Metal building for residences
I am looking for suggestions to guide my choice of the most appropriate type of green building choices for my area and my life stage. I currently own a home that we built ourselves 26 years ago. When I say “built ourselves” I mean we modified an existing house plan to meet our needs/budget and acted as our own contractor even though we did not have a contractors license. We owned our own land and I was able to put together an application with enough equity position that the bank allowed us to do that. We contracted out the foundation work, framing, electrical and plumbing but acted as the labor for as much as possible. My husband at the time was a paint sub-contractor himself and he knew people in the trades so we were able to do this and he was able to quit working to build our house while I continued to work.
My husband died in 1998 and I want to sell this house and move to some land that we have in a more rural area in an adjoining county. I have been exploring all kinds of alternatives including cob, earth bag, Quonset hut, A frame, morton buildings, etc.
My intention is to try and build as economically as possible and as energy efficiently as possible. My son is in the construction trades as a sub contractor and will be able to assist me with some labor. He currently lives in a 400 sq ft tiny house that he built on his property out of timbers he got off his land (cedar poles), salvaged materials, etc. He plans to build his own home a little at a time and this shack keeps him from paying rent or mortgage payments.
While I would love a funky earth bag or cob structure, I have pretty much rejected this as a option for me because while I can still work pretty hard for a 62 year old I don’t think that I can hack those building techniques at this stage in my life. So….I am looking at some kind of prefab metal structure. I don’t have enough understanding of the pro’s and con’s, the insulation issues, types of materials, energy efficiency measures, quonset hut or A frame or regular square construction?.
My building would be in a rural area in the Florida panhandle, Zone 8a, sandy loam soils, fairly level topography, about 40 miles from the gulf (so hurricane impacts can still be felt in the form of wind damages, but no storm surge stuff) not in a flood plain. Will have private well as water source. Biggest energy concern would be hot summers. Considering composting toilets and water conservation measures like grey water usage and rainwater collection from metal roof.
I am retired on a fixed income. Selling my current homestead will be key to be able to build on the other property. I just would like to have a plan in place as to what kind of structure would be the best way to go.
Any suggestions as to consulting experts (and costs of such), structures, problems with metal construction in hot, humid climates, would be sincerely appreciated!
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