Hi Mike! My husband and I just recently found a gorgeous property on which to build our ideal permaculture homestead and we have been exploring the options available for building an energy efficient and cozy home in which to spend our retirement. We just became aware of your building philosophies within the past week or so and have had some excited conversations about it.
I did want to relay a funny story about the videoclips on your website though.
At my office job, I do not have sound on my computer, so when I clicked the link to the youtube clip of you were giving a tour of your abandoned earth-integrated greenhouse, I did not realize that I was looking at a non-used gardening building, I thought I was seeing the inside of your underground HOME. I hope you can appreciate that it was not a good way to convince a lady to sign-on to the idea of using your methods to build a pretty little retirement cottage. It was with this misconception I scowled at my husband as he rhapsodized about the "Ridge House" you are building - all the while I was envisioning the old abandoned greenhouse. I did not understand his excitement.
Yesterday I rewatched the video clips on your website, and the greenhouse tour was the first one I watched. Now that I understand it was not your residence, I am absolutely delighted with the concept. The video of your original $50 home was inspiring too, but yes: now that I have seen what is possible with the Ridge House, I am MORE than open to the concept of making our own earth integrated home and would love to learn more.
As I am new to this field of building, I am certain most of the questions have been asked before, but I am curious about the amount of effort and specialized equipment that is necessary to build a Ridge Home. The property we are considering has steep hills leading up to the building site and I wonder if large earth moving machines would be able to make the ascent.
Thank you for your good work Mike.