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Archive for the ‘Building Styles’ Category




It really helps to see finished examples of what others have done. Once again it’s YouTube to the rescue.

Cornell University’s Silo House
Glenburn Silo Home
Silo House aka The Cabin in the Woods (low quality footage but has some good points)

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Nice entryway on traditional home

Nice entryway on traditional home


Universal design home entry

Universal design home entry


Timber frame entry

Timber frame entry


Nice entry to custom straw bale home

Nice entry to custom straw bale home


Your home’s entry and entryway are the first things people see when they enter your home, and so it’s important for these areas to be inviting and attractive. To help design this area, imagine yourself visiting your home. What is your first impression? Is it one of warm, welcoming colors? Is there a place to hang your coat and put your umbrella and bag? What about a mirror, artwork, lighting and place to sit down and take off your shoes? Is the flooring durable enough to withstand wear and tear? Is the space large enough for a group of people to enter and close the door behind them? Is there a protected entry and adequately sized coat closet nearby? Careful thought on these and other considerations will improve the design and livability of your home.

Image source: Nush Designs Blogspot
Image source: Gant Construction
Image source: Hybrid Timber Frame
Image source: The Watch (interesting story about the house)
Related:
8,250 Entry Design Photos
Airlock Entryways (good for cold climates)

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Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower (click to enlarge)

Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower (click to enlarge)


View of eastern Grand Canyon from Desert View (click to enlarge)

View of eastern Grand Canyon from Desert View (click to enlarge)


Looking up inside the Watchtower (click to enlarge)

Looking up inside the Watchtower (click to enlarge)


Kabotie Mural in Desert View Watchtower

Kabotie Mural in Desert View Watchtower


“Build a structure that provides the widest possible view of Grand Canyon yet harmonizes with its setting: this was architect Mary Colter’s goal when the Fred Harvey Company hired her in 1930 to design a gift shop and rest area at Desert View. Colter’s answer was the Watchtower.

A perfectionist, Colter scrutinized every detail, down to the placement of nearly every stone. Each stone was handpicked for size and appearance. Weathered faces were left untouched to give the tower an ancient look. With a lavish, highly publicized dedication ceremony, the Watchtower opened in May 1933.

The Indian Watchtower is at the eastern end of the south rim of the Grand Canyon. From a distance the building’s silhouette looks like the Anasazi watchtower it was meant to mimic. In actual size the tower is considerably larger than any known Anasazi tower. In plan the structure is composed of one enormous circle at the north, a small circle at the south, and gently arced forms connecting the two. The largest circle and the arced portions are the sections of that building that are just one story in height. The smaller circular plan is for the tower itself, more than five stories high. The building sits out on a promontory overlooking the Grand Canyon.

The most noteworthy aspect of the exterior is the stonework–a variety of uncoursed rubble below and coursed sandstone above, with decorative patterns of triangular stones adding architectural interest directly below the tower’s parapet and other bands of color masonry adding even more visual interest.”

Text and image source: Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower
Image source: Field Studies in the Grand Canyon Region
Image source: Adam Schallau.com
Image source: Flickr

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Nice grain bin house (click to enlarge)

Nice grain bin house (click to enlarge)


Grain bin home

Grain bin home


Another grain bin house

Another grain bin house


Stuccoed grain bin home

Stuccoed grain bin home


Grain bin apartment

Grain bin apartment


Interior view of grain bin apartment (follow the link below to see more stunning pics)

Interior view of grain bin apartment (follow the link below to see more stunning pics)


Our recent blog posts about Sukup SafeT Homes and SafeT Home Videos proved popular, so I thought readers might enjoy seeing a few more grain bin homes.

Image source: Little Homestead in Boise
Image source: Mother Earth News
Image source: Greenieweenie
Image source: EcoFriend
Image source 5, 6: Travel Shack
Related:
Mother Earth News: Convert a Used Grain Bin to a New House (best article I’ve found so far on grain bin houses)

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Top view of double pallet wall with post and beam frame

Top view of double pallet wall with post and beam frame


Wooden shipping pallets are typically available for free and are very practical for building homes, furniture and many other things. We’ve already explored several ways of building pallet walls: Post and Beam Pallet Wall, Earth Lodge Pallet Walls, Interior Pallet Walls, Straw Bale Pallet Walls.

This new design sprang from the idea of creating wider pallet walls to provide space for extra straw/clay insulation or other type of insulation. Total wall thickness is about 16” not including plaster and/or wall cladding. Note how the good side (top side) of pallets all face outward. The building process is as follows:
1. Construct the post and beam frame. In this proposed design, the posts are spaced two pallets apart.
2. Build the interior pallet wall. Horizontal 2×4 or 2×6 plates are attached at the base, between courses of pallets and along the top. Plates could be 3’-4’ salvaged boards from broken pallets.
3. Add a spacer board between the pallet walls to help stabilize the wall. This could consist of short pieces of scrap blocking or a long board.
4. Build the exterior pallet wall so the outer surface aligns with the outside of the posts. Some partial pallets are required. Partial pallets could be cut from damaged pallets.
5. Mix and stuff straw/clay inside the pallet wall.

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Cedar latillas create a true Territorial feel (click to enlarge)

Cedar latillas create a true Territorial feel (click to enlarge)


Split cedar latillas create a different, yet traditional look

Split cedar latillas create a different, yet traditional look


Roundhouse ceilng made with latillas and vigas

Roundhouse ceilng made with latillas and vigas


Skipped peeled latillas

Skipped peeled latillas


Saguaro cactus rib latillas (click to enlarge)

Saguaro cactus rib latillas (click to enlarge)


Historic vigas and latillas (click to enlarge)

Historic vigas and latillas (click to enlarge)


Colored latillas and carved corbels

Colored latillas and carved corbels


Definition of latilla from Dictionary.com: “luh-tee-uh, a peeled branch or piece of wood laid between beams of a ceiling or above the vigas for decoration.”

From Southwest Building Supply: “Latilla is from the Spanish word Lata, meaning stick. These “sticks” are used as a traditional ceiling material, laid between beams or vigas. Latillas are cut from spruce or pine [or other woods] and are available in varying lengths and diameters.”

Additional facts:
– traditional latillas were mostly laid straight
– latillas in many modern homes are laid diagonally
– latillas can be peeled, stained, painted, burned, split or milled
– latilla panels are available to speed construction

Image source: Camino del Contento
Image source: Grand River Supply
Image source: Soledad Canyon
Image source: Mark Wright Construction, Inc.
Image source: Colorado Preservation.org
Image source: Idaho Forest
More good Latilla photos: Southwest Ideas.com

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Sukup SafeT Home galvanized steel manufactured home

Sukup SafeT Home galvanized steel manufactured home


The most interesting thing about this product is it has already been designed and fabricated as a home. Some people have converted grain bins into homes by cutting door and window openings, etc. You can even buy plans for grain bin homes. But this is the first company to my knowledge that offers a complete home building kit that’s ready for assembly. This particular model sells for $5,700. It can be easily assembled with a few hand tools, although I would definitely use a cordless drill. And yes, it’s made with steel, an energy intensive material, but the extra environmental toll may be justified, for instance, where hurricanes and tornadoes routinely wreck havoc. Its virtually maintenance free 70-year life span is certainly a big plus. I’m impressed with the double, continuously vented roof that prevents overheating. So this design has some good features going for it. It would benefit from insulation. Some might find it practical as safe, temporary shelter while their permanent home is being built or as a cabin or storage building. I wonder if they sell the roof separately so it can be used on an earthbag roundouse?

Source: Sukup
Special thanks to Cliff for this tip.

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