Building your own green home is the obvious choice for success in the 21st century. With utilities on the rise, energy efficient green housing is definitely the way to go. Also with the recent increase in natural disasters, the strength and durability offered by new green construction materials will see your family far into the future. More importantly, there are money savings to be had, which will greatly reduce your need for financing. Imagine going into the 21st century with considerably less debt, than with conventional construction. Here are two great green ideas.
Building Your Own Green Home: Concrete Bunker
I say this with perhaps a little bit of tongue and cheek, but seriously there are materials available that are bullet proof, even against high caliber assault rifles. Couple that with withstanding 180 MPH winds, and being fire proof and earthquake resistant, and I think we have a winner for those people who tend to worry about what might happen. What’s even better? They are the most energy efficient materials on the market. Home maintenance is also a thing of the past. You don’t have to paint them, unless you just want to, or you could eventually side them with stone veneer for an extra layer of beauty and protection, but you don’t really need it.
I am speaking of course about insulated concrete. There are a wide variety of insulated concrete panels, insulated concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks which are wind, fire and earthquake resistant, and bullet proof. ICPs vary in durability so look for ICP with at least 5 inches of dense polyurethane, and a generous thickness of concrete as well. A panel constructed in this way can support a car! One company says if you manage to damage one of their panels, they will not only fix the damage to your home for free, they want to know how, because they’ve never seen one crack before. These structures will survive for centuries against any sort of disaster.
Recycling is very green, so why not recycle some of those huge shipping containers. Some are insulated for refrigeration, and all are super strong, and relatively well insulated. Shipping containers are insanely cheap. Pay only $2000 for each eight by twenty unit. Finish with salvaged windows and doors saved from demolition.
One plan is to place two shipping containers fifteen feet apart on a 40’ by 32’ slab foundation, and then add a floor and two walls between them to connect the two with two fifteen foot walls. Cut openings for doorways and frame with wood. Finish with a few windows as desired. Close the open end with glass doors or a window wall. Build a sill plate over it all and cover with 32 foot wide trusses 16 inches on center. Then hire a roofer to apply sheathing and shingles. Presto, you have 1280 square foot home at a very low cost.
The best thing about this project is that you can do it gradually. Live in one container, while finishing the interior of the other. Then start constructing walls. These containers will be fine till you can afford a roof. They really don’t need one, but the roof will make it look nicer and make it possible to enclose the center.
• Two shipping containers $4000
• Thirty one trusses (32 foot) $2790
• Slab $3840
• Four glass patio doors, a few cheap interior doors and an entry door – $3200
• Ten Windows 100 each 3’ wide by 4’8” high – $1000
• Two 15 foot ICF Walls $1180
• Roofing Job $3000
• Insulation for attic $2000
• Extra Lumber and hardware for framing windows and building sill plate $1000
Total cost of Shell $22,000 square foot price $17.19 per square foot.
The cost for finishing this project is not that bad either. You will need a licensed electrician to wire it, and a plumber for plumbing, but you could use PEX pipe and do some of the plumbing yourself. Get cabinets at the local home improvement or salvage store, shop for used appliances to save another bundle, then install inexpensive or salvaged floor coverings, and paint the interior and exterior. You could even use paneling or drywall to warm the place up a bit, and still not spend another $20,000. It’s possible to do this with little or no mortgage! You could do this on a small personal loan, or simply save up, or do work gradually as you can afford, since the shipping containers don’t require a roof. Later you could add siding for a more traditional look.
It is also possible to stack shipping containers using a crane to create a two story home. It’s very easy to add on as well, by simply adding on the back with more shipping containers and spaces between them. Ideas for building are limitless. Money saving recycling ideas are only limited by your imagination, so feel free to experiment and enjoy building your home, at your own pace, as you can afford it.
These are just two of literally millions of ideas for green building. Download our 98 page free book to learn more. Read our site to learn more about green construction, as well as traditional home building. Both low or no mortgage home building, and a completely indestructible home are recipes for success in the future. One of the best ways to insure your future is building your own green home.