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Building a translator friendly house
Thread poster: Mirja Maletzki

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another one for North, and a couple of things Mar 22, 2016

Just make sure you have a really big, triple-glazing window facing the fields. It will be a pleasure to watch the weather and nature (the birds, the bees, and the "Trekker") evolve when you feel like stopping work for a moment.

A couple of trees planted in that area of the garden -- perhaps cherry trees -- will allow you to hang bird feed in winter and will give you fruit in the summer. Birds showing up every now and then can be good company and a very necessary distraction between
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Just make sure you have a really big, triple-glazing window facing the fields. It will be a pleasure to watch the weather and nature (the birds, the bees, and the "Trekker") evolve when you feel like stopping work for a moment.

A couple of trees planted in that area of the garden -- perhaps cherry trees -- will allow you to hang bird feed in winter and will give you fruit in the summer. Birds showing up every now and then can be good company and a very necessary distraction between paragraph and paragraph...

If you are fond of voice recognition or have considered using it to write your emails, try to avoid steps and ramps in your working area, since you would risk tripping around while you work.

Try to have your bookshelves with dictionaries far from your working desk, so that you have to stand up (or stretch considerably) to use them. This way you will have more chances of stretching a little (and enjoying the view, the birds, and the bees).

If you can, try to have tubes laid under the floor so that you can place electric and network sockets around your working area. Yes, I know we live in Wi-Fi paradise, but if one day it is discovered that Wi-Fi is bad for you, you might value the opportunity to use cabled connections neatly for your devices, without "Kabelsalat" and without ripping down your floor/walls.

Viel Vergnügen with the design!
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Rita Translator  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:03
German to English
North Mar 23, 2016

I agree with everyone saying face north. Rarely do you need direct sunlight in your workspace. If you really want to soak in some sun while working, maybe you could build a sunroom on the south side and then take your laptop in there occasionally.

If you think you might eventually have a family (read: kids) in there, then I heartily second the suggestion to have the bathroom close to the office. If you're working in the evening or on a weekend while your husband or someone else is w
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I agree with everyone saying face north. Rarely do you need direct sunlight in your workspace. If you really want to soak in some sun while working, maybe you could build a sunroom on the south side and then take your laptop in there occasionally.

If you think you might eventually have a family (read: kids) in there, then I heartily second the suggestion to have the bathroom close to the office. If you're working in the evening or on a weekend while your husband or someone else is watching the kid(s), it is a huge distraction for everyone if you have to walk past where they're playing to get to the bathroom. In our old apartment that was the case, and I would wait probably waaay longer than was good for me to actually get up and go because I knew it would result in another round of, "Mama, just one game before you go back to work?? Pleeeease!" It doesn't need to be a full bath, just a 1/2 bath is probably sufficient, and it can double as your guest bathroom if it's in relative proximity to your living area.
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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Yes, more outlets! Mar 23, 2016

Ricki Farn wrote:

Everything takes twice as long and is twice as expensive as you planned for, even if you have taken this rule into account while planning


That really depends on the planning. I haven't had a house built (though I may yet do that), but did completely gut and renovate an apartment. Both the general contractor and the architect (and his project manager) were great. We came in on time and on budget.

I fully second Erik's comment about the outlets. We drove our electrical contractor nuts with the all the outlets we wanted, and even then I regret not putting in even more.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Skylights Mar 23, 2016

I love the extra light from the Velux windows in our office

 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Roof lights Mar 23, 2016

Chris S wrote:
I love the extra light from the Velux windows in our office

Totally agree. Because we have a loft above the living space, we only have one room (a bathroom, funnily enough) that has veluxes in the ceiling. It makes an astonishing difference; that space is flooded with light.

If money (and storage space) were no object I would raise the ceilings and add roof veluxes to every room on the upper floor. You'd need electric blinds for the bedrooms though.

OP - definitely consider windows in the roof if budget allows.

Dan


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Available Mar 23, 2016

Mirja Maletzki wrote:


Any ideas – as crazy or as vanilla as you like – would be greatly appreciated.




I think you need an architect. I am available but you can't afford me


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 16:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Keep walking Mar 23, 2016

I wholeheartedly agree with trees and birdfeeders: they are good for the soul.

Contrary to what some others have suggested, I would not have the kitchen or bathroom close by. You need to take breaks and the more you have to get up and walk, the better it is for your health. Seeing other parts of the house is a good distraction. I even fit other activities into my translation time, such as exercising, doing the laundry, etc.

I would not cram many desks into my office - k
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I wholeheartedly agree with trees and birdfeeders: they are good for the soul.

Contrary to what some others have suggested, I would not have the kitchen or bathroom close by. You need to take breaks and the more you have to get up and walk, the better it is for your health. Seeing other parts of the house is a good distraction. I even fit other activities into my translation time, such as exercising, doing the laundry, etc.

I would not cram many desks into my office - keep it spaceous - but I would have one work station for sitting down and one for standing up. I saw on line a device for the keyboard and monitor (or laptop) that you can put on top of a desk and can be folded down for sitting at or raised up for standing.
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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Here's a money-saving hint Mar 23, 2016

Refuse to pay for all but the first brick, as the rest are 100% repetitions.

 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Here's another money-saving hint Mar 23, 2016

Having built a house, faced south and north, I'll give you one huge advantage of facing south: you could save yourself a small fortune in heating bills. On most days, with the sun shining into the office I had no need for any heating on at all in a south-facing office.

 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Keep it facing North Mar 24, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

Mirja Maletzki wrote:

keep the office facing North or would you switch rooms but then end up looking at either the street or the neighbor’s windows?


Face north - direct sunlight in the work area can be an annoyance, particularly if it gets in your eyes or on your screen. A field view is more restful than a street view.



I agree with Dan and I do not like direct sunlight in my work area.

I would keep my office facing North and enjoy the sun in the garden in the evenings. Sunsets are a beautiful sight to watch and the sun heat is just so pleasant at that time of day.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:03
Member (2018)
French to English
didn't we ask for a like button? Mar 24, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

Refuse to pay for all but the first brick, as the rest are 100% repetitions.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Just a word from an architect Mar 24, 2016

The benefits of north light are well known (or south light if you live below the Equator). That is the direction from which the sun never shines, and for that reason, during the day there is almost no variation in the quality or colour of the light.

That's why from time immemorial, artists like to have big studio windows that face due north. If you are working with colour, particularly subtle or faint colours, north light will keep their hue and intensity constant all day. This woul
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The benefits of north light are well known (or south light if you live below the Equator). That is the direction from which the sun never shines, and for that reason, during the day there is almost no variation in the quality or colour of the light.

That's why from time immemorial, artists like to have big studio windows that face due north. If you are working with colour, particularly subtle or faint colours, north light will keep their hue and intensity constant all day. This would be impossible if you were facing in any direction other than north.

It's also why northlight is best for any kind of work that requires good visual conditions. It's also why the classic "sawtooth" industrial roof (facing due north) is used not only above factories and workshops but also art galleries and museums.

The downside (still remaining in the northern hemisphere) is that north is also the *coldest* direction, precisely because the sun never shines there. The north wall of your house will always be the coldest and if your house is not energy-efficient, you will lose a lot of heat through that wall. All other things being equal you should have no windows at all on that side of the house, if energy saving and keeping warm is your thing ! (And that's also why artists with big north-facing windows also have big stoves to keep them warm).

Apart from special cases and so long as conditions permit, a house should generally not face north-south but east-west, with the bedrooms facing east for the morning sun and ht living areas facing west for the evening sun. Of course that isn't always possible but it's the general principle.

End of lesson.

[Edited at 2016-03-24 10:04 GMT]
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree with texte style Mar 24, 2016

Texte Style wrote:

philgoddard wrote:

Refuse to pay for all but the first brick, as the rest are 100% repetitions.


I agree- this is still making me laugh

[Edited at 2016-03-24 10:14 GMT]


 

Christina Baier  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:03
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
I agree with Tom Mar 24, 2016

We have the kitchen and the living room facing South/East and South/West. It's wonderful to have breakfast in the sunlight and to have the afternoon sun in the living room. Kids rooms facing west, bedroom facing east. This way, we get sun in all the rooms we want to have a little warmer.

The house is well insulated and during the colder seasons, we make a fire in the morning and in the evening in our Swedish stove.

Result: Our heating costs are so low that the local e
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We have the kitchen and the living room facing South/East and South/West. It's wonderful to have breakfast in the sunlight and to have the afternoon sun in the living room. Kids rooms facing west, bedroom facing east. This way, we get sun in all the rooms we want to have a little warmer.

The house is well insulated and during the colder seasons, we make a fire in the morning and in the evening in our Swedish stove.

Result: Our heating costs are so low that the local electricity agent wondered if we were staying somewhere else over the winter...


The room where I translate is upstairs, facing North (not too warm in the summer), but the stovepipe goes through it, so it's warm in the winter.
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Tee hee hee Mar 24, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

Refuse to pay for all but the first brick, as the rest are 100% repetitions.




 
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