Saturday, December 10, 2016

Building an acre together: Useful Resources

Last Updated: 10th December, 2016

As mentioned in my previous post, our little family has embarked on a journey together, of designing, getting the materials, and building, our own house and landscape within an acre we've recently purchased in Tasmania.

I'll be documenting each step as they pass here on my blog, but I'm also going to be throwing together (and maintaining/updating) a post on resources we've used which have been useful to us. Everything from books on owner building, books on building with cob (which is what we plan to build our house out of), vendors who have been great value in both price and how nice they are to work with, and anything else that we found useful. The idea is that if someone else wants to do something similar to us, then this resources page would be a good "jumping off point" for them.

There's not much on this post just at the moment, but come back and check it out every once-in-a-while. I'll be updating it with more resources as often as possible.

The Hand-Sculpted House

A must-have book for anyone planning on building their own house, garden shed, anything really, out of cob.

It explains the rich history of cob, the philosophy that often accompanies cob houses, what makes it such a good building material, how to make and use cob yourself, how to test your own soil to see if it's suitable for making cob (or whether you'll need to buy in sand and/or clay), and much, much more. Truly indispensable.

We've read through our copy already, and we haven't even started building yet. You can safely bet that we'll be reading through bits and pieces of it again once we're actually building, too.

Get it from Amazon through the link below.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Building an acre together

Our little family has embarked on a bit of a journey together.

From where we are in South Australia, we're moving back to our hometown in Victoria for about a year, while we build on a one acre block we've recently purchased in Tasmania. Once the house is built, we'll then make the move to that block in Tasmania, and continue our work on the land itself.

Note that when I say "while we build", I don't mean that we're going to be paying other people to do our work for us. Certainly, we'll legally need to get a plumber and electrician in to help with certain parts and sign off on the house, and we'll need an engineer or an architect to sign off on our house plans. Otherwise though, we're doing everything else ourselves.

The house designs; the permaculture-based landscape designs; the searching for and retrieving of materials; the actual building of the house; the ongoing creation of the landscape (from which we're planning to grow at least 90% of our food off this single acre) and other maintenance and additions to the house... All of it!

But wait, there's more.

The house itself is going to be built from Cob, in a circular design. It's not going to be big by any means, but the ultimate benefit of it being of modest size, made of cob, largely built from recycled materials we've collected for free or very cheaply, and largely built by hand, by us, and maybe some friends and family who want to help out, is that we're planning to have it all built for less than $60,000. Yes, that includes dealing with the few contractors, too. Though, the exception is that it doesn't include fencing and plants for the property landscaping.

The posts

I'm intending for this to be a "master post" of sorts, for this journey of ours. So, every post I make regarding working for or on our Tasmanian acre, I'll link to in here. Hence, if you don't feel like subscribing by email to my blog, you can just check back on this post every two to three months, and hopefully there'll be something new for you to check out.

Unfortunately, there's no posts yet, but the first post regarding our (rather successful) search for building materials while we've been living here in South Australia should be up within a month.


I'm putting together a post on resources which have helped us, and might help anyone else planning on doing something similar to what we're doing. This will be books on owner-building, books on building with cob, good places to find materials, vendors we've worked with who are great to deal with and great value, and more.

There's not much in it yet, but just like this post, I'll be updating the post on useful resources as this journey continues.

You can find this post on useful resources, here.

I hope you enjoy keeping up with our journey, as much as we're enjoying making it!