Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,293 sf
Daylight Basement
1,232 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Daylight Dreams
A right-sized first floor, simple shape and overflow spaces in the sunny, daylight basement make the Daylight Dreams home perfect for a practical family that loves the sun. The sunny kitchen opens to the large living area. The lower floor can adapt for expanded living, growing children or aging parents. A large front north porch has room for summer evening entertaining while the warmer southeast deck will also be shaded by the house on summer evenings. With the deck south of the garage, it will not block winter sun in the lower floor.
"As for the design and windows - all we can sat is it works and works well." - Don and Sheila

First Floor
The primary living areas are on the sunny south side. That leaves the cooler north side for the master bedroom and more utilitarian spaces such as baths, laundry, and mechanical spaces. The central study nook is out of the bright sun, but still close to the public living spaces.

The large kitchen is ideally placed close to the garage for bringing in groceries and using the nearby canning area with large counter for working with vegetables straight from the garden. The kitchen is large enough for an island should one be desired. Two built-in pantries flank the refrigerator.

The small master bedroom, closet and bath have ample room for necessities with little waste. The shower area is designed to be used without a door.

Daylight Basement

The staircase near the family entry allow for lower level access without passing through the main living areas -- perfect for shared living or noisy kids. The central space can be used for living, crafts, exercise, etc. while the west side rooms are more private for use as bedrooms or studies. A large central bathroom is divided for use by two at one time.
Attached Garage and Detached Shop
A one car attached garage is spacious enough for a vehicle and garden prep area for housing winter plants on the south. A large detached garage with shop can be placed away from the house so as to not overwhelm the house visually.
Construction Info
The thick stick-framed walls making achieving net zero much easier in cold climates since the heat loss can be minimal. The basement walls also have an extra layer. For climates that don't need extra thick walls, the inside rooms can become a little larger. The economical truss framed roof with high raised heels allows for extra thick, economical insulation. Truss-framed floors would accommodate duct work and utilities. Both floors have 8' ceilings for economical construction. With the abundance of windows and sun, the rooms will feel large. The integral thermal mass of the basement concrete slab tempers the winter heat gain while moderating inside temperatures in summer. Plus the first floor is designed for some concrete thermal mass as well. The exterior is designed for horizontal cement board siding, economically synthetic stucco over foundation coating and accents of stone veneer. The metal roof makes for a low-maintenance home resistant to exterior fires.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should be
undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Reverse the home so the master bedroom is on the sunrise side
  • Move the stove to the east wall to create a large breakfast bar
  • Modify the exterior wall construction for milder climates
  • Use scissors roof trusses for a slightly vaulted first floor
  • Add a wood stove or masonry wood stove on either floor based on personal preferences
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • First Floor Plan with Attached Garage
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Detached Garage/Shop
Comments and Photos
Thanks Don and Sheila for the photos of the home nearing the end of construction. After they move in and get the home decorated and landscaped, clients often send photos as well as comments about their house. Meanwhile check out photos of other sun-inspired design that have the main living areas on the south like the Acorn, Heartland series to name  a few.  Many Sun Plans designs have a similar feel inside the home even thought they may be larger or smaller.
They also gave us some comments.In their very cold climate in  a high latitude, the sun really dips below the overhang in winter causing them to open the windows on some extra sunny days in the middle of winter. They also told us of the challenge of cleaning the outside of all those south windows.

"We had a great winter in the house it was very cold and the snow was so deep we could not see out the attached garage windows.

As for the design and windows - all we can sat is it works and works well. Today it was -19 C, wind chill -30C and as soon as the sun gets to the house off goes the boiler. It was 75 F this afternoon in the house and at 8:45 pm, the boiler is still off and the house up stairs is 73 F. We have our room temperature set at 69 F and it works well. Visitors comment on the warmth of our floors, but with the radiant floor heat that is what we expect.

The windows do there job of keeping out the cold and let the sun in. In the winter the sun shines across the floor and about 4 feet up the wall in the living room and if you sit at the kitchen table it is almost too warm, and this is February.

We like the design of house and over hang because in the summer time the sunlight does not even enter the house, at noon in June/ July the sun shadow is outside the window frame, so we get no heat in the house. We have found we need blinds on the west windows, as the sun can really put heat in the house as it is setting on summer days.

The upper vent style of window we put in works really well to let out the heat." 
Sun Plans typically recommends a different glass on east and west to help block heat on those windows if they are not protected by a porch or vegetation.