A U-Value is expressed a W/m2K. That is, as a Watt per metre squared Kelvin. More commonly you would hear it expressed as a U-value of 0.21. The figure of 0.21 is expressing the amount of heat loss from a metre squared of the nominated material in Kelvin. The lower this figure is the less heat is lost.
This seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people still have single paned windows and big air spaces around their doors. Especially in old houses, which you'll likely find on properties you might be considering for your modern homesteading adventure. We live in an 80-plus year old log cabin, so spent quite a bit of energy ensuring all the cracks and crevices were filled with insulation and chinked. It does still have single paned windows, though, so replacing them with triple-glazed wood windows is on our list of renovations for next spring. In the meantime, we've installed storm windows on all the lower windows. Seems to do the trick.
In the evening, soak your tired muscles in the indoor hot tub, sit by the fire, or relax in the breakfast area with games or a good book. Eat dinner at the slopes or take the short drive into Arroyo Seco. Or, if you're not too tired, drive the 18 miles back into Taos for dinner.
So no problems so far. The wooden internal walls are filled with insulation which means that the house is warmer and more comfortable to live in than a block house and certainly in the long run is much cheaper to run. And that means that sq ft for sq ft it has a much lower impact on the environment than a block house.
If you have enough space and money you may want to add a wine cellar. Even if your not a connoisseur, a wine cellar is a great conversation piece when hosting a get together. If your wine room was big enough you could even hold a small intimate wine tasting event for your friends. Just remember even if your turning an extra closet into a wine room, the key is temperature control. Invest in a air conditioner that is made for wine cellars, a normal home air conditioning unit cannot maintain the constant 55 degree temperature needed for storing your wine, without icing over.
Hang your doors and install your windows. Hanging your doors is easy. You simply bolt your track and hardware in place. Then simply slide your doors rollers into the track. Install the end blocks and your done. Windows are easy to. All you need to do is cut the rough opening, frame with 2x6's and install your window in the frame. Then trim the windows with some 1x3 battens. The great thing about a post and beam barn is that you can put windows almost anywhere. No need to add headers, a timber frame home is self supporting. It doesn't rely on the walls for support.
Fill the footing trench with concrete and allow it to set. The concrete should be 2 to 3 inches above ground level. This sill provides some insulation and keeps the frame of the greenhouse dry.
Scandia Hus now has 3,000 homes in Britain which came in standard kit form. They have a variety of styles of homes from chalets, bungalows, barns and family homes. All have triple glazed windows and high amounts of insulation amongst air tight construction. All this equates to lower heating bills than your average traditional home.
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