TN and VA dwellers.....whats the "best" type of house to build?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MyHomesteadName, Dec 27, 2006.

What kinda house in KY/VA/TN area

  1. Traditional foundation construction

  2. Traditional pier and beam construction

  3. Alternative construction

  4. Warehouse/School Industrial conversion

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  1. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    I will be moving to the KY/VA/TN area soon and want to know if an Earth Shelter is advisable to build there. Here in NM they are very popular, but I'm wondering if there are some unforeseen challenges there because of the amount of rainfall you receive.

    I like the Hobbit House from LOTR, (and before you think I'm a total weirdo nerd) I've wanted one since looooong before the movie ever came out. I had an old record of Tolkien's "The Hobbit" that I used to listen to over and over that had an accompanying picture book, and I was hooked. Since then, I've always liked "alternative houses" when I come across them on HGTV, or whatever. I would really like a structure built into the side of a hill that "blends" with the terrain around my house, rather than being obtrusive.

    [​IMG]

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    I also enjoy Cob Houses

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    English Cottages

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    BioDomes

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    The Skywalker Household:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Mushroom House:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Earth Shelter:

    [​IMG]

    So.....If any of you have...or know of anyone with these types of structures, I'd like to hear about the pitfalls and benefits of owning these types of houses in the aforementioned areas.

    I could live with but would heavily modify an existing farm/ranch house if need be.

    I'm not as interested in, but still willing to look at straw bale, or metal based structures, and old warehouses or unused school buildings. The industrial look has its own unique appeal and could be easily adapted I think.
     

  3. Farmerwilly2

    Farmerwilly2 Well-Known Member

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  4. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    I think localy unused stuctures can be nice,

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    I've seen lots of "extreme homes" that have been made out of old school buildings, missile silos and such and I do like them, but the Hobbit house/earth shelter appeals to me the most.

    I don't know whether its better to build a pier and beam or if its ok to build into the earth there because of water/mildew/bugs/...etc. What's better in general?....anyone?...Bueller?....Bueller?...
     
  6. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    That MIGHT be a TEMPORARY solution. :p
     
  7. VA Backwoodsman

    VA Backwoodsman Active Member

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    IT depends on where you are moving to I would think. Local zoning rules will have to be met, what is not to far out of the ordinary where you are may be way different from what the local rules may allow. I had problems trying to get financing on a 15 year old log cabin on a nice piece of land because the underwriters were worried about the presevatives used on the logs. Just another thing to think about if you are going to need financing, something like the photos show may be hard to get financed. just my .02 worth. Most houses around here are on a foundation, basement, or pier and beam.
     
  8. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    I have friends that have built earth sheltered homes here and in other areas where the humidity is pretty high and it is not a good idea. No one likes to live in a damp moldy cave. And do not tell me they just did not do it correctly, bury a house seal it from the moisture and it will be ok for a while, the problems arise after a period of time some times years sometmes sooner.
    In NM indian baskets will survive laying on the floor of a cave for hundreds of years I have had indian baskets that I collected that I had to sell to collectors in a dry climate because they were beginning to break down even thou I was trying to control the humidity.
    Second Unconventional building is only for the very wealthy or at least people that have plenty of money and will never need to borrow money for the constuction or need to borrow against the home in the future.
    The man that owns the land behind my place has a huge log house, his dream home due to health problems he now needs to borrow money against it an he is having real problems.
     
  9. HeavenHelpMe

    HeavenHelpMe Well-Known Member

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    Seems like my posts were lost in the site meltdown.

    MyHomesteadName, if you want more information from me about my area, PM me and I'll be happy to help you if you didn't get the info before it was lost.
     
  10. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Thanks....

    Stupid thing. :flame:
     
  11. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    my post got eaten too :)

    I was wondering if youve considered concrete or concrete mixes as a building material? Crete can be textured and colored to resemble cob. I know I've read a few things out there on the net about it, cant recall where, but a search may help.
     
  12. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    That pretty much what the bio-dome/ monolithic domes are. I do like them. I haven't seen any that look like cob though. That might be an option. I wonder how they are maintenance-wise. I worry about mildew and stuff in the wetter climates, as opposed to have a more breathable structure.
     
  13. danoon

    danoon Well-Known Member

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  14. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    looks like mainly kids playhouses, still cool though.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Ok, got a more specific location......moving south of Christiansburg, VA......does anyone know if you can or would want to build an earthship or cob house in this area? I know England is pretty rainy and cob houses have been around for hundreds of years there, so I know its possible.

    I prefer these structures to conventional, but I don't want to ice skate uphill either.
     
  16. Fenrirwulf

    Fenrirwulf Well-Known Member

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    A little off-topic, but let me know what you think of Christiansburg. We may be moving up there in a few years depending on if my wife decides to stay with NC State for grad school or Va Tech. I have checked on property up there and have found some interesting sites.
     
  17. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    certainly.....I should be moving around march or so......its not final yet. :hobbyhors
     
  18. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I used to live Charlottesville and I seem to recall that one of the guys in the Dave Mathews Band had an Earthship.
     
  19. langoley

    langoley Well-Known Member

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    If you ever find your selfalong US 35 between Winfield Wv. and Point Pleasant Wv you will see a semi-underground house.I think his problem with being totally underground was two-fold,first a level lot,second he is just across the road from the river.It is kind of comical to see him driving his john deere up on the roof to mow the grass!
     
  20. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    lol....that is a funny visual....:p