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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DeafDevilDog, Oct 25, 2004.
Is possible to build tiny earthship /or house under 120 square feet without building permit or not?
It depends on where you are at. In most areas, you don't need a permit for a shed. I think the main thing a permit does is allow you to get insurance, electrical hookup, etc. I wouldn't go with an earthship though. There are heavy metal contaminants in tires which could leach out into the surrounding soil and / or walls.
Welcome new poster, try the archives for the construction catagory for a lot of good answers and links.
Edited to add; used box trucks are a good way to go this route, just reclasssify it as an RV,lower insurance also because RV's are not driven very much.
Guess I'll show my ignorance here What's an earthship?
This will depend very much on what county and maybe even what municipality you live in.
Start asking around in the county you want to build this thing in and you'll soon find out.
Guess I'm ignorant too - what is it? JackieA
An earthship is a semi underground dwelling with the upper walls made from tires that are filled with dirt and compacted. Then the tires and the lower wall is plastered with a cement mixture. They are normally solar heated, catch rainwater for water supply, treat their own greywater with plants in a self contained greenhouse tank, and usually use a composting toilet. The idea being that the entire building is not dependent on the 'system' for any of its needs. Mike Reynolds wrote several books detailing how to build the earthship. His idea is that the builder/owner would be selfsufficient with regards to home/food/water/waste treatment, thus reducing the need to 'run in the rat race'.
I can't wait to build an earthship parrot house. We live on a South facing hill and the people who lived there before left us quiet a few tires to use. Wasn't that nice of them?
Here's a link to Amado Summer's Toucan Earthship...
If you are worried about the toxicity of tires you can build with cement block. OR even better...
I don't see how something like an underground house would work where I live - we get several feet of snow each winter, often getting feet at a time dumped on us over night. For something that relies so much on solar for natural light, heat, etc I can't see it working.
Part of what makes an earthship work is that the ground insulates the home to a fairly steady temperature at a certain depth. With the snow on top, you would find yourself in a nice a snuggly home. :haha: Sorry, couldn't resist.
Actually, if anyone wants more info on earthships, there is a site I recommend checking out because it also shows other methods of building a home. You need to choose carefully for the region you live in. For example, I would not build a hay bale house in NE TX because of the humidity. But I am looking at a cordwood house with an extra strong wall and roof structure for installing a rooftop garden. That would be better for my humid hot area of the USA. The site is:
www.greenhomebuilding.com and it has a lot of info there. I have considered burying the house once it's built in order to get that insulation and am waffling on it because of the engineering questions about it.
As for a small earthship of that size, I'd still ask around about permits. One thats 120 square feet is awfully small. That's more like a shed to me. Let us know what you find out, please. I'd be interested in knowing what's said about it.
William Lishman built an amazing underground house north of you in Canada. Check this out:
Disney made a movie about Lishman. He was the guy that built an ultralight aircraft to teach some orphaned geese how to migrate.
120 square feet is what's called a micro-house. You'll have to check your local regulations to see what you can do, though. Here in Oregon the laws were recently changed to allow anything under 200 sf, but it can't be over 10 feet high. There are some other restrictions, too. I've designed a house that fits within the regs, in case I manage to get the two tax lots across the street from us -- it would be like living in a travel trailer, but doable.
Kathleen in Oregon
Care to share...the plans?
Anything's possible. Whether or not it is allowed is something else altogether. Best check your county codes very carefully. Some places just about anything you want to do is illegal. Other places, anything goes.