Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
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Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Follow along as we share our experiences building our own home. We are neither builders nor architects so we get a lot of help along the way!
 

Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Rural Ozarks
Madison County
Northwest, Arkansas 72632

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(479) 555-5555

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The mis-adventures of the Bailey family building their own home Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Clever Designs I have thought up

Okay, so these are probably not original ideas. These are just put out there as a way to solve a problem. As I have designed and planned for my projects, people will say, 'Have you thought about...?' Then my mind begins to race and I think of ways to solve those problems.

Earlier on I planned to put the Earth Shelter House over a wooden floor that concealed a crawl-space/basement that could be used for storage of heat in water and offered as a place to exchange air to cool and heat from the geo-thermal forces available. The door needed to be designed so that Jennifer could go down there if she needed to. This door was designed to make that door easier to manage.

Since then, the plans have been altered to include a more usable design that can be seen in the floor plans elsewhere.

Yeah... I know, it is pretty basic and simple.
December 6, 2003
 Okay, so these are probably not original ideas.  These are just put out there as a way to solve a problem.  As I have designed and planned for my projects, people will say, Have you thought about...?  Then my mind begins to race and I think of ways to solve those problems.

Earlier on I planned to put the Earth Shelter House over a wooden floor that concealed a crawl-space/basement that could be used for storage of heat in water and offered as a place to exchange air to cool and heat from the geo-thermal forces available.  The door needed to be designed so that Jennifer could go down there if she needed to.  This door was designed to make that door easier to manage.

Since then, the plans have been altered to include a more usable design that can be seen in the floor plans elsewhere.
Click Image to Enlarge
Frozen Pipe Protection

 Designing a system that will prevent the pipes from freezing in a cold climate is a challenge. If it is a home that may be vacant for a few days at a time compounds that problem because you can not keep an eye on it.

This system is designed to pump water in the reverse direction to keep the water moving, it could even be heated water to raise the temperature above a chilly 60 degrees F. Later in this tour will be a design for a solar water heater that will be used for this purpose, but for now, just keeping the water moving in cold weather will keep it from freezing very well! (Thanks to West for helping me realize that on November 12, 2003.)

Reliability is an important factor here, obviously. I have searched for the El Sid water pump that is a magnetic drive pump with no moving parts to break down. This, of course, means a long life expectancy with out break down. An investment in a $250 pump, a small solar panel charger and battery, plus a $30 thermostat will take care of those frozen pipe woes. 

The pump pushed the water back through the whole system, all the way back to the pump through more copper or even a flexible tubing that will stand a LONG time against the water. The flexible tubing would be good for fishing around curves and turns in the pipe system.
Click Image to Enlarge
November 15, 2003

Designing a system that will prevent the pipes from freezing in a cold climate is a challenge. If it is a home that may be vacant for a few days at a time compounds that problem because you can not keep an eye on it.

This system is designed to pump water in the reverse direction to keep the water moving, it could even be heated water to raise the temperature above a chilly 60 degrees F. Later in this tour will be a design for a solar water heater that will be used for this purpose, but for now, just keeping the water moving in cold weather will keep it from freezing very well! (Thanks to West for helping me realize that on November 12, 2003.)

Reliability is an important factor here, obviously. I have searched for the El Sid water pump that is a magnetic drive pump with no moving parts to break down. This, of course, means a long life expectancy with out break down. An investment in a $250 pump, a small solar panel charger and battery, plus a $30 thermostat will take care of those frozen pipe woe's.

The pump pushed the water back through the whole system, all the way back to the pump through more copper or even a flexible tubing that will stand a LONG time against the water. The flexible tubing would be good for fishing around curves and turns in the pipe system.
A cure for all that wasted space over the refrigerator.
Okay, so in the process of maximizing every bit of space in our small cabin for a family of four I decided to make better use of that poorly used space over the fridge. After looking for ideas and finding none, I designed this cabinet that slides out and folds down in front of the fridge. The result is 3 more shelves of useful storage.

Oddly enough, the heavier we load the top shelf the easier it is to hoist back up and slide into place.

Solar Lighting
November 9, 2003

The greatest concern I have is the lighting. There are a few windows and doors with windows in the house, however, the more natural sunlight that I can get into the house, the better. I am planning to experiment with fiber optics and a satellite dish with a reflective inner surface. The idea is to collect an area of sun light and focus it into a bundle of fiber optics. The fiber will pipe the light throughout the underground house via conduit located all through the rammed earth walls. I am currently on the lookout for a source to get the fiber from cheaply. I would like to find recyclable fiber. Anyone know where I can get some?

I have just discovered the large-core optical fiber. That looks like a good place to look for a method of carrying the sun light into the house. I think I will implement this type of lighting in our current home to test the 'pay back' time on it.

Further description of this technology can be found at the Hybrid Lighting Partnership site. Be sure to check out the applications page and the available papers on the subject.

Note: 2011-11-17 The HLP Site is changing.

 Solar Lighting
November 9, 2003

The greatest concern I have is the lighting. There are a few windows and doors with windows in the house, however, the more natural sunlight that I can get into the house, the better. I am planning to experiment with fiber optics and a satellite dish with a reflective inner surface. The idea is to collect an area of sun light and focus it into a bundle of fiber optics. The fiber will pipe the light throughout the underground house via conduit located all through the rammed earth walls. I am currently on the lookout for a source to get the fiber from cheaply. I would like to find recyclable fiber. Anyone know where I can get some?

I have just discovered the large-core optical fiber. That looks like a good place to look for a method of carrying the sun light into the house. I think I will implement this type of lighting in our current home to test the pay back time on it.

Further description of this technology can be found at the Hybrid Lighting Partnership site. Be sure to check out the applications page and the available papers on the subject.

Note: 2011-11-17 The HLP Site is changing.
Click Image to Enlarge

 

 

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