Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,898 sf
Daylight Basement
963 sf
Unfinished Basement
903 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Cherryview Farm
The north-facing Cherryview Farm is a slightly smaller, simplified version of Nature's Corner. With land that has wonderful north views, windows were strategically located to capture scenes of nature as well as to let in the soft north light and increase house cross breezes. Be connected to nature on every side of the home and especially from the extra large southeast screened porch that could be a three season morning or enclosed sun room to increase the home's solar gain. Enjoy watching summer sunrises from the northeast front porch.
This home has been on the 2019 National Solar Tour and is currently zero net energy with the addition of PV panels.
First Floor
An open kitchen, dining and great room with an optional barn beamed ceiling and stone covered corner hearth creates a large warm and cozy family area. The central bay window dining area will provide a panoramic southern view.
Planning ahead for future scenarios has one central closet at the center of the home than can be converted to an optional elevator. The extra large kitchen with large walk-in pantry has plenty of room for two to cook and a large group to mingle around the perimeter. The corner laundry and desk nook in front of a window make for a very functional work side of the home.
Bedroom two, right off of the kitchen is ideally situated for a study and/or crafts room. A built-in desk and bed can make good use of the small room for the occasional guests.
The master bedroom on the cooler, north side of the home allows for larger living areas on the south side. It has a dressing nook between the two large closets. Corner northwest windows really open up the room. A very open master bath makes maneuvering very easy in a wheelchair.
Daylight Basement
The daylight basement has one dedicated bedroom and a large entertainment room (optional bedroom 4) on the south that features a corner wood stove hearth that keeps wood on the lower level. The central bath serves both these rooms and is also close to the garage workshop. The centrally located optional elevator makes bringing groceries up to the kitchen trouble-free. The north storage or mechanical can also be a root cellar or storm shelter. The south walk-out patio provides an outdoor living area that connects around to the corner deck and screened porch.
Basement Garage
The extra large two car garage tucked under the house makes for an economical location for parking all types of vehicles with plenty of extra room for storage and workshop equipment. South-facing windows let in light and the central bay window would be perfect for a winter greenhouse with the extra long windows. The north storage not connected to the basement or under the living area is a safer place for materials such as gas and paints.
Construction Info
With half of the lower level walls above grade, they can be framed similarly to the first floor stud walls - insulated both in the cavity and on the exterior. The remaining below grade walls can be one of several concrete systems. Economical roof trusses with energy heel ends allow for extra thick ceiling insulation with a vented attic. Both floors have 9' ceilings providing adequate room for utilities and more south wall area on which to add taller south windows. Stone hearths on both levels add thermal mass yet with the lower amount of south glass, wood floors can be installed throughout.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Add a shower to the half bath
  • Redesign the master bath to add more privacy and a tub if wheelchair access is not a concern
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement with Garage/Workshop
  • Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
Comments and Photos
Thanks to Larry and Joy for sending photos of their completed home. Dick Yoder, builder, did an excellent job of building the home to a low HERS rating for very low-energy home that has since become net zero energy with the addition of solar panels. 
This home has been on the National Solar Tour where this was written:  "This particular Solar Tour home is extraordinary in that visitors will be able to view an ultra energy efficient PASSIVE SOLAR HOME that heats during colder months directly from the incident sunlight entering the home and cools during part of the warm season with flow through ventilation.  Visitors will also see up close the ground-mounted SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS that provide 100% of the home’s electrical energy requirements. Not only that, the home will soon be using its self-generated electrical energy to power a BEV (battery electric vehicle)."
Larry and Shirley have also told us:
"With the combination of the passive solar and a small wood stove, our geothermal unit is only called upon during December, January and February for heating and the last part of June, July, August and perhaps the first part of September for cooling. Thus, the HVAC operates about 6 months out of the year - which is not too bad for our climate. When we have good winter sun, the passive solar plus wood stove carries the entire heating load for a good part of the day. If fact, on mid- afternoon 20 degree December day Joy cracked open a couple of windows because she got too warm when the inside temperature rose to 7 degrees above the thermostat set point. And that was after I had let to wood stove burn down. If only every winter day was sunny here!

There are several things about the Cherryview Farm house design that we just love. First, with the window size and placement there is almost no location in the house without a view. We are truly outdoor people and our country location has so many great views that we seldom pass a window with looking out. We always have binoculars at hand. There is always something to view that is more interesting than Days of Our Lives. On a practical side we can see when someone drives up the driveway...being aware of our surroundings give us an added sense of home security.

The garage is truly unique. It holds two cars, stays relatively warm in the winter and cool in the summer without HVAC. It has space for shop tools and my woodworking as well. But perhaps best of all, is that the large south facing windows provide great winter light and warmth on sunny days, not to mention a view. Originally, I had planned to build an additional shop for storage and workspace. But the 900 sq. ft. garage provides me with all that I need and then some. It is an inviting place to work and the south bay window provide exceptional space for growing plants. Joy brought in some of her outdoor potted plants this fall and they did great without additional heat or lighting. Normal winter temperatures in the garage are in the low to mid 50's and it drops to mid to low 40's at around zero outside. Not too bad for unheated (except for the solar) space. We do a lot of seed starting for our gardening and can hardly wait to get that set up in front of the large bay window. We expect to need very little additional lighting to start our plants as the bay is awash in natural light. Early spring temperatures in the garage should accommodate plant growth very well. I think this house could aptly be described as a green, greenhouse.

So I gotta say Debbie, that there is not much not to like about our Cherryview Farm design home. It fits us, our lifestyle and our climate to a T."