Much has happened in the last few weeks. The roughed in driveway was completed last week. We seeded and mulched all the exposed areas. The surveyors finished the property adjustment survey last week. The brush was moved into one big pile. The excavator made a cut behind the house site to level off the house site and provide drainage from the area above the house. He used some of the cut to fill in front of the house site. We also marked and cleared the location for the well.
After being stalled by spring rains, yesterday (Tuesday) we finally got word that it was a good day to dig! So they dug the hole for the foundation. They were curious to see if there was any ledge where the foundation would go. None. I told them it was a good spot. (After they cleared the site, we moved the house over about 20 feet, hoping to steer clear of a chunk of ledge. It appears that was a good decision.)
We also hired an engineer last week. I had just enough non-standard details that it was making my contractor and inspector nervous. I thought it would be money well spent. He is based in Massachusetts but is licensed in several states including New York. He will size all the structural members and do a code check on the drawings. I found him through my energy consultants.
And speaking of energy consultants, Warren and I took a trip to Newton about 4 weeks ago to go over the preliminary calculations and discuss how to improve the details. They estimated that the house would require 11,900 BTU/sq. ft/year for heating. If you multiply that by the heated area (roughly 1200 sf), you get approximately 14.3M BTU/year. I estimated approximately 13.9M BTU/year using my rough calculations. Not bad!
With the improvements we’ve since made, including insulating the basement to R40 values, adding sun shades for the first floor, Canadian windows, etc, I’m hoping to get well below the 13M BTU/year estimate. As soon as the plans are complete and ready to be submitted for the building permit, I’ll be able to get the final energy calculations for the house. I’m very confident that we will be able to hit net zero with our budget. More on this as the numbers get finalized.
We should be ready to submit the house plans for a building permit within a week or two.