Monday, May 01, 2006

Day 2 of a New House Project - More Thinkin'

The new house is coming along just fine, it is half built and we are arguing about the color of the tile in the bathroom. Or, maybe, we are just trying to figure out what to build. There are regular old stick built houses, steel houses, steel houses converted to a house, cob, adobe, underground, cord, rock, tire, aluminum can, straw bale (Karen M’s favorite), etc., houses that could all fit our needs. The main need is as cheap as possible and we are trying to figure it all out.

Melissa has been saying all along that the land has plenty of mesquite trees and we need to figure out to use them. Mesquite grows in a twisty, useless sort of way for the most part and the ability to get a good beam from it is very limited. Then we came upon the cord wood option. You cut down a mesquite tree and cut the logs into about one foot sections, tear off the bark and use them like bricks, sort of. Here is a picture of a cord wood wall to give you some idea. So, we may have found a big part of the answer, something to do with the mesquite that is useful and a cheap construction material alternative. The big problem that just jumps out at us is that mesquite is prone to termite infestation and we will have to take precautions, so we will.

There is also a good chance we will end up benching the house into the side of one of the berms around the stock tank. Building into the side of the hill will give us a fairly set temperature as a structure about five to six feet deep will have a constant temperature around 60 degrees. We’ll dig deeper into the hillside for a pantry. At least that is what we are considering right now.

Gotta go milk.

Roger

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