwanted situations. Also the roof was tarpped to prevent any unwanted moisture from getting into the soon to be converted attic. The amount of heat (BTUs) traveling (lost) is directly proportional to the area of the surface containing the heat (square feet) and the speed at which the material conducts heat (U-value, which is the reciprocal of the R-value).
If you had minimal or no access to the sun, a cube would be easiest to build and lose the least heat of any standard shapes. This is mostly a variation of elongation, but with extra corners that are thermal weak points. This gave me the spaces I wanted and a total area of less than 2000 square feet (1853 SF), which was a goal. They are happy with the biggest rooms in the house, but sometimes I regret this design decision. Previously he performed home energy audits for five years in NYSERDA’s Home Performance program and new home ratings in the New York ENERGY STAR Home program.
The construction process was great and we absolutely loved the framing crew, we felt great knowing that they were there every day, we are happy with the completed project".
But I didn’t want to develop a floor plan until I had a good understanding of how heat is lost and what is important in minimizing that loss. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for kids we wouldn’t have a second floor or a basement!
In designing the shed dormer roof line, I allowed form to follow function with the roof overhang shading the first floor windows. In our old house half of the back area was a vaulted ceiling with skylights, plus there was wasted space with an open stairway. To get the 60+ R-value, I insulated both above and below the rafters – an insulated roof assembly.
In the front we added a small dormer pointing towards the cul-de-sac , and in the rear we did a full shed dormer to easily give the second floor which used to be an attic, usable square footage for the much needed living space. Considering this concept had a significant impact on our early design - saving us money to build and energy every year!
The bottom line is that the smaller the thermal shell or envelop per unit volume of the house and the better insulated it is, the less heat is required. But, there was no need, except for esthetics, to shorten the dormer to allow the full rake edge of the roof along each end. Certainly vaulted ceilings can be dramatic and appealing, but unless there is a real need we didn't want to waste the volume or heat the unused space, so we have no vaulted ceilings in the new house.
However, the advantage of building this house, for me, was that I was able to build a more generally applicable house, utilize a fuller array of concepts and techniques, and build a house that would be very suitable for a family of as many as six – two boys, two girls would fit very nicely upstairs. If you do decide to proceed with renovations or renovation financing our design work can be the bridge you need to work with both banks and contractors.
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Published at: How To Build Storage Shed