“The need for an outdoor kitchen became apparent during summer months and the south’s extreme heat. Hours and hours are spent canning the produce that will be the food for our family during the winter. Sorghum will be squeezed and processed into syrup for sugar in this kitchen. Jaimie gives a tour of the homestead outdoor kitchen and shows you how we have been using it since its completion.”
That’s a really nice kitchen! They have some nice features that I haven’t seen before like the fire pit for dutch ovens.
“Abod homes are high concept design and often lower cost versus standard construction. Natural light, cross breeze and open loft spaces provide universally enjoyable comforts. The basic shell is included, with add-on options. Architects at BSB Design created Abod with flexibility in mind, so there is no lack of functionality or comfort, despite the price.
– Compact and cost-effective to deliver. By truck, ship or plane, the lightweight home can be delivered onsite for quick and easy assembly.
– Readily manufactured in large quantities. All components are made from stock materials.
– Quick and simple to assemble. An entire single unit structure can be completed in one day by 4 – 5 people.
– High-quality, enduring structure has a projected low cost via mass manufacturing.”
“This little house is in a permaculture community and any sales have to be put through Paul Wheaton the owner of the property. For those who love permaculture and don’t want to start with raw land this little place could be perfect!”
“As one way of reducing the effects of climate change, Rumphi based Roscher Youth Development Centre (RYDC) is promoting construction of environmentally friendly houses in disaster prone areas of the country.
RYDC Executive Director Moir Walita Mkandawire said his organisation is promoting the construction of earthbag houses which use sacks filled with soil or sand as building blocks with barbed wire holding them together to save remaining trees.
He said the concept will be supportive considering that human activities such as construction using burnt bricks costs a lot of trees thereby causing disasters such as floods and hailstorms.
“The construction of earthbag houses concept will assist in conserving the environment by curbing wanton cutting down of trees, which are mostly used in baking bricks.
“We have seen that burnt bricks have consumed a lot of trees in most areas of the country this has led to regular occurrence of natural disasters like floods and droughts,” Mkandawire explained.
The earthbag houses are cost effective as well as environmental friendly which will help in conserving the environment and reduce the wanton cutting down of trees that has devastating effects to human life.
RYDC is initiating earthbag houses concept with technical and financial support from German based Support Malawi Heidelberg.”
Search our blog for other earthbag projects in Malawai. It’s turning into a bit of a hotspot for earthbag houses.
“A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Riads were the stately city homes of the wealthiest citizens such as merchants and courtiers.
The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed with a centrally placed interior garden or courtyard, and the lack of large windows on the exterior walls of clay or mud brick. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and often a fountain.
Recently there has been a surge in interest in this form of house with a wave of renovation in towns such as Marrakech and Essaouira, where many of these often-crumbling buildings have been restored to their former glory as hotels or restaurants.”
Image source: TripAdvisor Riad Atlas Guest House
I saw one of these in a video recently and immediately fell in love with the quiet, protected, cozy feel in the courtyard. The courtyards are typically open to the sky. This particular riad was an old house that had been renovated and converted into a guesthouse. It was super beautiful.
Lloyd Kahn and Shelter Publications have assembled another gorgeous architectural book, this time focusing on Small Homes: The Right Size. After having published two other books about tiny homes, Lloyd has realized that many individuals and families are just not comfortable squeezing their lives into such small spaces. So he has scanned the world for moderately sized homes that are roughly between 400 and 1200 square feet (37 and 112 square meters), what he feels is the “sweet spot” between tiny and extravagant.
I always enjoy Lloyd’s books because they are full of eye candy; every page is crammed with full color photos taken inside and outside of a carefully selected array of fun architecture. Shelter Publications is so confident that you will find the book worthwhile that they offer a lifetime money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with the book. What other publisher would dare to make such a bold offer!
Small Homes is really about more than architecture; it is also about life styles. Each featured home profiles the folks who either live in or built it, so you get a glimpse into the lives of some very interesting people. As I read the book I often wished that I had an opportunity to meet and become friends with many of them.
You will find within these pages ideas galore for how you might design or organize your own home. The value is all about inspiration. Like his many previous publications over the past nearly half century, where people still have tattered copies and attribute their own building projects to ideas they contain, Small Homes is destined to become a cherished reference book.
Lloyd has a fondness for architecture crafted from wood, so wooden homes are prominently featured. With rich natural colors, textures and grains the sensibilities of the wood butcher’s art are a delight for the eye. Often the framework of the building is visible on the inside.
Over 65 homes are featured in this edition, and many of these are laid out with four-page spreads. This oversized book has 222 colorful pages, all on glossy high quality paper. There are over a thousand photographs. And the book sells for an astonishingly low price. I doubt that Lloyd Kahn will ever have a dissatisfied customer.
I’ve been corresponding with one of our readers in New Zealand about low cost, alternative cabin building ideas with disaster preparedness in mind. We’ve talked about a whole range of ideas such as using straw bales for energy efficiency. The design presented here is DIY friendly, affordable, suitable for a grid-down situation and can be easily moved if desired.
Just like any location, New Zealand has some challenges that must be addressed when designing a home or cabin. Design challenges here include earthquake resistant construction, adequate insulation, and selecting materials that are available in more remote areas. In this situation it has to be owner-builder friendly, reasonably affordable, and portable in case the owner ever wants to move it.
Here’s a brief summary of the ideas we’ve hashed out so far:
– Pour a concrete or soil cement slab on top of rigid foam insulation and with insulation around the edges.
– Make DIY double arch trusses using a pipe bender and chain link fence top rails. If you’re not a welder, you can flatten and drill holes in the ends of the web members and bolt to the arches. The arches are bolted to short pieces of slightly smaller or larger pipe that’s buried in the slab. These homemade trusses provide reasonable resistance to quakes for small cabins. Square or rectangular tubing are options that are easier to screw to.
– Attach steel rails and durable metal roofing on top of the trusses with self tapping screws.
– Install outlets and any other desired mechanical components such as fans, cabling, etc.
– Frame in a window wall on the end that faces the sun (north facing in NZ). Make insulated curtains to seal off this wall at night to conserve energy.
– Frame in the other end wall of this arched cabin to join a pre-built unit that contains all of the mechanical systems as explained in this previous blog post.
– 8” of sheeps wool insulation is approximately equal to straw bales but without the drawbacks of losing space, etc.
– Add wood T&G or lap siding on the interior.
– Design the cabin with counters, closet, sofa/bed and desk along the outside walls so you have more headroom. Study tiny house videos for space saving ideas. Use throw rugs down the center area so the floor is more comfortable.
– The cabin can be hoisted onto a trailer after unbolting the trusses where they connect to the slab. The mechanical unit can also be removed and transported elsewhere.
– The owner said it would not be difficult to get this design engineered and approved. (No chance of building without a permit in case you’re wondering.) The owner also would like to use 12V wiring because it doesn’t require the services of a licensed electrician.
“After visiting Jim’s winter market garden in Florida, it’s time to follow up and see his summer market garden in Maine. See all the tricks of this nomadic gardeners trade.”
Jim, the nomadic gardener, is a fountain of wisdom. This excellent video shows his gardening methods in Maine where he’s growing on an abandoned farm near the Canadian border. He uses only a few hand tools, and doesn’t water, weed or fertilize, and each year the land is improved. Be sure to see how Jim grows the rest of the year in Florida in Part 1: $5.6K a Month Gardening (Other People’s Yards)
Justin Rhodes YouTube channel (Lots of excellent content. Highly recommended. Follow Justin and his family as they travel the country in their converted school bus and document good gardening/farming practices.)