Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,953 sf
Daylight Basement
1,953 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Prince Charming 2
The Prince Charming 2 with its stucco exterior and timber accents was adapted to fit a mountain hillside with stunning views to the west. Watch the sun set from the kitchen and dining areas as well as from the expansive west deck. Watch the sun rise from the east porch off the master bedroom. The centrally located living area with its timber beams and large hearth overlook the southern sky and hills. Like most sun-inspired homes, this home is also nature-inspired with views of the hills and trees in many directions.
First Floor
The large welcoming foyer serves both guests and family as they enter from the garage to minimize wasted space. The nearby half bath services guests on one side and the family on the other as they enter from the back laundry/mudroom. Also near the entry are the open stairs to the daylight basement. Finely finished stair treads near the gallery entry will add interest along the approach to the living area. There will be no dark hallway through which to pass. A sky tube above adds a burst of daylight into the middle of the home. A nearby desk is perfect for storing purses and phones. Just around the corner is the hearth which is ideally located in the center of the home.
The daylight cooling chimney allows hot air to exit in summer and daylight to enter to brighten the center of the living area year-round.
The master bedroom on the western end of the house has expansive south views and access to the east porch. Its proximity to the other bedrooms is ideal for those with small children or empty nesters who each desire a study or craft room.
Both the dining and laundry spaces open onto the long back porch. The nearby large deck is an outdoor space of its own perfect for grilling, hot tub soaking, or gazing into a fire pit.
Daylight Basement
The stairs to the basement open directly into the large central room with endless uses. Direct access to the western patio allows for these rooms to also have sunset views and afternoon light. The eastern end of the basement is tucked deep into the earth with room for storage, mechanical or a root cellar.
With two 9' wide doors and extra-large storage areas on the north and south ends, the garage is adaptable for various hobbies and outdoor toys. The back door to the deck makes it easy to store outdoor cooking grilles and furniture. The step-less entry into the home makes for easy access for those of any age.
Construction Info
The first floor walls are 6" stud walls with exterior insulation. The 9' high basement walls are poured concrete with the insulation on the interior. The roof is to be constructed with engineered trusses with flat 9' high ceilings over the bedrooms (with attic storage above) and vaulted ceilings with decorative timber trusses over the living, dining and kitchen. Open the doors between the first floor and daylight basement to aid passive cooling. To maintain first floor comfort in winter, flooring should be tile or concrete and some walls should have 4" brick or stone to absorb the sun's heat.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • For cost savings, removed the basement and build on a slab
  • Change out the entry desk area for wood storage
  • Screen the west or east porch or glass in part for a sunroom
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
Comments and Photos

Although Herb and Angie (Prince Charming 2) live in an area with lots of sunshine, it's also very cold. They are in Climate Zone 6B of International Energy Conservation Code - IECC.  (Zone 2 is Florida and Zone 8 is the cold parts of Alaska.) As they were finishing out the trim of the home, Herb wrote about the performance. Even though they were only visiting the house occasionally during construction, the home still performed remarkable well on its own.

Sun Plans asked them about comfort especially in summer since they have no air conditioning. "I also wanted to share with you some performance information about the house.  So far, the summer and winter performance has greatly exceeded my expectations.  Angie and I spent a long Labor Day weekend at the house, as well as a three week stay early in the summer beginning on Memorial Day.

"During both of these stays there was not one day where we were uncomfortable in the home.  Early in the summer, the outdoor temp was typically swinging between a low in the morning of 50 F, to a high of 75 in the late afternoon. During this time the indoor temperature swung from a worst case low of 68 in the morning to about 72 in the afternoon.  As we moved more into June, things crept up slightly, but the 4 degree indoor swing remained constant. This was also observed over Labor Day weekend, and mid July when friends stayed there.  Even on the warmest days, which peak in the high 80s several times a year, the indoor temp rarely gets above 75.

"Wintertime performance was even more impressive.  I have to admit I was really worried about my LP gas bill over the winter.  I did do some special programming in the automation system I installed where I automatically would start the ceiling fans about an hour before sunset (peak temp in the house), as well as start the furnace fan to move the warmer air throughout the house.  This recirc mode shuts down about an hour after sunset.  I also kept the thermostat set at 55 F while we were not there.  Worst case outdoor temperatures in January are -5 F in the morning and teens in the afternoon, but typically run about 10 F to mid to high 30s, and the sun shines a lot.  The times we have been able to observe temps in the house mid-winter showed that on sunny days the house would routinely get to the low 70s by late afternoon, and if the outdoor temp got down to single digits, the furnace would kick on around 3 or 4 am.  If we are burning a fire in the evening, the furnace would typically not run at all. Throughout the entire winter, our LP gas cost averaged $30/month, which is well below what I expected.

"As we told the builder this week, we love our home.  We get many compliments, sometimes from people we don't even know who are just passing by."

"About what do your electrical bills run annually or monthly? (no a/c right?)  Correct, no A/C.  Our minimum electrical bill is about $30/mo. We have an electric dryer, but we love to dry stuff outside if we can (which is often).  I do use the automation system to control some lights while we are not there -  the house is all LED."

"12 kw-h per day x 30 days = 360 kw-h per month is very good for a house this size with almost 2000 s.f. on the main floor and an equally sized unfinished (but semi-conditioned) daylight basement. At $0.11/ Kw-h that is an electric bill of $40/month. The use is higher during higher occupancy times.

Herb says: "After having been involved in or with the construction industry for 40 years, and never having built my own home, picking a contractor was challenging.  But, I believe I picked the right one." He chose Oakley Construction Inc., who builds high-performance custom homes. Jeannie Champion with Oakley says: "I just really do love that house... such a uniquely designed home with such a comfortable ambience about it."

Herb enjoyed working with Oakley on the details. "The beam straps are the result of a collaborative effort between me and Sam, the PM for Oakley.  His passion is blacksmithing, and he suggested doing something different than the normal T shaped strap.  So, we sent pictures back and forth and ended up with what you see.  These are not forged, however, they are plasma cut from 3/8 inch plate steel and painted a saddle brown.  Sam has all his beam ties cut by a local metal shop, and the neat thing is that this (or any) shape is not an upcharge."

"Thanks very much for your design and helping make this an enjoyable process! You have been great to work with.  I am happy that you are pleased with what you see so far.  This started with your vision, and I am trying to stay true to that while staying true to the vision Angie and I have.  We see ourselves enjoying many years in it." - Herb and Angie

Thank you Herb and Angie for the photos of your gorgeous mountain home.