Note: Underlined titles are links.
I realized as I was writing the little blurbs for each supplier that a common theme was "good people." I can't stress this enough. We shopped around a lot for all the major items and subcontractors. We had choices. While price was always a consideration, the main thing that sold us over and over again was the attitude of the people we dealt with. Too many people in the construction business simply fail to return phone calls, or treat you like a idiot if you don't know exactly what you need or how to specify it. Often, after our initial contract with these folks was over, I returned to them for additional work and didn't worry about competitive bids. Good people and good service pay off.
Enercept supplied the Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for both the house and the garage. They are excellent people to work with and have a very well designed product.
Excellent Icynene(tm) contractor in Central Iowa. Ken Wiggers, owner, is one of the most helpful people I've run into during the course of this project.
Our main building materials supplier. Super people to work with all around. Larry Williams, our main contact has been great, as have all the delivery people, and even the billing folks!
Our foundation contractor. Good work, delivered on time, within budget. Showed up when they promised.
Our flat-work concrete contractor of choice. Solid work, reliable, but very busy.
Our HVAC contractor. Flexible, knowledgeable, easy to work with, fair price.
Our plumber. I met Paul on a Habitat project. He's good guy, does nice work.
KCI supplied the rock for our retaining wall and the cultured stone brick for the fireplace. They are helpful people who are easy to work with.
Well illustrated and reasonably complete. It does not, unfortunately, address the unique challenges of building a 22 foot on a site miter.
An excellent article about designing with SIPs, especially with respect to moisture issues.
A thorough and understandable guide to everything you would want to know about wiring your house for Ethernet networking. Steve DeRose is a very bright fellow and a heck of nice guy, to boot. I knew when a few years ago when I worked a great deal with Electronic Book Technologies, a software company that Steve co-founded.
Background on the influential architect and author of "A Pattern Language".
A super cool interactive tool for playing around with the size of overhangs and how they shade a building. A good example what you can do with Flash.
General information about SIPs, links to suppliers, etc.
A large site dedicated to exactly what the title says. Organized by state.
The owner/builders of this beautiful, under construction octagon got in touch with us after finding our site on the net. We have enjoyed sharing each other's experiences and plans through a series of mail notes. I am now looking forward to visiting their site frequently to see it take shape.