Building an Eco Home – part 7 – Masonry Stove and Passive Solar

Building an Eco Home 7 - Masonry Stove and Passive Solar

The “Building an Eco Home” series is nine articles that were originally published in The Healthy Independent while we were in the process of building our current home. I have made only minor edits to include links and format for the online publishing. I will be discussing green building and remodeling in more detail in upcoming posts, so if you want to know more about a topic, please make a request.

Hosting Our First Solar Tour

The Solar Tour of Homes on October 1st went very well indeed. We had around 50 people come through on the WPS sponsored tour with absolutely beautiful weather. It was a pleasure to share our “lessons learned” with such an enthusiastic group, although next year we’re going to break down the house features room by room so we don’t forget things as we show people around. August and I both remembered a number of features after everyone left that we forgot to mention during the tour itself. I feel that we are learning right along with the attendees and look forward to next year’s tour. [Read more...]

Building an Eco Home – part 6 – the Deck, Cabinetry and Woodwork

Building an Eco Home part 6 - The Deck, Cabinetry and Woodwork @ Common Sense Homesteading

The “Building an Eco Home” series is nine articles that were originally published in The Healthy Independent while we were in the process of building our current home. I have made only minor edits to include links and format for the online publishing. I will be discussing green building and remodeling in more detail in upcoming posts, so if you want to know more about a topic, please make a request.

Moving In!

Moving day finally arrived on June 22nd, 2005. After a flurry of packing and final push to make the house livable (there was no running water as of 6/20/05), we were in. The next two weeks continued to feature an array of craftsmen finishing odds and ends around the house, much to the surprise and dare I say dismay of our exchange student, Carlota. [Read more...]

Building an Eco Home – Floor Plans – part 5

Building an Eco Home - Floor Plans @ Common Sense Homesteading

The “Building an Eco Home” series is nine articles that were originally published in The Healthy Independent while we were in the process of building our current home. I have made only minor edits to include links and format for the online publishing. I will be discussing green building and remodeling in more detail in upcoming posts, so if you want to know more about a topic, please make a request.

For those of you who are new to our “eco-home”, let me provide a brief overview of progress to date. Our goal at the start of this project was to build a home that conserved energy and resources, was accessible for family and friends with physical limitations, and had enough acreage that we could fully pursue our interests in organic gardening, orcharding, heirloom plants and livestock and other outdoor pursuits.

Finding the right property in our budget was a challenge, but we did it. (Read more about that in part 2.)  House placement and access presented some more challenges, but we finally broke ground in October 2004. Just about everything that could happen to slow things down, did, but we are finally nearing completion. Hopefully by the end of May or early June we will be moving into our new home. [Read more...]

Building an Eco Home – part 4 – ICF, HVAC and Plumbing

Building an Eco Home - part 4 @ Common Sense Homesteading

The “Building an Eco Home” series is nine articles that were originally published in The Healthy Independent while we were in the process of building our current home.  I have made only minor edits to include links and format for the online publishing.  I will be discussing green building and remodeling in  more detail in upcoming posts, so if you want to know more about a topic, please make a request.

Our energy efficient dream home will soon be a reality. Our journey has continued these past months with modest construction progress due to a series of delays, but things are finally picking up. The positive side of the delays is that we have had more time to do research. As a result, we’ve made a few changes to our heating and cooling scheme. I’ll discuss these changes and give an overview of our “country plumbing” in this issue. [Read more...]

Building an Eco Home – part 2 of 9

Building an Eco Home, part 2 @ Common Sense Homesteading

The “Building an Eco Home” series is nine articles that were originally published in The Healthy Independent while we were in the process of building our current home.  I have made only minor edits to include links and format for the online publishing.

I had planned to use this article to jump right in to the next stage our building process and an explanation of the Focus on Energy Program, but…I think it’s better to perhaps “begin at the beginning”. I never would have believed that when we set out to find a piece of country property that it would be so tough. Every direction we drove (and believe me, we drove all around the Green Bay area), farmland is being gobbled up with “exclusive” subdivisions. What this appears to mean to me is that you take a 40 acre parcel of farmland, divide into 5 acre parcels which sell for $50,000 and up (way up). On these parcels you then build houses with prices in excess of $300,000. The balance of the property is turned into a small golf course. By the way, don’t even think about animals (other than the occasional horse). These are country “estates”, not hobby farms, and are protected as such by zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants. [Read more...]