As I mentioned before, I am now ¼ owner of 64(ish) acres in East Texas. My husband and I plan to build a house on this land (ourselves, because not only is that ridiculously cool, but we also don’t have much money). I want to build an earthbag home.
What’s an earthbag home? Well, basically it’s just a sturdier version of a sandbag structure like they use in the military. You take polypropylene bags, fill them with whatever dirt is available, and you stick them together with barbed wire. You can make the outside look nice with adobe, but I’ve attempted that and found out that I can’t make adobe well, so I’m going to finish it with drywall or something similar.
I like this idea, because it’s very cheap. You can get misprinted bags and used wire, but even brand new bags and wire can be bought for 62¢ per foot of wall (and these walls are a foot thick, and that is definitely not the best deal). Most of the material is free.But first, we need to clean up the area we want to build on. Right now, it’s all dense woodland, and that won’t work. Our room is going to be 15’x20′, and the eventual house will probably add 15′ to both sides, plus room for a yard, so I bet we need to clear at least 40’x50′ really well and 20′ around that pretty well. That’s a lot of cutting, but it’s way less than it could be.
But first, we need to clean up the area we want to build on. Right now, it’s all dense woodland, and that won’t work. The house is going to be 22’x32′ plus room for a yard, so I bet we need to clear at least 40’x50′ really well and 20′ around that pretty well. That’s a lot of cutting, but it’s way less than it could be.
Here are pictures of the area we’re going to build on:
I’m so excited! We’re finally beginning work on our earthbag house! It’s been a dream for so long. The plans are changing day by day, but we do want to build something that would allow us to outlive most anything. We want to have solar power and water catchment and filtration systems, even though we’ll probably use some standard utilities as well. We’re thinking about having the whole house be partially sunk into the earth to take advantage of the cooler temperature. The location has changed many times, but tomorrow, we’re finally going to mark out the area we’re going to build on.
Update: We started! We actually ran some string out to mark off the area and cut some shrubs down. We didn’t do a whole lot since we didn’t have all the tools we needed, but we did begin!