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Christina_Saj_The-Protector

“The Protector”, by artist Christina Saj illustrates how the invisible forces of nature protect man-kind much like the sun protects from darkness and cold.

This Winter Solstice and Holiday Season Sun Plans hopes that as you contemplate how you let God into your heart, you also consider how to let the sun’s light and heat into your home.

Sun Plans can assist with sun-inspiring a new home or an existing house.

This Winter Solstice E-newsletter includes:

  • Featured home, the Prairie Dog 2 – Sun Plans meets the factory
  • Custom Services from Sun Plans –  Many ways that Sun Plans can help
  • Sun Plans interviewed by Mother Earth News! – Read the article
  • Introduction of new house plans – See four new designs
  • Prices roll-back to those of 2008 – More savings to you
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PD-panelized-masonry wood stove
In October, a modular version of the Prairie Dog 2 was set on the land and two months later the home owners moved in! 

If there is a modular company within 500 miles of your land , then consider the time and cost savings (estimated to be around 10%) of partial construction in a plant or factory.  Any SunPlan can take advantage of this.   Why not send a PDF version of a SunPlans Review Set for pricing from a modular company along with submitting one to your local builder. Perhaps they can jointly build your home for the best of both worlds.

All American Homes that serves the mid-west to the northeast constructed this home in Indiana by using the design and copyright release purchased from Sun Plans.  They modified the design to fit their personal construction methods and made a few other changes for the client at the same time such as adding a large masonry wood stove to replace some of the floor mass to store the sun’s heat.  The home was finished on-site by Easy Living Homes in Indiana and we thank them for sharing photos.  Read more about the Prairie Dog 2.

(As with all SunPlans, it is still recommended to hire a third party home energy rater to assure that proper attention is given to the energy detailing during construction as is found in our plans and specs, and then tested to prove the homes performance. Sun Plans’ clients find that the best builders actually encourage this third party verification.)

DRC_2010 2While Sun Plans does sell pre-designed house plans, most are surprised to learn that plan sales are a very small part of the business. While it is only practical to look at existing designs when  the process of building a custom home is begun – especially when you are gathering ideas – most future home owners will NOT find a pre-designed house plan that works for them. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you are in the majority?

The same discriminating tastes that go into deciding to build a custom home are carried into the design process.  When a family is building the home where they plan to spend the rest of their lives, and is investing a substantial sum of money along the way, why settle for a design created for someone else? While it is normal for people to start with a house design that is close to what they want, there is a pattern toward more and more customization of a design, or great changes in the Adapt-A-SunPlan process.

Aren’t sure which consulting path to take – Create-A-SunPlan or Adapt-A-SunPlan?  With only a $100 difference between the first stages of either one, if you have any doubts about which one to select, please choose Create-A-SunPlan where you can’t go wrong for a starting point. The Sun Plans’ architect explains:

“When you start with Create-A-SunPlan, I look at your completed questionnaire (basically your wish list) in detail without the prejudices that come with an existing design which often has more spaces (and therefore higher costs) that you might need.  Since we have so many plans now, after I have completed the initial review, I find that more and more often I end up recommending that we modify or use parts of another design. This equates to time and design cost savings to you, not to mention the substantial construction cost-savings and the long term energy savings that come with every sun-inspired home design. I hope that you, as have others, will trust that I have your best interests in mind when making home design recommendations.  (Did you know that architects are bound by a code of ethics that requires that we put the client first?)”

Visit Custom Services to hear how Sun Plans can help with new and existing homes.

PD3 3

Mother Earth News recently interviewed our architect, Debra Coleman, and wrote an article detailing what designing a passive solar home is all about.

Read the article

The following newly added house plans reflect common trends in both initial construction cost savings and long term energy cost savings as clients ask us to customize homes for them in which they can comfortably spend the rest of their lives. Building down instead of up, increasing exterior wall thickness, tucking the garage into the basement and including all of the main spaces that our client’s family will use daily on one level – or right-sizing the home for their needs. They also feature right-sized porches with a craftsman style exterior, but the sky is the limit when adapting one for you. These plans all happen to be north-facing.

Conservation Showhome

First Floor 1544 s.f.

Daylight Basement (Finished) 1236 s.f.

Basement (Unfinished) 284 s.f.

Porches 387 s.f.

Detached Carport 384 s.f.

Width 68′, Depth 39′

10% South Glass

 

Nature’s Corner

First Floor 1960 s.f.

Daylight Basement  Finished 1027 s.f.

Porches 498 s.f.

Basement Garage/Shop 905 s.f.

Width 64’, Depth 46’

8% South Glass

 

Aurora Lights

First Floor 2448 s.f.

Porches 480 s.f.

Finished Daylight Basement 1278 s.f.

Basement Garage / Workshop 960 s.f.

Width 80’, Depth 48’

10% South Glass

 

Apple Energy

 

First Floor 2496 s.f.

Porches 288 s.f.

Garage 960 s.f.

Attic/Bonus 816 s.f.

Width 80’, Depth 76’

9% South Glass

We admit that we had raised prices early this year to offset the high costs of our web site re-design, but this may have been poor timing. With everyone else in the housing industry lowering prices, it only makes sense that Sun Plans should also follow.

We have found that a little restraint is healthy and causes us to be creative. At the office and at home, we are finding ways to make up for the loss income with strategies such as adjusting our thermostat’s programmable settings, hanging clothes out to dry on sunny days, cooking from scratch more often than not and going paperless as much as possible.

And more so than ever, we really appreciate your business!

I hope that you enjoy spending time in the sun with your family during this holiday Debbie & sonseason.  If you get some free time indoors, you might enjoy reading my comments on current trends in house design

I look forward to assisting you and your family with your sun-inspired home design!

Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas and All the Best in the New Year!

Sun Plans Inc.
Debra Coleman, Architect, AIA & the Sun Plans’ Team
251-341-0509
www.sunplans.com
Sun-Inspired Design: the gold lining of green building

Watch for a solar tour near you!

Most tours sponsored by the American Solar Energy Association (ASES) feature active solar (hot water and photovoltaic electric panels).  The majority of Sun Plans home owners intend to on add one or more forms of active solar onto their home either during initial construction or at a later date. In any case, why not take a look at what others have done!  Some tours also feature examples of green design and passive solar.

One Sun Plans’ client has recently shared with us that they are showing a modified version of their Prairie Dog 3 home on one of the tours near Wooster, OH. (Sun Plans clients, if you are showing a Sun Plan, please let us know.  We will add it to our News Section.

Click here to find a tour near you!

Visit one of the solar tours through ASES and receive a 25% credit off of any home design on the Sun Plans list (Study Plans, Review Sets, Construction Prints, or CAD Files) or Consulting.

(Canadian friends: visit a similar type of tour near you then tell us about it!)

This special lasts for the entire month of October!

How to apply for this Special:
First, go on a tour.  Second, purchase your product or service through the Sun Plans On-line store. Third, reply to the email you will immediately receive after purchase and let us know which tour you went on.  We will then issue a 25% credit to your charge card.

Click here to view our Specials

This response from our last newsletter got our attention:

“You all are missing the point.  The people who need and want passive solar want 900 to 1500 square feet!  Smaller is better.”

While all insight is valuable (keep the comments coming), and as our book points out on page 5:

“Homeowners minimize their impact on the earth by: Building Small” (that’s our number one item on the list!), we realized that we could do a better job of explaing the origination of the house designs on our web site.  Did you know that the house plans on the website began as a custom design for a real family? While do have plans as small as 1176 s.f. (not counting daylight basements), and two story homes with footprints as small as 945 s.f., the truth is that most of our clients ask for larger homes. While do try to right-size the home to their requirements and suggests ways to save on square footage, often it is simply not desired by the home owner who is our client. If you would like a small home, we would absolutely LOVE to work with you through our Create-A-SunPlan services!

Don’t have the time or patience for a custom design? Through Adapt-A-SunPlans we can adapt  a design for you and your climate, or even with Select-A-SunPlan, the Custom Energy Specs that are part of our services make any recommended changes for your climate.

Wednesday, September 22 marks the autumnal equinox when the sun passes directly over the equator, creating equal lengths of day and night. Now is the time to enjoy the last rays of warmth from the sun! But as daylight hours decrease, the amount of sun entering south windows increases, ensuring that sun-inspired homes stay warm and comfortable through the winter months as is shown in the shade line mid-way down the back, south windows of this Prairie Dog 3.

This Fall Equinox E-newsletter includes:

  • Updates to popular Sun Plans
  • Featured home, the Sunny Dreams
  • Services provided with construction orders
  • Introduction of new house plans
  • Recently asked questions
  • A new Special from Sun Plans!

When Construction Prints or CAD Files are purchased, if they are over a year old, often minor updates are performed to meet the Sun Plans current in-house checklist.  Occasionally, we make even more substantial updates especially if the design is more than five years old. We believe that we are the only house plan company that performs these services. We also try to keep the website up-to-date with the newest photos and comments from our clients, so that you may see what they have to say about their own sun-inspired homes!

Sun Plans continuously strives to provide our clients the most up-to-date house plans and service – in addition to the energy-efficiency and passive solar design.

Thank you to Mark and Valerie, and Ruth and Doug for sending us the photos.

It’s only 16 square feet larger than the subdivision minimum, but the Sunny Dream contains everything that the home owners desire.  With an Energy Star HER’s (Home Energy Rating) of 52, the home is projected to use 52% of the energy of another new home of the same size built to energy code minimums.

This performance is typical for most Sun Plans where the home owners follow our Custom Energy Recommendations AND have field verification by a third party Home Energy Rater, not the builder. This is a requirement for Energy Star home certification.

The passive solar design, along with attention to insulation and HVAC design, provide these savings. Some home owners desire to reduce the purchased energy even further by adding active solar – hot water or photovoltaic panels on the roof.

Click here to view the Sunny Dreams plan.

Sun Plans” Construction Prints and CAD Files come standard with services that are hard to find from other house plan firms selling pre-designed plans. Services include:

  • Custom Energy Specs, prepared by our architect and tailored to your climate.
  • Technical support and consulting from our architect, who knows each plan intimately.
  • For CAD files, consulting with the home owner or their design professional on the energy, structural and design implications of your proposed changes

Want Sun Plans to create or adapt a Sun Plan just for you?  See our web site for more about Create-A-SunPlan or Adapt-A-SunPlan. Our architect strives  to give each client the best service possible to have them in their passive solar dream home.

Click to learn more about Construction Prints and CAD Files.

Mountain View 3

First Floor 2048 s.f.

Porches 206 s.f.

Garage 688 s.f.

Width 62’

10% South Glass
Prince Charming

First Floor 1954 s.f.

Unfinished Basement 1740 s.f.

Porches 880 s.f.

Garage 842 s.f.

Width 74’

10% South Glass
Roseburg Cottage 8

First Floor 1427 s.f.

Second Floor 1034 s.f.

Total 2461 s.f.

Daylight Basement 1427 s.f.

Garage 576 s.f.

Porches & Balcony 268 s.f.

Width 66’

9% South Glass

Sunny Dreams

First Floor 1588 s.f.

Second Floor 1028 s.f.

Total 2616 s.f.

Daylight Basement 1305 s.f.

Garage  816 s.f.

Porches, Decks & Balconies 567 s.f.

Width 64’

9% South Glass

 

Mountain View 3
Mountain_View_3_overview-photoFirst Floor 2048 s.f.

Porches 206 s.f.

Garage 688 s.f.

Width 62’

10% South Glass

 

Prince Charming

Prince_Charming_overview-photoFirst Floor 1954 s.f.

Unfinished Basement 1740 s.f.

Porches 880 s.f.

Garage 842 s.f.

Width 74’

10% South Glass

 

Roseburg Cottage 8

Roseburg_Cottage_8_overview-photoFirst Floor 1427 s.f.

Second Floor 1034 s.f.

Total 2461 s.f.

Daylight Basement 1427 s.f.

Garage 576 s.f.

Porches & Balcony 268 s.f.

Width 66’

9% South Glass

Sunny Dreams

Sunny_Dreams_overview-photoFirst Floor 1588 s.f.

Second Floor 1028 s.f.

Total 2616 s.f.

Daylight Basement 1305 s.f.

Garage  816 s.f.

Porches, Decks & Balconies 567 s.f.

Width 64’

9% South Glass