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Home Made: A Cheap and Green Handbuilt House, Part 2

Earlier today I told you about Ian's home, which he built using recycled, green, and local materials. I'd hinted that his house was very inexpensive to build, but what I hadn't mentioned was that the land itself was a steal as well! Read more to find out the statistics on this pretty—and pretty cheap—green home.

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Cost of materials: about $15,000 and growing
Cost of land (10 acres): $18,000
Land features: The land was logged about 30 years ago. The trees are mostly aspen and balsam fir, but the emerging groundcover indicates that the peak successional forest will be a northern sugar maple/hemlock stand, if properly fostered. I selectively logged aspen for the building, which opened up light for other species. The property has an overgrown trout stream that flows through it, surrounded by large white cedar trees.
Salvaged materials: All insulated double-paned windows; roofing (purchased third-hand); insulated doors; sinks
Heating: Wood stove and radiant in-floor heating
Insulation: R-20 in walls; R-24 in roof
Power (this house has no electricity): LP gas and 12V solar panel to heat outdoor shower (you can see shower structure to the left at the back of the house). We are also building a sauna, which will be wood heated. All of the wood we use is selectively logged from the property.
Green features: Nearly everything in this house is green and energy-efficient. It uses local materials, energy-efficient windows, insulation, and doors, has a small footprint, is easy to heat, and uses a composting toilet.
Use of the house: cabin getaway and rental property
Things I would've done differently: Build high efficiency conventional with timber accents instead of with cordwood.
Things that work out really well: My plan and design. Even though the house is only 500 square feet, it has separate and distinct rooms that feel spacious, including a sleeping loft, sun room, foyer, dining/living room, and kitchen. Small spaces require immaculate organization and regular cleaning. Each room will be painted a unique color, ceilings will be white to maximize natural lighting, we will use LP lights, and a gas fridge. I recently built a concrete countertop (in kitchen photo).

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