Idaho modern oldtimer builds underground & solar $50 houses — 4 Comments

  1. ALso, inside his book:

    He had an engineer to draw up for how many posts, beams, girders, etc are to be used according to what size you are building…


  2. Hi Owen,

    Mike was able to build his first house back in the 1970’s with many found and recycled materials. That is why the original build was less than $50.

    He first published the book in the 1970’s, thus the title. The book has been reprinted 7 or 8 times.

    He added onto that original TINY, TINY space for $500, again using mostly found and throw away windows and such.

    He got mill end boards from a local sawmill, etc.

    He also uses Pond Liners on the roof now, rather than Polyethelene.

    Yes, underground Mines have been built like this for a long time.
    In the video, Mike is showing the First Thought house, showing that it is NOT how to build, as water is always an issue.

    His ideas for an uphill patio with trenching around the upper hill area of the house helps to divert water away from the home.


    In his book he shows ways to build Flatland Houses, similar to how you prefer to build with berming and all.

    Yes, it would take much less energy to not have to excavate. ANd a home can built faster.

    And with Permaculture Design, Swales, Huglebeds and other ideas can divert water.

    Thank you for posting this. It will help to give people more ideas of how to build berming with earth!

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