Sun Charts Helps Determine a House’s Orientation

Sun Charting

Latvia Is Almost the Land of the Midnight Sun. These sun path diagrams and sun graphs show that. One of the first things I do when designing a house is a site analysis. This is a study of the local conditions, including the slope of the land, site features, views, the local weather, and most…

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A Footing Depth and Frost Line Question

Frost Line

I recently received this question from a reader: Dear Mr. Hirsch, My wife and I are planning on building a house with a partial basement in North Dakota. The frost line is 48 inches deep. The footing requirement is 16″ wide and 8″ high. Does that mean the top of the footing must be 4…

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Shutter Dogs : Our Word of the Week

Shutter Dogs

Shutter dog – To me this sounds like that stray dog looking for scraps, going from house to house. Don’t mind him. He’s just a shutter dog. Actually this is a tool used by houses everyday. Functional exterior window shutters – meaning they can be swung shut to protect the windows – are held open during…

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