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Building Inspiration: Deanne Bednar and The Strawbale Studio

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Categories: Builder Interviews, Natural building, Strawbale Homes

Building Inspiration: Deanne Bednar and The Strawbale Studio

A few years ago I left my cubicle and headed to southern Oregon for a 9-day course in natural building, and my view of home construction would never be the same. The traditional techniques being taught displayed the wisdom of centuries past, simpler ...

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Mortgage Free: Dave and Barbara’s $30k Hand-Built Homestead

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Categories: Adobe Homes, Builder Interviews, Strawbale Homes

Mortgage Free: Dave and Barbara’s $30k Hand-Built Homestead

In 2004, Dave and Barbara, two almost-retired teachers, set out to fulfill a dream. They had purchased land in southeastern Arizona in the Dragoon mountains, eventually building an adobe guesthouse and a strawbale main house on it.

To get started, Dave says “I recommend going out and living on the land in a little ...

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Hammering Costs with Reclaimed Materials: Stephanie’s $20k House Project

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Categories: Cost Cutting Strategies, DIY Projects, Reclaimed Artistry

Hammering Costs with Reclaimed Materials: Stephanie’s $20k House Project

When Stephanie Cabral learned that her town was repealing minimum size requirements to create a more lively, walkable atmosphere, she began dreaming of building a small dwelling on her property. On the same lot a few years before, she had overseen the renovation of her current duplex. This time around, she was determined to ...

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Off the Hamster Wheel: Morgan’s $5000 Earthbag House

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Categories: Builder Interviews, Earthbag Homes, Natural building, Tiny Houses

Off the Hamster Wheel: Morgan’s $5000 Earthbag House

Morgan Caraway had been interested in sustainability for a while when he ran across natural building for the first time at his local library. The Earthship book by Michael Reynolds got him dreaming of a low-cost sustainable home, and by 2007, he was also delving into strawbale, cob and yurt homes, eventually discovering ...

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DIY Gravity-Fed Drip Irrigator – Design Update

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Categories: DIY Projects, Landscapes & Gardens

DIY Gravity-Fed Drip Irrigator – Design Update

Last June I made a drip irrigation system to water my small garden while I was out of town for 2 weeks. While the design had some flaws right out of the gate, I’ve used the irrigator (nicknamed “The Drippagator”) over the last year, refining the design until the system runs seamlessly (as ...

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Tiny Homes on the Move: Book Review and Giveaway

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Categories: Book Reviews, Tiny Houses

Tiny Homes on the Move: Book Review and Giveaway

Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water is bound to become another classic from Lloyd Kahn. It’s got Lloyd’s signature hand-made page layouts and, like his other books, shows builders pushing the limits of creativity. There were a couple of new, unexpected elements to this one though.

Being mobile, a lot ...

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5 Things I Learned Visiting Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

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Categories: Tiny Houses

5 Things I Learned Visiting Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

On a trip to the San Francisco Bay area last month I had the opportunity to head up to wine country and visit the epicenter of the tiny homes movement, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in Sonoma, California. I spent a couple of hours with Debby Richman, who patiently answered all of my detailed ...

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Geodesic Domes: An Interview with Dennis Johnson

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Categories: Builder Interviews, Geodesic Domes

Geodesic Domes: An Interview with Dennis Johnson

Developed in the 1960′s by Buckminister “Bucky” Fuller, geodesic domes leveraged inherently stable triangular geometry to create unique spaces that used minimal material, yet had superior structural strength. After decades of development, the domes have matured both aesthetically and functionally.

I recently sat down with Dennis Johnson, founder of Natural Spaces Domes, who has ...

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Comic: Somewhere in Texas…

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Categories: Comics, Landscapes & Gardens

Comic: Somewhere in Texas…

The world is full of traditions. Some of them make a place culturally rich, and others should be questioned. Lawns, a U.S. tradition derived from the gardens of rainy old England, often find themselves in the driest of places. Sometimes even on the edge of the desert. What can happen when we unflinchingly ...

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The Hermit Crab Comic

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Categories: Comics, Lifestyle

The Hermit Crab Comic

AHT’s first comic, using the metaphor of hermit crabs to make fun of how we humans often buy as much house as we can handle at the time, which we then have to carry around metaphorically like a hermit crab does. Would McMansions be as popular if we had to carry them on ...

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