Friday, 8 April 2016

Our affordable debt-free eco-house




We designed and built our house and have no mortgage.  I just realised it's been 10 years since we built the main part. I so love living here and raising our family in this environment.

I love the connection I have with this place and how it has evolved to respond to the land and meet the needs of our family. I feel the love and care that has gone into creating our home - our own energy, but also the extraordinary help from my family and some help from friends too.

Every piece of timber, roofing, flooring, cladding, glass has been carried carefully down our path by one of us. Every part has a story, a memory. I know where each bit came from and why it is there. I know what is behind every piece of lining and what is holding it all together. Also, if something goes wrong, I know how to fix it.  Even the kids understand how the water, wastewater and energy systems work and can explain them to guests.

Our modular house - there is the main pod (orange), the kid pod (yellow), the office pod (upstairs), and the guest pod near the entrance to our lot.
Over a period of years our house took shape, module by module. We built it in what I call 'buildable, affordable modules' and that way we managed to finish a section at a time, and do this without going into debt. The freedom this creates is amazing. Evan and I can both work part time and can spend more time with our family, in our community and in nature.

The house is purposefully separated from the carpark so each time we come home, regardless of the weather, we reconnect with the land, see how the chickens are going, meander through the edible landscape on our way to the house. 

I feel such a sense of peace and calm here. Fresh air, clean water, natural materials, surrounded by food and wildlife, embedded in nature and under a big sky, and surrounded by a lovely community.

The house and garden together are an example of simple and affordable ecological, subtropical and flexible design. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have come to visit our place - to see integrated permaculture design in action - schools, tour groups, permaculture courses, sustainable house day tours, WWOOFers etc. We have been awarded an Edible Landscape Award and been written about in many magazines.

Someday I'll finish a little booklet about the design and building process, and the materials we used - someday! I've added the link to an article I wrote about our house design in PIP Magazine: Issue 2.

We love it here. The kids love it here. They have already discussed which part of the house they will live in when they get older. It will be easy to add a little kitchenette and bathroom to make each 'pod' and independent unit.  I'd love that - having a big extended family around me when I'm older.

Our family - out on the verandah where we spend most of our time. Except in mid-winter, the house is always open - freely flowing between inside and out.
Click below to read the article I wrote about our house design for PIP Magazine: Issue 2.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful home from what u can see here- built with dedication, passion and heart centered economics ( if there is such a term). Well Done. Thank you for sharing your in going journey with us.

    ReplyDelete