22 May Build Your Own Affordable, Eco-Friendly House
What’s the finest way to build a low-value dwelling that does not hurt the planet? Most materials comparable to concrete and metal are highly processed and transported lengthy distances, making them unaffordable to millions who are in need of housing. These high-tech supplies also cause a great deal of harm to the environment. The reply is to utilize locally available, low-impact natural building materials corresponding to earth, stone, straw and small diameter wood. This article explores several methods of utilizing earth and sustainably harvested wood to cut housing prices to rock-bottom prices. And because the methods are consumer-friendly, they are perfect for do-it-yourselfers.
Earthbag building: Like different earth building strategies, earthbag building is simple to be taught and very low cost. It has developed from the military’s use of building durable, blast and bullet resistant constructions with sandbags for one hundred years. Fashionable-day builders are using the identical basic process of filling and stacking bags to build lovely houses, offices, shops, schools and orphanages. Earthbag buildings are proof against mold, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, insects and rodents.
Since the principal building material is earth, which is commonly free or very low value if delivered, buildings can be constructed literally dust-cheap. No expensive equipment is needed. Most individuals already have the basic instruments around their dwelling – shovels, buckets, garden hose and ladder. The building process is so simple that unskilled workers can be taught each step of development just by watching for a minute. Earthbag building is extremely adaptable and can be utilized to build nearly any shape imaginable, together with domes, vaults, sphericalhouses, or more typical square or rectangular designs.
Small diameter wood: U.S. forests are currently overcrowded and prone to forest fires. Millions of acres are destroyed every year to fires and disease. Gleaning small timber from the forest in a maintainable method actually improves the health of the forest and reduces forest fires. With a cheap firewood permit (about $20), anyone can receive wood for building their home. Most of this wood normally goes up the chimney to heat properties, however it is way more valuable when turned into useful products with an extended life. All of the wood for a house can be obtained this way at much lower price than shopping for dimension lumber from a building provide center.
One option is peeling the bark off and using them in the spherical for pole frames. Wood within the round is much stronger than sawn lumber and requires less processing. With a portable mill or chainsaw attachment, do-it-yourselfers can even mill their own wood for beams, joists, studs, trusses, purlins, window and door frames, trim, cabinets and furniture. The place I live, builders are culling standing dead timber (sound wood) from the forest in order to avoid the time and effort of seasoning the wood. In addition, using sustainably harvested wood as described here is more aesthetically pleasing than typical stud walls covered with sheetrock. The great thing about the wood is left uncovered, honoring the tree from which it came.
Tamped earth floors: Traditional poured earth floors can final for many centuries, thereby saving a small fortune on wood floor framing and replacement of carpet and linoleum every 15 years. Earth floors look like leather once completed and are extremely beautiful. (They’re being utilized in trendy, custom homes.) However, poured earth floors take a very long time to dry, making them impractical in all but scorching, dry climates.
Tamped earth floors use less water and dry much faster. These floors can typically be walked on one or days after installing. The building process involves screening road base or different appropriate soil by means of 3/eight” mesh. This mix is spread out in 2″ layers and tamped level. The process is repeated until the desired height is reached. Material for the top coat is screened once more by means of 1/8″ mesh. The top coat mixture is hand-troweled and burnished, utilizing just enough water to bond well. After the floor has thoroughly dried, seal with several coats of linseed oil thinned with turpentine.
Earthen plaster: Probably the most beautiful wall finish I’ve ever seen is earth plaster. For those who’ve never seen earth plaster earlier than, it’s possible you’ll think of dreary brown walls. Do an Internet search for “earth plaster” and you will see the superb results. Because there are numerous kinds of clay, there isn’t any limit to the range of colors, textures and particular effects. One standard method makes use of mica in the plaster to create sparkling, brilliant walls.
Earthen plaster is the probably probably the most person-pleasant wall finish. In lots of cultures women, children and the aged have finished the plaster work for centuries using just fingers and basic tools. The key to durable earthen plaster is wide roof overhangs of about 36 inches. Keep rain and snow off the partitions and it will final a long time, requiring only minor touchup.
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