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Old 05-31-06, 08:35 AM   #1
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What features to add to a home for a commute

So, it looks like the commute is a go - and starting in July we are building a home too. (We means I pay, my wife designs - and others build it)

Our environment is this - temperatures pretty much the same year round - expect rain daily for 8 months of the year - most of the commute (5 kilometers) is rock / dirt road - think muddy, but good riding.

What would you add to a new home? My wife has ideas (dedicated shower attached to outside - hose me off, and clothes) - I have a clamp I just bought for my bike to clamp and hose it down too (and work on it)

Got ideas?
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Old 05-31-06, 08:49 AM   #2
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You are really going to chew up your bike if your daily ride is wet and muddy. I would re-think the whole idea if that was going to be the case. But yes, an outdoor hose for the bike and you sounds necessary here. It doesn't need to be a shower, just a hose with a nozzle on it. Then go inside and take a normal shower in your bathroom.

You might also want a dedicated place in your garage to put a wet bike and to hang up wet gear to dry.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:51 AM   #3
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#1 - a guest cabin for me when I come to visit.

My wife and I are adding bike-friendly touches to the re-design of our home.
- larger door and easier access to a bike/snowboard room [8 bikes and 5 snowboards plus associated tools]
- heated floor and floor drain in said room so that winter snow [not a problem for you] can melt off bikes, or they can be washed in the spring/summer/fall
- laundry room adjacent to bike room
- full bathroom adjacent to laundry room
- extended eaves to shelter bikes when left outside
- beer fridge

We'll probably think of other things, but that's the plan so far.
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Old 05-31-06, 10:23 AM   #4
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Well, the road is muddy - but not mud - pretty hard packed - besides, I ride a mountain bike - it doesn't mind getting wet.

I am thinking of dedicated shower - I go in and hose off - and throw the clothes outside to drip dry for the next day.

I knew the guest cabin was going to come up... :-)
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Old 05-31-06, 10:54 AM   #5
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A little extra space in the garage. Room to hang 3 bikes on the wall. A workbench. You will need a couple spare bikes and the facilities to work on them yourself. Make it a little bike sanctuary.
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Old 05-31-06, 11:02 AM   #6
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hmmm, I can afford the house, but all the bikes... Currently, I only have a single bike. If it needs repair - well, there is always the horse. (I kid you not!)

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Old 05-31-06, 11:11 AM   #7
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I knew the guest cabin was going to come up... :-)
Best make it a guest motel, cuz lots of us are coming down around January or so!
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Old 05-31-06, 11:28 AM   #8
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Make the shower a wet room with drainage in the floor.
A large veranda is useful in wet tropical climates.
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Old 05-31-06, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crtreedude
hmmm, I can afford the house, but all the bikes... Currently, I only have a single bike. If it needs repair - well, there is always the horse. (I kid you not!)
Get a couple beaters from garage sales. If you are going to commute alot, you need a spare. You'll also be spending alot of time cleaning chains, brake pads and stuff. You'll get tired of hauling your bike to the bike store for maintenance. You'll also get tired of the urgency of having to work on your bike right now because its your only bike and you need it for tomorrows commute.

Get a couple of steel bikes. Convert them to single speed yourself. Hang them in the corner of the garage by your workbench.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel
Get a couple beaters from garage sales. If you are going to commute alot, you need a spare. You'll also be spending alot of time cleaning chains, brake pads and stuff. You'll get tired of hauling your bike to the bike store for maintenance. You'll also get tired of the urgency of having to work on your bike right now because its your only bike and you need it for tomorrows commute.

Get a couple of steel bikes. Convert them to single speed yourself. Hang them in the corner of the garage by your workbench.
+1 I have 3 bikes to choose from.

I had another thought - screw the shower, put in a pool along with a ramp so when you get home you can just ride up the ramp, an arresting cable stopping the bike and sending it by conveyor down to the garage, while you are launched into the cool water. We don need no stinkin shower!
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Old 05-31-06, 12:33 PM   #11
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Okay, at the bottom of the property is the Rio Cote - beautiful mountain river, lots of fish if you were curious... We just built a road fromt he top to the bottom. If I miss the turn and go about 3/4 of a kilometer - yep, we got river.

Of course, I do cross a couple on the way, I could always miss the bridge.

Yes - it is wonderful here in January.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:35 PM   #12
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You'll need an outdoor shower for you, and a hose for the bike. Make sure the runoff water has somewhere to go (adequate drainage). You shouls also have a dedicated bike storage/repair shop with enough room for a few bikes, a workbench, and space for tools.

*envy*
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Old 05-31-06, 05:59 PM   #13
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Good ideas all - must make a nice home for bikes. Good repair - with tunes of course. Hmmm, must make sure refrigrator is nearby with tasty beverages (no alcohol for me - I miss it sometimes, but not often) - let's see , tropical fruit drinks of whatever is ripe. One of my favorites - fresh coconut and pineapple - and fresh milk. A real Piña Colada! Ah yes, arrive with a a tropical fruit drink ready, freshly made of course. Blackberries blended with milk and ice is really good too. I am making myself hungry...

Drainage will be fine. The whole place is being landscaped.

The pool is a pretty good idea, down the first slope is where we have two spring fed creeks coming together. Wouldn't take much to make a fresh water pool there for hot biker... Not that bad of a walk back up to the house from the pool either. Might just work. During the rainy season though it would be like a water slide going down to it due to the mud on the road (real mud -not just a little!)
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Old 05-31-06, 06:51 PM   #14
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1. Bike Racks with an overhead canopy made of a durable material like chro-moly, stainless steel, or carbon.

2. An Additional shed with about room for 5 parked bikes, a work bench, and space to work on a bike. Give it a lockable door, a security window, and A/C.

3. A barbeque grill, and an outdoor cooler filled with Heinekins.
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Old 05-31-06, 06:55 PM   #15
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Make sure you have hot water available on the outside...cold showers suck

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Old 05-31-06, 07:10 PM   #16
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So, what is the A/C for? We don't need no stinking A/C! Nearly perfect temperature, year round. Not sure you know it, but parts of Costa Rica have been voted as having the best climate in the world.

There will be security for the bikes.

Now, do you assume not enough food? Will you vote me off the island if I tell you we have a full-time cook?

Hey, I work hard! Honest I do!

Yes - hot water - important. One suicide shower coming up. (Imagine two big wires heading to the shower head - Yikes!)

Bike racks out of Almendro or Corteza - these woods will last longer than me. Corteza is so hard it has the same fire rating as concrete.
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Old 05-31-06, 08:00 PM   #17
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workstand
work bench
sink/cleanup area
good lighting
close proximity to the laundry area
good stereo system
espresso machine
kegerator
...and of course ...a fireman's pole from the upstairs for quick exits and practicing your dance moves
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Old 05-31-06, 08:24 PM   #18
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Nope, no upstairs - earthquakes you know...
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Old 05-31-06, 09:43 PM   #19
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A very important consideration is house resale value....don't design the house too much for your eccentric quirks. I would build a conventional garage as I assume it will be a useful selling point (EDIT: if that's what is typical for these houses), and then make that your bike storage and work area, so you can ride right in and close the door if the weather is stormy. Make sure it has a floor drain.

I second the notion of maintaining at least one or a couple of spare beater bikes. And make sure they can fit fenders, so there will be at least somewhat less mud to deal with. If you expect to need to shower at work every day you'll need a rack and waterproof panniers for your change of clothes.

I'm intending to get myself a bike workstand, that holds the bike up as you work on it - make sure you have room for that. Or is that what you meant by a "clamp"?

Last edited by cooker; 06-01-06 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 06-01-06, 07:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrobe
- larger door and easier access to a bike/snowboard room [8 bikes and 5 snowboards plus associated tools]
- heated floor and floor drain in said room so that winter snow [not a problem for you] can melt off bikes, or they can be washed in the spring/summer/fall
- laundry room adjacent to bike room
- full bathroom adjacent to laundry room
- extended eaves to shelter bikes when left outside
- beer fridge
To these I would add:
- Lockers, either built-in or a free-standing module of metal gym lockers on wheels (for moving and cleaning behind)
- A laundry sink for cleaning stuff and for attaching the hose that will be used to hose off bikes over the floor drain
- Some sort of bike hooks on one wall so you can store several bikes, the main one, the spouse's, the kids', a backup
- Cover the floor (don't forget to make it slope to the drain) and the walls at least half-way up with ceramic tile, so you can clean the room by putting the bikes outside, wheeling the lockers to the hall, and hosing down the room with a hose and nozzle attached to the laundry sink

Mud rooms seem popular these days. If your lockers were a free-standing module, and the bike rack was one of those units that either leans on the wall or is held between the floor and ceiling by tension, then that room, when all your bike-specific stuff was out of it, would be nothng more than a large rectangular room with a tile floor, a drain in the floor, and a laundry sink. I would think that a room like that would be welcome to prospective buyers. It could be used by them as a mud room, a gardening room, a workshop, all with the appropriate furnishings.
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Old 06-01-06, 07:26 AM   #21
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large, screened in porch, with huge overhangs can be the bike shop / hang out / cool off / repair space. plenty of cross ventilation. a bit of security for the bikes.

keep it simple. make it yours, and unique. screw resale valule - this is your place, design it so it works for you - but simple enough so that if you quit riding you still can use the space as a porch / mud room / etc.

think about your local environ - where is the sun, how warm does it get, do you want sunlight in your bedroom, kitchen, etc. where do the prevailing winds come from? are you on a hillside? views? how do you frame your environment with your house / windows, doors, etc.? what is the approach? traditional front door - or entry to a mud / entry space which seperates the private side of the house (bedroom, study, master bath) from the public (kitchen, living / "great" room or "not so great" room) etc...

i'm working on a house design of my own... probably on the 3-5 year plan for building it... i'll have a bike garage as well... outdoor shower (next to the wood fired soaking tub), workstand, etc, home office, cleaning area, storage, gear storage (outdoor stuff), live in porch area.... etc.

(i design for a living, so i geek out on this stuff...)
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Old 06-01-06, 08:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crtreedude
Wouldn't take much to make a fresh water pool there for hot biker... Not that bad of a walk back up to the house from the pool either. Might just work. During the rainy season though it would be like a water slide going down to it due to the mud on the road
Whoo-hoo!!
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Old 06-01-06, 08:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
make it yours, and unique. screw resale valule - this is your place, design it so it works for you -
It's also the largest investment of your life, and a cornerstone of your retirement finances, so make sure it "works for you" as an investment too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
....i'm working on a house design of my own ...(i design for a living, so i geek out on this stuff...)
I have a theory that when designers and architects design for other people, what you get is a compromise between their highly eccentric or avant garde vision, and the more conventional tastes of their clients. Something that may push the envelope of mainstream design, but not tear it.

When they design for themselves, there's no such external restraint on them, so they come up with a fantastic design that other professional designers ooh and ah over, but which becomes a white elephant when they want to move on.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:22 AM   #24
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You live near Puntarenas? I took a cruise of the Pacific side of CR a couple of years ago.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by cooker
It's also the largest investment of your life, and a cornerstone of your retirement finances, so make sure it "works for you" as an investment too.
conventional wisdom says its the largest investment of one's life, but this is not always true, if one designs and builds effectively for lifestyle, budget, etc.

my guess is in CR he's not building your typical "finance and flip" home. if you see your dwelling as a shell, or an extension of your body, it becomes less about financial gain, and more about custom fit. yes, $$ is important in all things bought, sold, built, etc. -would you build something that was a good investment, but a not so great place to live? Why? live crappy now, only to potentially have some $$ later?

is life about "retiring" and enjoyment, or enjoying everyday, in a wonderful space that inspires you to create, live, share, and cherish?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker
I have a theory that when designers and architects design for other people, what you get is a compromise between their highly eccentric or avant garde vision, and the more conventional tastes of their clients. Something that may push the envelope of mainstream design, but not tear it.

When they design for themselves, there's no such external restraint on them, so they come up with a fantastic design that other professional designers ooh and ah over, but which becomes a white elephant when they want to move on.
you don't know me, or how i design.

my work is rooted in "custom", for the owner / client, and the environment. like a suit, or bicycle. i focus on handcrafted and detailed per the lifestyle of the owners. some people put more thought into buying a TV or a car than they do in a house (look at all the mcmansions in suburban land...)

i'll agree that some "designers" force their vision on others. i'm way too practical for that, hence all the questions about the local site, envrion, etc. i didn't get into planned use, lifestyle, how many people, etc.

i also try to build the home around how people live, not how they think they live. building a house really requires honesty with oneself to put lifestyle on the table and examine it... most people don't need a "great" room, or a formal dining room, or half the square footage of the conventional surburban waste of resources.
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