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Old 09-24-2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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Offbeat housing???

Anyone have any experience with any sort of off beat housing. Heck, it's OK even if your neighbor or relative has something. I'd just like to hear about it to work ideas around in my head.

What I mean by off beat is something that isn't a traditional stick built house.

I have looked at:
Geodesic domes (I prefer the concrete geodesic example: www.aidomes.com)
Monolithic domes
Strawbale
Cob (the wife and I have gone to several classes for this but I hate how dirty it is)
Papercrete
Earthbag

I'll be retiring in a few years and have lots of land so I figure I'll build some "sheds" that I might later make inhabitable (sheds don't require permits and they'll be hidden except from the eye in the sky) If I do the Geodesic Dome which is what I'm leaning towards I will pull the proper permits. Shooting for composting toilet etc. A totally self sustainable house is what I'm looking for so if your brother sister's friend has a doghouse made out papercrete (example) lets hear about it.
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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You could simply recycle entire buildings for building materials.

A guy that I visited in California had a "recycled" house. He knew the superintendent of schools in his area and got dibs on ALL of the materials from a few old schools. Keep in mind that this was more than 20 or so years ago but he got all perfectly usable materials as well as top quality (solid oak doors and flooring from a gymnasium, oak flooring from a gym, even stained glass, etc. etc.).

Best part was that he got it all for FREE. Of course he had to do all of the labor himself but I would say that is well worth it.

The man was also very interested in Japan and Japanese culture and took lots of inspiration in the building of his house from traditional Japanese houses.
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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In colder climates, maybe in warmer climates also, you might consider earth sheltered designs IF you have a low water table. They stay pretty temp stable year around and in Fla you could greatly reduce cooling costs.
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:54 PM   #4
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Have you looked at shipping containers or tiny houses?

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/
http://www.tinyhouses.net/
http://www.tinyhousecompany.com/

We are putting some combination of tiny houses on our lower lot.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005...ing_contai.php
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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UfoTofU- Interesting indeed. We've discussed that since my grandmother lives in a house that used "recycled" materials. The house was built by my grandfather around 65 years ago from recycled scrap wood. If I remember correctly they bought it by the truck load. Ready for the price? A quarter a truckload no matter what size truck! (not as good as free though) My grandfather used a dumptruck to get the wood. My grandfather has been gone for over a decade but the house still stands with minimal damage from each big hurricane.

JanGeo- I've strongly considered earth bermed. I forgot to mention that in my list above but even though I live in Florida my land has some hills here and there. I will definitely be "digging in". I need a front end loader for my tractor.... ...wife gets mad when I mention that.

ketel0ne- This one is one my wife wants to do as well. I'm not as ready for it as she is. I don't know why though, I think its the logistics of it. Getting one of those containers on my property to where I need it to be would be a tree killing extravaganza. I'm going to have to take down 2 trees for my garage and I'm not happy about that at all, a container would mean many more. I still think they are really cool, just can't fit on in. Thanks for those links. I haven't run across those.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
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Check out calearth dot org. Very cool, or warm, well... well insulated. And supposedly flood/earthquake proof. Also supposedly available as a stoc building plan in the local county.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:43 PM   #7
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I will definitely be "digging in". I need a front end loader for my tractor.... ...wife gets mad when I mention that.

Then ask if you can get a back hole digger instead.
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:02 PM   #8
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omgwtfbyobbq- THANK YOU for that link. Apparently I've been to that site before (according to my wife, but I can't remember so its new to me) I have/have read Nader Khalili's book "How to build your own ceramic & earth architechure". Actually the picture you show is on th ecover of the book. I already asked my wife if I can build two of those side by side and then paint them tan with the very tops of them pink. She didn't see the same humor I did - my house is on a "run in" for a (military) drop zone and I KNOW the aircrews would get a kick out of it if I did the placement just right. They do normally come in fast and low but I know they'd notice it.

JanGeo- I catch heck just because I religously buy the "Heavy Equipment Trader" (Autotrader for tractors) - a back hoe is a no go too.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:49 PM   #9
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If you need any first hand info gimme a holler. I passed through there briefly a few months ago and have been looking for an excuse to go and check it out thoroughly ever since.
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:22 PM   #10
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Geodesic houses kick ***.
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