Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Clayton ihouse in Santa Fe, sort of

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The ihouse and New Mexico skies go well together don't they? And it is only a few blocks from me! I know it well, because I put it there myself, with Gimp. (Free software like Photoshop.)

I might do another post on how this is done, if anyone is interested. Since the ihouse is quite different looking, most people might want to try doing this before buying the house, using a photo of their property.

I used my photo of the model in Albuquerque and then Gimped it in a photo I took of nearby land, in 347 easy steps. Well, to do it roughly would be easy and take only 10 or 15 minutes, but the refinements I did on this one took much longer.

Curious as to what the ihouse would look like in all galvalume?

Here are the two photos I combined:

You can see I even took out the reflection in the core unit's sliding door of a neighboring house, and also took the stickers off the transom windows.

This photo is eight miles outside of Santa Fe city limits, on the plain. Most of Santa Fe is not this void of vegetation, but it is where I live. However, I have views of four mountain ranges from my property, and my house was the least expensive property I could find that was habitable, when I bought it five years ago.

For those of you who want to try it HERE are my instructions of how to do it in Gimp.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Previewing wall paint colors on the Clayton ehome

Previewing wall paint color on a Clayton ehome, using software. from Green Otter on Vimeo.

For full screen, click on the 4-arrow symbol to the left of the word "Vimeo" in the lower right. When it is done playing, press Esc key to return to blog.

Did you ever have a great idea to paint a room or a wall a certain color, and wish you could preview a number of colors before you begin?

Once I felt inspired to paint my bedroom a deep forest green. When I finished, it looked like a nightmare. So I painted it over, with beige.

Using a photo of the ehome, I devised a method to preview a number of colors on the walls. This is the “B” kitchen in the largest ehome. It helps to have a photo of a room that is white or light color. Medium or darker colors wouldn’t work as well as a base photo.

Using Photoshop-like free software called Gimp, plopping down the ehome on a photo of some open land a few blocks from here was easy. Doing the colors for the metamorphosing room was another matter. That took all morning.

This ehome kitchen, didn’t look good in white, but as I discovered, it was just a matter of changing the base color of the island, and then it looks okay. You can see that near the end of the video. However, probably the safest color for this kitchen, is beige. Believe me, in my own house, I’m not always safe…I use metallic colors, day-glow orange, (both of the latter only as trim), French wall, painted doorway arches.

If I had a new house though, I’d probably be safe.

White looks great in some rooms, and I thought it looked good in the ihouse, not so much in the ehome, but in general, I like a warm color on the walls, even if it is very light.

There’s some basic rules about choosing wall colors, that I’ve often ignored, and regretted doing that.

One is that you MUST hold the paint swatch up to the place you are painting, to see the color in that place, before you buy the paint. Beige in the store lighting, or outdoors, can look green, yellow, pink or gray when it gets on the wall.

The other rule is that the color looks much stronger once the wall is painted in it. Select a very light green, even if it looks white, until you hold it next to some white, when you get it on the wall, it will look green.

Which colors would I choose?

Click to make larger.

I'm leaning toward this chocolate mousse for the bar base, and burnt Cambrian umber glazed in a....just joking, I'd probably go with brown and deep orange.

Incidentally, the music playing in the background of the video is Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro, for harp and other instruments.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Clayton “Evolution,” a separate flex room, without the ihouse cost

Click on photo to enlarge.

Since there probably won't be a whole lot of Clayton ihouse news while sales are so slow (20 units nation-wide), mostly due to the real estate downturn, I’m going to blog about other homes, which share one or more characteristics of the ihouse, but which are lower cost. Clayton is big and owns a bunch of different brands, but please write to me if you see a non-Clayton home at a dealer or on the web, that you think it great, in terms of energy efficiency alone or nice looking and reasonably energy efficient.

A reader drew my attention to this house, which I’d never seen before. It is the Clayton 2009/2010 “Evolution” (37EVL16802AH10), 1280 sq. ft., 16’ x 80’, and they offer a two bedroom model where the second bedroom and bath are separated from the main part of the house by a deck/breezeway.

As long as this is available with 2 x 6” wall construction, 8’ to 9’ flat ceiling or higher-than-usual vaulted ceiling, and upgradeable to R22+/19+/30+ insulation, it looks like it might fit the bill for someone who wants that separate flex room (for guests, older child, other relative) but wants to spend less than $75,000, (my guess, it could be well under that) which is not possible with the ihouse.

Although it doesn’t have the style of the ihouse, along with the ehome, it’s at the top of the few single-wide homes that have attractive exteriors. Unlike the ehome, the Evolution (link to a place where there are a few more little photos) does not have its own webpage, and you’ll have to contact a Clayton dealer to see if it is available in your area. In ways -- transom windows -- the “Evolution” looks like it is a predecessor to their ehome.

If I find better photos of the interior of one, and more info about the specs, I'll edit this post. If you run across something about it, or more photos, please write.

Another reader found a plan similar to the Evolution at at the Karsten dealer in Albuquerque. It is the Karsten HD-12. It has a breezeway, 2nd bedroom separate as a flex room, but does not show it with a bathroom, but that is probably an option. So, if you're near a Karsten dealer, and interested in this 2-bedroom separate flex room plan, ask to see the HD-12 in their plan book.

Here's a tip on how to use the Clayton Homes search, for example in this page for the "Evolution" at a dealer in Paris, TN

During the slide show,click on any photo for a close-up. Then click the "x" in the left corner to exit and let the slide show start up again.