Living in the country has its benefits, lower cost per acre, fewer regulations and more freedom. But with those benefits comes a distinct disadvantage, slow or no rural internet options. Finding stable, fast rural internet can be like looking for a unicorn, but for the homesteading commuter, farmer or rural entrepreneur, high speed rural internet access can be a necessity.
Back when we were researching our “forever home”, we chose ICF construction for a number of reasons. It's tough, energy efficient and should last a lifetime with minimal upkeep. In this post, I'll discuss:
- what ICF construction is
- how it differs from conventional construction
- why we chose Insulated Concrete Forms
- how much energy is saved (for heating and cooling) by using ICF construction
- how an ICF home performs during emergencies
- ICF costs
- whether it's suitable for the do-it-yourselfer
- what it's like living in the house
- recommendations for potential ICF problem areas
Let's get started! [Read more…]
We built our home to be a “lifetime” house, serving our changing needs throughout our lives. We planned to have the option of aging in place. From children, to injured family, to possibly multiple families or live in relatives, we tried to cover likely scenarios. In this post we'll present our Aging in Place Design Checklist, and then highlight how to apply this checklist to different areas of the home. [Read more…]
We aren't at the North Pole, but we get plenty of cold weather here in Northeast Wisconsin. We're in USDA hardiness zone 4/5 and we have wind 9 days out of 10. (Our area is one of the windiest in the state.) Our home is built with the local climate in mind. We did a lot of research before building, so we put together a post to share what we feel are the best ways to keep your house warm in winter.
This post is part of our Winter Home Heating Series, which includes:
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 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…]