We did a lot of work to make sure that the house could handle the harsh weather of the Oregon coast. We have 4’ overhangs all around the house, the gnarliest available coastal grade sliding glass doors, a felt house wrap (no Tyvec), and a gap between the siding and the house wrap itself, to let any moisture escape. Exterior hardware is marine grade stainless steel and the deck is a hardwood called ipe. It’ll last 50 years in this weather and is so hard it’s fireproof.
A few other details on the materials: The floors and bathroom walls are made of bamboo, and the roof is made of rubber EPDM—the same stuff they line swimming pools with. The roof is nearly but not quite flat—just a ¾” slope per foot. The exterior walls are Hardy Plank—essentially cement panels. They are very, very durable. We painted them with a special oxidizing paint that goes on black, then you spray on an activator and within an hour it turns yellow, then orange, then deep red. It looks just like a rusted metal container, complete with blotchy inconsistencies called cauliflowering.
All the windows give the house great passive solar properties. The curtains help keep the place cool on very sunny days, and can be hidden behind the fridge when not in use. The house is well insulated and extremely tight overall, so we decided to install a Heat Recovery Ventilator that runs for about 12 hours a day. An HRV is a very efficient mechanical air exchanger designed for cool, damp climates. It keeps the air fresh, and reduces internal moisture and condensation on the glass.
The natural wood furniture in the hallway and living room were designed by our friend Kevin, who also did the rusted metal steps up the side of the house and the paneled “virtual headboard” walls in the bedrooms. Kevin rocks. The crazy pink feather thing in the living room is an African Juju hat from Cameroon. Nicole always wanted one of those…
In addition to the wood burning stove we have electric forced air heat. The stove and outdoor grill run off the propane tank in the back yard. The water heater is embarrassingly, shockingly, stunningly huge. We will never ever run out of hot water. Never.