Busy weekend! We arrived at the cabin late Friday night. It was too late to check out the house site, so we crashed and looked forward to seeing the site at first light. When we walked up to the site, we were floored! It’s really starting to look like a building site now. There’s still quite a bit more clearing to be done, and we can’t wait to see what it looks like in two more weeks.
On Saturday we took a trip to R.K. Miles in Manchester, Vermont to take a look at windows. They have a great showroom with examples of many types of windows. They carry one of the windows we’ve been considering for our fall back position (Marvin Integrity) if we can’t afford our first option (ThermoTech Fiberglass).
The Marvin Integrity is actually a fairly high-end, energy-efficient window. It’s fairly good at keeping the cold out, but it also keeps the sun out, which is not good for a northern climate house oriented to take advantage of the sun’s heating capacity. To give you an example, using our current latitude, south orientation and window square footage, the sun can provide almost 13 million BTU’s of free heat in the months September through May if we use a high solar gain window (ThermoTech). If we use the Integrity window, we only get roughly 8 million BTU’s of heat, some 30% less. Look for a more detailed post on window science in the near future.
We also looked some wood stoves on Saturday. We’ve been trying to find a nice, small, modern-looking wood stove. Wood stoves are a bit problematic in a super insulated house, because they give off roughly 30,000 BTUs of heat per hour. On the coldest day of the year, we only need 10,000 BTUs. But we just can’t imagine living on 50 acres of woods without a wood stove. This weekend we saw some beautiful, super-efficient German and Scandinavian-made models, but they were also outrageously expensive. So the search goes on. We’ll also put together a separate post of wood stove options soon.
We’re still waiting for estimates for the driveway and getting electricity to the site, which are both related. The electric planner came to the site last Thursday and took some measurements. She’ll hopefully get back to us sometime this week with the pricing options for running power above and below ground. If we go below ground, our excavator will dig the trench, but the electric company lays the line in the trench. If above ground, they have to set poles and run wire. And we would lose a lot more trees. So we wait for the numbers.