[LMB] 2014 NASFIC and weather

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Tue Sep 20 09:40:04 BST 2011

On Sep 19, 2011, at 10:36 AM, Agnes Charrel-Berthillier wrote:
> A house appropriate for this place would be well insulated (thick stone or adobe instead of wood, clay tiles rather than shingles, and if that makes you nervous in earthquake country there *are* modern materials that are lighter and provide insulation that is if not as good at least better than the plywood and chicken wire too commonly found around here), and have wooden shutters on all windows that actually close <eyeroll>.

I cannot look at a shake roof without hoping that it's fakeshake, or shuddering in reaction to the lack of consideration of fire safety. At one point in 1997, looking at houses for sale, our realtor took us to a place across the street from a forest with lots of pines, and some redwoods. However, this particular division had LOTS of pines, all shedding needles. I noted that there was only one twisted way out of the division, a danger sign to me, and when I saw the house with cedar shakes under three or more tall pine trees (wick-ed tall candles, anyone?), and the same in every lot around it, I had further misgivings. I walked in the house, and to me it was soooooo uuuuuugly and darkish that I really needed to get out of there. The hackles on my neck were very high. Nancy looked at me and said, "Okay. Why is this house not working for you?" I listed the safety concerns, and then my opinion of the house itself. We never looked at a house like that again.

There is a house in Laguna Hills, in Orange Co., CA--a fairly wealthy area. Over ten years ago, there was a major fire in the area, leaving behind the charred remains of houses, surrounding this one lovely untouched house, still standing. The owner had paid attention, and included in the house plans every disaster-abatement feature he could: fire, quake, and maybe others. The firefighters in that blaze were grateful, as it was one house they could mostly ignore.

If we'd realized what little insulation was in the roof over the "great room" before we'd put in the solar array, we'd have redone the roof first. We have a retractable screen door for the front door, sliding glass windows with screens (with a partly shaded deck just outside), but we really need to have a north-facing skylight that opens, to allow heat to rise out of the area by the kitchen/great room wall AND get more light there in the afternoon. We have an attic/whole house fan that takes up a lot of energy, but does pull out heat out to the roof and away. It is unfortunately very noisy, so I can't keep it on when I'm trying to sleep.

A. Marina Fournier
SaffronRose at me.com
The good citizen will demand liberty for himself, and as a matter of pride he will see to it that others receive the liberty which he thus claims as his own. Probably the best test of true love of liberty in any country is the way in which minorities are treated in that country.

– Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909); “Citizenship in a Republic,” address, Sorbonne (23 Apr 1910) (via ***Dave)

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