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Hello,

I would like to see an article on where are the best places to put the mechanicals- like furnace, water heater, electrical panels, phone panels etc?

It is obvious in bigger homes that have basements or large closets to spare  But what about those of us with Cabins under 1500 SF?  Every SF is needed. 

Thanks!

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Savvy Planning by Mercedes Hayes, Log Home Living Feb 2012 pg 52. A lot of questions lately can be found in articles written. New members can learn alot by reading these articles. How about that plug.....

Use your spaces wisely. Remember everything needs to be serviced at some point whether in the attic, crawl, basement. If you are winterizing your home every year location is important for accessibility.  Your electrical panels normally will have an outside meter can and can also have a combo-panel for some or all of your service. Your electric provider normally is responsible up to your meter can, but.... consider the access required by them. I wanted underground service. My provider wanted $1500 to dig. I rented a backhoe and dig the trench for a 1/5th of the cost. Your inside electrical panel must be "near" the outside. The further the distance the cost increases for additional sizing needs. Wiring for stoves, hot water heaters, furnaces, a/c unit or other large amp. demands all add to the cost the further the distance from your panel. Code requires a minimum clearance 36" from storage and other equipment. Think thru the planning carefully.

Keep in mind they now have tankless water heaters, and you can always use in floor heat, whether it is an outside furnace, or a tankless system.

Thanks all for the responses and  I will check out those articles.  This is more of a concern for me than my husband.  He doesn't understand why I don't want to give up closet space.

Hey Megan:  I put my furnace, water heater, in-house vac and other such mechanicals in the crawlspace of my log home in order not to take up the valuable space inside.  The electric panel is on the utility room wall.  Making the most use of space in any house is a good idea.  Good Luck with your log house! - Donald

Donald,

That is a great idea.  How tall/deep/ wide is your crawl space?  Did you insulate the mechanicals or the crawlspace? Or how did you protect the furnace and water heater from damage?

Would like to try this if space is big enough, but would hate to do it wrong.  Thank you.

Hey Megan: I did my crawlspace a bit different.  I added an extra row of blocks to raise the bottom of the sub floor joists so they were about 3 to 3.5 feet above the floor.  I had the entire ground covered 1st with heavy plastic (poly) then poured about an 1.5 inch thick concrete over the plastic.  No moisture in my crawlspace in 19 years and with a car creeper under there - I can sit and roll around to all the areas in the crawlspace without having to "crawl" anywhere!  I also put in about 6 lights to totally light up the area as I don't like to work in small/dark areas.  I insulated between the floor joists and around the perimeter band of the sub floor.  The temps in the crawl space stay pretty steady throughout the year here in Upstate SC so I did not insulate any of the mechanicals.  Both the water heater and air handler for the heat pump set on concrete pavers so they are slightly raised up off the floor.  The electrician, plumber and HVAC folks LOVE coming to my house (and they don't come that often) as they have a nice, clean, well lit space in which to work.  I also don't mind doing some of the chores under the house either for the same reasons.  Hope all works out for you on your log home!  Donald

Donald,

Wow! Thanks for advice. Sounds like you have a great set up and I will discuss this option with my husband. Thanks again!

Some great ideas already, tankless by Raymond, and crawl space by Donald. Depending on your design, there is also space to capture behind the knee wall in an attic, or under the stairs if you just have a single level home. There are some code considerations to the panel locations, and HVAC/WH depending on the type, but as you can see, you have some options that don't eat up valuable space in a small home.

Derek Hurd

Gravitas, Inc.

Don't keep your mechanical in a place where you keep your valuables.consider in mind they now have tankless water heaters, and you can use those in  floor heat, whether it is an outside furnace, or a tankless system.

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