Well, it finally happened. My new house plans were approved by the local Hysterical Preservation Commission this week. Of course, there were a few hitches. I specified standing-seam metal roofing on the entire house and garage to allow for rainwater harvesting, but the commission and the neighbors pitched a fit about this particular finish selection. It seems that a nearby house recently was approved for, and installed, a corrugated galvanized roof on the front porch, which created quite a stir in the neighborhood, provoking a backlash against anything metal.
It seems that the powers-that-be would most prefer that I install fiberglass shingles on the house. However, they have seen fit to allow me to install flat-seam metal on the porches, as well as an alternative type of roof on the main sections—provided it looks like shingles rather than sheet metal.
I suppose I should be thankful that they aren’t requiring me to install fiberglass shingles — about the least sustainable product available — but somehow I can’t get that excited about being required to use flat seam, a practically obsolete, complicated, and expensive system. For the shingles, I will need to explore options such as metal, slate, concrete, and various plastics, all of which will likely be more expensive than that most vile of finishes — standing seam.
Onward and upward
Enough of my whining about the negatives. I have been approved to build a house that pretty much fits my needs, so it’s time to start selecting finishes and equipment, going through the permit process, and getting my financing in order. If all goes well, I expect to get started in December or January with regular posts on my progress.
I may avoid using spray and rigid foam insulation, and instead use a product like Owens Corning EnergyComplete, a flexible gasket combined with blown-in fiberglass, along with rigid mineral wool such as Roxul on the exterior as a thermal break. I am also considering a high-performance mini-split HVAC combined with a central dehumidifier, rather than a traditional ducted central system.
I’m looking forward to pushing the envelope a little and indulging my short attention span by trying new products and systems in this project. Stay tuned; I’m sure the ride will be interesting.