# Home build/design/architecture questions

### Help Support House Repair Talk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
there's really no way to budget a number
Right, sure. That's why I was asking about a percentage; I figure the prices of labor/materials will change, but I was assuming they all change at more or less the same rate, so a percentage could still work. Maybe that's wrong?

Right, sure. That's why I was asking about a percentage; I figure the prices of labor/materials will change, but I was assuming they all change at more or less the same rate, so a percentage could still work. Maybe that's wrong?
If you go to the grocery store and buy 25 items and your bill is \$100.00. What will your bill be if you buy 32 items?

If you go to the grocery store and buy 25 items and your bill is \$100.00. What will your bill be if you buy 32 items?
Well if you know that those additional 7 items are for a beef stew, you can presume they include the roast itself, the potatoes, the onions, the garlic, the rosemary, the chicken boullion (yes, it's better than beef boullion for a roast -- a little insider tip I learned from a chef), the carrots, and the parsley. Then even if you don't know how much each item is priced exactly, you might still know its price relative to the other things on your list.

But I get what you're saying. Bottom line is, there is no such equation.

If you go to the grocery store and buy 25 items and your bill is \$100.00. What will your bill be if you buy 32 items?
Is this a trick question? Why did I just have a flashback to 8th grade? Isn't it Bill buys 25 items for 100 bucks and Mary buys 32 for X or something like that.

Every roofing contractor and general contractor I know figure jobs based on material cost, labor costs plus overhead and profit. It's all based on items in the shopping cart.

Is this a trick question? Why did I just have a flashback to 8th grade? Isn't it Bill buys 25 items for 100 bucks and Mary buys 32 for X or something like that.
That only works if X is a constant.

I did tool and die cost quotes for a while at work. I would spend hours pricing every item exactly and pondering how many hours it would take me to machine every part etc. I would turn it into my boss and he would double it and he would pass it on to his boss and he would add a 1.5x factor and then send the quote out to the costumer and we would ether get a letter back saying we were too expensive or we would get the job and I would get a letter from my bosses boss saying we lost our A\$\$ on the job and I should adjust my quotes up.

As soon as I could I got out of that job.

I've been thinking lately about how a house (let's say 1800sqft or so) might be built if the priority was placed on things like value (build cost minus savings), ease and low cost of maintenance (which includes efficiency), etc.

Earlier, I can't remember if it was in this thread, I'd talked about designing a house so that all the water fixtures are close to the water heater, thereby reducing the amount of pipes needed (and also making it so you never need to wait a long time to get hot water from a faucet!). This mindset could be extended to other systems of a house as well. But I don't know enough about home construction to say how, so I'm looking to y'all for ideas.

What are your goals for the house? Then you can trade off many different ways of meeting them.

I've been thinking lately about how a house might be built...
Past few years I've been thinking that since new houses/buildings are sealed up so tightly now and trap bacteria/viruses from breathing inside so well that a heat exchanger should be required in all of them so that fresh clean air can be continuously brought in and dirty air expelled without losing expensive heat/cooling in weather when the windows can't be open... (sorry if that's a 'run on' sentence but that's how my mind works)

I'm not familiar with heat exchangers.

I was thinking if I could build my dream house I would have solar tiles (roof tiles that act as solar panels), a whole room dedicated to generators/batteries, maybe additional roof space for more solar, some wind turbines, some sort of graywater system to filter used water from sinks, mechanical effluent system (solar powered), triple pane windows with argon and low e tinting (maybe even see if its possible to get some that act as solar panels), and insulated doors. I would want a large garage that is well insulated.

I'm not familiar with heat exchangers.

I was thinking if I could build my dream house I would have solar tiles (roof tiles that act as solar panels), a whole room dedicated to generators/batteries, maybe additional roof space for more solar, some wind turbines, some sort of graywater system to filter used water from sinks, mechanical effluent system (solar powered), triple pane windows with argon and low e tinting (maybe even see if its possible to get some that act as solar panels), and insulated doors. I would want a large garage that is well insulated.
Gray water systems are generally illegal in residential settings. They require a fair amount of maintenance to operate safely and governments are rightly concerned that the average homeowner won't do the required maintenance.

I'm not familiar with heat exchangers.
A car radiator is a type of heat exchanger. The heat from the hot coolant moves to the cooler air passing through the radiator yet it prevents the coolant and air from mixing...

Sparky, ah. I thought they were ok for rural areas. In my imaginary dream house I can't see the neighbors. LOL. I graywater isn't allowed though, I'd want rainwater collection for watering gardens & flushing toilets.

Buzz, thanks for the info. That makes sense.

I'd want rainwater collection

Buzz, thanks for the info. That makes sense.

I'd much rather drink cleaned rainwater than reclaimed toilet water...

Thanks...

Oh, I didn't want to use toilet water in the graywater system-- only sinks and possibly showers. I'd have the toilets go to an effluent system/septic tank. Wish I could get a setup like he one some farmer on Dirty Jobs had where he took cow manure in to a water system where the methane was extracted and used to generate electricity, solids were extracted and composted to make little bio-degradable plant pots, and the liquid went in to a pond of sorts that was filtered out.

"Gray water is all of the wastewater that drains from your shower and kitchen and bathroom sinks. ... Black water contains human waste and is unsafe. It must be stored in its own tank and disposed of very carefully."

"Non-potable water is not treated to drinking water standards and is not meant for human consumption. Non-potable water, such as raw (untreated) water from reservoirs, is used for irrigation and other purposes, in addition to recycled water (highly-treated wastewater)."

Well, it would be cool to find a way to systematically route gray water to some other residential use, whether it's watering plants or ... could it be used to flush toilets? As mist in outdoor A/C?

Well, it would be cool to find a way to systematically route gray water to some other residential use, whether it's watering plants or ... could it be used to flush toilets? As mist in outdoor A/C?
It would but it is generally not allowed. Even diverting your washing machine away from your septic tank is illegal. It was done quite frequently, running it directly into the leach field to not dilute the bacteria in the tank digesting the black water. But it isn't legal.

Huh, where I live the health inspector said the blackwater could be connected to a mechanical effluent system that would filter/clean the water and then it could be connected to sprinklers to water the garden. The house also used to have a graywater system where the laundry water was dumped into a separate tank than the septic tank. Maybe the laws have changed since I was told that? Or maybe it's different in a rural area like mine? My state isn't known for having very strict rules on stuff like this.