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Hello from Concho, AZ

 
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Hi All,

My name is Rose. My husband and I are building a Sandbag house in the White Mountains.  It is our hope and dream to create a way to become selfsustaining and to be able to teach and share with others in the region who are in need of affordable living alternative.  With so many people loosing their homes during this pandemic, we find ourselves in desperate need of homes that can be built with readily available materials that dont cost a fortune.  Any and all ideas and advise is welcome.  

Thanks,
   Rose
 
author & gardener
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Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
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Hi Rose, welcome to Permies! There are quite a few people here who have the same interests. You've come to the right place to ask questions and discuss ideas.
 
pollinator
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Hello Rose, can you post some pictures?
 
Rose Nicholas
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We will be posting pictures and doing videos of our build, beginning with putting in the fence and septic, then on to the water tank and pipes.  We are bringing in our 5th wheel to use as a temporary home while we build.  I will start the pictures this week.
 
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I’m sure you’ve heard of George Nez and hypar structures. Use concrete mesh wrapped in Burlap, tarps or stucco fabrics covered in A Latex concrete mixture to build walls. Also inflated dome building is relatively easy if you have a little more resources. Both techniques are ideal for quick, inexpensive structures.
 
Rose Nicholas
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Thanks.  We are on a very strict budget due to the time constraints we are now under. Any and all ideas are welcome.  
 
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Hello Rose! My name is Johnna and my family is doing the same darn thing! Wow! Though,  I believe our view (future homestead) will be LOOKING  at those beautiful White Mountains!
We're  presently living in North Dakota.  Coming back to Concho Spring break.  As of today, our ' mission ' is to locate an engineer to approve our plans. Have you had such luck?
How exciting is all this?

Johnna
 
Miles Flansburg
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Rose, not sure if you have seen this you tube channel , they are building there homestead in AZ and using earth bags as well.  Green Dreams
 
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I am also in Concho! I sent you a message, Rose. Johnna, I would love to hear how its going for you! Or anyone else doing Earthbags in Apache County
 
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Jay VeeKay wrote:I am also in Concho! I sent you a message, Rose. Johnna, I would love to hear how its going for you! Or anyone else doing Earthbags in Apache County


Jay, Rose, I'm also in Concho lol. Closer to the Vernon side. I don't believe I've talked with either of you before, but I'm confident we could share ideas at some point.
I've been experimenting with this rocky soil.. building a cobbish/Adobe type thing with lots of rock structure.
Also, working on a shower set-up which I probably need to research a bit more...has anyone built a shower enclosure with earth bags? It seems like a terrible idea, but after spending $100 just putting floor joists down, I'd love an alternative.
Anyway, would love to hear more from either of you!
Nick
 
Jay VeeKay
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Hi Nick!

Yaaay! Yeah I’m happy to connect with you! If you wanna go find me on FB, it’s Jaimus Van Kieran. We’d love to chat about all the things!
 
Johnna Rogers
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Hello! Sorry it took so long to reply. We haven't quite got building the earthbag home just yet. We are only 4 weeks out from moving to AZ. My family spent a month there getting things set up for the move. Metal barn, 2 sheds, water tank, outhouse/shower. We're a family of 5...3 of us in camper, the other 2 get their own sheds.

How about the price of lumber?!?
Where did you purchase your bags?

So excited to get there! Life changing for us...going off grid.

Can't wait to hear from you 🙂.
Johnna
 
Nicholas Roberts
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Johnna Rogers wrote:Hello! Sorry it took so long to reply. We haven't quite got building the earthbag home just yet. We are only 4 weeks out from moving to AZ. My family spent a month there getting things set up for the move. Metal barn, 2 sheds, water tank, outhouse/shower. We're a family of 5...3 of us in camper, the other 2 get their own sheds.

How about the price of lumber?!?
Where did you purchase your bags?

So excited to get there! Life changing for us...going off grid.

Can't wait to hear from you 🙂.
Johnna


Definitely life-changing. I've been here since June, and making very slow progress. It's just me, so I can go my own pace. I was in a tent/car for the first 6 or 7 weeks, so you can imagine "discovering" the wildlife from that vantage ; )
Slowly building up solar, water, etc, but it's amazing how conservative one can be when there isn't a choice.
I do know a couple who sell used panels for a great price, so if you're ever interested, pm me and I can give you a phone #.
Well, spring is here. The wind has been insane, but it's to be expected. I learned the hard way that just about anything fabric will blow away or tear up here.
Price of lumber seems quite high, so I'm focusing on alternatives. One of the first tools I bought was a stiff garden rake, and I've been pretty successful in gathering gravel/rubble that way without paying to have it delivered.. Time consuming, yes, but I've had some time lately.
Saw a tarantula hawk yesterday for the first time this season..Those huge wasps with red/orange on their wings. Last year, anytime I'd mix mud or cob, they'd come around for the water. I was deathly afraid of them, but they're pretty harmless to humans. Also, was amazed at the number of lizard species on the property..also very interested in water.
I've been trying to grow some ground-cover as well as a few trees on one small patch. I've been marginally successful, though I've put a whole lot into soil amendment. (I do have a bunch of composting worms, so if you're ever interested, let me know lol)
As for earth bags.. I started with some smaller polypropylene sacks from a*mazon, oh the shame! Can't remember the seller, but they're 17"x27". I was imagining trying to lift larger bags over my head, and yea, no.
I think I'll start small with a shower enclosure. Obviously moisture may be an issue, so I will put it to the test.
If it collapses, at least I'll go to my grave feeling fresh lol.
Have seen lots and lots of new people moving up here, so I'd like to think that's a good sign.
Well, best of luck!
 
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