Author Topic: Building your own home - some ideas  (Read 20127 times)

Offline derajer

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
  • Karma: 8
Building your own home - some ideas
« on: March 04, 2009, 08:43:56 AM »
Perhaps this is too vague to be in DIY, but here goes...

I want to ideas, techniques, and materials that make it easier, simpler, cheaper, or generally better to build your own home.

Insulated Concrete forms (ICFs) - these are like foam legos that you stack, fill with cements, and leave the ICFs in place for insulation, support, and mounting surface.

more to come....

Offline TXChikk

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 521
  • Karma: 25
  • Lovely
    • Foxy Flair
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 08:47:41 AM »
if you ever need anyone to draft your dream home plans in CAD.......i know a great draftswoman!!!  ;)

Offline BigDanInTX

  • Reanimation Disposal Specialist
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1677
  • Karma: 77
  • Come Get Some!
    • Zombie Squad
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 09:47:57 AM »
I think you'll have a bunch of new friends very soon, TXChikk!  ;-]

Offline derajer

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
  • Karma: 8
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 10:26:31 AM »
..more on the ICFS since I can't modify my original post. ICFs offer several advantages over other types of construction 1)They offer far superior insulation and energy efficiency 2)They are much stronger than most other forms of construction 3)They are much easier to build with than wood or other traditional materials 4)Superior ballistic resistance


I think that another great technology is PEX tubing, it is cheaper and MUCH easier to install that copper piping. It's flexible enough to withstand some freezing as well as curve around corners. It also usually uses a rather interesting manifold that allows you to shut-off water to just about anywhere independently. It's also color coded red or blue for hot or cold.

Earth berming is technique that is also very interesting, but piling dirt against your house you can increase energy efficiency due the thermal mass of the earth. Typically ground temps are around 50 degress in the US and so your house will tend toward that temperature making it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

What else do you guys have? I want to know as much as I can since I hope to buy land and build a home myself in the next few years.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 10:34:33 AM by derajer »

Michael Masse

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 12:04:48 PM »
I would look into container homes.

Shipping containers can be bought for around 2000 a piece.  They are industrial strength.  You can stack them, weld them do all kinds of different designs with them. 

They can be insulated with a ceramic powder that you add to your paint.  Suppose to give an R19 value if you paint just the outside and double that if you paint the inside.

Do a google search.  You will be amazed.

Bob Veila did a show on them as well.

Architect Adam Kalkin has a great 12 container house that I think is awesome.

I would not have as many window as his design but still think it is pretty functional.  The covered living space could be used for so much.  Garden, basketball, etc..  living area.  You are in for a treat.

http://www.architectureandhygiene.com/main.html

Name

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 03:12:25 PM »
ICFs are a great construction material for larger projects because it reduces the amount of insulation.  The cost effectivness does not come into play until it's used on a large project.  I think the most cost effective building material is still CMU foundation and wood framing for typical single dwelling residential construction.

http://www.huduser.org/publications/destech/ICFbenefits.html


Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 03:21:20 PM »
Monolithic domes. You can take a class and make it yourself (with some help).

The Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel reinforced concrete structure used for homes, schools, gymnasiums, bulk storage facilities, churches, offices, and many other uses.

http://static.monolithic.com/




Name

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 03:26:32 PM »
Monolithic domes. You can take a class and make it yourself (with some help).

The Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel reinforced concrete structure used for homes, schools, gymnasiums, bulk storage facilities, churches, offices, and many other uses.

http://static.monolithic.com/





Create a steel cage, get a large balloon and a concrete sprayer and you're in business.

Offline T Kehl

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 378
  • Karma: 19
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 06:13:51 PM »
I've found a lot of inspiration from the country plans website.  They focus on small efficient houses that are first and foremost cheap and easy to construct.

http://www.countryplans.com/

They also have a great forum for DIYers to discuss issues and show several real life builds, some with NO previous construction experience.  The video showing sheathing hauled to a rooftop using a pickup and rope is hilarious and it worked!  You can also learn a lot of what not to do or at least do better.

Personally, if TSHTF, I'll be building a timber-frame on my parents ranch and use hay bales for the walls.  Reason being is there are plenty off both available cheap for a little effort.

Offline Doug

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 578
  • Karma: 49
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2009, 06:31:04 PM »
Monolithic domes. You can take a class and make it yourself (with some help).

The Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel reinforced concrete structure used for homes, schools, gymnasiums, bulk storage facilities, churches, offices, and many other uses.

http://static.monolithic.com/



Robot Ranch's monolithic underground home http://v400y.virtual400.net/~schwarz/
http://v400y.virtual400.net/~schwarz/August07.html
http://v400y.virtual400.net/~schwarz/March07.html
http://v400y.virtual400.net/~schwarz/Sept16th05.html
http://v400y.virtual400.net/~schwarz/Jan2nd.html


Offline MTguy

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: 2
    • Ultimatehomestead.com
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 11:15:54 PM »
+1 to the earthship
here is a link that has quick break down of the process of building one.

http://www.earthpower1.com/EarthshipIndex.html

SouthernLiving

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 08:51:37 PM »
Start early finding deals on construction materials, appliances, furniture, ect...on Craigslist and in the Classifides.  With all of the forclosures going on, and people trying to trade down to stay out of foreclosure, you can find great deals on barely used items right now.

I agree about CMU and stick framing being the most cost effective building method for small residential structures at this time.  I'm just finishing up my house and did a ton of research on different construction methods before building.  While there are superior methods to stick framing or CMU's, the dollars just don't fall into place.  At least not in our area.

I've also learned that just because you can do something yourself doesn't really mean you should.  Its not always cheaper; its usually not as pretty as proffesionally done. 

Michael Masse

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 10:24:42 AM »
Just a quick look at the mothership home made it look like a massive undertaking.  I'm sure it has incredible benefits but to make it practical you would need the resources of course and quite a bit of manpower.

Still like the shipping container idea. You can prepare them off site and move them to the location and put them together.

 

aethertap

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 10:46:29 AM »
I'm looking into cob and strawbale construction personally.  Cob is similar to adobe (mud brick), except that cob doesn't use bricks and it seems to produce a stronger structure.  Combining it with a strawbale north wall gives you good insulation on the cold side, and good thermal mass (from a 2 foot mud wall) on the sunny side.  Downside:  you have to shovel a LOT of clay!

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/ has several short articles on a variety of low energy building techniques, including cob.  I'm mostly interested in the low energy methods because it means you can rely on yourself for the materials rather than a 5000 mile supply chain.

selfsufficient

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 08:34:45 PM »
cob and strawbale has become popular in several parts of australia, becuase of its high insulation factor, and more importantly good fire rating, as long as the cob rendering has been done right. The fire rating is hard to maintain when the roof and eaves are installed and these require special attention to detail. Posts are incorporated into the strawbale walls for the load bearing aspects.

www.ausbale.org/
http://www.earthgarden.com.au/strawbale/strawhome.html
http://glassford.com.au/main/
http://www.strawtec.com.au/content.php?id=6&ch=Projects

Offline infobomber

  • BANNED
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
  • Karma: 1
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2009, 03:26:04 PM »
Those ICF's look pretty nice, I checked out some at a local shop, they had them pretty much up in teh attic and have never sold any.  Theres not much in the way of poured walls around here,  Im curious as to how tall of a wall one can make with the ICF's. 

Offline Doug

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 578
  • Karma: 49
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2009, 05:53:00 PM »
Those ICF's look pretty nice, I checked out some at a local shop, they had them pretty much up in teh attic and have never sold any.  Theres not much in the way of poured walls around here,  Im curious as to how tall of a wall one can make with the ICF's. 

I know someone who's house is ICF and it's a two story home

Offline infobomber

  • BANNED
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
  • Karma: 1
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2009, 07:19:11 PM »
I know someone who's house is ICF and it's a two story home

Nice, if you have any pictures or more details, you have my attention. :)


Offline Doug

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 578
  • Karma: 49
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2009, 06:06:32 PM »
Nice, if you have any pictures or more details, you have my attention. :)



Nope, sorry I don't have any pictures...can't remember the last time I used a camera. My wife does all the photos shoots.

Anyway, from the outside the house looks like a stucco home. I was wondering how well the walls held up to hail but I think his has. IIRC he said a lawnmower throwing a rock can be a problem. On photos this is the best I can come up with http://buildyourfreehouse.com/icf-homes.php

Offline infobomber

  • BANNED
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
  • Karma: 1
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2009, 08:04:31 PM »
Nope, sorry I don't have any pictures...can't remember the last time I used a camera. My wife does all the photos shoots.

Anyway, from the outside the house looks like a stucco home. I was wondering how well the walls held up to hail but I think his has. IIRC he said a lawnmower throwing a rock can be a problem. On photos this is the best I can come up with http://buildyourfreehouse.com/icf-homes.php

Nice, I think the ICF's I looked at had an angle to them.

As a former concrete form carpenter, Id say foam would be a lot nicer to work with then the massive wood and iron forms we used.  From the pictures it looks like the ICF's cross ties have a cut out for the rebar, which thats nice. You could have a house ready in no time with these, and not need much outside help.


potosi

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2009, 12:23:06 PM »
I recently built my own house.  I had the idea of "no electricity" in mind when I was designing.  That idea has been great since the area has lost electric for 3-5 days a couple of times. One result is having lots of guest who would normally have never considered living without electricity.  That's another story though.  My first comment would be to keep things as simple as possible.  Consider the fact that you may not stay there forever.  My last house was going to be my last, DOH!  I would get on-line and get lots of fabulous ideas, but then I would alter, change, contemplate, procrastinate, and never get anything resolved.  Take care of the basics first. 

My house and plan is no where close to perfect.  Now that I'm living in it I have discovered many simple ideas that I could have done to prevent lots of extra labor and cost.  At the same time, I am pleased with the results.  List of considerations.

#1.  Water source.  I have a spring that runs all year round and puts out 10 gallons per minute.  I was very lucky to have the location.  It was an investment my grandfather made who always preached about not being reliant on machinery or expensive energy (electric, gas). 
        Drainage of water is just as important.  I do not put any chemicals down drain except for soap and shampoo.  I have no septic tank.  I do have normal pvc drain system.  Water goes out pipe to natural filtration system.  There is lots of information about this on-line.  I actually grow food due to moist soil.  I have system that allows me to screen waste (basically poop and toilet paper) and remove to area that allows waste to dry out and be used as fertilizer for pasture.  This may seem contrary to what your used to but it is actually better for property.  Besides what happens when the truck that sucks out the tank no longer comes?  Anyway, something to think about.


#2. location of house in regards to water source. Sewage.  If no spring available be sure to design roof to maximize rainfall.  I wouldn't want to rely on well.  Very expensive.  Local neighbors are having to drill deeper for wells.  This is in the ozarks also!  Amount of water from rain is overwhelming when measured. plus it's an old idea that has already been proven.

#3. In the future heating will be harder due to lack of or price of electricity or gas and even wood.  Go cut down 4 ranks of wood by hand, saw and split and then carry distance to home with manpower.  Harder than it sounds.  Don't clear too many trees when building.  Just ones that could blow on house.

#4.  Lumber is actually more environmentaly friendly.  More energy is used to create concrete and transport.  My area has small mills that sell lumber for half the price of lumber yards.  The boards aren't always as nice as you want, but look at the lumber at the lumber yard and see if much difference.  Lumber has more flexibility.  Trust me, you will regret too much permanance in the structure of your dwelling.

#5.  Size.  I am very pleased that I fought off the constant urge to want to add more space and gadget systems. What happens is budgets go higher and time becomes an issue.  Don't get me wrong, I set my house up to be added on very simply if need be.

I could go on and on but this is just some considerations.

Good luck.

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2009, 10:31:26 AM »
Here is an interesting house idea...
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Hands-On-How-To/Grain-Bin-Building.aspx

Convert a Used Grain Bin to a New House
Anywhere farmers are growing corn, soybeans or wheat, you’re likely to see empty, used steel grain bins. Those grain bins are durable, and steel is recyclable when the building has served its purpose. Why not convert a used grain bin or two into a usable building — maybe even a house or getaway? Check out the photos below of nifty grain bin conversions.

You can probably pick up a small used bin for a few hundred dollars (or even free). Used bins are frequently available on craigslist or ebay. You could also put an ad in a local newspaper or on your local farm co-op bulletin board. There are companies that can move the bins to new sites — ask around at farm stores to find them.

Prices of new steel grain bins depend on the diameter, height and region of the country, but costs start at about $7,000 for an 18-foot-diameter bin, not including the cement foundation slab or assembly.

Basic carpentry and mechanical skills are required to convert a grain bin to another use. The number of doors and windows will be limited, as too many can weaken the structure. So plan ahead and check with an engineer if you have any doubts.

Readers, we’d like to see more reports and photos of grain bins that have been converted for other uses. Please post them on our free photo-sharing website. Look for the Creative Uses of Grain Bins gallery. Or send them to me at DoItYourself@MotherEarthNews.com.


Offline firetoad

  • Guardian of The Gateway
  • Global Moderator
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1706
  • Karma: 170
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2009, 10:33:12 AM »
I want one Archer!  That rocks! 

If you got a bin with a dryer setup, man o' man, you would never be cold again!   ;)

Michael Masse

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2009, 11:01:37 AM »
The grain bin looks like a pretty great idea.  Keep in mind that there are some space age ceramic paint additives on the market now that you can mix into your paint and spray on to the interior and/or exterior that provide a very good R rating.  Otherwise insulating the round surface inside could be a challenge and reduce the amount of available space.

Bob Villa discussed it in a video regarding insulation of shipping containers.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 895
  • Karma: 25
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2009, 11:06:25 AM »
its like a two story yurt! pretty neat!

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2009, 11:18:35 AM »
It is a very interesting idea. I like the idea of living in a round house, more open room, less internal walls to block and become a maze..

Offline DDrew

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Karma: 2
  • DOWNSIZING - Our best solution to this mess . . .
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2009, 11:41:43 AM »
I would look into container homes.

Shipping containers can be bought for around 2000 a piece.  They are industrial strength.  You can stack them, weld them do all kinds of different designs with them. 

They can be insulated with a ceramic powder that you add to your paint.  Suppose to give an R19 value if you paint just the outside and double that if you paint the inside.

Do a google search.  You will be amazed.

Bob Veila did a show on them as well.

Architect Adam Kalkin has a great 12 container house that I think is awesome.

I would not have as many window as his design but still think it is pretty functional.  The covered living space could be used for so much.  Garden, basketball, etc..  living area.  You are in for a treat.

http://www.architectureandhygiene.com/main.html

This is the route I'm taking, using storage containers.  I've got 2 40' containers, and a 3rd 20' container, and have dug out a ledge on the side of a hill, and am making the two 40's into an 'L', with the 20'r on top of one of the 40's.  I was thinking about using papercrete as an insulation, but like the idea of the ceramic insulation.  I found one vendor 'Hy-Tech Thermal Solutions', but they didn't have any technical data to substantiate the R19 thermal value.  I'm going to keep looking, and see if I can increase my insulation values. Papercrete has about an R2 per inch, and I figured on using about 8" total thickness, but there's alot of work involved in getting R19 using Papercrete.

The other nice thing about containers, is you can put earth on the roof, and create a living garden, and add onto the front and give it a 'traditional' appearance, hiding the containers completely.  Another source of container architecture information is http://www.shipping-container-housing.com/, http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/. The other benefit is the price of containers is dropping, due to the change in the economy.  They are advertised in the DFW area for $1500 +/-.

Michael Masse

  • Guest
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2009, 11:51:15 AM »
This is the route I'm taking, using storage containers.  I've got 2 40' containers, and a 3rd 20' container, and have dug out a ledge on the side of a hill, and am making the two 40's into an 'L', with the 20'r on top of one of the 40's.  I was thinking about using papercrete as an insulation, but like the idea of the ceramic insulation.  I found one vendor 'Hy-Tech Thermal Solutions', but they didn't have any technical data to substantiate the R19 thermal value.  I'm going to keep looking, and see if I can increase my insulation values. Papercrete has about an R2 per inch, and I figured on using about 8" total thickness, but there's alot of work involved in getting R19 using Papercrete.

The other nice thing about containers, is you can put earth on the roof, and create a living garden, and add onto the front and give it a 'traditional' appearance, hiding the containers completely.  Another source of container architecture information is http://www.shipping-container-housing.com/, http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/. The other benefit is the price of containers is dropping, due to the change in the economy.  They are advertised in the DFW area for $1500 +/-.

Awesome --- Send pictures!!!!

Offline Klonus

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 177
  • Karma: 6
Re: Building your own home - some ideas
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2009, 05:39:11 PM »
if you ever need anyone to draft your dream home plans in CAD.......i know a great draftswoman!!!  ;)

Good to see a fellow drafter here.  I have been designing my home for a few years now and hopefully will have a rendered version soon.  Its great to hear everyone's ideas here.  I might even have some changes to make to mine, lol.