Back in 1997 I searched for reasonably priced land and had to go at least 35 miles from the city. First it was a frame shell with septic and roof. Then the well, and inside plumbing and electric, with future expansion in mind. Then the drywall and finish. I had gathered a lot of scrap and bought future items on sale.
Next year came the addition, using rammed earth tire retaining walls “Y”ed to what would become an Earthship outbuilding the next year.
Looking at building materials present day costs, it is even more important to use as much free or cheap recycled material as possible. With all wood houses, the most efficient is the A-frame with the roof at the average sun angle south for solar. People advertize domes and yurts, some of which are not cheap at all.
With me, it definitely helped that I was a carpenter foreman/multi-tradesman already. I still had to study the solar electric and local codes. I would not be mortgage free if I didn’t do nearly every trade by myself with the help of my wife and young son. I could have done the carpet, but the price was installed. Naturally, I had to also buy some tools I didn’t have, and it was tough going financially for a while. I had to first have the energy and determination to work full time, and work after work and on weekends and holidays for three years.
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