As I’ve said several times here, Permies.com is a great source of information. Although their emphasis is on gardening, they also have a lot of useful information on natural building. Today’s blog post highlights one interesting discussion on their forum. Each building method has pros and cons, and it helps to research each option carefully. This is the sort of thing every owner-builder has to sort through for themselves.
“What is the quickest natural building method?
The situation is this – my husband and I are going to move to our property next spring. We have a small trailer to live in while we build, and weather-wise we could probably be okay in the trailer from April until September.
So, that gives us a 5 month window to build. We’re planning on building the 33-foot 1 bedroom w/ loft earthbag roundhouse by Owen Geiger. However, we don’t know what the employment situation will be.
Comment by R. Scott: “Lots of quick, cheap, less DIY methods–depending on how much winter you need protection from.
If I were doing it again:
Pole barn (contracted out) for a big roof. I would add tin sides to protect from prevailing wind and then build a straw bale house under the roof. Owen had a blog entry about it earlier this year.
If I liked the straw house (which was simply stacked and tarped to begin with because it didn’t have to hold up a roof), I would stucco it and be done. If I didn’t, I would work on something else the next year–probably earth sheltered something.
Weekends only really limits the work–BTDT. If you do the pole barn and simple shelter under it, you can spend more time on firewood–that needs to be done ASAP so it seasons a little by fall.”