Friday, February 6, 2015

The "Happy" House

The house plans are coming along, and we're excited about it!  We've been calling it the "Happy" House.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we liked what we saw on the Smiling Woods Yurts website, and were thinking we would get one of their kits.  Throughout this process, Tim kept forgetting their name and calling it Happy Woods or Happy House...the name stuck.  

We really liked a lot about what Smiling Woods provided, in particular the "kit" approach where they delivered all the components for the shell and we could do the actual labor of putting it up. However, more research led us to the concept of building a house using SIPs (Structure Insulated Panels). SIPs provide a much more efficient home and have other environmentally friendly benefits. 

We went back to some of the other websites we had found previously for round structures, and found an engineering company that had designed round houses using SIPs. It turned out that they were also located in our area, so we were able to meet with them and engage them to engineer our Happy House. 

Tim designed the home using Sketchup, and taught me to use it as well, so I helped!  The Happy House will be about 35' in diameter, 988 sq.ft.  We want an open interior with few walls, and don't need or want a lot of unnecessary space.  A utility/storage room and bathroom will be behind walls, but those walls will not go all the way up to the domed ceiling.  It'll look something like this (north is up): 

The front door will be at the west side, with the parking area adjacent to the deck.  The panels will be 8' wide, so there will be nearly 24' of viewing from the south-facing windows.  We've put in all the furniture we currently own and plan to keep, in the approximate locations where we think we will put it. The kitchen cabinets and the desk will be custom designed and built by us. Here is another view, with south at the top.

Our plan is to have this house accessible for us into our old age. With that in mind, it's one story, without steps. We are thinking it's likely that one of us may eventually require a walker or wheelchair, so the hall, doorways and bathroom will be large enough for wheelchair access, and we plan to custom-design a roll-in shower.

Tim had fun overlaying the house onto a photo of the property, and here's how that looks. Under the deck there will be a crawlspace about 6.5' high, and we plan to put a greenhouse out from that deck, similar to the one we have at our Wellington house.  The RV (our temporary home) is currently parked to the right (east) of the house, and will stay there as our guest house.

That's the plan for now!

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