The house pictured above was featured in a LA Times article earlier this year and I just thought it was a great design for anyone who lives in an extremely hot area. Rimrock Ranch is located in California, and here's their website with a link to the LA Times article, the architect's website and a photo gallery of the home.
The covered home is what interests me. The owner claims the temperature stays at a steady 70 degrees year round, despite the desert locale, meaning hot days and cold nights much of the time.
Several years ago, Billy Ray took me on a driving and fishing tour of his beloved West Texas, taking mostly back roads. I noticed that a lot of the trailer homes in West Texas that were located on ranches or farms had this sort of heavy duty steel covering to keep the house in the shade, since there are no large trees in most of those areas to shade the homes.
I think this would be a good idea for a retirement home. The layout of the Rimrock Ranch house is not exactly what I'd choose for my home, but it's good food for thought. I don't plan to retire in the desert (NOT ENOUGH FISHING) but I think this design could work in a variety of locales. The LA Times article indicates that this home cost in excess of $400k to build, and if you read about it and look at the pictures, it's hard to figure out what cost that much money. I can't imagine that the steel roof cost that much, or that the home cost that much. Maybe it was the fact that it's in the desert far from big cities contributed to the cost, but it is located somewhat near to Palm Springs, where there are surely some reasonably priced builders.
I wonder what a heavy duty steel covering like that would cost here in Texas to build?