What if you could build an inexpensive, energy efficient, self-sufficient home for as little as $30,000 and kiss monthly bills and mortgage payments goodbye? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, one couple from Bisbee, Arizona, made this little fantasy come true. Karen and Bill, both in their fifties, started building their 600-square-foot house in 2010 and moved in 18 months later.
While Karen said that it was a lot of hard work, they enjoy their house and lifestyle every day. And who can blame them? Except for Internet service costs and property taxes, this off-the-grid couple doesn’t pay a single dollar for water, heat, trash pick-up, or electricity. Furthermore, they are debt free and are becoming gardening experts to provide for their own food needs.
In a 20-minute video tour, Karen and Bob proudly present their beautiful, tiny, home made of cob, straw, and an outer coating of plaster to protect their house against Arizona’s excoriating sun. In the video, Bob explains that they used the basic principles of solar design with south- and southeast-facing windows.
While pointing out a few items in their colorful home, Karen says that they made a real effort to recycle as much as they could. Except for an energy-efficient refrigerator, everything in their home is either secondhand, gifted, repurposed, or comes from the dump. The bathroom walls, for instance, are made from tin sheets that were laying around in someone’s backyard while the windows were gathering dust in a pasture shed. Full story...