After all of my adventures down in New Mexico, I bet you’re wondering what’s gonna happen next. I didn’t go down there just for the scenery and to get into shape pounding tires 😛
There are always multiple steps in any plan, so let’s go over what we have:
- Fix up old house in preparation for selling.
- Sell old house.
- Rent a cheap place out in the country while looking for a piece of land to buy.
- Get some hands on Earthship experience.
- Buy a piece of land where we are going to build.
- Get final design and architectural drawings for the Earthship.
- Prep the land for building (build a driveway, clearing trees, etc)
- Apply for the building permit.
- Start building.
With steps 1 through 4 already completed, we’re onto step 5.
Buying land, as I have discovered is an interesting affair. First of all, you have to find something you like. This can be quite tricky. Some people have difficulty walking into a house that is for sale and imagining their own stuff in it. Now try to imagine you don’t even have a house, you just have a chunk of land and you need to imagine changing the landscape to include your home. It’s even more challenging if the land you are looking at is full of trees where you want to build. It makes it difficult to picture.
Anyway, I will soon have more news and info about buying land, so stay tuned for that.
After buying land, you need house plans from an architect. For conventional housing, this is usually pretty easy. Most commonly, you pick an existing design and maybe have a few tweaks made to it by a licensed architect. Most people don’t start from scratch.
In the case of Earthships, there are generic plans that you can buy from Earthship Biotecture for one, two, three and four bedroom global models and a few other designs. We’ve decided to go a somewhat hybrid approach.
I am currently designing my own Earthship based upon the global model and other Earthships that I have encountered. So, much of what we want in our own Earthship will be very much like the global models you have seen pictured in the tours, but, I am also incorporating some ideas that were used on an Earthship that was built in Vermont.
In the end, though, I’m not an architect, so I will need to hand off whatever I have come up with to an architect to create final drawings. I’m well aware there will most likely be changes, but it’s a fun, if not time consuming, experience to go through the process of designing your own home. You learn a lot just building it virtually, and the only thing it costs you is time. Can’t waste materials that way 😉
I’m using a program called Sketchup to design my Earthship. I’ve previously started two other designs, which I abandoned for various reasons. I started this new one after finishing my academy session down in New Mexico. It gave me some new ideas 🙂
So, that’s where we’re at right now. I’ll keep everyone posted as to what is going on, and I do promise I will get around to doing more technical articles soon.