Jeez….I guess this is what they mean by winter coming in like a lamb and going out like a lion! I remember hosting our first family Christmas in the new house and walking around outside, standing on the deck, etc. It was “sweata weatha” as they say on SNL. Many days in January were close to 60 degrees allowing me to get most of the construction dust off the siding. Now….ice storms, snow storms and temperatures that rarely go above freezing. This isn’t Buffalo, this is the dirty south yo!
Anyway, it’s been brutal, but the good news is that our “California rancher” has held up just FINE. So far, our biggest electric + gas bill hasn’t been over $190 combined. Compare that to a $400 GAS ONLY bill for our McMansion we owned for seven plus years. Better still, the living room wall o’ glass views of the snow and ice have been nothing short of breathtaking. An amazing feeling to be cozy and comfortable inside looking at the icicles and snow drifts just inches away on the other side of the glass. The AGC inert gas filled double paned windows are cool to the touch, not cold. Thanks to the closed cell foam the house is not drafty at all, other than maybe the cooler air coming from the basement, which we keep at 68 degrees. The heating unit down there barely ever turns on.
So I’m here to say, with confidence, that with the right glass, insulation, and HVAC units you can pretty much build this house anywhere and live in comfort without spending an obscene amount of money on heating and cooling.
While we are still waiting for the professional pics to be taken (the official breakfast room dining set MUST BE INSTALLED. Not taking pics with a card table) here’s a few snowy pics from arctic Knoxville, Tennessee. Enjoy!
The north elevation (Arctic North!) Deck rail still needs stained. Must wait until it thaws out, and dries out
The cozy living room
The Modbox has taken some weather abuse!
The snowy view from the guest room
The lovely South elevation. The house is a bit underexposed. This is what separates professional and amateur photographers. For the next snow I’m going to play with the weighting a bit…
No waterfall running today! It would probably work actually. The pump motor is a BEAST, but I’d rather not chance it. The fire pit is up and operational but we need to add a few more bags of glass
The day after I got the gas finally hooked up to the grill I had to put the cover on. Not sure when it’s going to come off…
Icicles hanging off the trellis beams. Beautiful.
Back deck area. The fiber cement deck facing is slick as glass without snow. With it, pure suicide. Oh well, too cold to hang out here anyway 😉
Another view of the North elevation
Appendum: Snow Day #2
Icicles melted, but more snow!
Southeast elevation from across the street
Still messing with the exposure. Snow pics are just ridiculously hard. I went manual and set the shutter to 1/640. Snow is blinded out, but at least the house detail is there
North elevation. Still need to stain the deck railing, but other than that, the exterior is COMPLETE!
Northeast corner. About 10 feet of the deck barely gets any weather thanks to the large eave. CAN’T WAIT to get some furniture out there!
Dark, ominous pic of grill area
The firepit shows you the accumulation. Tame by Boston standards but still creates HAVOC here. Schools have been out for eight days straight
I have the waterfall turned off. Should have probably turned it on for an awesome pic, or video….
The beautiful dining room/playroom doors
Along with the “grand reveal” I’ve got a couple more blogs planned. First up, we’ll gather our thoughts on what were the biggest challenges, what we like the best, and what we could change if we could do it again. After that, I want to do an in depth look at what it cost to build this house, the cuts we made, what we compromised on, what we refused to compromise on, etc. That will be probably be some of the most valuable information you could have.