Friday, December 27, 2013

HERs score is in....and?

Well finally got the paperwork back.  And it looks pretty good.  It received a 5 star + certification (the + means it went far beyond requirements, roughly 40% actually) for Energy Star certification.
And the HERs score?  Well, we got a 37.  Benchmark house for energy star was 58.  We needed to be 5% better than that to qualify for the big rebates.  I'd say we hit that.  Benchmark new homes are typically 100. 

All in all, the ratings for the house have been very good, and I am happy.  My goals were quite extreme, and possibly unrealistic, but we managed to put together a very efficient home.  Factor in the rebates and it did not cost nearly anything more than if we would have built code minimum. 

Small Christmas update

It has quieted down some around here for building.  It gave us time to put up Shannon's new 12' tree we got last year on sale.  It did not take nearly as long to set up as I thought it would, only a few hours.  I also managed to put lights around the roof line as well.  First time I ever put up lights. 

Here is a little Christmas picture.  One of our dogs is posing looking like an innocent little guy.  But everyone knows that is not true.

Some more updates since the last as well.  We finally got the light installed in the dining room.  Its an interesting statement piece, but we really like it. 

You can see the snow outside.  It has been pretty cold recently, getting mid teens as the daytime highs.  However on a sunny day the windows manage to warm the house up to about 70-72, with the thermostat set point at 67.
The bench here is an old piano bench I salvaged from my parents barn, laying there to die.  I sanded, fixed, re-lacquered and re-upholstered the bench to bring it back to life. know me, I can not NOT be doing something.  There are still odds and ends things to do inside, mainly minor trim work and some window sealing, but that is not any fun.  So why not spend my days off around the holidays by starting the basement man cave/movie room. 
The end wall you can see I framed a wall (2' oc).  I did this because it is easier to mount things and run power and wiring than ICF (see below picture).  This wall will have the screen for the projector, speaker jacks in the wall, and all of the power and data required for the equipment. 
I am installing wall sconces on either side of the viewing space as it creates better ambient lighting that will not distract from a projector like overhead lights can.  The 2 cans in that area are switched separate from the rest of the room and are on dimmers.

This is the location of the wet bar and kitchenette.  We designed about a 12' length of cabinets that will house a wine bar/fridge/station as the left end, counter and sink in the center with glasses and bottles above, and then a place for a full size fridge at the right end.  I will most likely end up building these cabinets since they are custom, but have not ruled out Ikea for the job either.  Since they are custom, if we went the Ikea route it would be a hack job to the extreme. 

 As mentioned running power in ICF can be messy, but its really not that hard at all. 

Since most of the basement will remain un finished, and this room happens to split the electrical panel and the rest of the basement, I installed a 1 1/2" conduit in the ceiling to easily feed the remaining wires (2 bedrooms and a bathroom) above the ceiling since it will be drywalled when the time comes.