Thanks guys for all the compliments
JoeG: We are in Otsego County. So i guess I should say leatherstocking region-ish. Where you at?
Mamahen: Block in general is good physical work. Having not mortared any blocks except the bottom course I could not tell ya what would be quicker. While stacking is quicker you have to go over it 2 times ( inside and out ) so some of that time saved in transferred into the parging process. So In the end its probably a matter of preference.
Not having the figures handy its tough to say about whats the most expensive?. We are trying to use the house earth around us as a seasonal heat sink (Passive Annual Heat Storage) as well as the earthtubes that I buried, this has increased the earthwork ( you may not have this) . Its also hard to put a price on the earthwork b/c we bought a mini-excvator to do it so its been all me. The only time we had others here doing earthwork was to dig and backfill, which honestly the backfilling I could have done better doing it my self (their machines were really big, too big really so a block here and their got bumped in etc). My thinking keeps evolving as well as a gain experience so thats always changes the approaches I use.
If you got the time no better way then to re-use. In some ways I feel that we could have done better. I see that most of the issues we suffer are a result of our consumption. All insulation has been second hand/seconds. and we always tried to look on craigslist for materials as well as scrounging from our land. Blocks/Structural Wood/Appliances/roof have been purchased new (using local family business as much as possible).
Random item kind of related to recycling that would be interesting to hear peoples thoughts on:
I plan to build an additional microhouse (250sq foot) on-site over the course of next few years. This will be built with MUCH MUCH more used items. I'm thinking built on piers ( to keep assessment down and provide quicker build). A basic "shed style" roof to keep in simple and cheap and allow future addition if desired. I would like to try and use the good timber we harvest from land which needs to be cleared anyway ( to achieve a more mixed canopy/fields balance ,currently our land is 100% wooded) . This micro house could be my provide my required full income and I think be fun thing to build & maintain, while only being landlord to a single person.
I'm thinking numbers wise it will cost 5000 at best to 10000 at worst. The spot where I'd like to put it is right by the road so power would be VERY easy to hook up with no poles needed! Driveway would be nothing to shovel by hand if needed. There is a devolved spring below ( 100' run) with a pump would provide water to cabin, so not much cost for water source. Heat would be from electric baseboard, being that its cheap to install/less chance of house burning down/guarantees good air quality for inhabitant. Septic would cost 1000 to engineer and then 1000 for tank and pipes. I can put the septic in so no additional cost for labor.
Numbers would be that it would bring in 450-500/month. My taxes would increase so subtract 100/mo. So profit each month 350-400. Allowing packback of 1-2 years. From then on out its pure profit. Maintenance would be almost nothing as I have friends as contractors and could self fix with free things if needed.
I went off on a tangent...doh.
I just thought i'd share my idea b/c I think its pretty awesome and have spent a lot of time figuring out how to gaurentee a long term income without inflation eating it. With so many people struggling to find ways to live ON their land FROM their land that I thought this could be of value to someone.
This coupled with our super efficient/low maintenance home we have built and the fact we own the land and have no debt. This micro-rental should cover all my 1/2 of the bills allowing me to have the option to not work off-site at all for money, All though I find I kind of like getting out and working a couple days a month doing computer/network stuff...but whatever options and diversification seem good.
Our basic journey/trip/direction in the future when house is done-ish (Certificate of Occupancy) is then on to are next large budget item FOOD.