Cost Breakdown of Our Recycled Wood House

View of our new recycled wood house from the front gate.
View of our new recycled wood house from the front gate.

We’ve been making steady progress on our recycled wood house and forest garden. Some of you might remember my earlier blog post about this project. The primary goal of our homestead is to become largely food self sufficient due to all the chemicals and other unhealthy things in the food supply today. A secondary goal is to have a little country house where we can hang out on weekends and days off. So far we’re fairly close to our hoped for budget even though the house grew a bit here and there (don’t they always).

I’m so proud of my girlfriend who designed and oversaw its construction while maintaining her full time job. (We split the work on the homestead. She agreed to do the house and I would do the garden.) We added a water tower of recycled timbers to boost the water pressure and ensure a water supply if the pump isn’t working. (It’s partially visible in the photo above.) The garden was dirt cheap – almost negligible. We still have to build the garage, worm bin and plaster the pump house.

Materials cost for our recycled wood house (most of the wood was free from an old we tore down)
Concrete posts 160
Wood posts 321
Wood structure 1,604
Floor 1,123
Wood ceiling 481
Paint 257
Kitchen 1,283
Bathroom 1,444
Roofing 1,283
Subtotal cost of materials: $7,956 (round off to $8,000)
Miscellaneous $1,000
Total: $9,000

Miscellaneous: Some small things are not on the list, so I’ve added extra. There’s glass in the windows, window screens, nails, a porch slab out back, a few light fixtures and outlets. Let’s round it off to $9,000 total. Labor is not included because it was mostly done by our family, friends and extended family. There’s 49 sq. meters (527 sq. ft.) of enclosed space. That works out to $184/sq. m ($17/sq. ft.) Not bad. Not bad at all, especially when you consider there’s another 61 sq. m. (657 sq. ft.) of covered outdoor living space (where most of our time is spent in this hot climate). So the total space is 110 sq. m (1,184 sq. ft.), which is $82/sq. m or $7.60/sq. ft. Anything under $10/sq. ft. is ridiculously low.

Previous story about our earthbag pump house

My new YouTube channel provides more details about our homestead. Low Cost, Self-sufficient Homestead More videos hopefully coming soon.

My old YouTube channel has about a million hits: Earthbag Natural Houses

10 thoughts on “Cost Breakdown of Our Recycled Wood House”

  1. I am curious if you have building codes where you live? Where is this located? This doesn’t look like anything that would pass code here.

    • No codes here, ha ha. I left that stifling bureaucracy behind a long time ago. Codes don’t allow recycled wood, even though this house could be standing 100 years from now when cheaply built stick frame houses have rotted and burned to the ground. The wood is case hardened tropical hardwood. The insects won’t touch it. It’s like steel. But it doesn’t meet code. That’s codes for you. Vote with your feet.

  2. Well done on the house – it’s lovely!

    You were very lucky to get the wood for free. That’s not too common in this part of the world. Normally, aged hardwood commands a premium price in Thailand.

  3. The only thing that house is missing is Barbara Stanwyck standing on the porch with a pitcher of Lemonade. Maybe Lorne Greene or Michael Landon would be more appealing for your female blog readers.

    That and maybe a hitching post and watering trough for a couple of horses.

    Somebody good at photoshop could probably make that happen rather quickly. ;)

  4. Lovely, inviting, home. Will we get an inside tour in the future? I’m sure in not alone in hoping to see the many wonderful creative ideas you managed to incorporate into your home.

    • The interior is very simple. This is just a weekend vacation type of home after all. It was never intended to be a show home at all. It’s just one 4m x 8m room (bed and couch), bath and small kitchen. It looks and feels like a southern style cabin inside. Maybe we’ll live there when we’re older.

  5. Your place turned out real nice Owen. You should post a pic with you and your girlfriend. It would be nice to see all the family. She has a good eye. She did good.


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