Questions on Pyramodule

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by WillowWisp, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. WillowWisp

    WillowWisp Well-Known Member

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    So, what is the deal with the pyramodule site? If we ever have the money in the next couple years I think that would be cool for a starter home, but I might have to hire someone to build it. It definitely looks interesting. Been spending my day surfing :)
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Looks like a mistake to me. Some fundamental flaws in design theory, in my opinion.

    1. In conventional housing, your heat gain/loss is through the ceiling and roof. The pyramodule folks say it's the walls. This is incorrect.

    2. You will need MORE insulation for that roof. Heavens, it's a giant heat absorber. If you are living in the frozen north, that may be a good thing. Building it any place south of the Mason-Dixon line, however, and you've got heat problems.

    3. I wouldn't want to have to build that roof in the first place. Roofs are harder to build than walls, and that one's a witch with a B.

    4. That structure will use more materials than a conventional building. Have you priced shingles???

    5. Resale value.... most people want conventional houses. You may have trouble unloading that one later.
     

  3. the desighn looks more dificult to build than conventional so to claim easy layperson erection discredits the promoters honesty. Another issue is the desighn looks like a material waster it will consume a lot more material for the amount of finshed space due to all the dead space and sloped roof. Resale would be dificult as mentioned. Round buildings are dificult to finish so trimming it out is gonna be extra dificult. If you like it and never plan on selling it by all means go for it if you have limited building experience and would like to do a lot of the labor go with a conventional wood frame square house a 2 story square 3 bedroom will have the best possible resale value and the cheapest material cost for space. Include a basement if it is feasable in the location you have selected.
     
  4. I like the Pyramodule and plan to construct one this spring.

    The Pyramodule uses much less material that a conventional structure because of its shape. In a conventional one-story structure the majority of the materials are above eye level (ceiling joists, peaked-roof rafters, etc.). The roof and ceiling spans are also large, requiring heavy lumber.

    The Pyramodule is shaped somewhat similar to a 'Hersheys Kiss', where the majority of materials are below eye level. The large spans are eliminated with the conical shaped roof. Further material savings are seen with the 'pod' concept, eliminating all interior walls (except for the bathroom of course).

    As for insualtion, R-30 is used, which is much heavier than the R-19 used for attic insulation in conventional homes. Insulation is included in the approximate $5,000 material budget, as are shingles.

    I have spent a great deal of time studying the design and I am delighted with the Pyramodule!
     
  5. look again you have not eliminated any roof span at all you simply forfiet some of the head room by lowering it to cut through the finished space. You still use joists to hold up the ceiling and insulation so the only way you are eliminating any material is by using smaller than code permits dimensions which will get changed to code aproved dimensions to get aproval. If you are happy with a one room cabin you can omit the interior walls in any structure. One concept that is valid is to make the length and width the same but by keeping it small you are still running up the per square foot material cost. By the time you build it you won't be doing it for any five grand unless it is smaller than the average garage. It wastes a good deal of space under roof also by the weird desighn so you could do better with conventional desighn.
     
  6. I'm not understanding the resistance to the Pyramodule. If you want to be concerned about something, be concerned that the Pyramodule site is down:

    http://www.pyramodule.com

    Perhaps the designer is on vacation...

    Yes, the span is eliminated for the ceiling, but of course that could also be done with vaulted ceilings with a conventional structure. The steep roof can use smaller lumber since it derives structural strength in its steepness, simplar to a tee-pee. The overhead space is used for a loft, where the area is used for sleeping or storage.

    The materials meet code. The designer offers a money-back guarantee if your county offices reject the design and refure to issue construction permits. By the way, the designer is a registered architectural engineer in Ottawa.

    Your are not limited to a one-room cabin, since the Pyramodule is designed to be expanded with one or more additional pods. Those pods can be added at any time in the future.
     
  7. i don't resist i just realize the claims made are not valid. Building several small boxes as opposed to one large one is certainly a material and money waster. you can put a steep roof on any style contruction but it costs a lot to roof both in labor and material. the desighn should be sold on looks as that is really the only way it is differant from any other form of contruction. Before you spend big bucks on a plan full of false claims try buying just a material list for evaluation and do some pricing as i supect the 5 grand is as phoney as the rest of the claims. Steep roofs do have merit in areas that get heavy snows but from about zone 4 south are just money wasters due to the extra shingles and increased labor from having to set toe boards all the way up. An a frame uses basicly the same idea but has been banned from many areas. the only cost saving concept of the desighn that is realy valid is to make the length and width the same as a square box is the cheapest in material use to enclose a given square footage. Don't get me wrong the desighn is not a problem the claims are the problem they are just not valid. Also consider that shingles typicly only have limited life spans and get replaced 3-4 times as often as siding, so trading out siding for shingles is not a particularly frugal concept.
     
  8. I'm surprised that you don't see the huge span created in an A-frame design, which is not present in the Pyramodule.

    At any rate, I give up. You have your mind made up and nothing anyone can say will change that. You build your conventional home and I'll build my Pyramodule.
     
  9. I am suprised you don't see the falicy in the logic the only reason you have no span is if you have no space try pricing material for a conventional building and a pyramodule of the same dimension. Maybe you dont understand so try this draw a square of 10x10 and you will need 40 lineal to get around it to enclose 100 square now draw the square 20 x 20 and you will use 80 (twice) to get around 400 square (4 x as much space) as you see small units consume much more material per square foot than larger units. If you build the aframe the same size as the pyramodule you would have basicly the same span so there is no span savings. the pyra module actually employs a larger span than conventional due to the roof cutting through the head room and resting on a perimeter a couple feet outside the finished dimension. same as an a frame. now if you like you can use all hip roofs on any structure same as the pyramodule . Hip roofs do tend to generate a fair amount of framing material waste so are not real big cost savers. they also require aditional and heavier ridge poles. with the hip roof you also have much more cap or ridge to cover so you burn a lot of shingles doing that. By all means if you like the desighn build one and enjoy it but don't think it is going to save you anything because it won't. do it because you like the look. you know 4x8 of osb is now 20 + dollars shingles are upwords 35+ for asphalt or 3 tab el-chepos are 20+ try estimating just the roof deck paper nails and shingles add 10-15 % on shingles for cutoff and cap, i think you will find you have broken the 5 grand already.with no frame under it at all or insulation any structure can be insulated to whatever r value you want.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Did you folks read the Countryside article where someone built a square cabin for $1000?
     
  11. WillowWisp

    WillowWisp Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this got more responses than I expected too. This is a very busy forum. I think the pyramodule looks cool. In my dreams, or one day in reality it would still be neat to have one even for a cabin. I definitely need to check out that site on building a 1,000 dollar cabin. I also like the geodesic houses, A frames, but my favorites are log cabins.

    It is fun just looking at things :)
    surprising what is out there.

    Willowwisp
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    "but my favorites are log cabins."

    Well, then, you MIGHT be disapointed! :eek:

    *IF* my memory serves me, It was made of 2x4's and plywood, with concrete and concrete block foundation. It looked pretty sturdy, and had regular windows and a door.
     
  13. RAC

    RAC Guest

    I too think the Pyramodule is interesting, and really don't see much difference as far as roof issues compared to an A-Frame.

    I also think that you CAN build houses cheaply and/or for free. However, you have to be careful where you build them. You will not be able to get a house built from scavenged pieces of other houses in an area of brand new homes, for example unless you are a very famous architect, for example. And there's a huge difference between using nice stuff from say an architectural salvage place (like those featured on Martha Stewart Living) and cobbling together something haphazardly. Even then, you still have permits in most places to pay for, which have to be included as part of the cost of construction.

    Just something to think about.
     
  14. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    What issue was it in?
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't remember, and I do not have time to find it either tonight or tomorrow: I am booked.

    I DO remember that it was on the cover, and it was built by a man and his son.
     
  16. i doubt you find anywhere in the usa to build without following a building code and that will mean the frame is going to be material with a visible grade stamp kind of eliminates most salvage some codes even specificly state no salvage. You may be able to build sheds and detached garages that way in some areas. you may be able to use salvage items for trim but it may not realy save you anything to put an old junk window in and loose all the energy. You could probably put used interior doors and casing or molding in as long as it is not covered in lead paint. If you can pick rocks out of a field or creek you may be able to build with them. the days of building out of shipping wood or old box cars is gone now, except for chicken coops and dog houses. One of my favorite primitive cabin concepts is a small grain bin. I supose an old trailer is the cheapest house possible may even pay you to haul it off but maintenance is a nightmare and it is just junk. You are going to find it harder and harder to use alternative methods most places won't alow straw bale or a frames now.
     
  17. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Very true. This little cabin was built with bought materials. But, my back issues are in a hard to reach place, it is almost 9 PM here, the kids need to go to bed, and tomorrow is booked.