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Old 06-22-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 417,818 times
Reputation: 131

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You can put the tank any where you want no one said it had to be a big metal tank in your yard. There are plenty of homes I know about that have 20-30K tanks buried. Or partially buried. If I had the money and today I personally would dig a big hole in my back yard. Drop a tank in it and build a storage shed over it with access to the tank in the floor.

as far as what you need to do now. That is all relative if you just plan to use a tank for irrigation not much. But if you want to use it for toilets, cloths washer, and other Grey water producing items you will need to plumb those items separate with a valve that will let you switch from city water to tank water. If you plan to use it as a potable water source you would need to do the same with that.

To be honest I am not sure you will be able to do hardly any of this stuff in the end. They are building you what we call a speck home. You won't own the home or sign a contract till the end. So they will not be to interested in making a bunch of changes that won't sale if you bail. And to top it off you don't and will never own the lot. I know why they do this and it makes sense but I will never trust it. I just can't imagine building my life on a piece of land I will never own. But they want a fancy neighborhood that is dense with lots of ground cover. So they buy a big parcel of land develop it and keep a big area undeveloped so they can over develop part of it and still bypass the city laws and codes. That's what people don't seam to get about regulations. They don't work if a company wants a way around it they will find a way. But I guess we could argue that with out the regulation they would have over developed the whole place. So who knows...............
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:20 AM
 
319 posts, read 610,370 times
Reputation: 130
I looked at some pictures and they don't look so horrible but I guess in that case I'm looking at water the yard by hand instead of using the sprinklers. I could drip irrigate the shrubs, as they don't quite spring back to life as easily as grass when the drought ends and it wouldn't require regular yard work. Plus, running the sprinklers at all would probably alarm the water police or shock my neighbors, even if I'm following the rules. I'll ask about drainage then so I have the option of buying one. Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:21 AM
 
319 posts, read 610,370 times
Reputation: 130
Can someone comment on the AC comment made earlier? If we get the foam, then should we downgrade our AC units? They're 14 seer Trane unless we ask for otherwise. My RE agent seemed to think that an 18 seer upgrade was a good idea for energy efficiency. Is that the case? I imagine those units work well at mid-capacity but become inefficient at low and high capacity. If it's true, then we could pay for the foam by not upgrading the AC units. I didn't understand the comment about causing draftiness of the home - isn't that mostly an issue for the thermostat?
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 417,818 times
Reputation: 131
I wouldn't worry to much with the SEER rating. I have read many an article about how the added cost to go from 14 to 18 isn't worth it. To add insult to injury people in Texas should not be concerned about SEER rating anyway. We should be looking at the EER rating. In SEER rating the S stands for seasonal. So in the test phase (the numbers it is all based off) the rating is tested at 86 degrees or something stupid like that. We don't care how efficient an A/C is at 86 we want to know how it works at 120! There are systems out there that have a better SEER rating but a not so good EER rating and vice versa. So imagine getting a system with a good SEER rating just to find out another cheaper system was better for your area because it had a better EER rating.

As far as size goes it was not talking about the SEER is was talking about the tonnage. A lot of people as in most. Just measure the size of the air conditioned area put down the tonnage and just to be safe make it 10% bigger. The problem with that is that not all 2,000 sq ft homes are built the same. So in a badly built home that figure could be correct but in a well insulated home built tight the number would be way to high. All sorts of things go into picking the size of a unit properly. The tightness of the home, the insulation used, the placement of windows, orientation to sun, the list goes on. If they size your A/C without doing a blower door test red lights should go off.

As to the drafty part of your question. A unit to big for your home will put out to much cold air and cycle on and off to much. Taking the extra energy this takes out of the equation and just thinking about comfort. Your home will end up cooling off quick and the A/C will stop then 20 mins later it will fire back up when your inside temperature falls below what you want it to be. Then it will fire back up blowing air that is to cool and to much into the home again. This constant turning on and off will make the home feel drafty. Imagine sitting in your Lazy-Boy watching a movie just to have a cool breeze of air on you for 10 minutes then nothing for ten minutes then cool air again for 13 mins..... I think you get the picture.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:03 PM
 
319 posts, read 610,370 times
Reputation: 130
Ah ok. Maybe I should just stick with the 14 seer unit that they're putting there then. The water heater they use is State (GS6 50 YBRS) or AO Smith (GCV 50). Both seem to have an energy factor of about .6. That doesn't seem very high, no?
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Austin
49 posts, read 139,318 times
Reputation: 39
I haven't seen anyone mention actually installing solar panels. If you're serviced by Austin Energy, you can apply for great solar rebates. Solar Photovoltaics

We don't have a new home, but we just got our application approved for the $2.50/watt cost. AE just dropped down their incentive to $2.00/watt, but we got our paperwork in just before they announced that a few weeks ago.

In our home, the ROI will take 3.5 years. YES!
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:54 PM
 
307 posts, read 721,818 times
Reputation: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by ang3ldu5t View Post
I haven't seen anyone mention actually installing solar panels. If you're serviced by Austin Energy, you can apply for great solar rebates. Solar Photovoltaics

We don't have a new home, but we just got our application approved for the $2.50/watt cost. AE just dropped down their incentive to $2.00/watt, but we got our paperwork in just before they announced that a few weeks ago.

In our home, the ROI will take 3.5 years. YES!
Lucky.... I sat too long debating and poof - rebate when to $2.00/watt
darn it!
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:44 PM
 
319 posts, read 610,370 times
Reputation: 130
I asked about building for rainwater collection and builder wrote this:

"I will ask about the gutter configuration and find out if there’s a way to reduce down spouts so that you can add a diverter and collection barrel."

Is that something I want?
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,969 posts, read 28,443,557 times
Reputation: 10759
Quote:
Originally Posted by balor123 View Post
Is that something I want?
In a word, yes. For rain catchment you want to minimize the points where water flows down from the gutters to maximize the amount of water captured. A diverter allows you to switch the rain to the tank, or away if it's full.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
8,977 posts, read 17,555,108 times
Reputation: 4001
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
In a word, yes. For rain catchment you want to minimize the points where water flows down from the gutters to maximize the amount of water captured. A diverter allows you to switch the rain to the tank, or away if it's full.
And it depends on the roof design and area. We have only one rain barrel served by one downspout on less than 1/4 our roof area. It catches 60 gallons during a 1/4" downburst. It's fed only by a cutoff downspout that feeds onto the screened top of the barrel. No elaborate system for diversion or overflow. If I were to build new, I'd certainly design something more interesting, including a serious pad to support the barrel and elevate it for easier use. Now, if you're talking about a larger system with pumping capability, you've gone way past my experience with capturing and using 60 gallons at a time.(Actually, 120 gallons before we moved here)

Speaking of roof areas...IF I were building new in an area that allowed 'non-traditional' roofing materials, there's no way I'd install an asphalt-based shingle system on my new house. Replacing our less-than-five year old roof a couple of years ago had me looking into all sorts of alternatives to typical shingles. Much more costly initially, but might save the hassle and cost of replacing your roof after the next hail storm. I know, I know...some locals have had the same roof for 20 years; but a few of our neighbors had to replace their roofs twice within one year!(A two-inch diameter hailstone is nothing to sneeze at!) That 1% deductible on a $450K house for roof replacement is a real HIT!

THAT brings us to roof design...angles and slopes for the sake of angles and slopes with turrets and gables that serve no purpose...ALL add to the cost and ultimate potential for leaks, etc. There's surely something to bridge the gap between a lean-to or salt-box design and the crazy multi-faced rooflines that have become so popular on mid-to-larger homes. Just my .02
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