Eventually, if we are lucky, we all grow old. I designed and built this home for my aging father. My dad adopted me when I was two. He was the hardest working, most selfless man I have ever known. His whole life he fantasized about retiring to a cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, health issues cut his career and his dreams short. I had to rescue him, but our budget was tight. To keep him close, I found a prime spot on our family farm.
I had to evict the pigs from their pen! The pen dictated the building size, as I chose not to remove trees to build the house. I minimized the foundation to protect the palms and maintain drainage. The structure was cantilevered beyond the foundation to keep it light in its location and to allow for the program without removing trees. The rear is set to the west, overlooking an adjacent wetland, where he can watch the birds and the deer with nightly sunsets as the back drop.
The design is intended to be incredibly cost efficient, durable, comfortable, low maintenance, fitting for its environment and my dad’s love of cabins, and considerate of his unique health issues. The shape is a reflection of standard material sizes, resulting in a waste factor of less than 1%. We filled only a 10-yard dumpster in its construction. The cladding wraps the walls and the roof to break the perceived length of the structure and minimize maintenance, with the corrugation matching our 70-year old barn.
Yellow Pine, run cohesively through and up the ends of the structure to stretch the perception of space and create visual interest at every moment in the home. White interior dividing walls were intended to be lost visually, while reflecting light. The kitchen is full sized, with a hidden pantry, flush microwave, and no uppers. The IKEA cabinets feature all full extension drawers for easy access, and saved my wallet. I used every inch of space.
The bathroom is oversized with a walk-in shower, made to fit my dad’s needs. The HVAC was custom designed and built by Carrier. It is the smallest variable speed, split-system in the US, to help maximize indoor air quality and comfort control. Scraps, small lots, and left overs make up the majority of finishes. This home is proof that we can provide better design, better construction, better care, and a better life for our aging loved ones; even on a budget. My dad’s health has improved drastically since he moved in. He loves his home. He’s out tending to the chickens right now.
Material Used :
- Energy Star rated roof, appliances, ventilation
- 89% of all waste recycled
- Manual D and Manual S duct design was smoke and blower door tested
- 90% of materials locally sourced
- Minimal site impacts
- High impact rated glass, insulated, LOW E coated, argon filled, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of 0.22
- All no-VOC interior finishes
- High efficiency air filtration
- Accessible design specifically designed for client needs
- Designed entirely in response to the site attributes, future development concerns, client program and EnergyStar/LEED requirements
- Landscape design is entirely existing
- Passive lighting and passive ventilation
- Case work and doors made from recycled materials.
- Most finishes are left overs or small lots.