D.I.Y's Affordability Part 2 (1/2)
From: Harry Pasternak (Harry_Pasternaktvo.org)
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 95 07:30 CDT
This note is for folks who are Unpaid Volunteeers who are
developing/designing/building their own homes, communal facilities and
neighborhood to enhance their own "social networking"--this kind of
neighborhood is sometimes called  collaborative housing or cooperative
housing or cohousing; but, can be found in many middleclass neighborhoods all
over the western world (for at least the past couple hundred years). 

Recently I posted a starter's list for proven methods of reducing land,
services and construction costs (and maintenance costs---the 35 year
life-cycle costs of operating and maintaining the homes will exceed the
contruction costs). The first posting is D.I.Y's Affordability .

The following is a decription of one proven method of drastically reduce
contruction costs-- even if a general contractor is hired to do it all, as
well the total energy costs for heat, hot water, lighting, cooking, etc.
---will be $150. total for one year (says Minto Construction---Ottawa,
Canada-highest energy rates in North America, found here).

* No garages---instead parking lot at periphery of neighborhood.
* No roads for autos---instead just a driveway off main roadway into parking
* 8 foot wide, foot paths connect parking lot to homes and shared buildings
and spaces. 
* Homes are all 1 1/2 storey, 1480 Sq. Ft. with a covered porch---no

* Method Of Construction:
 - "Rigid Truss Frame Construction" (90% of framing recycles waste wood),
contact "Trusswall" on how to do it or The Forest Product Lab U.S.D.A. at
Madison, Wis---1.3 days with 3 people to build a closed in shell--- that is,
roof and walls framed, sheathed, with housewrap.
- An Alternative Method of Construction is the "Amos System" contact Amos
somewhere in the New England states or contact the Nova Scotia government for
manual on "Amos System" or "Fine Homebuilding Magasine" (90% of framing
recycles waste wood )---23 days to finishing the drywall joints, 16" wall
thickness ofr insulation.
- An another Alternative Method of Construction is "Sectionalized"---for
those who wish to do there own Sectionnalized Homes contact the "Small Homes
Council" at the University of Illinois, for there manual.

* Site preparation, romove grass and topsoil with small tractor (rented).

* Form and pore a " 1000 Square Foort, Concrete Slab On Grade With A
Thickened Edge" with insulation on outside of thickened edge---see Foundation
manual in previous posting. (naturally all required plumbing stuff in place
before ).Then color and imprint fresh concrete above with ceramic or slate
imprinter for first floor finish---3 people, 3-4 days to complete---saves 60%
on material and labor on foundation, basement floor, first floor construction
and finish.

* "Rigid Truss Frames" craned in place,  and attach to plate and sheath
(rigidized) and install "R Plus" housewrap---frames 1st floor walls, 2nd
floor walls, roof, and floor for second floor all at the same time (remember,
1.3 days).

* Finish and then install tongue and groove hardwood decking on second
floor---which also becomes ceiling for first floor---eliminates materials
(and labor) second floor subfloor/underlayment/finished flooring/drywall for
ceiling below .

* "Bag" all windows and doors and seal to house wrap and to interior vapor
retarder---save by build  own fixed "R16" windows using glazing for patio
door replacements, buy R16 glazed windows that open---you just eliminated the
cost of the chimney, furnace and ducting system.

* Insulate with wet blown cellulose insulation (recycled newspapers).

* Contractor installed polybutyl hot and cold piping---just saved 45%, says

* All wiring using "quick wired" electrical boxes, light switches and
receptacles, with Ideals' Greenies---saves 50% of the labor for that
electrical wiring.

* Install Honeywell Heat Exchanger Venting unit and run  2 inch diameter
flexible ducts for fresh air supply to bedrooms ---also duct exhaust fans to

* Install 90% efficient "Polaris" domestic hot water heater with small
auxilliary pump to supply heater coil in Honeywell.

* Install drywall horizontally on the walls---just saved 50% of joint
finishing compared to vertical installation (not counting corners)

* Plumbing fixture, water softeners, water saving showerheads---read Consumer
Reports magazine for "Best Buys"---for example the best water saving toilet
is the Sears and only $100.---a water softener as good as Culligan but 30%
less etc. etc---same applies to kitchen appliances.

* Paints, again check Consumer Reports---believe it or not WalMArt's interior
paints at $7 gallon rated very highly (yikes!).

* Use the lowest cost possible siding covered with trellises and ivy to cover
exterior walls. All caulking installed correctly---that is with "backercore"
put in first.

* Roof with pine wood shingles ---about a forty year life---yes treat them
with a fire retardent.

* Use a biscuit joiner to build shelves, kitchen cupboards, casing and other
trim, and storage in general---20% to 40% savings.

*** Continued in next message... ***

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