Stay put or puchase a ranch (vs multi-story home)

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SWong

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Wife and I are brainstorming a new ranch style home just so we can avoid all this stair climbing due to age and health related issues. We currently live in a 3-story brick&mortar attached townhouse which has been very good to us during the 40+ years we've lived in it. Currently gas steam Burnham Independence boiler roughly 13 year's new. Current friends and family have mixture of both frame or brick heated by oil and/or electricity. If we stay in the city there are now no more permits issued for natural gas construction. I dislike fuel oil having had use of them before we upgraded from oil to gas when both the buried oil line and tank started leaking hence the gas conversion some 13 years ago. Not too thrilled with the thought of paying $6+ for each gallon of fuel oil which friends state are brutal on their budget. If we stay in the city all new construction requires we go with electric heat which to me is absurd. As we age common sense states we want and need warmer homes however there is a time when "needs versus wants" rule. Should we stay in the city we love or just pack up and consider moving this time to a newly constructed ranch and put ourselves at the mercy of whatever heating system comes with a newly constructed ranch? We get a opportunity to do this right and I pose this question to Terry Love's readership what they would do? I am not adverse to going back to oil as you do get more heat output per gallon of oil versus therm of natural gas but I hate the smell and maintenance each year changing out the nozzle/oil filter/and the dreaded vacuuming of the soot buildup which I use to do as a normal homeowner. Thoughts anyone?
 

John Gayewski

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Wife and I are brainstorming a new ranch style home just so we can avoid all this stair climbing due to age and health related issues. We currently live in a 3-story brick&mortar attached townhouse which has been very good to us during the 40+ years we've lived in it. Currently gas steam Burnham Independence boiler roughly 13 year's new. Current friends and family have mixture of both frame or brick heated by oil and/or electricity. If we stay in the city there are now no more permits issued for natural gas construction. I dislike fuel oil having had use of them before we upgraded from oil to gas when both the buried oil line and tank started leaking hence the gas conversion some 13 years ago. Not too thrilled with the though of paying $6+ for each gallon of fuel oil which friends state are brutal on their budget. If we stay in the city all new construction requires we go with electric heat which to me is absurd. As we age common sense states we want and need warmer homes however there is a time when "needs versus wants" rule. Should we stay in the city we love or just pack up and consider moving this time to a newly constructed ranch and put ourselves at the mercy of whatever heating system comes with a newly constructed ranch? We get a opportunity to do this right and I pose this question to Terry Love's readership what they would do? I am not adverse to going back to oil as you do get more heat output per gallon of oil versus therm of natural gas but I hate the smell and maintenance each year changing out the nozzle/oil filter/and the dreaded vacuuming of the soot buildup which I use to do as a normal homeowner. Thoughts anyone?
I would find a different city, but that's easy for someone to say and not necessarily easy for one to do. The no natural gas thing is a real mind F. Switching to electrical to heat pumps will be more and more common especially in a big city where you lose some freedom in a tradeoff between liberty and the logistics of having that many people on top of each other. Electric heat can be really comfortable as there are some much improved radiant heating systems on the market today.

If you buy a newly constructed ranch home as your calling it the heat will be enough to keep you warm and you could always supplement if you find it less comfortable.
 

Terry

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I sometimes do plumbing in three story townhomes, and always wonder what that is like navigating all those stairs. My home is two stories. My son Taylor has one like that in Everett, two living stories above the garage area.
In the Seattle area, they are trying to phase out natural gas too. I see some homes with solar panels on the roofs. Tankless water heaters going into homes here have been natural gas. In the 80's I was designing passive solar homes that did very well in the Winter and the Summer. On a clear cold day you didn't need heating.

15243-sun-design-41.jpg
 

Jeff H Young

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Its all personal. Been in California Southern for around 45 years I'm not moving to Los Angeles nor New York . and Love where I am , I don't fault those places but I'm not looking at relocating to any number of places based on many issues. Politically its not looking good for those that enjoy any conveniences from oil, natural gas or water in my state that's one thing I don't like about California. I could make a list of negatives here but won't go on there is good and bad
 

SWong

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I sometimes do plumbing in three story townhomes, and always wonder what that is like navigating all those stairs. My home is two stories. My son Taylor has one like that in Everett, two living stories above the garage area.
In the Seattle area, they are trying to phase out natural gas too. I see some homes with solar panels on the roofs. Tankless water heaters going into homes here have been natural gas. In the 80's I was designing passive solar homes that did very well in the Winter and the Summer. On a clear cold day you didn't need heating.

15243-sun-design-41.jpg
Beautiful home Terry....I'd imagine it takes quite a bit of maintenance to keep it so p[ristine. Huge turnoff is having to climb stairs which until recently was just irritating but it's now a huge effort. As alluded to earlier, when we acquired my 3-sory home in 1979 stairs weren't an issue since I lived in a 6 story walkup to an apartment. It kept me in shape especially when I had to lug groceries up and down the 6 flight of stairs. 43 years later it's a nightmare which I knew would be problematic having had to physically carry my father-in-law up and down stairs so he could make his doctor and hosp[ital visits. I'm now in my mid 70's of age and I joke with the wife I would have been euthanized if I were a horse. Lots of decisions to make and I just want to do it correctly because any miscalculation could be financially devestating. Still leaning towards a ranch for obvious reasons
 

Terry

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My mothers home was mainly one floor, with a half flight up to the upstairs living room and a half flight down to the rec room downstairs. Most of the living portion on it was one level, bedrooms, living, kitchen, dining. One step to the front door, one step to the back patio, a level driveway to the street. She stayed there until she was 102 years old.

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Jeff H Young

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You've got some beautiful shots you've taken over the years Terry. You better stop posting or we all be moving to Washington LOL! My mom is 94 living alone in Florida and not going anywhere for now
 

jadnashua

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Are you talking NYC, or somewhere in the state?

If you build, depending on the site, you may have options for solar, and hydro-thermal might also work. They have a fair up-front cost, but low running costs. GAF has had a nailable, solar panel roof system out for a few years that matches up with conventional roofing shingles to fill out the rest of the roof. THey're building a second factory, as the first is going full capacity. Low-temperature heat pumps can produce down to -10F or so these days. If you don't like the forced air, they can also heat water, and you can do hydronic. Radiant floor heating is VERY comfortable. While I like my gas stove, I would consider an induction unit in my next place.
 
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