Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

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JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

yellowcat wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:00 pm
John,

You will need to have 20" of non combustible floor in front of the stove and some substantial amount of clearance to any combustible wall behind the stove (depends on the manufacturer).

If you made this area (including the wall) into a central all masonry core/hearth component it might eliminate a few problems that might limit your options later.

The Finns have an interesting way to prevent the differential settling between the hearth (ie. a raised hearth or masonry heater/stove)and the structure from becoming an aesthetic issue, by starting the brick or masonry work slightly below the finish floor level. About half the brick or other masonry unit would be below the finish floor. Of course, the footing for this masonry mass would be independent of the foundation for the rest of the structure. The hearth could settle, or the finish floor could heave up and it would still look like you meant to build it that way!
Yeah I think this will work perfect. I was thinking last night as I went to sleep the current home we are in was originally heated by stove/baseboard as well but we installed gas furnace/central air after we were told we could not hook up stove without significant modifications.

Can you point me to some more info about "Finns" I am not sure which house this is. Never heard of it.

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

SDR wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:40 pm
"The hearth could settle, or the finish floor could heave up and it would still look like you meant to build it that way!"

Surely we don't have to settle (ahem) for differential settlement, do we ? What happens above---a sliding sleeve to the flue ?

The matter has all to do with the soil and subsurface condition of the chosen site. Wright built Fallingwater around a boulder. Couldn't John select a spot on his land that has rock at or just below the surface---at least where the hearth will be located ?

S
I will certainly keep this idea of siting on a bolder. We are going sometime in the next few weeks to property shop again. Generally from what I have seen on previous trips we will not have trouble finding a section like this. There is a YouTube guy named Shawn James that I follow that give you an idea of the typical terrain of the area.

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

yellowcat wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:30 pm
John,

I have been doing some fact checking and I am so wrong about the clearances for pellet stoves. Since the combustion chamber is way above floor level they do not need the 20" non combustible floor in front of them, and you can get the rear clearance to a combustible wall down to as little as 1"(depends on the model).

I have had my head filled with masonry for far too many years. Too old to change now! But, I do sleep well at night, especially in the winter.
I do agree but this old body just can't handle it and we are building according to what I can handle. A recent health scare put me in this newer mindset.

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

Just an update but we have sold our property, moved up north with my wife. We are renting an apartment while we property hunt. It is not proving to be simple but I am very hopeful we will end up around south river, north of Toronto |Canada and be able to build our dream usonian. Once we attain the property I will be fully designing the home to get approval. We think we have a property picked. Will know more tomorrow. We have had a very emotional time in this path to become debt free and own a piece of paradise. We camped the first week here in the cold and I met a very famous youtube star our first night after spending the night in a Wall Mart parking lot. | will let my emotional wife tell the story soon. Well we are on our way and thankful as long as we do not make some very stupid mistakes. Back to design soon so I can submit to township.
Image

SDR
Posts: 20201
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by SDR »

Bravo, John. Simplify, simplify---but get what you need ! And love every minute of it . . .

You may send me images to post if you like. They need to be hosted to appear on the thread.

S

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

If you might be interested in a masonry fireplace that does not need a masonry foundation and can be built on a regular wood floor you should check out an ISOKERN modular fireplace.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

Thank you for the encouraging words! We will close on the property on Oct 26. Somewhat of a bowling alley property at 440' wide and 1KM long. There is a beautiful spot about 300 to 400 back from the road to the north that has a huge ledgerock for site. We will investigate sites more once we close. I have a roughed out L shaped plan that was more refined than last. Because of local codes we will need plans filed before we can even store a thing on the property or camp on it. I will post pics as soon as we are on it. Property is basically between the two houses shown on link: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/North+B ... 45.7754996

Still need to figure out foundation. I am up in the air between traditional crawl space or pier foundation. Will know more once on the property. Roof is still "up in the air". Snow load shows 2.7kP/50 PSF for this area (Lot of snow) - VERY VERY high for Ontario.

Will keep everyone up to date.

SDR
Posts: 20201
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by SDR »

Bravo. Keep us informed. Can't wait to see what you've come up with.

A site where the footprint lies atop exposed rock seems to cry out for minimal piers---perhaps pipes, sitting on pins drilled into the rock, or the like ? The question becomes one of insulation, and bottom cover ?

Anyway . . .

S

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

Update: Well we are into Winter in the great white north and I have to come up with a plan to submit soon to our township. I am still not sure if we are going with the attached L shape 1000 sq plan or go for a more traditional smaller cottage (we can go as low as 650 sq ft.)

A bit of specs.

The property is 440 Ft X 1 KM Long and turned like a bowling alley 20 degrees North/West. The property slopes slowly up the first 400 ft then peaks on top of exposed granite bedrock. It then slopes to the north with ATV trails, ponds and forest. It is mostly a mix of Hemlock, Birch, Maple, White Pine, Beach...somewhere in the back is a bear! The average snow fall can go as high as 75cm. It is around the Algonquin Park area of Ontario Canada.

Any thoughts on this rough plan is appreciated. It is a revised version of others. I would say the inspiration was rosenbaum and Jacobs and Seth Peterson cottage.

We will be likely drilling the bedrock and putting piers and insulating floors. Most homes in the area are built on hills and use the crawlspace as a pseudo walkout basement area.

I am still not sure if we will go with a flatroof, shed or modified hip roof. I have finally sold my wife on the idea of flat roof with the main living sections 10' ceilings and bedroom 8' with a clerestory in the kitchen, The snow load in that cases is around 50 psf.

We have a very small budget to make this happen. It is quickly becoming more and more difficult with materials doubling during covid. We may be building the basic shell then using logs from the property to side it. We may trade logs for finished wood which is a custom up here.

OK, as I said the rough plan is below. Any thoughts, critiques?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/q6gbpahzwmUah66D6 - if this link does not work, please let me know and maybe I can have moderators post. Thanks.


SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by SDR »

Okay. The terrain is difficult to determine from the air, but the entry route to the house seems clear . . .

And your plan has been refined:


ImageImage

SDR
Posts: 20201
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by SDR »

Here's a modest refinement of detail like those that were always a part of Wright's practice, an alternate to the northeast wall of the house that brings the solids as well as the voids into a consistent rhythm:


Image


A change like this one benefits not only the exterior appearance of the house but is appreciated within, as well: as one moves through the opening between kitchen and bedroom, the unbroken march of identical windows and posts unites the two spaces and affirms the unity of the whole.

S

JohnAdamsCanada
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by JohnAdamsCanada »

The entrance or drive will come up the left side of the property and turn right to the house. You will not be able to see a driveway in the front of the house...one of my requirements :-)

Yes I see what you mean about the consistency of the window spacing.

What do you think about doing a flat roof? It will make it cheaper to build and achieve the look we want but of course we will need post and beams to support the 50 psf.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by SDR »

A flat roof will simplify both design and construction; an architect could opine on structural issues. Of course the roof will have a slight pitch or crown, to shed water---but with today's membrane roofing technology there's no worries about weathering. What is the typical maximum snowfall ?

S

clydethecat
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:29 pm

Re: Usonian Dreams finally becoming reality

Post by clydethecat »

Will be interested to see the elevations.

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