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Brudda B

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house building?
« on: April 23, 2008, 10:59:36 AM »

Greetings all in the Name of the Most High

I'm planning,in time,to buy some land with the hope of building a home for Iself and family,using where possible the most energy efficient means and environmentally friendly materials.

My question is,has anyone here taken the self-build journey,what were yer experiences of it,difficulties faced,materials used etc??

bless all
B
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 11:28:49 PM »

Blessings Brudda B,
  I man has built our home out of the very logs from the forest cleared.  It has been a grounding feeling to be growing a family in the Green Mountians of Vermont.
  There are many things to think on to make a house a home.  We have worked together to make it a place of reflection and peace.  In our world today, there are many methods to choose from, yet we seem to look back to a simpler way from days gone by.  Couple that with some new products that are available to decrease energy dependancy and the family will be off to a self~relyant future.  Our choice was a Log Home with wood stoves.  of course cost and money available will stream line choices.
  Please feel free to ask any question, any time and I will do the best I can to help.  There are many interesting choices, and It would be a pleasure to see what comes of the resources available in Irieland.
 
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 03:42:25 AM »

Oh- what about a cob house? That's where the building material is basically cordwood.

Or sod?

I need to build too, but my husband will never go for the strawbale or cob route. :(

Do let us know what you come across.

Bless up!
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Brudda B

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Re: house building?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 12:49:42 PM »

Greetings Natty and Surfmon,

Thank you both for the responses,there are so many options in these days it is very difficult to know which is the most suitable material for the I's particular needs,pocket,land etc...

Maybe IandI getting ahead of myself,for I have little funds and no land,but research and preperation is more important in I eyes,thus the post!
Timber,logs,earth,clay,cob,straw,hemp,recycled materials,stone,brick...Jah guidance,the list goes on...

Surfmon,I have many many questions to put to you,will pm you,btw "Irieland",like it LOL

Anyone else with eco building experience,or who live in an environmental sustainable house??

Posted on: April 24, 2008, 01:48:34 pm
Thanks and bless
B
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 01:40:43 PM »

http://www.realgoods.com/

The website took too long for me to load. I used to have their catalog.
It has a lot of ideas in it. The products are expensive, but many solar options can probably be fabricated inexpensively.

Do you have wood available?
How do you think you'll heat?

I'm going to look into exactly what I'll need to run pipe around my wood stove to push heated water throughout my house.
We have an on-demand water heater, which has been great. I think that we can heat using hot-water too, but I want to do it off the stove.

I just need to study up on what kind of pressure releases are needed so my pipes don't explode.

The state of Alaska has a free publication on how to build log houses.
It's a nifty little book.

Bless up!
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Brudda B

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Re: house building?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 06:51:52 PM »

Irie Natty
Yes so many decisions,so little cash!

Ireland is a country built on agricultre so I was going to use the materials close to home and build straw-bale,easy to find,transport and use...Plaster over this,maybe put thatch or a turf roof on top.
not decided on a wood stove or a range,as both could be used to heat water. As I'm on a little island on the edge of the atlantic we get our fair share of Jahs wind(not the smelly kind LOL),so wind and solar power are other options I'd gladly use if the irish government give I some form of grant to pay for some or all!!!Not Likely...
Its all in the future,baby steps at the mo,got to get the bread  to feed the dreams...

Thanks and bless again
B
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 07:34:00 PM »

The thing with the woodstove- I wasn't at all clear- is to wrap the pipe around the stovepipe and then run it along the walls in a closed system and run water through it so that when the woodstove is going the heat that would normally be "wasted" overheating the area around the stove can get spread through the house.

I read about this years ago. There's something that needs to be done so that the system doesn't explode from the expansion of the hot water and steam in the pipes. I just don't remember how it is dealt with.

I'll be looking into this again though. Fuel is getting SO expensive I know I'll be able to talk my husband into "green" alternatives.

Trees we have.

Woodstoves are great because you can cook on them too.
I put the rings from canning jars on the surface and set the pans on those so the food doesn't scorch.
They are a real blessing because you can start a stew early and it will cook itself.

My husband replaced our woodstove with a more "efficient" model, and there's no cooking area.

Blessedly, he works all day, so the boys and I will fix that this summer some time. ;)
I gave his stove a year and I do NOT like it.

Reasonable woodstoves can be made from old barrels, I hear.

Also, you can use a woodstove to run a smokehouse (obviously, I guess).

Some people here "pick coal" (it grows wild on our beaches) and burn that in their stoves.
I think you burn peat in the same way.

Definitely we need to keep a housebuilding thread going.

Bless up.
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RubADubDub

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Re: house building?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 06:31:10 PM »

There is a guy in our town (Ellensburg, WA) who has a place to drop of styrofoam, which he then uses to mix with concrete for layering on top of haybale structures... its suppose to be rot resistant and just as strong (and use styrofoam in productive way). I'm gonna go strawbale for sure, and compound structure like (main lodge house and smaller 9'x9'-ish outbuildings)... also for DIY homebuilding ideas, check out Spiral Island. This guy made a float down by Mexico using pop bottles and he has trees growing, shrubs, veggies,fruit, chickens... its pretty wild. Also made some solar ovens (6 month slow hard boiled eggs!!!!). lol anyways
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Leon

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Re: house building?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 10:06:03 PM »

the corner stone? ;) nah just kidding got zero experience... =D
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 10:40:04 PM »

Blessings,
  Brudda B, It IS always a pleasure to be able to share experiences in Life, for we learn so much from each other. 
So, It would be nice to share the story of our house with the Bredren and Sistren in rasponse to PM;
  Yes I, have built homes before, but it was nothing compared to the task of building a 4,500 square foot house alone.  It is a story that is really un~matched, for never before have I learned about so much that was required of oneself as in this time, or just what I and I IS capable of doing once mind sets body in motion.
  The first thing I did when we moved back from Hawaii was to "dream" and work out the house which we wanted.  What was to be it's function?, How would the house "grow" with us?.  The answer came, that both of us had spent many years traveling about, and what we felt is that while it is nice to share a place with friends, it is also nice to shut the door at the end of the day and have time alone too.  So, we designed the home to be able to be split in two. 
  The second thing was to make a model of just what we were thinking, and to "see" what it would look like.  I took some 3/4" scrap pine boards, ran them thru the table saw to make them square, then took a mini plane and shaved the two edges to make a "log".  I only created 1/2 the house, and when it was finnished, took a mirror to show the full view of what was to be.  ( In the end, I was amazed that it actually turned out like the model !, land scape and all.)
  The property was in the family, as when I was small, our parents took my sisters and i skiing, bought the property, but never built on it. When we got pregnant in Kauai, we asked if we could use it to raise our family.  It was either there or Colorado.  The preperation for this Log Homw was costly, with such a large foundation, and a virgin forrest, there was much to be done.  I hooked up with a kind man who was very helpful, and affordable, so we began to get things in order.

To be furthered~
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 11:15:28 PM »

$500 square feet.

OH MY!

You'll be busy filling it then?

;)

Here it is so cold so much I am thinking under 2000 for sure.

And you CUT the logs and built the house?

Bless up.
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2008, 07:41:06 AM »

Natty,
  Cost to build for going pros here in Eastern U.S. is  bout 200$/sq. foot.  No, I did not cut the logs.  Had the land logged, then swapped for dried logs, which are 10" (inches) wide and have a double tounge on top, and double groove on the bottom milled into each log.
  Todays market is changing though.  the sub-prime rate crash has caused middle class homes to devalueate, and therefore many are loosing their homes to forclosure.  Tomorrows houses are much more custom fit to the mind set of the owners, once this trend turns around ( along with the Economy).  Many are facing a Major change in life style, and it is those who make this shift to "smart" building with a mind toward "green" materials. Here is where we come to the next generation; Green conscious people are comming to the forefront as wages drop, and costs go up.  This is a combination that will lead to many comming to know struggle such as has never happened before.  2005 was the maximum oil output, and from this point forward, we simply do not have the oil we once had.  The world governments are starting to catch up to the reality many of us have seen come to fruition; we must come up with other solutions, because the simple truth is, that prices are going up due to the increased cost of crude and that effects the cost of many products, including Building materials.
  We are simple people, but I have built many of the tables and pieces in our home, our kitchens are from Ikea,  and the wood stoves are soap stone.  We had trouble getting a loan 10 years ago, not having much credit from surfing and traveling, but we finnished the house for the equity and then began consolodating debt.  We do NOT use credit cards and we do not buy unless we have the money for it.  Work, work, work, and plan~ but know this, things do not go as planned! and in this tasked reality, we come to see just how adaptive we are.  Add in a faith in Jah Guidance, and life is what it is, a Blessing.  There are many different lessons that were learned at different times throughout the process of building, like a steep driveway which when covered with the seasons first snow, and little experience driving in snow while living in Hawaii, well, it was a bit scary to say the least.  There are more to be sure, and I will hope the I's do not mind the insertion of them when they come, for time is short on the com.  It is really just a little hit and run at the moment.

  Alignment of the house was east/west a ceremonial fire was set at the four corners before the foundation was poured.  As I camped on the property, I began to prepare the hand peeled logs with dove~tail joints to fit them in the summer beam ( main carrying beam)  it is 64' (feet) long.  After the joist system was up, tounge and groove flooring went down and the stand~up basement was capped.  Next step was to do the first corse of logs that was to be our house and leave it for the first winter.  I would be back in the Spring to start to build our home over the next summer and get the four dormers,roof and roofing material on before the snow began to fall once again.  I will see if I can add a picture of it next post.


Posted on: April 29, 2008, 01:02:53 am
  Waking this morning @ 2:30 EST, listening to the river that flows into the pond, I am grateful for the chance to relate this story.  Although I have daily calander books from as far back as 1986, these are just jotted down occurances and no substitute for a relativly "collected" string of words.
 
  As I prepared to leave from Vermont at the end of that first summer, I thought of all the other works that had been done. After arriving from Kauai we stayed with my family in the home I was rasied for one month before going to Switzerland where I Queen is from.   We stayed 4 months and put pencil to paper (yes, eraser too) whille there to begin the process of design.
  Mr.Donnie, the kind older man had been a mentor, sort of the relationship I could of had if I father and I did not fight so much. Coincidentally, it was not he that gave us the land, after his passing while we lived and worked  and saved money to build, it was I mother who finally took the step of passing on the land.  Mr.Donnie had put in a culvert over one river in order to gain acess to the land wich is on a hillside facing west and the mountian.  Next was a diversion ditch to collect water and shift it away from th building site. Then the Septic/wastewater system (very environmentally regulated in Vermont) and then clearing and pouring of the foundation.  It was strange to think of the house foundation in and not having either power or water in yet, but they were to be next on the list (not that we had a "list") 
  The last 250 feet of powerline went into an underground conduit along with telephone but NOT cable.  We chose not to have television in our home as offered by the networks, we could always have movies, and anyone staying with us we thought would like that it is not available.  Afterall, one does not go to the mountians to watch cartoon network.  The children would be rasied without it.
  My uncle came up to mount the pannel bow and give us some power.  Drilling began for water, but was to be a costly and nerve racking ordeal.  I was/am amazed that as the first well was abandoned at @ 250 feet, while the second was started at a cost of $8/$8 (drilling/casing) so, 16 $ per foot, there is no geological indications on the top of the ground or any type of device that shows WHERE water may be located.  So, for the second well, we had an old timer come and dowse with a favorite apple tree branch.  He found the vain, many in fact, as I asked many questons but in the long run and on one rainy day while I was putting our 2 front doors into the openroofed basement, the top caved in on the drilling rig.  5 feet short of where the dowser  said there was water to be found.  Just at about 200 feet this time. $$$ adding up , and on to spot #3.  Total diffrent location which turned out to be a sucess at about the same depth.
  There was also the time while I was still working in the open aired basement on a rainy day and heard a truck straining up the drive.  I was not expecting anyone, and the sound of the vehicle made me think it was not just another curious person seeking to find out what was going on at the top of the hill, and I was not expecting any material delivery.  As I peeped out to look who it was, I saw a brand new 10 yard cement truck making the turn at the top of the drive, just where we had put the underground power line.  With just 30 feet to reach the crest of the hill, I watched in amazement as the fully loaded rig began to list and almost in  s l o w  motion fall over on it's side!.  We were not needing any concrete, he was at the wrong address.  The driver was uninjured but the scene that followed that was very involved.  The company had to dump the concrete, and lift the truck back up while about 15 company vehicles lined the road at the bottom of the drive.
  I had saved some pressure treated lumber from a deck that I had rebuilt for a client and brought it up to the land we were gooing to build on.  It formed the only clean area that I could put a chair on and relax at night.  Did not have much Herb at that time, but living life with the works of the day rendered I weary at the end of the days.  Sitting in the cool night, on the deck lind with tiki torches, I thought of Jah and how guided I was/am.  While all the years since I had left the east coast, and stopped going to church, I always felt that sitting atop the board, bobbing in the powerful ocean taht Jah is allround us, In everything.  Here I was/am building a home to raise a family, but I was never alone.  I did not build this huse by myself.  There are so many people that touch our daily lives, and Jah puts them in our path.
  I had tried to be kind and thoughtful to all the people that came to do their labors on the land, but pressure has a way of casting a patina on ones going through such things.  True to oneself is all we can be, and to The Most I, for he guides us all. 
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Brudda B

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Re: house building?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2008, 08:37:22 AM »

Blessings brother Surfmon,

Wow!
What a story,and picture you paint with your words,I felt I was up on that mountain side helping you build what sounds like an extraordinary home. You're hard work and determination are truly inspiring...
Thank you for sharing your home building experiences,it sounds like a feat of engineering,could you post some pictures,do you have some of the build??

Thanks again brother
great stuff
bless
B
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natty threads

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Re: house building?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 02:33:21 AM »

Indeed!

Surfmon, I meant "Wow, 5000 square feet"- no idea where the $ came from!

Still.

So did you GET TO USE that concrete?

Posted on: May 01, 2008, 03:29:40 am
Our well was "witched"-
My uncle does that and I think the guys that drilled it witched it.

My uncle is also an electrician, and he witches electrical problems as well.

It is an unfortunate title for a real, physical, sensitivity.

Bless up!
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surfmon_I

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Re: house building?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 10:30:38 AM »

Many Thanks for the kind words,
Still, It is I that should give Thanks for the Blessed Experience and also for the chance to tell the tale to mi Bredren and Sistren. 
This time of year is busy, and I man is not always able to get thoughts together nuff to get a whole story down but I got out the year book of 1999, and to my amazement where we left off was not the end.  In fact, it was toward the end of September that the cement truck tipped, and no we did not get to use the concrete it had to be released from the tumbler.  I saw that we did not just leave it at the one log on the perimeter of the deck.  I supose there was somuch to this adventure the mind just split it into two seasons.  It really makes it amazing because I never thought that all that work got done in one year.  the timing of certain aspects of building a House are a wonderment and surely guided by Jah.
 Although it is a big house, remember the logs are the walls, and we go round and round as it goes up.  There is more to tell, and although Imust leave it off here, Iwill be thinking on it today.
  will try again with the pics, till then, keep dreaming and seeing the things The I's Can and Will be doing in the short future.
JahLove.
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