The Dilbert House….

Here are some things that Scott Adams is considering including in his “Dilbert House”, I’m editing and adding things that I would like to see in our renovated dream house…

Interesting But Probably Impractical Ideas

• Solar Closet: It’s a small, well-insulated room with lots of thermal mass (water is best), and a large triple glazed south facing window of about 30sq ft. Hook it into your heating system, and you can do away with the furnace (There’s a guy up in Calgary with one, and so long as he gets 15 hours of sunshine every 2 weeks over winter; he can keep his house at 70F all the time, with no furnace or other heating.)

• Put in a Stonehenge feature, ie, some quirky thing where one day a year the sun hits a photocell and lights up a scale model of the Eiffel tower or something.

• Definitely need one wall setup to be used as the junk drawer.

• Appliances that are Internet enabled.

• Exercise equipment connected to generators, for selling energy back to the grid.

• Use the central computer/electronics room to warm water pipes.

• Totally stainless steel kitchen counters that all drain to a sink. When you’re done cooking (making a mess) cleanup consists of hosing it down, and then pushing all the debris to the sink-disposal with a simple squeegy-like device. Cleanup of nearly any mess takes all of 15 seconds.

• A system to get materials from the kitchen to the outside compost heap without going outside.

• Toddler dining area that’s easy to hose down.

• It’s crazy to warm your house to 70 degrees while cooling your refrigerator to the temperature outdoors, at least on cold days. Is there some way to bring the outside cooling to the rear of the fridge without making the house cold?

• Windows should be argon filled low-e filtered glass and plasticized frames color-matched to whatever Dilbert wants (low maintenance).

• The exhaust from the clothes dryer, should be filtered to clean out the lint, and the heat generated used to heat the house in winter.

• Flexible LCDs for walls.

• The yard should have ground cover (pachysandra, vinca, etc.) instead of grass to eliminate mowing. The plantings should be the most trouble-free evergreens which would be azaleas (which are beautiful but need no pruning, etc.). The trees should be only evergreens as they don’t have leaves to drop and be raked up. One exception for a shade tree….the honey locust, whose leaves are so tiny they dry up and disappear when they fall. (Much as we all loves oaks and maples their leaves would give Dilbert work).

• Bulk buying storage: In the kitchen the cabinets should be on an outside wall so they can be restocked by Costco from the outside. Items bought in bulk will include paper plates and plastic utensils, paper towels, and ketchup.

• Dilbert will need a dedicated games room, full surround sound etc All set up for LAN parties X-box type parties (it has never been used by anyone outside the house – but Bob is often found there playing dinosaur games, or prehistoric games such as the original pong and space invaders!

• He should have a rainwater collector and purifier, to conserve water and not have to get city water. And definitely solar power collectors, and maybe even wind power collectors too.

• Staging area at bottom/top of stairs, for items that are continuously on the wrong floor.

• You have to be able to see a window or a good TV from the main kitchen sink or people won’t spend any time there!

• Lots of wall sockets a desktop height for plugging in computers.

• A sound proof office where one can work while the kids destroy the rest of the house.

• It would be fantastic if Dilbert could show brilliance and forethought by including principles of Universal Design (UD) in the Dilbert House. By making his house usable by all people (with features like zero-step entrances and wider hallways), he could enlighten an entire generation, and perhaps even save them from institutionalization later in life!

• Put the laundry room upstairs. Most families store their clean clothes upstairs, along with the dirty laundry basket(s).

• A Sunroom / greenhouse. Can be used for solar gain, natural air freshening (with proper ducting) and growing fresh herbs etc.

• Walls that resist kids writing on them.

• Hidden room for danger or storing valuables

• Whole house protected power circuits

• No air ducts in the ceiling (or in the floor) for air conditioning. It creates too much dust all over the place.

• Without doubt, Dilbert’s house should Not have baseboards that protrude, however little, from the walls. Rather, they should be somewhat RECESSED, so that they never need dusting.

• Dilbert must have those light guides from 3M that pipe solar photons into his interior rooms, thus saving electricity in the daytime.

• Cluster services together, especially hot water so that the pipes don’t have far to go to deliver the water. This cuts down on heat loss, original installation costs, and repair and maintenance costs. (Put all bathrooms at core of house?)

• It should definitely have a completely enclosed cat deck so your cats can enjoy the essence of the outside world without being exposed to the dangers.

• Use the heat of the hot water line to warm your bath towel!

• Several outlets in front and back.

• Office-only doorbell in addition to whole-house doorbell.

• TV antenna on roof

• Make your garage double deep and double high so that you don’t need to build a shed as soon as you’re done building your house.

• One of those “forever hot water” things that gives hot water on demand but doesn’t waste money on heating it when not in use. Ideal for single people who don’t like replacing those leaky tanks… or who own fuel cells.

• Water source near your bed for when you wake up thirsty.

• Brick exterior, no maintenance required. (fake brick facade?)

• It seems to me that he should be able to run his computer through his TV and theater system

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