The Natural Home Building Source
The Natural Home Building Source
The Natural Home Building Source

4 - HTM High Thermal Mass style sample open-floorplan home designs. Click here for the main chapter of our free HTM Passive Solar Design eBook

What follows is just a sampling of function-based floorplans for truly sustainable architecture, our passive solar greenhouse style HTM earthhome. HTMs can be built totally above ground or bermed (backfilled to the top of the first floor) like the home pictured throughout this website. In most climates, a bermed home is more of an aesthetic choice than a sustainable design necessity, but wrapping your home with earth certainly helps moderate the indoor environment. Zero-energy sustainable architecture seeks to maintain comfortable room temperatures without the need for any mechanical devices. With high thermal mass homes, the key is to always be standing within eight feet of a radiant heating and cooling source like the thick block walls and concrete floor. This design parameter tends to limit HTM rooms to eighteen feet wide for maximum passive solar radiant comfort. The depth of an HTM tends to be less than forty feet, but can change to better suit your climate and desire for natural light and heat.

These floorplans are just a few examples of what's possible with an HTM.

Passive solar designs are naturally geared more towards heating than cooling performance, but the principles and design features of an HTM are much the same in a hot climate: moderate indoor air temperatures by allowing the home's thermal mass to store cooling energy. In a cooling climate you concentrate on venting when temperatures fall at night instead of gaining sunshine when during the day in a heating climate. Design changes are very site specific in hot climates, involving properly sized overhangs, possible use of vertical glass, adapting the exterior for shade cloth, and shifting windows towards the view or north side.

A finished wall with slab wintering-over just fine due to all the thermal mass

Extremes of climate often need supplemental energy to maintain optimum comfort levels, but the super-large thermal mass moderates that need. For instance, in a very hot and humid climate, a de-humidifier may suffice instead of central air conditioning. Humidity is one thing you can't change passively, but just keeping the air moving in a HTM design can make it quite tolerable. In very cold and cloudy climates, we recommended in-floor radiant heat tubing for the same reason: the possible need for supplemental energy in a specific area. FYI - your ankles are the body's main sensors for comfort level (second only to the wrists). Cover you ankles with wool socks and the room instantly feels warmer. Roll an ice cube or cold water dripped between your wrists and the room instantly feels much cooler. In practice that translates to radiant heat concrete floor rooms feeling warmer. The thermal mass of the house is constantly storing and releasing energy, very subtly moderating indoor temperature. Perceived temperature goes down below your comfort level... put some socks on. Radiant in-floor heat tubing will likely not be necessary in the whole house, but the tubing is relatively inexpensive to install and greatly protects your home's resale value. If the building department will allow, wait to install the boiler. After living in an HTM for a while (first year or two is spent 'charging' the thermal mass) you will normally find that a full scale boiler was over-kill. Using your hot water heater as a boiler for just a bathroom zone or two is always an interim option. Talk to your plumber about alternatives.

Radiant in-floor heat tubing is poured right into the slab.

Developing good passive ventilation goes hand-in-hand with enhancing optimal traffic/flow and the overall health of the home. Constant ventilation of all rooms, especially closet style bathrooms, is something that needs to be examined closely in all climates. In a conventional, high insulation, airtight home, the house can't afford to ventilate out stale air because all the heating and cooling effect is stored only in the air temperature. Open up a conventional High-R home in the middle of the winter and you've lost all your heat. Open the conventional High R home up during a hot summer day and you lose all your conditioned air. Without a tight seal, a conventional home's indoor and outdoor temperatures are soon the same, because the home's materials don't store any of the air conditioning and night time ventilation cooling effect. High thermal mass homes store coolness and heating energy in their building materials, not just the indoor air, so you're able to continuously ventilate without 'losing' energy. This is a huge factor in the HTM design because a well-ventilated house is a healthy house!

Rectangular floorplans are the most economical to build because of their ease of construction. The following sketches outline a standard HTM layout with identical sections (stalls). This three stall layout can range anywhere from 1080 square feet (three - 12' by 30' stalls) to well over 2200 square feet (three - 18' by 42' stalls). If you need extra bedrooms or office space, just envision a fourth stall at either end.

This is a good starting point for your custom HTM floorplans

We'll personalize your floorplan, adding bedrooms and re-arranging living areas until it best suits your lifestyle, property, and climate. Because of its proven sustainability, we do try to stay as close as possible to this standard HTM format, though. As you make floorplan changes, the ability of your high thermal mass home to passively heat or cool itself is affected to some degree. We do our best to help you understand the reasoning behind all of the choices you'll be faced with and the effect those choices will have upon the home's overall sustainability. Comfortable, free radiant heating and cooling is only the beginning, though. Full length fixed glass along the south face allows natural light to pour into every corner of the home, while the clerestory windows above illuminate the rear closets and bathrooms. This arrangement allows your HTM to entirely avoid windows along the north rear and side walls for berming. Please note that your design can have windows and doors on all four sides, if you wish, but added time, loss of energy, and cost are the main drawbacks. Block walls are easier and a lot faster to build without having to stop and install lintels for the openings every few feet.

The following sketches are just examples of the standard HTM layout. We encourage our clients to arrange partition walls within the stalls to meet their personal taste.
A multitude of possibilities exist with the standard stall layout: doors can be placed at intersections for more privacy, moveable walls can be installed for design flexibility, permanent partition walls can be installed to box things in more, and the beauty is much of this can be done after completion of the home.

Here's the basic floorplan of an HTM high thermal mass earthhome with some walls and such.

This next image is the same two bedroom layout with a home-office up front. We work closely with our clients to design a floorplan that works for them and functions correctly. This is very important for the homeowner-builder because small changes can have big effects on the overall project cost and future sustainability. Drapes are a good example of an easy design addition that provides privacy while not sacrificing the open floorplan and sustainable heating potential of an HTM.

Home offices are becoming the rule these days. You need a floorplan that works when you build underground.

Here's another three stall, HTM floorplan with more of a conventional, boxed-in layout. Please note that the bedrooms will now require egress windows. When you have to pass through more than one door to get outside of the home, that room is considered land-locked and is required by code to have a properly sized, operable egress window.

Here's the same three stall earthhome arrangement with more of a boxed-in layout.

Here's the same three stall earthhome arrangement without the planterbed and with vertical glass. Anything is possible - it is your home.... just keep in mind that vertical glass produces at least 30% less solar gain. You can always shade during the summer, but getting maximum gain during the winter is important to maintain healthy ventilation levels.

Here's the same three stall earthhome arrangement without the planterbed and with vertical glass.

The following sketches illustrate unique ways of avoiding hallways and related wasted space in a smaller home. Good flow is equally important in open floorplans. By widening the middle stall, the home's living area gains a sense of spaciousness. Radiant heating and cooling is compromised to some extent, but such are the choices made in the design phase. For instance, keeping all plumbing fixtures backed against wooden "wet" walls is important in any floorplan. We'll work with you to help create a personalized layout that functions and is easily constructed (no cutting blocks).

This is a good example of excellent flow in an HTM earthhome floorplan.

Design choices are relatively endless - here's a look at having the interior stall walls not line up with the rear walls. Creating a walk-around through the kitchen ties the home's living areas together while still maintaining some privacy. Please note that all HTM floorplan sketches have left out door swings to keep the images uncluttered - 3 foot doors are common throughout for handicapped accessibility.

More choices in HTM open floorplan style design

This next image is a good example of how a larger, more complex layout might look with the same basic stall arrangement. Here the spare bedrooms are boxed-in for placement in the end stall where they create an entrance or front hallway or trombe wall. The guiding design factor in this floorplan is the fully berm-able rear wall with no windows or doors. Upper roof clerestory windows bring in the natural light for these 'hidden' rooms. Design choices are endless, that's why we don't have 'stock floorplans' for sale, preferring to personalize your HTM passive solar house plans to fit your site's needs and your family's lifestyle and budget. Please note that the patio door shown in this floorplan is not recommended for a cold climate where you don't wish to lose any solar gain. Compared to building a full-length planterbed, a patio door on the south face is fairly difficult to construct, too.

Here's the same three stall earthhome arrangement with more of a boxed-in layout.

Smaller designs have their limitations, naturally, but without hallways the home opens up and functions as if much larger. Hallways in conventional design are simply a means to get from point A to point B. By turning the hallway into a functional area with bathroom sink, kitchen counter, or mud room, you gain a lot of space from otherwise wasted square footage. This floorplan sketch also illustrates the concept of enclosing bedrooms with closets, thus keeping the red block walls open for radiant heating and cooling efficiency.

And more choices in high thermal mass floor plans

Creating a block layout, like the one pictured below, is part of our consultation service, as is a floorplan and help with site layout. We just don't provide any custom blueprinting or engineering services. As your consultant, our job is to create a custom design to fit your lifestyle through a holistic approach while saving you more money on the project than you spend on our services. On a project the size and duration of a custom home, saving you a lot of money is a very easy goal.

Floorplans for a truly sustainable, passive solar, greenhouse style, HTM earthhome

HTMs are built with concrete block or poured-in-place for a conventional appearance to bankers and mortgage agents. In terms of strength, other materials pale in comparison, so the mortgageable lifespan of an HTM exceeds that of a stick framed home. Add a metal roof and you're suddenly the fire insurance agent's favorite client! There is nothing unconventional about HTM construction methods. In fact, the techniques are more commercial than anything.

HTM floor plan options

Planterbeds along the south face are an important part of any HTM (shown shadowed in the following images). Interior planterbeds store an amazing amount of heat in the moist soil while providing food crops and a rewarding hobby. The planterbed can stop at the floor slab or extend all the way down to the bottom of the footer for an even larger thermal storage mass in a home with frostwalls. We do our best to incorporate planterbeds with sloped glass into your design while taking care to avoid overheating the home with such details as shade fabric and roof overhangs.

Here's a look at a south face design sketch which incorporates a shed roof and a full overhang past the sloped glass. Overhang designs still manage to generate full solar gain during the peak heating months while providing generous amounts of shade in the summer. One advantage of this particular overhang design is that the shade cloth can now be hung vertically across the front of the posts instead of horizontally, awning style, out in front of the home. This is another good example of the type of design choices you will have with your HTM. Don't be lead to believe that the home you see on this site is the only design we can provide, there is very little limit to your choices. For example, you'll notice that the roof shown here is sketched as being built with standard BCI joists instead of T&G planks and logs.

Please note that this sketch outlines a very deep frostwall. Some parts of the country call for frostwalls to extend up to four feet below the finished grade. Your climate may well require a much shorter stem wall or possibly even a monolithic slab foundation.

Attached greenhouses are built with sustainable irrigation and planterbed construction.
Interior greenhouses are often built into sustainable home construction.

Here's the same south face of an HTM sketched as a monolithic slab.

In warmer parts of the country, this would make a very nice view wall to the North or East. In colder climates, this home would be oriented closer to true south to let more solar gain in. Operable awning windows in this sketch open protected from the elements, allowing warm air to draft out at night. The louvered exhaust fan is equipped with a thermostat to turn on automatically, venting out overheated air when you are away. The roof sports pre-manufactured, structural, insulated panels which does save time, but not money. Roof panel options typically include stain grade interior paneling to imitate tongue and grove planking, wiring installed, and ready-to-go for roofing. They are certainly handy for getting 'dried-in' quickly.

Here's some maximum glazing figures possible in a basic HTM design:

  • three - 18 by 42 foot stalls = 2268 square feet (interior net)
  • standard 34 by 76 inch glass thermopanes throughout
  • glass the south face @ 3 feet O.C. (18 sloped glazing units total)
  • east or west sliding glass doors (2 vertical glazing units total)
  • clerestory windows along the ridge (6 vertical glazing units total)
  • units net 33x75 is 2,475 sq. inches (44,550 sloped - 20,400 vertical)
  • maximum total glazing is 64,950 square inches is 451 square feet
  • about 20% ratio of glazing to floor area

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Merchandise advertised online as Free Shipping only applies to the 48 contiguous United States of America. We do not ship Merchandise into Canada or Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Isles, APO/FPO, USPS mailboxes, freight forwarding services, or any off-shore island or international destination. We do not accept international credit cards for payment even when shipping within 48 contiguous United States. We do not accept personal checks or any money orders, other than US Postal Service money orders.

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Pricing and Payment

With the exception of the Servel gas refrigerators, only Colorado residents are responsible for paying state sales tax of 2.9%. You may be responsible for paying sales tax directly to your state revenue agency, but We do not collect sales tax outside of Colorado. We do not accept international credit cards, money orders or checks for payment and We do not ship into Canada or Mexico, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii or any off-shore or international destination. Merchandise advertised Free Shipping only applies to the 48 contiguous United States of America. Special Orders shipped outside the 48 contiguous states (HI, AK, PR, VI, Guam and APO/FPOs) require bank wire transfer payment (EFT) no other option, sorry. Will-call pickup at freight dock and drop shipments to a third party (receiver not being the credit card holder) are only possible with cashier check, US Postal money order or bank wire transfer EFT payment in advance. Email or fax 720-293-1705 with full shipping address and order details for a personal quote and payment invoice. Once invoice is completed, We can accept VISA and MasterCard orders online for fastest service or by phone at 800-563-9720, fax at 720-293-1705, email at Cashier's check, wire or US postal money order is recommended since they are treated as cash and orders ship immediately. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include any applicable taxes (Colorado residents ONLY). On government and corporate accounts invoiced with payment due 'net thirty', the total amount must be received no later than thirty days after invoice date, not the Merchandise delivery date. Late payments are subject to a 2% monthly finance charge accrued from date of invoice. Package and individual Merchandise parts, components and product specifications are subject to change without notice. Special order items are bid on a case by case basis and quotes are generally good for thirty days unless otherwise notified. Price matching offers are only applicable before purchase is made, not after payment has been submitted for Merchandise. We offer only to price match advertised delivered cost for Kobe Range Hoods that ship via Fed-Ex Ground, not motor freight shipments on a pallet. We offer only to price match authorized Kobe dealers. Internet 'marketplaces' and auction sites commonly feature unscrupulous 'surplus Merchandise' retailers selling used, returns, and repackaged 'demo' units without proper disclosure. Unauthorized dealer surplus Merchandise is NOT covered under Kobe's manufacturer warranty and may well have hidden defects the surplus retailer will not cover. has long been an authorized dealer for Kobe Premium Series range hoods and We sell only brand new, factory-direct, fully warranted appliances.

Free 48 State Delivery

All shopping cart items are advertised as Free Shipping with no extra charge for delivery. Shipping and handling fees are factored into advertised total delivered price. Note shipping is only available to the 48 contiguous United States of America. We do not ship into Canada or Mexico, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Isles, APO/FPO mailboxes, or any off-shore or international destination. Inventory 'stock' items will ship within 2-3 business days from one of Our warehouses. Scheduled deliveries are not possible to arrange, but We automatically email tracking information after shipment, so you can anticipate delivery date. Motor freight deliveries do not include lift gate service to lower boxes onto the roadway, unless quoted with additional services. If need be, lift gate service to lower boxes onto roadway is available for an additional $65 to $100 fee. Street-side motor freight deliveries are not brought to your front door by the driver, like UPS and Fed-Ex package services. Client must meet motor freight truck deliveries on the street to unload and inspect shipments by hand before signing for Merchandise. Shipments must be accepted promptly within three days of arrival at local freight terminal or storage fees of +/- $50 per day, per pallet may apply. Any and all storage fees billed by trucking company are the sole responsibility of Client and must be reimbursed to Our company.

Fed-Ex and UPS Ground

Most shopping cart items ship via Fed-Ex or UPS Ground package delivery service. Package delivery services, unlike a motor freight carrier (see next paragraph), will allow us to file a hidden damage in transit claim for insurance reimbursement, but We are given less than a week to report it. Regardless of how well the exterior of container box appears, you must ALWAYS have the driver note ANY damage to shipping boxes in writing before signing. Then immediately, always take Merchandise completely out of its packaging and inspect ALL of the Merchandise, notifying us immediately should there be ANY hidden damage to Merchandise. Mechanical problems are covered under the manufacturer warranty, but hidden aesthetic damages (cosmetic dings, dents, broken Welds, significant scratches, or popped rivets) you discover than a week after delivery are not reimbursed or replaced by Fed-EX, manufacturer, Kobe, or Not saying that you or your Merchant caused the damage to the unit before or during installation, but that possibility exists when Merchandise is not properly inspected upon arrival. Additionally, any appearance (non-mechanical) flaws found after installation will not be reimbursed or replaced by freight carrier, Fed-EX, manufacturer, Kobe, or Merchandise that has been installed is not eligible for return or replacement by

Motor Freight Shipping

Servel refrigerators, Sun-Mar composters, larger custom shade panels and larger Kobe range hoods ship via motor freight 'common carrier', as noted on the website and receipt. Scheduled deliveries are not possible to arrange, but We automatically email tracking information after shipment, so you can anticipate delivery date.Common carrier motor freight is shipped on a pallet with boxes covered in clear plastic stretch-wrap and is defined as street-side motor freight drop, which differs from small package services like UPS and Fed-Ex, in that the truck driver does not bring Merchandise into your building or onto the porch. Street-side motor freight drop is a basic delivery service, often in a full-size tractor trailer, where driver parks in street while you unload and inspect the Merchandise. Kobe range hoods, shade panels, and Sun-Mar composters are not shipped with lift-gate service. You must unload boxes from the tractor trailer by hand. If you require lift gate service to lower the Kobe range hood down onto the roadway, with what they call a mechanical 'Tommy lift', it is available for an additional $65 to $100 fee. Please arrange and pay for this optional service at time of order. Always check the number of pieces (boxes) present against the stated waybill shipping receipt tally. As with any motor freight shipment from any distributor, be certain to carefully examine ALL of the Merchandise, not just the outside of shipping box(es), before signing and accepting delivery. It is imperative with motor freight shipments that ALL products be unboxed and fully inspected PRIOR to accepting delivery. Regardless of what the delivery driver may say, you MUST inspect fully before signing and accepting the delivery. It is the freight truck driver's job to wait while you open and inspect shipment for damages. Simply looking at the outside of the box(es) is NOT adequate. Damaged Merchandise (that particular box, not all the boxes) must be refused delivery. Once someone signs for shipment, it confirms Merchandise was received free of ANY damage and removes liability from the transportation carrier. We can only assume that damage reported later and not refused delivery, was caused by the Client, and not the freight carrier. Any subsequent attempt to file a claim for loss or damage will NOT be accepted by the transportation carrier, distributor, or Our company,

Returns and Cancellation

All returns, cancellations and/or exchanges must first be authorized in writing by at Client may not ship any Merchandise back until We supply return Merchandise authorization RMA number and address for the shipment. Orders often do not ship back to the same warehouse they shipped from originally. Contact us with invoice number and reason for return or exchange to obtain an RMA number and instructions. No returns, refunds or exchanges will be authorized more than 30 days after original purchase payment date. Design consultation services, DVDs, knit shade material, water tubes, greywater and septic system parts are not returnable for refund or exchange for any reason. Once payment has been made, custom panel orders are cut and enter the production system and cannot be cancelled after payment is made. No return on any remnants or discontinued items. Any authorized returns of Merchandise must be in the original carton, in new unused condition, and returned freight prepaid to Our designated warehouse. Merchandise originally shipped via motor freight carrier on a pallet, may not be returned via package delivery service such as UPS or Fed-Ex. Original actual shipping cost will be deducted from any refund due along with up to 15% restocking fee on the Merchandise. This restocking fee includes the 3% credit card processing on original purchase, which is not refunded by MasterCard or VISA. Please understand that items on Our website are advertised as "Free Shipping", which is to be understood as "there is no extra charge for delivery of PURCHASED Merchandise". UPS, USPS, Fed-Ex and motor freight carriers charge us a fee for delivery of Merchandise, which We must recoup on returns. Kobe, for instance, bills a flat-fee of $40 and $45 for business and residential Fed-Ex shipments and $162 and $186 for motor freight carrier drops. Sun-Mar and Servel units ship via motor freight carrier for anywhere from $120 to $300+ per unit, depending upon zip code and drop site designation. Kobe, Sun-Mar, Clivus Multrum, Quanics, Dometic and Servel returns are manufacturer-direct, drop ship items and may be subject to an additional manufacturer's restocking fee. Discontinued, clearance items are not eligible for return or exchange. If an item is returned without original packaging intact, or is damaged, found to be used, or otherwise not ready for resale, it may be refused and returned to sender at their expense, so always insure shipment.

Lost and Stolen Shipments

Tracking information is emailed following shipment on all orders so client can anticipate delivery date. Custom size shade panels are made-to-order and can take up to ten business days to produce and ship. All other 'stock items' normally ship within three business days. Should you not receive email shipping information, please send a request for tracking number in writing to: Note it can take up to 48 hours for a given tracking number to appear on transportation company website. During this time, shipment status may be listed as "order processed and ready for pickup". Traditionally, this just means the shipment has not yet reached transportation company terminal and scanned after being unloaded from truck that picked those package(s) up. Overdue shipments must be reported to merchant in writing within one week after anticipated delivery date. Cardholder hereby agrees that only two possibilities exist for a shipment that did not arrive as anticipated. Possibility #1) Transportation company shows shipment as still being in-transit. In this case, merchant will file a 'tracer' request on behalf of cardholder with transportation company and they will search for box(es) at all company freight terminals. Cardholder is required to fully cooperate by filling out any forms requested, returning any voice messages left, and replying to any email messages sent by transportation company or merchant. Your patience and consideration is required and greatly appreciated while transportation company attempts to find the shipment. Replacement or refund is authorized solely at merchant discretion. Cardholder is not permitted to cancel order. Cardholder is not permitted to dictate choice of replacement or refund. And cardholder is not permitted to dictate time frame for settlement and ultimate delivery date for merchandise. Possibility #2) Transportation company shows shipment as being delivered. In this case, merchant will file a 'lost shipment' claim on behalf of cardholder with transportation company. A lost shipment claim can take up to two weeks to resolve and unfortunately, the transportation company rarely, if ever, pays the insurance claim. Ideally, we only ship to cardholder, personally, at their residence or business 'home' credit card billing address, but regardless of designated drop site and receiving person and whether or not a signature was required at time of delivery, cardholder is solely responsible for merchandise security after drop is confirmed by transportation company. After transportation company confirms delivery to shipping address, no signature required, there will be no refund or replacement for lost or stolen merchandise for any reason. Cardholder must immediately file a theft report with their local police department for item stolen from property or designated drop site. Cardholder hereby agrees to relinquish any and all right to file a credit card chargeback sales reversal for merchandise lost in transit by transportation company or merchandise reported lost or stolen after delivery is confirmed by transportation company. Should cardholder file a chargeback in violation of this terms of service agreement, cardholder will be held responsible for reimbursement of any and all merchant services processing fees incurred as a result of the frivolous chargeback, which can be anywhere from $35 up to several hundred dollars.

Shade Panel Production

Our commercial grade knitted shadecloth carries a one year manufacturer's replacement warranty against defects in material and workmanship. You can expect at least 5 years of service when installed properly and well over ten years when used seasonally in a temperate climate. Client must inspect shade panels within one week of delivery in order to be able to report any damages. Rips, tears, and aesthetic damage you find more than one week after delivery are not reimbursed or replaced by the freight carrier or Additionally, merchandise that has been installed is not eligible for return or replacement for damage claims. Fabric is knitted polyolefin, primarily high density polyethylene HDPE, specially treated for durability and UV resistance. Wind damage from loose panel whipping, snagging, and abrading against the structure or cable framework is much more harmful in the long run than simple exposure to sunlight. Knit shade material should be installed hung underneath, not pulled across the top of cable or framework, to avoid abrasion and snagging damage. Chemical, fire, heat, abrasion, and snagging damage are not covered under manufacturer warranty. Shade panel warranty inspection returns must be authorized in advance and returned freight prepaid to designated location for visual inspection. will only pay the cost to ship warranty repaired or replaced merchandise back to client after inspection confirms damage was a material or workmanship defect. The following are trade-standard, non-valid reasons for requesting warranty inspection: First, there is no up-down, right-left, top-bottom or front-back reference point for any panel. Panel 'Width and Length' are measured from outside-edge to outside-edge of the sewn perimeter hem at the four corners only. Knit material has inherent tension and flex in the looming process that will resolve aesthetic issues when installed taut with rope lacing. Grommets on one side of panel are unlikely to line up with grommets on the opposite side or from one grommeted pinch pleat to the next. Exact one foot on-center grommet spacing, specific grommeted pinch pleat centering, and special placement on a particular side for grommets is not warranted. Any panel over 12 foot wide may have a noticeable factory knitted loom splice seam without notice in advance since the 20, 26, and 32 foot wide stock roll width fabrics are manufactured on side-by-side looms. We traditionally cover this seam with a grommeted pinch pleat, but it is possible to order plain cloth without a center GPP, per automated quoting form. Aesthetic issues are not warranted. For instance, the White 50% color knitted shade material can sometimes arrive with patches of orange discoloration and spotting as a result of the manufacturing process. This discoloration will dissipate after installation in the sunlight. Shade material may always be slightly wrinkled from rolling onto storage tube or shipping and knit appearance can vary from sample swatches presented and may also vary between various stock widths. Minor aesthetic flaws in knit appearance, stitching, and snags are not a structural panel failure problem and not warranted. Shade material is lockstitch knitted to prevent structural unraveling. Longevity is the same regardless of aesthetic appearance flaws in the fabric knit or perimeter webbing. If need be, one can use needle and thread to pull small flaws together and super-glue sealed. It is not considered a warranty-related defect unless it affects panel performance. Special fire resistant certified shade materials are not available. The finish 'Length' ordered is what we produce by cutting enough fabric to fold hem and GPP. The only time to anticipate deviation in finish dimension purchased is when 'Width' is a stock material width of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 and 32 foot. Then, finish 'Width' is likely going to be two to three inches less after folding and sewing perimeter hem and any length-wise grommeted pinch pleats. ALL other times, the size panel you request is the finish size we do our very best to produce. Knitted shade netting is inherently difficult to work with due to tension releasing when cut to custom sizes, so trade-standard warranty for free replacement is a four inch tolerance. As measured at four corners, any error of five inches, or more, is warranted for free remake, replacement, or refund at our sole discretion. This accuracy guarantee does not apply to shapes other than rectangles or any panel dimension over 32 foot. Errors of less than five inches are considered for remedy on a case-by-case basis only when the panel has not been installed and can be resold as a new-unused remnant. Special grommet placement requests are not warranted and grommet spacing at exactly one foot on center is not warranted. Click here for knit shade material engineering specifications and product MSDS sheet.

Warranty and Warnings

Merchandise purchased from is covered only under that product's manufacturer warranty. Client is solely responsible for presenting all claims under those warranties directly to the warrantor. makes no consultation, service work, or system design warranties, whether express or implied and shall not in any way be held responsible for any customer misuse of Our products or misunderstanding of any and all of Our designs, whether express or implied. All responsibility and liability for any and all damages caused by viruses contained within the electronic files of this site are disclaimed. All information contained within this site and supplied by any and all consultations, design work and service work is governed by the following information disclaimer. Be aware that septic tank effluent, composting toilet materials, and greywater alike contain bodily fluids and as such are regulated as Hazardous Materials by the Federal government. Such hazardous materials (raw sewage) should be handled only by licensed professionals trained in the proper safety procedures and using proper safety equipment. If you are unsure of the correct handling and safety procedures, please check with your local health department for more detailed information.

Installation and Liability

Merchandise purchased from or through must be installed by a licensed professional installer and in accordance with manufacturer's specifications and local/state/federal electrical, plumbing, health and building department regulations. Building department regulation requirements differ from one town to the next and it is the Client's sole responsibility to ensure compliance. This is particularly important with hard-wired electric kitchen appliances and hoods, gas refrigerators, septic systems, greywater projects, and composting toilets. Even shade panel installations can come under local regulatory scrutiny (pull permits) in some parts of the United States. Client understands that shade panels are not rated for any fire resistance and hereby confirms that no fire resistance has been expressed or implied by Seller for Merchandise. Client is solely responsible for purchasing (pulling), and coordinating all of the inspections for all of the necessary electrical, plumbing, grading, road, health and building permits for their project. Some of these services, as requested, can be provided to Our Summit County, Colorado Clients where is a licensed and insured general Contractor (license number 6) and septic system installer (license number 69). is not an architectural nor an engineering firm. We do Our best to consult on your project, but site specific engineering, load calculations, soil viability testing, and/or custom blueprinting are not included in any consultation service or system package We sell.

Art and Data Release

Client does hereby irrevocably consent to and authorize the anonymous use and reproduction by Us, or anyone authorized by Us, of any and all artwork, digital images, or stories submitted via email, phone or fax. Our primary concern is protection of your privacy. We never release Client information to anyone for any reason, so any use would be purely anonymous. We will not pay a fee or provide compensation of any sort, now or hereafter, for information, solicited or otherwise, that We share. Client hereby agrees to allow reproductions to be presented online or in printed format and hereby gives Us unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish artwork, stories or digital images submitted without restriction as to changes or reproduction hereof in color or otherwise, made through any and all media now or hereafter known for illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever. This agreement shall be binding upon Client and their heirs, legal representatives and assigns.

Information Disclaimer

The information from or through this site and from or through Architerra Enterprises, Inc. (d.b.a. The Natural Home Building source and is provided 'as-is', 'as available', and any and all warranties, express or implied, are disclaimed (including but not limited to the disclaimer of any implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose). We are not an engineering or architectural design firm. We are not licensed electricians or plumbers. We do not accept any legal liability whatsoever for any 'errors and omissions' perceived or otherwise. Any and all consultation given, or website information provided, may contain typos, errors, omissions, problems, or other limitations. Merchandise specifications are subject to change at any time by manufacturer without any advance notice from Our company or the manufacturer. Product specifications and installation instructions are likewise subject to possible error and may change at any time without Our knowledge. Blueprints, sketches, and any written consultation are provided for informational educational purposes only and not intended for construction-ready application without approval first by locally licensed structural engineer and local building department regulations. Our sole and entire maximum liability for any inaccurate information, for any reason, and user's sole and exclusive remedy for any cause whatsoever, shall be limited to the amount paid by the customer for the information received (if any cost was involved). We are not liable for any indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages including but not limited to damages for loss of business, loss of profits, litigation, or the like, whether based on breach of contract, breach of warranty, tort (including negligence), product liability or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such damage. The limitations of damages set forth above are fundamental elements of this website, communications, and information provided without such limitations. No representations, warranties or guarantees whatsoever are made as to the accuracy, adequacy, integrity, reliability, currentness, completeness, suitability or applicability of the information to a particular situation. Complaints by Client to any rating agency, company review, or personal referral concerning Merchant or Merchandise in direct disregard of this terms of service agreement are to be considered libel and will be prosecuted as such, if need be.

Consultation and Service

Written and verbal consultation on the specifics of any project is governed by this terms of service agreement, with or without purchase of Merchandise. Technical assistance is different with us because Our staff members live with what We sell. Housing, septic, composting and greywater systems all include free on-going consultation, so We'll take the time to answer your questions and ensure your project is a success. At the very least, We strive to save you money by avoiding costly mistakes, both short and long term. If We don't have an answer to your question right on the spot, We'll take the time to research it further and get back to you. We can consult on the phone, if you wish, but email allows us to much more completely answer your questions with sketches and links to related articles. Keeping everything in writing is a sure way to avoid any confusion with "you said he said" situations later. Our sustainable housing products are low-tech in nature, but their design is typically complicated by the seemingly endless installation variables for unique locations and applications. Any and all consultation (blueprints, photos, written word and sketches) purchased from are the intellectual, copyrighted property of HTM house plans, septic system packages and greywater kit components Were designed and priced for the typical home and based upon the average soil type. Whether or not your local building department requires stamped engineer approval, you are well advised to take sample blueprints, sketch plans, and system consultation suggestions to a local professional engineer (PE). Local PEs are familiar with your soil type and more aware of unique building codes and concerns in your area. Most importantly, a local PE is readily available for the necessary site visits. your PE is then responsible for preparing a folder of notes and details which confirm the structural integrity, viability and liability for your project. is not an architectural design nor an engineering firm. We do Our best to consult on your project, but site specific engineering, load calculations, soil viability testing and/or custom blueprinting are not included in any consultation service or system package We sell. Communication is intended only for the paid Client recipient(s) and may be confidential and/or legally privileged and must be treated as such in accordance with state and federal laws. Any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance on the content is strictly prohibited.

Fiberglass Water Tubes

Water Tube and Cap ("Item") is manufactured for Client on special order basis by an independent company ("Manufacturer"). Manufacturer's warranty and guarantee, and special terms and conditions of sale and delivery apply to this Item. No warranty or guarantee is provided, expressed, or implied by Merchant, Merchant and Manufacturer do not assume any liability or responsibility for damage in transit. Only the transportation company is responsible for damage in transit. Before signing and receiving Item from transportation company, Client should demand to see packing list from Item shipment. If shipment is short Item (for instance: three caps, not four) or damaged (any Item defects), refuse the goods until the transportation agent notes the shortage or damage in writing on the freight receipt waybill. Always require a copy of the annotated waybill with shortage or damage noted in writing and signed/initialed by driver.Watch for hidden damage and inspect all Items fully before signing and accepting the shipment from a freight carrier. Client signature is testament that Item arrived in the proper amount and in undamaged condition. Hidden damage or shortage (anything found after delivery) is Client's sole responsibility to file claim with transportation company. Merchant and Manufacturer do not assume any responsibility or liability for Item damage during/after installation. Manufacturer guarantees Item is up to its established standard of manufacture as to material and workmanship. In all claims, liability is limited to replacement of the invoice value of any Item claimed to be defective. Client assumes all risk and liability whatsoever resulting from the use of such Item, whether used singly or in combination with other substances. The materials purchased hereunder (Item) shall be examined and tested upon receipt thereof, and before the materials are used and within thirty days from such receipt, Client shall notify Merchant in writing of any claims on account of quality thereof. Failure to so notify Merchant shall constitute a waiver of all claims with respect to Item, and in any event the use of Item by Client shall be deemed to mean satisfactory performance on the Item and Merchant. No claim of any kind (whether as to Item delivered or for non-delivery of Item) shall be greater in amount than the purchase price of Item covered hereby with respect to which any damages are claimed. Merchant and Manufacturer will accept no returns unless previously authorized in writing with Return Merchandise Agreement. Item returned without RMA written permission is liable to non-acceptance and return at expense of Client. RMA will specify 25% restocking fee on Item, plus deduction for original cost of crating and shipping, plus Client is responsible for all return shipping arrangements and all related expenses. There are no promises, agreements, or understandings between Client and Merchant and Manufacturer not contained in this document. Should you use your own form to make a purchase based on a price quote from Merchant, the conditions contained herein shall be deemed to be incorporated in said order or contract or invoice.