Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 80 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design. Now in its 35th year, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our hands-on 1-day to 3-week workshops, certificate programs and semester programs are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country. For people of all ages and experience levels, from novice to professional.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The house of my dreams

During the summer of 2006 I decided to begin investigating the home building process. I had a nice, sunny building spot that was ready to go and needed to look at all of the different ways I might transform this piece of land into a place to call home.

I'm the bookkeeper at Yestermorrow, so this has given me a great opportunity to talk with instructors and students, and to also be on the cutting edge of new construction techniques that come along.

First I took Danny Sagan's "Green Home Design" class and found out about materials to use for my home - local lumber, asphalt shingles and cement slab v.s. dug foundation. I sketched out a floor plan that was efficient and compact. I looked through Danny's extensive collection of books and magazines and learned about a wide assortment of green home characteristics.

Next, I signed up for Robert Riversong's week-long class on "The Super-Insulated Home". His technique used the "larsen truss" system where the walls were a foot thick, and blown-in cellulose insulation provided the home with an envelope of protection from the frigid Vermont winds and the hot summer sun. The foundation would be a frost-protected insulated slab with radiant heat tubing to keep my toes warm all winter and a terra-cotta color would be added to the cement to give a beautiful finish to the floor surface.

I was very impressed with Robert's knowledge with the building system he has spent years developing, so asked him to help me come up with a design that would work for me, and then I wanted him to get a crew together and build my new home.

The final house plan, which was a result of many hours of work, has the first floor (approximately 1000 sq. feet) completely self-contained and handicap accessible with a mud room/laundry room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, office nook, and living room with a wide window seat. I'll be able to close off the upstairs if I don't need to use the two bedrooms and extra bath up there. I also rent out rooms to Yestermorrow students, so if you are looking for lodging, I'm Chez Carol on the on-line registration page.

Addditions to this blog will happen when I have more time available, but for now, please see the photos of some different stages of the construction, and feel free to visit the house-in-progress! Go up the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren, take the second right (Lower Pines Road) and keep going until you see #168 on the right. If you want a tour, please give me a call at (802) 496-3153 and I'd be happy to take you through my new home.

1 comment:

  1. Carol T, Kate,

    Great Project! We are in the process of building a complete ICF home in Waterbury that if anyone at Yestermorrow would like to come and check out we would love to show them around. Here is a link to our blog check it out if you would like. thanks Jesse