“The energy rater gave a solid ‘wow’ to the results of the blower door test!”

Steve and Peggy recently completed their 2464 s.f. sun-inspired home, Chapel Ridge.  They were very pleased with the process of Creating-A-SunPlan.

“We consider you a friend and it was such a great experience working with you as our architect – you were so patient trying to understand what I wanted and working with me and Steve to get the design we have now,” said Peggy in a recent email to our architect.

The homeowners were equally pleased with their builders, Kevin Murphy and Vernon Little, Anchorage Builders, NC. Vernon also enjoyed the process,

“It has been a rewarding project full of great stories and should be a wonderful, comfortable and energy efficient home for them….The energy rater gave a solid ‘wow’ to the results of the blower door test!”

(Sun Plans recommends blower door testing during and after construction as the primary method of verifying the tightness of a home in order to keep in the heat in winter and keep out the heat and humidity in summer. Air infiltration alone accounts for a much larger part of the heat gain and heat loss than most people realize. Energy transferred through cracks can even be higher than the amount of heat lost or gain through the insulation.  Energy Star certification requires blower door testing.)

Vernon also gave us a rundown of the house built in IECC 2006 Climate Zone 4: (See more about climate zones further in the email.  Recommendations may vary for other climate zones, different plans and for other type of auxilliary heating equipment.)

“The basics: Raised slab foundation. R10 insulation underslab and R7 at slab edge. Radiant floor heat – 4 zone. 2×6 walls, Spray foam insulation – full envelope, 16 seer heat pumps, variable speed, fresh air, extra returns, solar hot water and hot water circulation loop, traditional hardcoat stucco siding, Marvin casements w/ integral alum cladding, stone veneer foundation, quoins, 6″ rain gutters (piped to cistern to feed irrigation) pre-plumbed for PV on garage, stone porches, patio, and front walk, true timber frame interior and porch details, cherry trim and int. doors, tile and Ash flooring throughout, custom ash, walnut, and cherry stair case, custom built-ins, granite tops, (future) hickory mantle from site milled tree. No or low voc paints and locally made finish for exposed wood work. (Earthpaint)”

An excerpt from the architect:
After finally finding a subdivision that allowed them to build a home less than 2500 s.f., Peggy and Steve (retired) drove across several states to meet with me in our office to start the design process.  (This is not necessary with our internet-based process, but an option for those who prefer to do so.) After spending hours reviewing all their requirements (both in the questionnaire that they had previously sent in and hearing more about the details) and looking at photos of homes they like, Peggy hesitantly pulled out a photo of a home with a charming cottage-like character and told me something along the lines of “this is the style that I really like but I guess I can’t have that look and have a passive solar home”.  It had never dawned on me that the homes found on our web site might limit the ideas that others believe could be incorporated into their own home.  Needless to say, it was a major turning point in the project.
Read more reviews from Sun Plans’ Create-A-SunPlan clients