Designing a retirement home for my parents
I’ve been working on designing an unconventional home for my parents to retire in. I have 1.4 acres just outside Sedona, AZ with a mild SW slope. The goal is to build the house I want to retire in once it’s my turn, and get my parents out of the single-wide in the process. Ultimately I’ll need to settle on an architect to polish up these plans, but I’m enjoying the process for now and am fairly decided on what I’m looking for.
At this point I’m looking for any feedback that can help me improve the design. I have a penchant for disquisition so I apologize for the length of this post in advance.
I’m an insurance adjuster and I’m trying to apply that experience to the design and reduce the chances and extent of loss. The kitchen and bathrooms are all adjacent to an access hallway where all the copper pipes can be easily inspected, outside of that room the plumbing will also be mostly exposed. The floors of these rooms are at slightly lower levels and a foundation french drain perimeters the entire water-space. Exposed spiral duct running along the spine of the building with air handler in the utility room. The plan is to run electrical in exposed copper conduit, this is largely for personal preference as is a struggle to keep it from looking steam-pukey.
This time I did some research on fenestrations and room quality and am liking the direction it’s taken.
The exterior walls are rammed earth with hot rolled steel panel and steel stud interior walls. Concrete roofing covers the wings with the exception of the hallways. Ribbed steel roofing over the great room is at a 2/12 pitch, the room narrows by 45 degrees from N to South. The hallway roofs and the soffit over the entry are copper roofing, as they’re the only visible slopes from the front I’m trying to give the impression of a whole copper roof.
The N/S rammed earth walls have small extensions to the S with a light outward lean (~7 degrees). The windows are lined up so that from most of the living/dining room you catch the leaned wall off the master bedroom and the entry. The entry walls are sloped up, angled in, and leaning out slightly and together they make it look like it’s jutting out when viewed from the W.
The hallways face S and SW with lots of glass to let light in during the winter. I’m hoping the light hits the steel wall inside the hall and retains the heat inside the envelope, still need to calculate those overhangs though. The entrance and windows are primarily SW to catch the breeze in summer as that’s the predominant wind direction.
All the rooms and doors are designed with potential handicap remodeling in mind, as it’s a retirement home who knows what state my parents will be in thirty years from now. 3′ openings with a minimum of 4’5 maneuverable space in all rooms including closets.
I’ve written an estimate in Xactimate for $512,000. Not the best tool for the job but it certainly puts me in the ballpark. It doesn’t have a lot of the items, like rammed earth/earthcrete, so I did the best I could with what they do have. The walls are calculated based on >8′ reinforced concrete walls per CY, then I added the rebar in again and a walk-behind compactor at 1hr per 4LF. Together I think they should be reasonably close to the rammed earth/earthcrete price per CY.