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Alternative Housing/Questions

SubjectDate AskedExpert
ground source heat pump1/26/2017Daniel Humphrey
  Q: I would like to know what is the ground source heat pump. How does the technology work. What are the ...
  A: A ground source heat pump can cool or heat a building using electric compressor pumps to move a ...
attic insulation3/25/2012Daniel Humphrey
  Q: I have a 130 year old home. The roof construction is interesting. Rafters are actually 2x6 with a ...
  A: Dick, Unless you are going to convert the attic to a living space, do not insulate beneath the ...
Log Home Help4/19/2010Daniel Humphrey
  Q: we bought a 70 to 80 year full log, log home. the former owners painted the logs. Are Spring project ...
  A: The backer rod is good for saving your chinking material, since it is far less expensive than the ...
Lot drainage12/4/2009Daniel Humphrey
  Q: I had a house inspection done and the inspector noted that a drain on the outside of the house does ...
  A: Anton, The perimeter drain is to relieve water pressure from around the foundation. Most soils ...
French Doors2/10/2009Brian McElroy
  Q: I have french doors in my bedroom. My problems is that in the winter time my bedroom gets really ...
  A: You can have weather stripping redone to help with heat loss. You may also consider replacing them ...
SIPS CONSTRUCTION1/29/2009Daniel Humphrey
  Q: WILL BE HAVING A HOUSE BUILT IN THE CATSKILL MOUNTAINS IN NEW YORK. HAVE NOT DONE THE PLANS YET. ...
  A: Sean, SIPs make great houses. If you have a builder experienced with SIPs, you can get an airtight ...
alternative housing11/23/2008Brian McElroy
  Q: What about underground and/or used containers ANSWER: I am sorry. I do not understand the question? ...
  A: Florida codes do not address alternative materials. What you have to do, and I think it is ...
Solar Hot Water system for Heat7/1/2008Brian McElroy
  Q: I can get my hands on some used solar thermal (hot water) panels and was curious about using them ...
  A: I think it is a great idea. The problem will be to find someone that can install the system and ...
attic insulation3/12/2008Brian McElroy
  Q: I want to increase the insulation in my attic and have looked at a tri-laminated aluminum mylar ...
  A: I know nothing about it. I have never used it but in Florida, we are somewhat limited. If you want ...
wood stove to slab heating12/26/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: I saw a house built in the early '80s that heated water in black pipe on a wood burning stove and ...
  A: You would need a recirculating pump and maybe an expansion tank as well. I do similar now for my ...
new tech low cost hosinig12/9/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: .. I want to ask about any technology to build low cost house
  A: Right now, honestly, there is no such thing as low cost housing in my humble opinion. Regulation ...
Dome Home Finance8/2/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: I'm a realtor who recently took a listing on a Geodesic Dome House. I was wondering if you know of ...
  A: I have been asked this question 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Unless you can get an appraiser to ...
Cheap barn-style house7/6/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: Is it feasible to build a barn style two story house cheaply? I want to find a builder/architect to ...
  A: I can only speak for homes in Florida. Generally, 2 stories are about 30% more expensive than single ...
dome financing follow up7/2/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: Brian, My wife and I are looking at an existing geodesic dome in Hillsborough, NC. It's 2200 sf ...
  A: I spoke with my lender friend. He said it probably would not work out because it is a 2nd home. You ...
Florida alternative housing6/14/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: I have a mobil home on property in Hernando county Florida zoned AR. I would like to have a simple ...
  A: I build in parts of Hernando. I build a specialized energy efficient hurricane resistant product. ...
attic insulation options5/20/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: we've had a botched roof job and got moisture in the attic insulation, and some leakage onto the ...
  A: First, any materials exposed to water will need to be replaced. Mold can grow in these areas, may ...
mobile house3/3/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: what's the name of the temporary houses you rent while you are in construction?
  A: There is not a name as such. Sometimes you can find furnished apartments forrent often termed ...
Alternative home financing1/13/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: Do you have people who need financing for dome homes and other "earth friendly designs"? We finance ...
  A: We do not build dome homes. But if anyone asks, I will pass the info along. I have had a couple of ...
low-e windows1/3/2007Brian McElroy
  Q: I live in the Washington DC area and am considering replacing my 40-year old single-glazed ...
  A: Sorry, I might have not been clear about the interior films. These films are actually placed inside ...
dome financing11/14/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: I have just read a question sent to you from a lady named Karen. I have the exact scenario. The ...
  A: I talked to another lender today. If the borrower has an office in the area, they might help. Look ...
Dome Houses10/18/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: My name is Karen. I am a mortgage broker in Gulfport, Ms. I have a client that is buying a dome ...
  A: I have not heard back from you... I have a couple of questions. What is the approx. value of the ...
housing option9/1/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: understood. I was thinking along the same lines. I really cannot afford much of anything, but I have ...
  A: Give me some more information and I may be able to help. Where do you live? What size home? Do you ...
alt construction8/5/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: Have you had any experiences with Papercrete? It is said to be strong like concrete but lighter in ...
  A: I read the info on their website, but I would need more information before making a decision. I do ...
Thermasave7/27/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: What is your take on Thermasave's product,stressed skin/foam core panels? I live in an older stick ...
  A: I have built homes here in Florida with a similar panel system. I loved the insulation values and ...
How do you stop the sun's heat getting through ?7/2/2006Brian McElroy
  Q: I live in a block of maisonettes but none of us have access to the attic. There is no entrance ...
  A: Because of the outside ambient temperatures, and lack of efficient construction methods used for ...
Efficiency11/11/2005Brian McElroy
  Q: Being you seem to be all about construction efficiency, have you or any other contractors you have ...
  A: Honestly, you are the first person to ever bring up that issue in all my years of building new ...
who made my home5/20/2005Lemelia Bonner
  Q: I recently moved into a modular home. How do I find out who the manufacturer was(some one told me to ...
  A: David I'm assuming this is a home that someone else had lived in before you rather than one you ...
New Technology re: Housing1/11/2005Brian McElroy
  Q: You said your are looking for an improved method of producing High Quality Housing that is ...
  A: I would be interested, however, I have heard it all and very few of these claims pan out as true. ...
Windows12/7/2004Brian McElroy
  Q: I live in Las Vegas, Nv. My house was built in 53'. My window efficeincy is terrible to say the ...
  A: I have never heard of replacing the single panes with double panes. I think the reason is because ...
modular homes10/8/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: My husband and I are considering building a modular home. We live in eastern North Carolina. We ...
  A: Patricia I know you send this request some time ago, and I must apologize. I had a family medical ...
Mortgage for dome house9/12/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: I have a dome house that I'm selling to interested tenants (current mortgage is not assumable). My ...
  A: Dulce The company that I'm most familiar with for alternative home lending (both purchase & ...
Alternative Housing8/22/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: I hope you can help me come up with some affordable housing for myself. I will list some facts for ...
  A: Bill I'll try to answer your questions as fully as I can without the benefit of a more complete ...
Modular homes8/2/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: I would like to build a 3 story modular home, not including finished basement, on a 50' X 115' plot ...
  A: JoeJoe Sorry I have to be brief, but I'm about to leave for a short vacation in a few, and wanted to ...
new home design7/29/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: I've been looking for a new house to buy, but I'm not really happy with anything I see. I looked ...
  A: Mike I'm sorry you couldn't access my website. I've temporarily taken it offline because I can't ...
General Alternative Housing7/23/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: What is the absolute cheapest way for someone without appreciable building skills or finances to end ...
  A: Dave Just a few questions for you before I respond. Are we assuming that land for this home is ...
Constructing a home from steel shipping containers6/27/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: Do you have any information or suggestions regarding converting steel shipping containers into a ...
  A: Lynn I don't have a lot of knowledge about the process of converting shipping containers to ...
grant6/6/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: We are thinking of building some type of super efficent house. My wife said someone told her that we ...
  A: George There have been grants available from time to time for energy-efficient housing. But I am ...
Techni stone3/19/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: What information can you give me for a Techni stone counter top? How does it hold up to heat and ...
  A: Randy Technistone can really be called a "superstone," as it has practically all of the desirable ...
Building a home2/9/2004Lemelia Bonner
  Q: Lemelia: Is it an economically feasible option to consider building a house in California, in ...
  A: Helen, I had to take a little time to research your issue. No, I don't think it's madness for a ...

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Daniel Humphrey

Top Expert on this page

Expertise

I can answer questions about designing and building homes and outbuildings, especially for colder climates. I am expert in timber framing, but of course I also know about other kinds of residential construction techniques and materials. Because of my emphasis on using local materials and organic alternatives, I know quite about about Green Building and am willing to do the research to find out more.

Experience

I've been a timber framer for 21 years, working as a general contractor who designs and builds custom timberframe homes, working as much as possible with local organic materials, from foundation to finish. I've built houses from timbers, adobe, logs, and standard materials. I also have expertise in designing, building, and setting up pre-fab remote camp facilities on terra firma or temperate glaciers for research and expeditions, using helicopters for support.

Organizations
Timber Framers' Guild of North America

Education/Credentials
B.A., M.F.A.

Past/Present Clients
Private homeowners, developers, and icefield expedition companies.

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