Time-efficient source of information on how to build a good house?
Hello. We are about to build our house an hour west of Nashville (Zone 4a) Mixed-Humid and I need a fast track curriculum to learn how to build a good house.
I drew up a plan, 1250 sq ft ranch (115 SQ mt), and since I am self performing everything, I was trying to decide between slab and crawl space, I came across this site. This fixed me on a monolithic slab and also prompted me to read close to a 100 hours on Building Science, Passive House, Net Zero, etc..
I have bought the land, cleared a building area, installed a septic, brought in temp power and water, and set our camper to live in while we build.
I was all ready to get my building permit, when this fire hydrant of information caused me to stop all progress until I am educated sufficiently to avoid huge regrets.
I need a short curriculum, one book would be ideal, but several would be fine if needed. I am looking at your being my education counselors to help me put together a smart and time efficient curriculum building my home.
My skills are pretty good, but slow. I have built two other standard construction houses in my life. On the other two, I did 90% of the work. I will do 100% on this house including the septic we recently installed.
I don’t need convincing of the wisdom of building an efficient house, I am convinced. I do need help in design decisions and practices and details on how to make the assembly.
Concepts that come to my mind that I need to answer:
How to build in Zone: 4a.
How far to go… all the way to passive standards?
Details on construction assembly and better/best practices on how to achieve it.
Budget solutions. Eg.. I would rather use OSB instead if ZIP if it saves me several hundred dollars, but costs me a few days more labor.
How to design the house and systems without hiring experts.
Some routes I have considered:
Building Science Corporation Mixed-Humid Guide, but it is dated 2005.
Dept of Energy guide on Mixed-Humid is dated 2011 and BSC helped put it together. Is it the same info as the BSC guide?
I tried google and Amazon for reviews of books came across books like Passive House Details, The New Net Zero, or Pasivhaus Bauteilkatalog; However, I have found no mention of these books on GBA. I think if a book is the cat’s meow, why hasn’t it been mentioned on GBA? Then I considered getting a paid membership at GBA but I don’t want to distill a thousand articles to find the information that someone else has distilled and packaged already.
Thank you for your counsel.
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part