Author Topic: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??  (Read 12641 times)

LovinPSDs

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So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Laura33

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 08:40:39 PM »
I would think design before ďstuff to addĒ - things like designed for the climate, oriented for solar gain (or not), designing the structure to maintain a tight envelope, excellent insulation, etc. 

On the fun stuff, Iíd want radiant floor heating where possible, but especially in bathrooms, because I find I feel warmer with radiant heat - forced air just never feels as warm (she says, snuggled next to her radiant space heater).  And a pellet stove for heating + flame + a little of that wood smoke smell - again, very efficient heating.  Definitely a whole-house fan if the climate supports it (when we were in CO, I almost never had to turn on the AC, because it would cool off so much at night that the fan would just cool it down in about 15 minutes).  I would also love to design a water reuse system, like they do in the earthships, so I could reuse grey water appropriately. 

And, yeah, some version of renewable energy suited for the climate.

affordablehousing

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 08:45:39 PM »
If I wanted to keep it mustachian, I would definitely avoid gizmos like tesla, high efficiency ac, stuff like that. On demand water heaters are useful depending on your usage style, number of people, water condition, etc. Good for small households making infrequent water uses, not great for large households, continually using water, with old pipes or hard water that will wear out filters constantly. A truly smart mustachian setup I think would anticipate that you would live there for 100 years, and do all the maintenance yourself, so work hard to make all the systems serviceable, i.e. don't bury pipes in concrete that might break, don't run electrical in inaccessible tiny crawlspaces, in general, futureproof your house so you know and can easily, fix everything yourself. Also, way cheaper than any gizmo stuff is insulation. A high end furnace is expensive and fragile, lots of insulation is cheap and durable.

And to make it mustachian, get all the materials for rock bottom, starting with the most size particular, i.e. buy leftover windows first, design openings to their size later.

Lady SA

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 09:51:16 PM »
These are my favorite ideas:

--wainscoting removable wall panels so you can get at the electrical wiring/pipes to do repairs or add/remove outlets without destroying walls
--use standard window sizes to cut down on costs
--orienting house to take advantage of sun--windows and overhangs calculated in such a way that the angle of the sun in summer doesn't enter the house, but when it is lower in the sky in winter, it does enter the home to warm it up. Use of a thermal sink like concrete to heat up during the day and provide passive warmth overnight.
--super insulated envelope
--earth insulation, burying part of the house underground to take advantage of natural soil temperatures keeping the home temperate.
--built-in sauna!
--I love how earthships have an integrated greenhouse that passively heats/cools the house and provides food. I don't know if I would want to go all-in with the earthship idea, but I like the idea of having an attached greenhouse that has a greywater aquaponics system and composting system, so we can harvest fruits and veggies year round.
--use of prefabricated panels (cheaper, more insulated, faster to install, built in a controlled environment)
--metal roof. they are much better these days. Cheapish and last a really long time.
--I'd like to add solar panels or other passive energy converting systems to either cut our bills down or be able to put net energy back into the grid and get paid!
--well thought out layout and travel corridors. Thinking about how you use the home most often--bringing in groceries, it's nice if your kitchen is close to where you park your car/bike. It's nice to have your kitchen open to the living area so you can chat and watch tv while you cook. I like the idea of having half the house be the "public" area and the other half "private", with bedrooms and bathrooms.
--design with accessibility in mind, so you can age in place. Think about when you need assistance getting around with a wheelchair or walker. Wider hallways, pedestal sinks, single story, etc
--focusing on small things you can do to make your house easier to clean/maintain. I really enjoyed this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/advice-for-making-your-home-interior-easier-to-clean-and-maintain/

Basically, I want to design the house in such a way to take advantage of efficient, passive heating/cooling as much as possible, while also focusing on future maintainability (being able to easily fix/update things without having to rip things out) and passively supplementing our normal consumption (food or energy). I also want a house to be easy to live in and not require much upkeep--I want to spend my time on adventures, not cleaning!

middo

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 10:18:21 PM »
If you are wanting to reduce longer term energy costs, then I would get:
  • Solar panels on roof, with either grid connect or battery backup.
  • Everything electric to use the free electricity (i.e. oven, heating with reverse cycle air conditioning etc)
  • Insulation - you can never get enough, including double glazing.
  • Design to allow for flow-through ventilation for the months where the climate can cool or warm your home
  • Water recycling and water catchment

kei te pai

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 12:27:42 AM »
Before anything went in, I would concentrate on not building any bigger than you need. Buy clever designed space to suit your family and climate, before size.

chouchouu

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 03:42:15 AM »
Forgot ac,  our apartment has the living areas orientated north and cross ventilation. The weekend reached 40 degrees Celsius and I still didn't need to turn on the ac, my little energy efficient Dyson fan was enough.

Put any fireplaces in the middle of the house, no point wasting all that energy by having one on an outside wall.

Morning Glory

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 04:24:35 AM »
Wait a minute here, are you saying the other houses in town are too cheap for you? What makes you think you need a house in the 175-250k price range? Please tell me that all the other houses are actually more expensive than this. Building a brand new house is almost never more cost effective than buying an existing one. You also don't want to have the most expensive house in your neighborhood when you try to sell.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 04:47:43 AM »
Wait a minute here, are you saying the other houses in town are too cheap for you? What makes you think you need a house in the 175-250k price range? Please tell me that all the other houses are actually more expensive than this. Building a brand new house is almost never more cost effective than buying an existing one. You also don't want to have the most expensive house in your neighborhood when you try to sell.

I think OP was merely suggesting that housing stocks were mostly either above or below that range and that range is in the sweet spot for their wants and needs.  In my area, that range is the affordable condos and coops range and not house range. A 1 bedroom/1 bath coop is 160ish and that skimps on a lot of amenities some might call basic.

bluebelle

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 06:39:26 AM »
assuming you're in an area where basements are 'normal', I'd want a cold storage room, aka root cellar, aka cantina.  My mother had one when I was growing up, and I'm going to have one in the house we're going to build.  It's where all the home canned food went and the big bag of potatoes and onions etc.

Morning Glory

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 06:59:35 AM »
Wait a minute here, are you saying the other houses in town are too cheap for you? What makes you think you need a house in the 175-250k price range? Please tell me that all the other houses are actually more expensive than this. Building a brand new house is almost never more cost effective than buying an existing one. You also don't want to have the most expensive house in your neighborhood when you try to sell.

I think OP was merely suggesting that housing stocks were mostly either above or below that range and that range is in the sweet spot for their wants and needs.  In my area, that range is the affordable condos and coops range and not house range. A 1 bedroom/1 bath coop is 160ish and that skimps on a lot of amenities some might call basic.
OPs price range is not unreasonable for an MCOL, it is about the right price for a 3 bedroom where I live now. I read "small rural town" and thought of central IL where a pretty dang nice house can be had for less than 100k, so it is worth looking.

NV Teacher

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 07:17:05 AM »
Iíd put in a rocket mass heater.  Not very pretty but very efficient.

dcheesi

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 07:28:47 AM »
I had a house with a skylight in the bathroom. It sounds silly and indulgent, until you realize that it allows you to use the bathroom without turning lights on, including when the power goes out. Plenty of natural light for morning grooming, and because it's in the ceiling, the light makes it into the shower as well. You can even pee by moonlight :) Loved that bathroom!

Vertical Mode

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 07:58:45 AM »
Designated bicycle storage/work space at grade, with a door to the exterior so I could grab the bike and go.

Inspired by my commute this morning. Going up and down stairs to extract the bike from the basement and lock the appropriate doors before the ride in gets to be kind of a PITA some days. Eliminating an entire process in the morning when I'm only half-awake would be helpful.

Lots of good ideas in this thread!

LovinPSDs

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 08:52:29 AM »
Wait a minute here, are you saying the other houses in town are too cheap for you? What makes you think you need a house in the 175-250k price range? Please tell me that all the other houses are actually more expensive than this. Building a brand new house is almost never more cost effective than buying an existing one. You also don't want to have the most expensive house in your neighborhood when you try to sell.

Yes they are cheap, but also in very low income/drug filled/not areas I want to raise my family of 4. We're in the Midwest where I believe 200-250K should go a pretty decent way (1 acre(ish) + 3/2 house).  I am trying to work this very fine balance of a house nice enough to meet our quality and appearance standards (which admittedly are relatively high for this group I'd guess), reasonable enough to not cramp our budget, close enough to reduce my drive and in an area where we can sell if I get a wild hair for the oil field again.  It's a very delicate balance.

I know many here will say "imagine if you bought that 15K dump next to the coke dealer!! You could save 75% of your income" but that's just not where my priorities lie for my young family.

I am simply seeking out great ideas for which you would add to a house if you were going to build. Some are probably less Mustachian than others but I don't believe we're out of line.   

LovinPSDs

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 08:53:55 AM »
I had a house with a skylight in the bathroom. It sounds silly and indulgent, until you realize that it allows you to use the bathroom without turning lights on, including when the power goes out. Plenty of natural light for morning grooming, and because it's in the ceiling, the light makes it into the shower as well. You can even pee by moonlight :) Loved that bathroom!

I love this idea!! We have  family member with this and I was always surprised out how great the light was.  What about condensation for the shower?  Does it collect up there, rather than going out the vent fan?

LovinPSDs

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2018, 08:56:02 AM »
Before anything went in, I would concentrate on not building any bigger than you need. Buy clever designed space to suit your family and climate, before size.

Great reminder.  I'm trying to balance this as well... We are currently in 1875 sq. ft which is plenty and could be dramatically optimized if I could move it around.  Hence why we're looking for great ideas!!

LovinPSDs

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2018, 08:58:01 AM »
What about Radiant floor heating?  I freaking love that but no idea how cost effective it is.   You can keep the heat down much lower than forced air.

Lady SA

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Loretta

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2018, 09:00:00 AM »
Maybe not mustachian overall but simple pleasures.  A bathtub with jets and a neck rest.  Kind of like the ones they advertise for seniors on daytime TV.  Definitely some skylights too.  Also an extra wide door for moving furniture in and out over the years.  Some things to make life easier when the power goes out in bad weather. 

Scrapr

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2018, 09:25:09 AM »
Think about a net zero energy home. I laughed out loud 15 years ago when I heard the concept. I would do one now if we were to build (unlikely). Net Zero homes essentially generate as much power over a year as they use. So the home has to be insulated well. Air sealed during construction. Blower door tested a couple times before it's done. Then solar panels in the right amount. Not every builder will be able to do this. So it may take some work to find one

https://zeroenergyproject.org/buy/zero-energy-homes/

Our current home (14 y/o) is very tight and it makes a world of difference. Our home before we downsized was very leaky. We had it tightened up and ducts sealed up about 5 years before we moved. (right at the cost/value payoff) What a difference. Comfortable.

If you want to go overboard here do a Passive Haus. They have some good concepts you can use

I would get the bones of the house right before I worried about Alexa for the home type stuff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

ketchup

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2018, 09:25:55 AM »
If I were building from scratch today:

Efficient layout, one-story.  Minimal hallways/wasted space.
No steps/workaroundable steps so that I can still live there when I'm 120 years old.
Roof oriented optimally for solar.
Unfinished garage, basement, and/or workshop type space.
EV charger.
As someone else mentioned, easy access to utilities and other maintenance items.
Well-insulated, but also lots of natural light (skylights!)
Radiant floor heating.
Low-maintenance yard/garden.

Raenia

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2018, 11:17:14 AM »
Another vote for the bathroom skylight, but you do have to make sure it is ventilated properly.  Choose your orientation carefully to make the best use of solar gain and solar panels if you want to go that way.  My SO has also been doing a lot of research lately into masonry furnaces, consider that for heating if needed in your climate.  Consider what architectural styles are generally suited to the climate, and look at many examples and floorplans to see what you like and dislike.

Think about what spaces you really use - most families these days live centered around the kitchen and living room, and barely use the dining room or formal sitting room.  Think about if you like the feeling of an open floor plan, or if you prefer cozier, defined spaces.

I recommend reading The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka, it has a ton of ideas about how to make a house feel homey and spacious without necessarily being large.

RelaxedGal

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2018, 01:28:25 PM »
Designated bicycle storage/work space at grade, with a door to the exterior so I could grab the bike and go.

Amen!

Also Amen to the skylight or a solatube in the bathroom for power outages (and general niceness).  I wanted one in my new bathroom but I'd already put solar panels on that roof :-(  Would have come in handy during the 2 day power outage a couple weeks back.

What did come in handy during that power outage: gas water heater.  We had hot showers (in the dark, by candle/flashlight) the whole time.  And everyone with a pellet stove had heat as long as they had a generator to run the fan.  Since you're moving rural you might have to worry more about outages. 

We didn't have heat but our house didn't cool down as quickly as the neighbor's, and I think 50% of that was because all the kids went to their house (and opened and closed the doors letting out all the heat!) and 50% was because we insisted on "airlocks" when we bought the house.  Each exterior door takes you to unheated space and then you open a second door into the house proper.  Our front door doesn't help much because it only opens to a screened in porch which has plastic over the screens to keep the wind out. Our back door, however, opens to a fully walled room which also has an exterior door.  In all cases the airlocks keep the cold wind from blowing in to the house.  Or the cat from escaping, which is actually why we insisted on them when house hunting.





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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 08:34:08 AM »
Double thick walls - Net zero

In colder climates (Canada) its a construction technique where two sets of wall studs are used (offset) so that the insulation can be doubled. You get 12" walls and extra deep windows sills. The main benefit is it removes most of the heating/cooling cost from the house forever. A current house can be built that won't need a furnace (in Canada, we're talking cold weather), or AC in the summer (where I live the temperatures range from 40to 105 F every year). Without a forced air furnace or AC there is less dust in the house, its a weird side note that cleaning is minimized as well!

I use to work with a fellow who was a pioneer of the net zero homes, he passed away unfortunately. Being an engineer he posted all the costs of building his own house, his utlity bills and did a comparison to a conventional house built to be the same size. His build cost was under 10% more than a conventional home, in 1990! costs have become better since then, unfortunately its still difficult to find plans or contractors that can adapt building styles.

Bonus in the country, you won't need natural gas lines to be extended to the property.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 10:46:20 AM »
We like to cook and our kitchen is typical and never enough room. I would like a gourmet kitchen with a very large island. In that kitchen I would like to have a HUGE industrial refrigerator and freezer. Then off the kitchen a walk in large pantry. I would have stainless steel shelves on wheels. Then I would have a large laundry room with counter tops, sink storage cabinets. I would have a built in vacuum cleaner. Central air. One floor living. I would also have pocket door for space saving on bedroom doors.

dcheesi

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 11:19:08 AM »
I had a house with a skylight in the bathroom. It sounds silly and indulgent, until you realize that it allows you to use the bathroom without turning lights on, including when the power goes out. Plenty of natural light for morning grooming, and because it's in the ceiling, the light makes it into the shower as well. You can even pee by moonlight :) Loved that bathroom!

I love this idea!! We have  family member with this and I was always surprised out how great the light was.  What about condensation for the shower?  Does it collect up there, rather than going out the vent fan?
I never noticed a problem with that. I had relatively high vaulted ceilings; not sure if that would make a difference?

historienne

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 11:24:23 AM »

I love this idea!! We have  family member with this and I was always surprised out how great the light was.  What about condensation for the shower?  Does it collect up there, rather than going out the vent fan?
I never noticed a problem with that. I had relatively high vaulted ceilings; not sure if that would make a difference?

We used to have one, and never noticed a problem.  We took it out, however, because we put on a new metal roof and didn't trust that the skylight seal would last as long as the roof. 

The_Pretender

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 12:02:38 PM »
I spent time in a house in Italy and I thought the coolest thing there was the Pellet stove.  He had it piped to provide radiant heat throughout the house (the boiler essentially).  He cranked up the blower one night and it got really hot.  I think he went through half a bag or so of pellets.  Downside I feel of this would be that he had to buy bags of pellets like dog food and had to have a place to store them.  They also had Solar panels to help with electricity going out issues.

I would also look at MMM posts about his most recent house project he bought a couple years ago and provided reviews of all of his projects.  I liked his project using his water heat to provide radiant heat under his wood floors when needed.

I would agree with an earlier poster about understand your family needs or wants...  Is it important to have a sitting room or even a dining room?  Right now I would build a house with a nice large kitchen space with an inviting island for people to gather around and have this open up to a nice living space.  then have bedrooms on the other half of the house.  I think of the houses I enjoy spending time at... and they have this setup. 

I would say, figure out your desired layout.  try to make each square foot functional where you interact w/ the space weekly (no dead rooms). Then figure out how to make it most efficient. Insulation, heating/cooling options, and required maintenance.  Finally you can think of the cool things you could add like a Tesla roof and wall battery.


bogart

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2018, 03:28:33 PM »
I vote for solatubes over conventional skylights; we have them (the tube type) and love them.  They can also have lights inside them (ours do) and do double-duty.

Whole-house fan.  Good for taking quick advantage of a preferred temp outside, and nice for getting fresh air into the house, also.

Trekker

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2018, 03:43:34 PM »
Basically, I want to design the house in such a way to take advantage of efficient, passive heating/cooling as much as possible, while also focusing on future maintainability (being able to easily fix/update things without having to rip things out) and passively supplementing our normal consumption (food or energy).

Ted Benson Open Built

http://www.phrc.psu.edu/assets/docs/Publications/2016RBDCCPresentations/Keynote-2016-RBDCC-Benson.pdf

http://teddbenson.com/category/open-built/

http://bensonwood.com/sustainable-design/open-built/

Jrr85

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2018, 03:58:50 PM »
So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Geothermal heating/cooling maybe? 

bluebelle

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2018, 04:15:03 PM »
We like to cook and our kitchen is typical and never enough room. I would like a gourmet kitchen with a very large island. In that kitchen I would like to have a HUGE industrial refrigerator and freezer. Then off the kitchen a walk in large pantry. I would have stainless steel shelves on wheels. Then I would have a large laundry room with counter tops, sink storage cabinets. I would have a built in vacuum cleaner. Central air. One floor living. I would also have pocket door for space saving on bedroom doors.
this is what we planned on doing until we priced out the 48 or 60" stove.....I could put two 30" ranges in for a 1/3 of the price....WTF

grantmeaname

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2018, 04:35:05 PM »
So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Geothermal heating/cooling maybe?
Is there any advantage to this over an air-source heat pump?

partgypsy

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2018, 11:38:28 AM »
So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Geothermal heating/cooling maybe?
I was going to add that! Only cost effective if you are building your house, and planning to stay there a long time (big initial outlay). Many benefits to a forced air heat pump. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/geothermal-heat-pump-how-it-works
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 11:42:32 AM by partgypsy »

grantmeaname

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2018, 11:45:00 AM »
Which are?

partgypsy

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2018, 12:05:53 PM »
Which are?

No fossil fuel use. Highly efficient: you get 3-5 units of heating/cooling for every $1 unit of electricity you spend. In contrast forced air is 1 to 1 ratio. The permanent piping, should last a couple generations. No outside blowers. Can also be tied in and used to heat radiant flooring.

Biggest con is the initial outlay in costs (takes 7-8 years for payback), and whether the land is suitable for that kind of installation. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 12:08:16 PM by partgypsy »

bognish

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2018, 12:18:44 PM »
Solar water heater.

BDWW

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2018, 12:30:24 PM »
So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Geothermal heating/cooling maybe?
Is there any advantage to this over an air-source heat pump?

In London or other relatively moderate climates probably not. In colder climates air source heat pumps don't work in the depths of winter(though modern ones are getting a lot better) and aren't as efficient in really hot temps either. Ground source is much more reliable/stable.

The ground temperature doesn't change much throughout the year, it's roughly equal to year-average air temperature. Here, that means ~ 50F (10C). As long as your ground loop is sized properly, you can either put heat back into that temp in the summer, or extract heat in the winter.

The air temps are dramatically different of course. Pumping heat out into 100F(38C) air is less efficient (but generally works).  In the winter here, we often get air temps of -20F+(-29C), and even modern air source simply won't be able to extract sufficient heat from that. In addition to prevent freezing up at even moderately low temps 0F(-18C), air source generally has to run a resistant heating element on the exterior coil, adding cost.

TLDR: Ground pumps are generally better and more efficient, but much more expensive.

grantmeaname

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2018, 12:35:27 PM »
Which are?
No fossil fuel use. Highly efficient: you get 3-5 units of heating/cooling for every $1 unit of electricity you spend. In contrast forced air is 1 to 1 ratio. The permanent piping, should last a couple generations. No outside blowers. Can also be tied in and used to heat radiant flooring.

Biggest con is the initial outlay in costs (takes 7-8 years for payback), and whether the land is suitable for that kind of installation.
Doesn't a typical air source heat pump also have a CoP of 4 and run off electricity? What do your extra fixed costs for a ground source heat pump get you over an air source heat pump?

Awesomeness

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2018, 01:01:50 PM »
I think my house is mustachian.  Except for the extra cost of the quality items and wants I put in it.  Similar homes can be had for at least 40grand less but not with all the extras I put mine that make it great. 

Built in 1947, 2 bed 1 bath, 918 sq feet and a full basement. Classic small Midwest home. It was abandoned and had two feet of water in the basement the day I closed.

Completely gutted it, new sewer line and waterproofing basement system with three sump pumps. $$$

Hardwood floors last forever. Mine are 3/4 solid white pine so only need refinishing someday.

White subway tile in bathrooms, hexagon flooring, black grout, timeless and should last decades. 

Pedastel sinks, last forever. All these fit my house style well.  Chrome finish for all fixtures, all Moen with lifetime warranty.  Itís timeless and the cheapest finish you can get.

The basement floor is stained concrete, looks great, 200$ to stain 900 sq feet. Area rugs soften it all up.

Separately zone basement Hvac so it would be comfortable.  Feels the same as the upstairs.  Itís high efficiency too.   

Attic fan, love those things. Great for good weather or when you burn something. 

Solid wood cabinets, 42in so they go to the ceiling.  Picked a plain style so they wouldnít be trendy.  Painted grey now but that can easily be changed.

Did washer and dryer connections upstairs and down just in case. 

I had a contractor for all of this and he wasnít the greatest.  But there are real advantages Gutting and rebuilding. Everything is barely two years old.  Was able to do extras like lose a closet in the bedroom to make a huge walk in shower. Itís really great. Took out the wall between the living room and dining room.  Nice and open. Bumped into the second bedroom to make a pantry for the kitchen.

I just finished putting 10 grand into my basement to make it an apartment.  Already had W/D connections, hvac was zoned separately, had a bar already but turned that into a kitchen area.  Added an egress window so now Iím officially a 3 bedroom.  Put a door upstairs to create privacy.  I go through the front door and they enter in the back.  Itís really an awesome place, Iíd live in it and rent my upstairs if I needed.  I get 800$ a month. So it costs me about 400 a month to live here. Badass right!

In total spent about 175. Itís worth 145 ish and I owe 130. Ouch but that basement income will make up for it.

You can do your research and pick the best things but itís true that quality isnít what it used to be. Just repaired my 400$ American Standard toilet, did it myself so that was cool.  But thatís ridiculous that a seal wore out that fast. My AC compressor crapped out, warranty covered that. Stove got a new burner, not under warranty.  Fridge repaired under warranty once but now itís starting to rattle sometimes, thatís horrible when your house is small and the sofa is 7 feet away. 


A one level 3/2 home can be nicely done for 1500sq feet.  Go bigger than that and you can add a fourth bedroom or formal dining area.  Personally Iíve owned 6 homes and three were 1600 sq feet. Pretty much a perfect size you live your whole life in, starter to empty nester. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 02:52:28 PM by Awesomeness »

Awesomeness

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2018, 01:11:20 PM »
Wait a minute here, are you saying the other houses in town are too cheap for you? What makes you think you need a house in the 175-250k price range? Please tell me that all the other houses are actually more expensive than this. Building a brand new house is almost never more cost effective than buying an existing one. You also don't want to have the most expensive house in your neighborhood when you try to sell.

So true.  I always get the cheapest house you can get in the nicest neighborhood.  Iíve owned 6 homes. Two new, one built in 1800. One in 1947 that I fully gutted.  Two 60ís ranches.  But far the best value for the money was the two older ranches.

Builing new is a premium price for something thatís just neat and clean. After time it needs the same maintenance as everything else and you just paid more to get there.

Gutting and rebuilding and the budget is out the window from unknown issues or the ďgood ideas you have because this is the best time to do themĒ. 

Hunt for a good deal that needs cosmetic fixes in the best location possible.  Thatís the best value for your money. 


Rocketman

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2018, 04:32:34 PM »
Small thing but get 36Ē interior doors and wide halls. This is to 1. Help move stuff, 2. If anyone needs a wheelchair it will fit with no problems - if you live your whole life in a place odds are really high someone, sometime will need a wheelchair ( even if itís just for 2 months or so)

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2018, 06:27:47 PM »
As someone already mentioned - thicker exterior walls. Used to be 2x4 was common.  Now it is common to see 2x6 exteriors, I'd go with at least 2x8 exteriors minimum along with the passive solar heat design element considerations others mentioned.  Strike the balance between natural light in your home and too much heat in the summer (maybe infrared rejection films/coatings for all windows).

Grey water collection system for flushing toilets or maybe irrigation.

Very low water use plumbing fixtures.  I don't think the water recycling fixtures are reasonably priced yet (you can get a shower that uses only about 5 gallons of water no matter how long your shower is because it constantly filters and reheats the water at the shower only draining when you completely finish the shower, but I believe the price is too high still and you have to import it from Europe).  Check to see what they are doing in California to deal with droughts and implement some of those water saving ideas into your new home.

So we're thinking about moving very close to my work... Current drive is 31 miles each way.. I know I know.  The place we'd move to is a relatively rural small community with not a ton of houses available, especially in the 175-250K range where we'd likely be.  So we've thought about building a house, trying our best to keep it reasonable 3/2 + a nice garage for tinkering.

My real question is, what type of mustachian things would you put in a new house.. assuming you had a clean slate.  I'm thinking like Tesla solar roof, attic fan, high efficiency AC, on demand water heater... Perhaps wood burning fireplace for ambiance that also adds heat in the winter.  Just want to kick ideas around!! What do ya'll think?! 

Ps. If the move happens I'm total getting an E-Bike!

Geothermal heating/cooling maybe?

If they get the 1acre they are looking for, should be able to do it without overspending.  They can lay out the geothermal pipes in a big horizontal field format.

If they were on the more typical 1/5 to 1/8 acre in a subdivision it would be ridiculously expensive.  Basically like hiring someone to drill a really really deep well for a vertical layout.  Probably rarely ever cost effective to do this type.

If on a rural 1 acre plot, do you have to put the solar on your roof?  I'd imagine it would be easier to do a self install in the yard with a rotator motor for ultimate solar efficiency vs being stuck with a single, potentially suboptimal, roof angle.  Much easier to clean those panels on occasion at ground level too.

Poundwise

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2018, 08:21:05 PM »
Laundry room with a clothesline by a door or window so one could just load the line directly from the washing machine.

+1 on easy bike access.

Lots of south windows so herbs and veggies could be grown indoors; in fact a bit of a greenhouse/solarium would be aces in the winter!

Super-efficient soapstone stove, instead of a wasteful fireplace.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2018, 02:23:05 AM »
Angle your house to the sun, with large double glazed windows. Plant deciduous trees in front of the windows, which will shade the house in summer and let the sun in in the winter. Make them fruit trees, and you get double the benefit.

Maybe a gas continuous flow hot water system, so you're only heating what you need. It will also save space over a hot water cylinder.

A clothesline! And perhaps a large covered outdoor area that can be used to hang washing and also be an outdoor room.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2018, 08:09:45 AM »
Angle your house to the sun, with large double glazed windows. Plant deciduous trees in front of the windows, which will shade the house in summer and let the sun in in the winter. Make them fruit trees, and you get double the benefit.

Maybe a gas continuous flow hot water system, so you're only heating what you need. It will also save space over a hot water cylinder.

A clothesline! And perhaps a large covered outdoor area that can be used to hang washing and also be an outdoor room.

Fruit trees can be tough to maintain pre-fire.  They take a lot of maintenance and upkeep or else youíll attract vermin.

LaineyAZ

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2018, 08:29:58 AM »
More of a design suggestion, but how about:
  • A big awning over the main entry, or a large front porch? I see so many homes where main door has no protection from the weather and visitors are standing on a tiny cement step in the rain or wind.

    A nice curved walkway is also welcoming and gives the house more curb appeal, as they say.
       
    I think front porches are neighborhood-friendly, as in you can see who is coming and going, maybe chat with passers-by, get to know the locals and their kids, etc.  Adds to the overall safety and friendliness of the community.
    Not technically Mustachian-related but an intangible benefit.
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HipGnosis

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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2018, 08:53:14 AM »
Room.
Throughout the house and garage.
Room for stockpiling non-perishables in bulk and/or on sale.   Room for at least one freezer.
Room for kitchen and household appliances and tools and maintenance supplies so you can do things vs paying someone else to do them.
Room for auto, house, yard maintenance tools and supplies.


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Re: What Mustachian things would you put in a new house if you built??
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2018, 10:17:25 AM »
Angle your house to the sun, with large double glazed windows. Plant deciduous trees in front of the windows, which will shade the house in summer and let the sun in in the winter. Make them fruit trees, and you get double the benefit.

Maybe a gas continuous flow hot water system, so you're only heating what you need. It will also save space over a hot water cylinder.

A clothesline! And perhaps a large covered outdoor area that can be used to hang washing and also be an outdoor room.

Fruit trees can be tough to maintain pre-fire.  They take a lot of maintenance and upkeep or else youíll attract vermin.

Then again, if you plan fruit trees now - most will take a few years to start producing fruits, so it might just work out.

Design Ideas for me would include:
- Work with a designer and builder to achieve Passive House certification (orientation, insulation, glazing, energy use/production etc.)
- Wood stove with gas backup, because chopping wood is fun on a Saturday, and a good work out.
- Mother in-law suite with ADA compatible bathroom and bedroom on the 1st floor (airbnb, rental, parents as they age, eventually us as we age, etc.)
- Storage space for valuables and personal items so I could use primary space as a rental while traveling for long periods of time
- Garden & greenhouse space
- Large enough pantry for canning / storage of bulk food purchases
- Covered outdoor space that is suitable for sleeping