Building my own home in North Dakota
Hello, I’ve been lurking on this website for a few months and have found the information to be invaluable. I live in central North Dakota (technically Zone 7 and about ~9500 HDD) and am currently building my own house. My family and I plan on living here for many decades, so I’m very focused on building an efficient and comfortable home. I am also trying to keep a reasonable budget and simple design. The house will be split entry (lower level is half underground and half above ground) with approximately 1200sq ft. per level. The foundation has already been poured using ICFs. Basement slab will be poured in the next few months. We are heating using a condensing natural gas water heater which we will use for in-slab PEX and also stapled up PEX for upper floor. The roof will used a raised-heel truss and I’m planning for at least 18″ of blown cellulose for approximately R-60.
What I’m struggling with right now is wall construction. I’m leaning toward a REMOTE system, using either EPS or XPS. I can get EPS at almost 1/3 cost of XPS from local Menards store. I’ve done the calculations and I need approximately 2/3 of my wall insulation on out outside to keep sheathing dry. If I go with this system, do you think 2 layers of 2″ foam would be a good setup with r-11 fiberglass in the walls? I’ve found plenty of information about window details for thick walls, but details for doors seems to be more elusive. What options do I have for framing/finishing a door for a thick wall? Haven’t decided on windows yet. I will have approximately 70 square feet of south facing windows and 30 square feet of north facing windows, so it’s not alot, but I’m leaning toward a quality Canadian fiberglass window (Duxton or Accurate Dorwin look nice so far.)
I’m not trying to be a trendsetter, but from my research in this area, there are virtually no builders who are using building science in regards to green building and super insulation. Since I am providing almost 100% of the labor for this project, I want to take the time to get as many details right as possible. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! If you have any questions or need more specifics, please let me know.