russ wrote: »
Homes where earth covers most except for the front side are a good bet - low energy users.
I have a maids house like that but with the top & front open to the air. Am now building a greenhouse on top.
These homes are really tight - not much in the way of air leaks for sure.
Ventilation & insulation is important - the contractor screwed up and we ended up with constant condensation on the ceiling due to improper installation or lack of insulation.
We are now installing a HRV unit in a central position to take moist air from the kitchen and the incoming preheated/cooled dry air will go to the bedroom.
The walls and floor all have external insulation. We are now are placing external insulation on the roof covered with a layer of concrete maybe 75mm thick.
The architect/contractor has some funny ideas about insulation. Now we do it my way. Since we are paying the bills at least I can blame myself if we have to rework something.
There you have insulated concrete forms available - they sound easy and good.
Here we use 50mm of Dow XPS foam on the exterior.
BB. wrote: »
$500/$15,000 worth of taxes = 3.3% tax rate... That does not sound too high (if total taxes)..
In California, we have a ~1-1.5% tax rate (of course, a similar property in a suburban area would probably sell for >$1,000,000....