HALF WAY HOUSE
A loyal minion not only bought through my Amazon links, he had several good article ideas for me. Now there is showing some love. One idea was to focus more on the middle ground between Yuppie Scum Prepping and Redneck Survivalist Better Than Nothing Frugal Preps. With an example of a home a wife could be convinced to live in, without the thirty year mortgage. You know you NEED to live in the equivalent of the B-POD, but most folks simply won’t live that low on the economic ladder.
No matter how panicky I get, you ain’t living too far away from suburban middle class ideals. You think you have time. I disagree, but that is besides the point. The point is, you can be very frugal constructing a middle class home ( even if a “tiny home“ ). Not an underground home, but an earth sheltered one ( with earth tube air conditioning ). No, not on a city corner lot, but say an acre a bit outside of town. A nice compromise between no debt and too much, with reduced on-grid vulnerability, in a structure most gals could agree on. It isn’t a McMansion, but neither is it a hovel only bachelors would inhabit.
Remember, this is only one idea. I’m not a real great Bob The Builder type, so I can’t pretend to be a professional. And my pricing is probably way off. If you need a raised platform to compensate for a wet climate, for instance. This is just a general guideline. My frugal price for a modular home ( building one room at a time as funding becomes available ) can be as low as $300 ( dome kit rooms draped in cement cloth ). Here I’m arbitrarily assigning a two thousand dollar per room figure, which should encompass a lot of material you don’t want to skimp on. This is an old school home, a 400 or 600 square foot dwelling. Nothing wasteful, but not depriving yourself either.
My idea is to simply line up a row of rooms facing south. The north ( with half wall for the west and east ) wall will be earth. I wouldn’t recommend earth filled tire walls to anyone over 35-40, given the physical labor. A cement block wall can be as easy as mortar-less cement fill, with some reinforcing rebar. You should be able to construct that yourself. If you aren’t using cement block footing for the house foundation, you could lay a continuous cement block carpet and fill with cement. Even a cement block filled with the posthole “quik-crete” might work. A Bobcat or similar piles up dirt against the back ( giving consideration to French drains, outside drainage ditches and the like ). The roof is extra insulation with metal for rain catchment ( and don’t forget those ditches for sewer pipe for your earth tubes )( obviously this ignores building codes, and I‘ll assume you are knowledgeable on the engineering and safety ).
This gives you the insulation and solar gain of a dug-out, but with the female approved full view of an above ground home. And you can do it one room at a time, until it comes to the wall ( although you could do that one layer at a time-if you knew how many rooms you wanted ). If you do the labor yourself, except the backhoe perhaps, you are looking at a full size home for the price of a sheet metal uninsulated RV. With twice to three times the floor space. It will be cozy but functional, with private space for everyone. You are still talking about a square lumber box per room, easy enough for anyone to build. The wall doesn’t require a mason, just the ability to plumb the thing. Little hard-ditch digging level-labor is required.
Five rooms gives you a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom with a dining room besides. One or two more for kids. You can have the bedroom and bathroom between the back wall and front rooms, as they don’t need sunlight-should you wish to shorten the wall. It doesn’t have to be a rectangle. You could even just make the whole thing an open floor plan like an RV or a shipping container, if that appeals to you. I just think in terms of rooms as I like the “build as the paycheck comes in” model of financing. You might not think 300 square feet is close to being enough space, unless you realize how wasteful the typical home layout is.
A bedroom just needs a bed, and the bed doesn’t have to sit in the middle of the room. It can be a Murphy or Hide-Away type. With today’s small computers you can use a fold down desk, or a very shallow one bolted to the wall ( if you double your bedroom as an office space ). More counter space in the kitchen can be a fold down flat over the chest freezer being used as a fridge ( I’m assuming solar panels ). Look to RV’s for idea’s on saving space, just with you using actual quality materials instead of pressed wood and plastic. What do you need a large living room for? Two recliners in front of a TV is what most folks use anyway ( again, I understand things will be modified going from a couple to a family ).
Who uses a bathtub, much, anymore? A shower and crapper and sink take up very little space. I’m assuming you can build shelves everywhere so you need less horizontal space. The dining room is so you can eat and recreate in the same space, cutting down on the living room space needed, or bedrooms. Storage sheds are cheap to build ( uninsulated-except with food-square with stucco ) and will relieve the home of clutter, making small spaces quite livable.
$200 in two by fours to an eight by eight room, and another $250 in plywood, gives you the basic room cost. About forty cement blocks with Quikcrete is around another $200. That leaves a lot left over to provide insulation and roofing, drywall and the backside wall on a budget of $2k a room. And five rooms is ten thousand dollars. Yes, I understand there is the backhoe and windows and appliances and such ( although you can do most of that cheap if this is off grid ), so you can probably add fifty percent in costs just to be safe ( even doubling the price makes it quite affordable if not as easily financed or saved for ).
But it can be financed as easily as an RV, or paid for a bit at a time, if you are above minimum means. It’s NOT a hovel. And even though it is above some of our means, by no means is it impossible. It is a mid level off-grid project, half way between living like a savage and Yuppie Scum living.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2xTw151 )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
I must confess to being a bit pessimistic for our future.ReplyDelete
Everyone is fricken insane. Surely we're close to everything going full retard
I'm almost thinking we are already Full retard. In fact, I like that title for an article. Everything we do, it is retarded. Our entire culture ( the Boy Scouts will start taking girls in next year. Last few years it was letting homos be scout leaders. Baby Jesus weeps ) is full on retard. The new business models are blatant swindles. Buckle up, bitches.Delete
"You went full retard, man. Never go full retard." - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wVagQ_LVd4Delete
I don't know if I even got to that part. Terrible movie. Glad to know the source, though.Delete
Agreed. That line was the only redeeming thing to came out of that movie.Delete
Stiller is a poster child for outlawing actor nepotism. Or perhaps I should say, inheritance.Delete
The part where low cost housing comes apart regarding wives/women is in the utilities. No normal woman is going to poop in a bucket or anything resembling it. That's the one area where the attitude *fugetaboutit* is mandatory. They aren't going to dump any kitty litter in there and they certainly aren't going to haul stuff out of there, burnt ashes or otherwise. Ain't gonna happen.ReplyDelete
Know what a septic system on flat ground costs? The guy across the road just got one a couple months ago. $14k. Ouch. I bought 2 in Florida 15 years ago, $11k each.
They ain't gonna haul water neither, nor are they going to put up with anyone that does. Around here a well costs $1000 up front for locating the driller on the site, then $20 a foot for the drilling. Again, the guy across the road did it and it was $8k. Now, he also did a decent size, 100'x100'x12' deep, pond too and that cost $7k. Me? I'd have done the pond and threw my pump out in the middle with a 200 lb piece of concrete on it, then underground the pipe to the basement. I'd also sit 4 250watt solar panels in the yard and 4 $250 batteries in the basement to run that pump. Filtration and a softener would be another grand.
In my on-going interest and goal of off grid housing I am researching a variety of septic systems that a person that knows how to work a shovel might build, trying to keep expenses low and hoping to eliminate nasty maintenance in the future. Yes, nasty. There's a reason why old tyme outhouses were usually 100 or more feet away from the main house.
I'm afraid you are spot on correct about Minimal Bitches Expectations. The only option is to somehow build as a vacation/retirement home, and not let her see the details. Then, when all her hen flock friends are homeless, the composting toilet and gravity water makes her a queen.Delete
I agree in principle, but much depends on your definition of "low cost". A BPOD is truly low cost but will never meet Minimal Bitches Expectations (MBE) except in the most dire circumstances (like those that are coming, unfortunately). But if "low cost" means something that's 1/10th or 1/20th the price of a Yuppie Scum Retreat (YSR) and still exceeds the MBE threshold it might be doable for many preppers out there. I believe that's what Jim is driving at - an intermediate solution that one can use to as a stepping stone as you move down to PODA living options. At least, that's how I understood today's post...Delete
Yep, you understood it correctly.Delete
Interesting design ideas. I think using Mike Oehler ($50 and up underground home book) would be a good source of background information before you begin a project like this.ReplyDelete
Definitely agree with you on the bathtub omission. Soaking in a tub can be done in a kiddie swimming pool if the experience is desired for way less money. Using the roof for rain water makes a lot of sense where rain is a sometimes event.
Many rural empty lots are that way for a reason. Sometimes, its having to deal with the area being low where flooding occurs. Before buying land, know if this is the case with the anticipated property you are buying. As well as knowing if getting to your property will be blocked during a heavy rain event.
Good topic - thanks for bringing it up.
I have a few moments now and then :)Delete
Article induced random thoughtsReplyDelete
$2k per room? $2k gets you a shipping container delivered. I am space constrained so I am getting 20 foot units, 40 foot containers don't cost that much more.
In my part of the world (the land of cheese) with a little gradient to the slope we had a new septic system installed for $3k. I do not know how much more a mound system might be but it can't be that much.
I was trying to be all inclusive with the room cost. Insulation, roof, the section of wall behind the room. Windows. A container seems to be comparable in cost as it doubles as the wall and roof support and wall covering ( except the north side waterproofing )Delete
No, I was serious.ReplyDelete
What's the matter? Is the "DARK" side, (Doomsday denial) too scary for you?
I might even write it for you as a guest article. Just have to find the time.
Of course Doomsday is going to happen.
But come on! Admit it. That song has been played over and over.
Oh no! We are running out of wood! Doomsday!
Oh no! We are running out of coal! Doomsday!
Oh no! We are running out of oil! Doomsday!
Oh no! Y2K! Doomsday!
Oh no! 2012! Doomsday!
Oh no! Big bad terrorists! Doomsday!
It goes on and on. The song never ends.
"The sky is falling!" drill is very profitable.
People spend their time and money and then NOTHING happens.
Life goes on.
Okay, since you were serious. You have a weird sense of humor-I miss a lot. I can't point to some all knowing evil conspiracy, as that is a bit of a cop-out. Otherwise, I would say selling fear is a way to mask the actual danger. Cry wolf enough timers and no one pays attention. But that is too pat, right? I'm even sure I've used that too often. Now, even the all but inclined towards being a hermit anyway still see Life Going On. No matter our preps we still function in normal society. It could simply just be Free Market forces. You, budding entrapenuer, see a niche unfilled. Since as a barber you think everyone needs a haircut, you see justification in all that you sell. Damn. I think I just wrote the article. Did I?Delete
I have health insurance for my body.Delete
I have fire insurance for my home.
I have car insurance for my vehicle.
Am I disappointed that I haven't used my health insurance for a debilitating disease I never got?
Am I disappointed that I haven't used my fire insurance because my house never burned down?
Am I disappointed that I haven't used my car insurance because I've never been in a near-fatal accident that totaled my car and badly damaged my body?
Of course not. No reasonable person hopes to get their insurance premiums back in those ways. Your reasoning is badly flawed.
Jim is advocating collapse insurance that costs very little. If it doesn't pay off...that's great! But if you ever need it you're going to be very glad you had it.
I'm reminded of the line from Jackson Browne's song "The Road and the Sky" - "Don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet."
Great song line. I wish I could sling those quotes so well. Now, to be fair, I do also advocate "questioning everything". Even I have been wrong once or twice ( or, just perhaps, a bit more than that ).Delete
For anony at 4:23...Yeah, no argument. I am not arguing against preparing.Delete
New insights can be gained by DARING to think forbidden thoughts i.e. NO DOOMSDAY!
No, you did not even come close to writing the article.Delete
You are probably acquainted with Elliot wave theory. I believe it does have some use concerning turning points. Particularly concerning herd behavior and sentiment.
Example: top of the stock market in 29 before the crash. The majority of the average fools thought it was a new golden age (this time it was different!!!)
Using that as only one example it shows that the stock market was where you did not want to be.
The housing bubble is another example.
Oppositely when silver was under five dollars and no one wanted it that is exactly where to be.
When the money grubbing "Survival gurus" are having a hard time, losing their faithful and everyone thinks they are full of SH**. That tells me "Its coming, be ready"
Tell me this Jim, what is the first SHTF book you read and what year was that?
Okay, I see where you are going with it, now. Not sure what the article would be though. With today's prepping business failures, conventional economics don't mesh. The entire centuries long cycles, started 500 years ago with European colonization delivering surplus resources, has ended. Anyway, I can't remember the first book. Life After Doomsday? Kurt Saxons Survivalist? I think I might have been reading magazines before books. 79 or 80 more than likely was the year.Delete
I didn't do this on purpose, but I accidentally created a decent location for a MIL house on our present home. A two car carport with kitchen door located approximately half way along the wall. I can build a floor deck on the drive surface, and close off the end wall and side wall to make a new room. A small potbelly stove for heat could be put in side wall adjacent to small window for interior light.ReplyDelete
New room woud be about 18' X 8' - about 144 sq. ft. Already has ceiling / roof above. And bonus - there is another room behind it, a utility storage room for storage.
Wgat would have to be worked with is a bucket toilet. And a hose bibb for water supply. A/C closet is on back corner of said utility room, providing grey water drain to outside beyond.
Sweet! A friggin' plan already there and I didn't even realize it until now. Thank you for the idea Lord Bison !
I try to be subversive that way-getting people to think. :)Delete