Steve built a £4000 ($6,260) unpermitted house in Scotland a few years back with local materials. (He hopes to build it for less next time.) The results are marvelous as you can see. His websites are packed with wonderful photos and drawings that show the details. Now you know why I get so excited about natural building, especially when there are no codes to deal with. At just a little over $6,200, just imagine how many hundreds of thousands of homeowners (or millions) could build their own debt free homes. This is something most Americans can afford. Compare this to paying $500/month rent for one year = $6,000. Or invest $6,000 in a natural house and live rent free for the rest of your life. Lots of people are already living this way, and there’s obviously a groundswell of interest as this information spreads.
“Dorset Centre for Rural Skills (DCRS) is an established, not-for-profit, training enterprise with accredited Social Enterprise status.
“The first structure we built on our 9 acres was the tool shed. (After it served its purpose for storing tools it became a chicken coop, then a mini art studio and is now a sauna!) The second structure we built was this outbuilding that we call The Shop (pictured above). On the ground floor is Ken’s custom cabinetry workshop. He is a true craftsman. The upstairs portion is used for storage, although I imagine a remote guest quarters or art studio as another use for that space.”
Free downloadable version (photocopied pages) of Matts Myhrman’s classic straw bale book for private use. The easy to understand explanations and simple line drawings make it a joy to read and refer to as you’re building. Although this book is 99% excellent information, readers are warned of a few errors in this somewhat dated book. One example is do not use bales under a slab floor as shown.
The ”Maison Feuillette” was built in 1921 by Feuillette, an engineer who was looking for solutions to construction problems. It has been for sale for one year. The house (still inhabited and perfectly preserved) is acknowledged globally as a unique, innovative and exemplary building. It features a timber frame structure with straw bale infill, modular construction, and the use of local materials.
A kindred spirit sent me a memorable letter about 10 years ago. They had read about the strawbale roundhouse I helped build with the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. (I recently found out the roundhouse later got destroyed in a flood.)