Frequently Asked Questions for 1225 Rebel Hill Road (There are a lot of them)
Goals for our purpose built shared home…
- Getting 4 boomer tenants on board that can enjoy what we think is a great home,
- Getting our gardening world turning out a lot of organic veggies,
- Getting folks from all walks of life pitching in with their various talents to make this effort work,
- Have some fun along the way and make a difference!
How can you help with our 2020 Victory Garden?
- Come ready to contribute.
- Bring your ideas, concepts and experience…
Will we need to social distance while outside with the other gardeners?
- Yes, we’ll be recommending masks and gloves when working along side other community members
Can I test drive the house and the gardening world for a month to see if am a fit?
- Yes! That is what Suite 1 is for…
- The cost for the test drive, $175 for the week. The dollars will go toward the gardening effort.
- It might be the best money you ever spent!
What’s Suite 1 all about?
What’s special about Suite 1
- For wintertime enjoyment, it has the most comfortable heated floors,
- In the summer, it keeps pretty cool because of the insulated concrete walls and the fact that it is built into Rebel Hill!
- It has an accessible shower,
- It sleeps 3,
- How? Queen bed & single sofa bed, and
- It has a kitchenette with fridge.
What’s the recipe that make’s 1225 a comfort home?
To achieve the absolute best indoor comfort for our purpose built comfort home, we:
- Built the house into a hill to leverage the year around 50 degree temperature,
- Invested in a wall system the includes 12″ think ICF walls for the first floor and one foot double wall construction on the second and third floors. The yield from our insulated walls, the house stays at a constant temperature,
- Used non-toxic cellulose (recycled newspaper) insulation on the second and third floor – lots of it,
- Installed easy to clean engineered floors. No wall to wall carpets in this home!
- Integrated an airlock into the front of the house. It’s like an old school vestibule that we grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s..
- Installed best of breed triple glazed windows,
- Selected a 3-point locking systems for our doors to minimize drafts,
- Have a radon evacuation system working 24/7
- Installed radiant heat in the first floor slab which helps warm the entire house,
- Get daily air changes via our smart bathroom exhaust systems,
- We orientated the building due south to maximize the sun entering the house,
- Naturally “lit up the house” with 11 tubular skylights,
- Pass light down our stairwell with “sturdy” translucent landings,
- Have roof top solar panels that provide 80 percent of our domestic hot water,
- Store the water we “manufacture” in a 300 gallon Radiant Comfort Heat Farm,
- Have a backup instantaneous hot water heater to cover for cloudy days
- Have large rocks, some that doubling as chairs that are make great seats on warm days.
- Have an excellent plot of dirt and everything needed for a victory garden,
- Enjoy seashore style hot and cold outdoor showers and
- Hope to have a sauna in place by the end of July.
How’s the parking?
- There are two garages that our four residents share,
- There is also driveway parking and
- We also have over flow parking out front.
What’s a Harry Potter room and why have one?
- It’s a guest sleeping nook with a full size twin under the steps and a painting of Hedwig. According to the young people that have camped out in the Potter room, it’s similar to the world where Harry wrote all his books!
- It’s great for young people and even adults who want to experience life in the Potter world.
- Lastly, it makes great use of under the step space that typically gets wasted….
How about cleaning the common areas..
- We have a trusted person that comes in twice a month to clean the common areas.
Is the home in the Village of Gulph Mills, Conshohocken or Upper Merion
- Although the mail for 1225 comes through the Conshohocken post ofice, 1225 it is actually in the Village of Gulph Mills
- We are however, in Upper Merion township and have access to great township services including a wonderful community center!
What is in place for Electric Car Charging?
- Given we are partial to electric vehicles, there is a charging outlet at the 1225 house. If you currently own an electric car or are considering the purchase of one, you will be able “amp up” your car, free of charge.
- There is also a EV charger at the end of the driveway next to 1223 Rebel Hill. This is listed on the Plug Share App under Rebel Hill Eco Homes. If you have a friend visiting that needs some juice, have them plug in!
Why use decorative concrete in the two first floor suites?
- We needed mass to hold the radiant heat. Concrete is perfect for this.
- Rather than spending the bux and and absorbing the ” carbon hit” associated with installing tile over oconcrete, we invested the time to make the concrete look pretty special early in the game.
- The result, a great looking low carbon floor where with no need to clean grout!
Why go with natural furniture on the patio?
- The furniture was free. It came out of the ground when we did our excavating.
- It will hold up a lot longer than plastic furniture and
- It just required Harold, our mentor and some of his solid thinking to make it work…
Is the neighborhood safe?
- We’ll been on the Hill for 34 years. Not once has anything disappeared.
- The house sits on a flag lot a good ways off Rebel Hill. We’re away from traffic.
- We have a camera on the front driveway, just in case…
Why a recycled kitchen?
- Its a great way to reuse resources.
- The 10K we saved by extracting a 7 year old cherry kitchen with granite counter tops and applicance from a real nice Blue Bell home, we put into our tripe glazed windows.
Where did the Wissahickon Schist for the retaining wall come from?
- 60 tons came from under the 1225 house
- 10 ton came from the 1227 House
- 5 ton came from the neighbor. We bartered big bolders and recycled brick for landscaping
- Result: a pretty cool looking functional low carbon wall!
What happens when the house loses power.
- Though we rarely lose power due to Peco’s aggressive tree work, just in case, we have a transfer switch and portable generator to keep the house running.
What’s an European drying room
- It’s ventilated 4′ x 4″ room just off the laundry area with plenty of hanging racks..
- Using this for drying your laundry will assure your clothes do not get beaten up by the dryer
- Also, with the drying room, you can avoid using what our friend Mel Marmer calls the wicked appliance! Yes, the dryer :}
- In case the drying room is full to the brim, we have a real nice Whirlpool dryer to go along with the WP washer!
Whats the purpose of the outside shower
- It’s a fresh approach to showering – especially when the birds are chirping!
- It’s a compliment to the sauna that we’ll have finished by July 1, 2020.
- Along with a bar of Ivory soap, it reminds you a little bit of the Jersey shore :}
Why have a Sauna?
- It will make our residents healthier,
- Sitting in the Sauna 3 or 4 days a week will slow your motor down, and
- It will help you with a solid cognitive run into your 90’s!
Why Radon Evacuation
- Given a lot of houses in PA have it, it needs to be vented!
- When building the home in 2011, we installed the under the concrete piping and material in advance. It works!
Why have an Instant Pot in the home?
- In case you thinking, whats an Instant Pot? It’s a pressure cooker on steroids and the foundation for some of the best one pot meals you’ll ever consume. The kitchen comes standard with an Instant Pot, an appliance that could be a many mainstay outside late lunch or dinner on the patio!
- We’ll also pitch in recipes from a few of our instant pot events!
How do we handle over flow storage?
- Over the 2 car garage, we have quite a bit of unconditioned shelved up storage.
- Each person will be able to store “Stuff” -not too much though, got to minimize pack ratting…
How do 4 residents share 2 garages:
- We share. We work out an even and odd week scenario.
- Each tenant has a garage door opener..
How do I slim down from an entire house to living with less on the Hill?
- You can talk with past residents such as Julie or Shirley, they did it.
- We can find someone to help you sell off some of your world..
Can I bring my living room and dining room furniture.
- Sure. We have OK furniture in both rooms now. If need be, we can get rid of all the furniture
- Also, once people are on board, everyone has a say in the furniture decisions..
How about sharing the fridge and cabinets.
- We have the biggest fridge we could possibly buy in the kitchen
- We do have a number of cabinets with storage.
- We have a corner cabinet in the dining room and room for another if needed…
- The resident living in the penthouse will have their own fridge.
The house does have steps...
- If you’re an active person that ascribes to the theory “a body in motion stays in motion”, the steps will be easy.
- In fact, given the way our penthouse has come together – which is two flights above the main level, we’re betting this spot with the kitchenette might be the first to go!
How’s the Heating and Air conditioning work:
- Each suite has its own heating and air condition controls.
- If you would like more heat in the winter and less air in the summer, go for it..
- If you want to open your windows and enjoy cross ventilation, just do it!
- The only thing everyone will need to agree on is how the common space on the second floor will be conditioned.
How do we search for tenants?
- Friends, past tenants and Avail.
- After finding the first tenant, from there on in, the process is a democracy and we’ll work together to get compatible folks.
How does our lease work?
- We’ll ask you to sign a 2-year lease with one month security deposit
- If at some point, shared living is not a fit for you, we’ll get right on finding a replacement tenant and ask you to honor your lease until we bring a new person in.
Can we garden?
- Absolutely, We love gardeners!
- If you want to grow some of your own veggies, we have nice fertile patch for you to work..
- You’ll be able to get dirt under your fingernails, exercise in the fresh air and enjoy fresh, home grown produce during the months of July, August, September and October.
How we’ll tackle garbage at Rebel Hill?
- Rather than use electricity, water and a garbage disposal, we’ll be making organic soil by feeding table scraps, coffee grinds and yes, egg shells to voracious red worms living in vermiposting box.
- With the vermiposter, we’ll depend on the worms to turn the kitchen cuttings into fine organic soil.
How do we handle trash and recycling?
- There will be two trash cans and one recycling can to the right of the garage for you to empty your trash into.
- We’ll take the three cans out on Sunday night and bring them back on Monday.
Could our overnite relatives stay in Suite 1
- Sure, your welcome to bring a few family members in to get a feel for life in a climate friendly home!
- One condition, you’ll need to study the house so you can serve up a really good tour.
Tell us about the railing at the entrance to the house..
- It was designed by our mentor Harold Kimmelman to help evangelize our “Thinking House” minset
- The railing has nine (9) “T” letters (for the word THINK) in different languages.
- It was fabricated locally at Florig Industrial and set in place by a team of eight men. Yes, it’s a heavy fellow!
I’m interested, yet have to sell my house.
- We are in the market to purchase a home in a neighborhood at fair market value that we could rework into a shared home.. Maybe you are currently living in our next shared home??
I’m interested in your helping me turn my existing home into a two or 3 person shared home – maybe even with an Air BnB component…
- We can do that. If you want to live on the hill while we’re doing surgery, that’s possible too…
What are our thoughts on purpose….
- If you have an affinity for growing flowers, veggies or both, you’ll be able to contribute..
- If you want to invest a lil bit of your time with young people, please visit Zummobike.com.
Why target Baby Boomer tenants…
- In 1968, worked/mentored under Mr DeMartini, a diminutive, get it done guy that had of lot of rentals, many with folks my grandparents age. Working for Mr. De was a great experience. Plan on putting his training to work!
- There are a lot of good folks my age (65) and older that are just “nice to be around – like Mr De’s tenants!” There is nothing better than having pleasant tenants that are glad to pay their rent!
- Given this Covid experience with a lot of boomers sitting in single homes or apartments, for sure, the market for comfortable, camaraderie based housing with privacy is going to grow.
- We feel there are a lot of folks born in the 40’s and 50’s that want to get good value for their housing dollars. Comfort based shared housing is our way of tackling this need…
- Lastly, the benefit of housing for boomer aged clients, they stick around….