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Home Made: A Cheap and Green Handbuilt House

Welcome to Home Made, a new feature showcasing homes that readers have had a hand in planning, renovating, or building. Maybe you helped decide the layout for your house? Perhaps you approved the renovation plans that your designer presented? Or maybe you're just really handy with power tools? Whatever capacity you worked in, we want to showcase your efforts! (You can join the newly created Home Made group here.

Over the past few years, Ian (also known as my little brother) has slowly built a small house in Northern Wisconsin. Thus far, he has spent a fairly miniscule sum of money on the house, which he designed and built himself (with help from generous friends and family). In addition, most of the materials he used for the house, including doors and windows, were salvaged.

Ian writes,

The house itself is a hybrid timber frame with a conventionally framed roof. The infill between timbers in cordwood masonry, which appealed to me at the time, but is not an efficient method of building. I ended up furring out [leveling the surface of] all interior walls and putting sheetrock up, because the wind and daylight go right through the cordwood. The great things about the majority of wood for the house is that I used drafthorses. I cut the trees down off my land, the horses pulled out the logs, and a friend helped to mill the logs on sight. The bulk of the material never left the property. The total square footage is about 500, which is ample for two people if properly used and outside storage space is available.

To find out more about how much it cost to build this home (hint: it's less than 20K), along with a gallery of photos, tune in later today for the rest of the story!

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kikkoman kikkoman 8 years
Very impressive!
kikkoman kikkoman 8 years
Very impressive!
Fab_Kitty Fab_Kitty 8 years
So impressive!
Fab_Kitty Fab_Kitty 8 years
So impressive!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Oh wow, that's amazing. I watched an episode of "This Old House" with my boyfriend awhile back where they built a similar house in Austin, TX-it was amazing.
citizenkane citizenkane 8 years
I had a friend whose family built their own house. It wasn't really 'green', but it took them years to finish it. And it is SO cool inside. Very unique.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
That is gorgeous! So much hard work, but I bet when it's done you feel amazing :)
bgirl bgirl 8 years
yeah that is pretty amazing! i can't wait to see pictures of the inside
katedavis katedavis 8 years
Unbelievable!
katedavis katedavis 8 years
Unbelievable!
Ava-Gardner Ava-Gardner 8 years
What an amazing feat and what a great house.
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