Project Description

A rural haven is reward for living in the tight quarters of an onsite trailer during construction, watching the electric meter spin and summer days too hot to turn on the stove. The dream of a spacious, comfortable and beautiful home turned the building adventure into a distant memory.

Durability, low maintenance, energy efficiency and comfort were the goals for this new family home on Trails End. A desire for a more useable design with the same square footage as their previous residence inspired this plan which now has daily activity in every room.

The Trails End house is sited to minimize solar heat gain by facing the long sides north/south and shading the windows with large overhangs and porches. The hybrid electric water heaters were chosen for their low energy consumption and located within 30 feet of fixtures to provide efficient hot water delivery. Natural light fills the Trails End home during daytime hours – including hallways and closets. Energy efficient LED lighting is used in the evening. An 8kW solar PV system installed on the south facing roof offsets the majority of the home’s electrical consumption.

Water for this family of five is provided by a fully potable 30,000 gallon rainwater collection system. Native low maintenance, minimal landscaping requires no irrigation, and the cedars removed for the home’s footprint were recycled as mulch. Hill Country views, an outdoor kitchen and expansive porches extend the livable space into the natural environment.