from Building our permaculture dream, working alone: it just takes too long!
In looking at your shopping list , the one that stands out for me is the amount you plan to spend on a house . I can't think of any environment on earth where I couldn't construct a suitable structure for $5000. I've been in several quite livable spaces here that could be replaced for $2000. Not very fancy , just walls and a roof with a hand pump and simple kitchen. Plumbing usually involves a simple pit toilet. A modest sized house could later become a tourist rental or worker housing. This would require an adjustment in expectations, but would greatly reduce your immediate budget.
I lived rough in a bus one winter and used a large plastic storage tub to bathe in, I think a bathtub of some sort is doable. It's about quality of life for me. But, you are also right about motels, I might like to 'get away' from the farm and watch some TV sometimes.
As for the bathtub, that is a luxury that I would forget ...
Whenever I state the price of a house, for any climate, I don't promise that I can make it legal, just perfectly livable.
I like eaves on a house. Also a covered porch would just about double your living area. If your view is to the east you could have some great afternoon shade by placing the overhang there. It could also protect your house from the late morning sun.
You can calculate how much wood you need from the proposed area of the walls, and thickness. Thickness of the walls is determined by climate. So, if you know the wall area, and proposed thickness, then about half the area of the wall is occupied by wood or about 16" diameter or less. Larger diameter rounds of wood are split as there might be too much expansion or shrinkage of the wood otherwise.
So it's essentially masonry construction and the roof is covered with about 8 inches of soil. You can do post and beam construction for the walls, or make a circular house and make it all cordwood masonry.
Graham Chiu wrote:Earthbag is pretty labour intensive isn't it?
This is the 36 m2 cabin a middle aged couple built in 39 days in Tasmania. They used flooring for the roof which they then sealed with rubber and plastic, but if you have high winds maybe you need more earth on top.
They had a rocket mass heater which they found finicky smoking back into the cabin at times. Windows were all second hand. And the logs were from pinus radiata which they got free I think. They did get a concrete slab poured.
Q: Have there been any studies as to the wind handling capability of cordwood homes incorporated with timber framing? I need to be able to withstand a category 5 hurricane (approx. 140 mph winds), to convince the building inspector.
A: The short answer is: No, there haven't been any studies (to my knowledge) about "the wind handling capability of cordwood homes incorporated with timber framing."
The long answer is that you need to follow local codes with regard to wind shear with timber framing. Florida, Hawaii, tornado alley and other places have adopted "continuous load path" codes. Basically, this means that the posts must be mechanically fastened to the frame, the girts and girders tied down to the posts, the joists and rafters tied to the girts and girders. In other words, they want a "continuous load path" from the top of the house (usually some sort of peak) right to the foundation. Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc ( www.strongtie.com ) and USP Lumber Connectors (www.USPconnectors.com) and others manufacture relatively inexpensive code-approved connectors. See also my book Timber Framing For the Rest of Us (New Society, 2004), particularly Chapter Four. The book is available from Earthwood at www.cordwoodmasonry.com
The cordwood must be locked into the timber-frame with wooden key pieces fastened to the middle third of all edges of the framework adjacent to the cordwood masonry. This compartmentalizes the cordwood into a series of square or rectilinear panels around the building. Wind will not impact the cordwood, as long as the framework is tied down. In fact, in seismic (earthquake) areas, where continuous load path codes are also in effect, the worst damage that would occur to the cordwood (during a quake) would be masonry cracking. And this is with the whole building being subjected to shaking.
My approach with the building inspector would be to say that you intend to meet continuous load path codes for a timber frame (ask for their guidance in this), and that the cordwood masonry is a very heavy infill that provides compression strength to the underside of the girt system, and replaces the temporary diagonal bracing used during construction to resist racking in high winds. (It is necessary to have a strong diagonal bracing system for timber framing no matter where you build. Again, see Timber Framing for the Rest of Us.)
If you have a bad day in October, have a slice of banana cream pie. And this tiny ad:
Got a New Homestead? Here is What You Need to Know to Before You Start a Homesteadhttps://permies.com/t/97104/Starting-homestead-strong-foundation