What Is The Best Way To Make My Home More Efficient?


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Categories: Building Methods

What is the best way to make your home more efficient you ask?  That is the million dollar question my friends!  Why do I spend so much time showcasing all of these off grid concepts from earthships to strawbale homes to cob construction, earthtubes, geo-thermal, solar power, wind power, wind mill water pumping, rain water catching, water storage tanks, growing your own garden, walipinis, etcetera etcetera?

Because I want you to realize that we have been building inefficient paper houses by comparison that leak all the energy we put into them out!  They are inefficient and we use tons of electricity and gas to help heat and cool the air on the outside of our homes as well as inside, and that makes no dollars or sense!

So we have succomb to the notion that we should buy a house on credit - fake money printed by the bank, and buy the parts at the local hardware store, because they offer the only place to get things necessary to build a house.  And we were uneducated, and just managed to build more than enough houses for everyone before we now discover that they are paper trash houses that last twenty or thirty years before they need to be remodeled and rebuilt.  We should have been building homes that are as efficient as those required to keep warm before the invention of electricity.  

So I say scrap them all and start over.  It's time to take to heart the efficiency of a home.  If we doubled the price of a house only to nearly eliminate $600 worth of energy bills per month, and we had a home that would last for generations and be handed down.  So often I hear, how can I build a rocket stove in my apartment?  You cant.  They should have thought of that before they built it.  Since we have new knowlege of old ways, and are finding ways to implement them that bypass the local hardware store, save on fuel for transportation of supplies across the country, eliminate taxes on materials gathered from the earth, and if a bit of money is spent on a home power generating system like solar or wind, then nothing will be required in recurring monthly expenses.  And who needs to insure against fire a home that won't burn?  Maybe earthquake insurance... but if you built it from scratch, and you lose a little mud, put some more mud on, no big deal.  

By creating a systm that relies on China to fix a door when it breaks, it is empowering to know that if your door breaks, you can go out to the woods and find what you need to build another.  

If you say... that's not off the grid, I beg to differ.  We are here to highlight the best of old world off grid concepts in energy savings and working from the land, and combine them with modern off-grid technology to create a space where it is possible to live in harmony with nature, with little or no expense save a bit of income tax and food.  We are coming into an age where it is possible to live a sustainable life.  It costs a lot of time and energy, or money, and it can be done with either or both.  Whether you live in hot or cold climates will determine much about the style of living required.   Whatever you do, I'm rooting for you, I'm rooting for us, I'm rooting for people to live happy and rich lives.  ~Dave Webster

All of that said, here's a home with some wise concepts used in construction.  By wise, I mean underground and efficient.  Long lasting.  It is a nice big expensive home, yes.  Natural build, no... veggies growing, no I don't see any.  Someone who could afford to have this home built... their time is likely too valuable in work to spend time gardening, and the green roofs are great insulation, so I understand the grass in lieu of a veggie garden.  When the sun can come through and warm the house, that's a great passive solar heating system.  Check it out:  

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New York architects Gluck+ designed this spectacular lake residence in Adirondack, surrounded by nature and really, covered in it with a grassy rooftop garden concealing it within its earthy surroundings. The steep slope setting makes it possible for for the unique buried placement of this forest property with no rendering it underground completely. From the street the house appears to disappear into the trees and hillside, but its 2-storey glazed facade fronting the lake floods interiors with lots of natural light and breathtaking views. The property requires shape as a collection of buildings, with the gatehouse garage at the prime of the hill, 2 guesthouses tucked in the woods, and the recreation creating, major home and boat house taking their location at the waterfront. An underground courtyard invites nature and play into this sweet retreat.

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