I've wanted a little log cabin near a nice river/running water for quite some time now. So far the dream contains:
- Recycled Logs from an old cabin. I like the squared off gray logs of the Appalachian Mountians. I want a 800 to 1200 square foot cabin in a traditional form (Ell, Dogtrot or just Story and a Half) flanked by two other log structures made from a "Garage" kit. One will be my studio -- the other will be the LH's Ham Radio shack.
- Geothermal heating and cooling, sometimes called GeoExchange. Basically it's a heat pump. You pump a coolant (or water) deep into the ground and do a heat exchange. The coolant will always come about about 57 degrees F. That's nice and cool for an air conditioning unit and almost warm enough for heating. It takes up to 70% less energy than conventional heating and cooling.
- The garages will have a cupola. A Cupola is really a thermal chimney and will draw cooler air into the structure as the air warms and rises out of the house. It will be opened during the spring and fall and shut off completely during the winter.
- Solar Shingles -- Ovonics makes them. Basically you get about .1 kilowatt hour per shingle. The more shingles you put on the roof, the more electricity you make. I'll need about 100 or them, as well as about 10 solar deep-cycle batteries, an inverter and a controller. Eventually, I want to take myself off the grid or have the option to sell electricity back to the electric company. Wind is not really an option around here because, hey, there isn't any wind.
- We will drill for a well and be on a septic tank. I'm thinking a pond as well to fill with water for irrigation.
- A garden for food.
- And the cabin will be furnished with the things I love in my current house. The rest will be given away. I'll keep the antiques and my Heywood Wakefield. Oh yes, and books and cats.
- Upstairs will be "1850 House." I am going to get this really cool reproduction refrigerator -- the original model was built in 1909 and is still running. It does not uses CFCs for cooling; it uses ammonia, which is a lot better for the environment. 100 years before the fridge wears out? I'm ready. It's made of quarter sawn oak and looks like an icebox. Too cool. So to speak. I am also going to get a stove that looks like an old wood burning stove but is electric and have an old trough made into a sink. I don't know if I'll do a dishwasher. I'm still debating about that. The upstairs will have seating that is leather club chairs/ sofa with nailhead trim, a deer head on the mantel and so forth. Dark wood flooring, vintage artwork.
- Downstairs will be "1950 House" -- this is where I'm going to put my office, eventually. The foundation walls will be stacked stone, the sheet rocked walls will be painted purple. I'm going to get my Eames era sofa recovered with a nubby gold fabric, there will be a gold/purple rug on the floor and everything in the room will be Heywood Wakefield. Very mid-century.
What does your dream home look like?