Last night, I had a great 1/2 mile swim - short but I pushed it, ran to Kroger and then dashed home.
Steve the Builder Guy, who I've known since he was a puppy, was promptly at the door at 6:45, and it was great to see him again! I've really known Steve for at least 16 years. He baby sat James way back long ago, married a friend, had a kid, started a business, moved to Athens, and now is all grown up, a single dad and a business owner to boot. An impressive fellow and a real sweetie, as always.
We sat inside and chatted about this crazy idea of mine, we came out to my office al 'fresco, and chatted about this crazy idea of mine. I'm really impressed with how much he knows and how well he explains things. Poured concrete, digging the space out, felling the trees that have to go, insulation, tensile strength, rebar, permitting issues, and so on and so on. It was really fun to get to do this, and Steve is very patient with my "crazy" ideas.
He'll put together an estimate for me, which will be good. As he was leaving he said that the biggest cost will be concrete (yep) and labor (sure thing). He's got teams of folks who can swoop in and do it, which is good to know. But we'll have to get a lot figured out.
He also said he's recently done something like this which was easily $30,000, and this could run that high. (cue audible gasp)
I talked with Bill about it, who slammed the breaks on things. (He's logical that way). So if the estimate comes in really high, we can (a) wait for the finances to even out and then do it, or (b) start looking at where to cut expenses without sacrificing the objective to build a low cost, energy efficient, minimal impact structure that is as environmentally clean as possible.
It would be easy to throw up my hands and say "oh well, can't do it" but that sort of thinking never get's problems solved. Creative problem solving is a favorite activity for me. So here is a very real opportunity to do just that!
Below are some web pages I've put together for Steve. Other observers might be interested in them too.
Some web pages that may be interesting in this endeavor include:
http://www.malcolmwells.com/ This guy seems to be the granddaddy of under ground building
http://www.greenfloors.com/HP_CF_Index.htm for the groovy cork flooring
http://www.1st-glassblock.com/ for glass blocks
http://www.homepower.com/ for some very interesting articles on things like passive solar, etc.
http://www.grannysstore.com/Do-It-Yourself/index.html some interesting reading and links in general... James found this one for me.
http://www.lcs.net/users/pinecrest/text/design.htm this is a web page of someone who actually did this - though in a much larger scale - I think. Interesting stuff nonetheless
http://www.radiantcompany.com/system/solar.shtml I thought this one was way cool!
http://www.poolproducts.com/-i-OPP-SNM-COMPACT-FNM-96.htm Fun with composting toilets!
http://www.tanklesswaterheaterguide.com/#electric tankless water heaters- tell me again why do don't have this?
http://rainbarrelguide.com/ rain barrels info. (maybe more than you needed)
http://www.summerwood.com/products/home-studios/index.html?gclid=CMuE5_GDw4wCFRK1YgodCBu_aA this is the/an alternative, though honestly, I'm not sure how energy efficient it would be - which is a big issue
BUT we aren't there yet. We are very much still in the positive side of things.
People often tell me something can't be done, and then I go ahead and get it done anyway.
I see no reason this shouldn't be the same way.
And as I sit out here this morning with 3 demonstration projects to finish drafting, TODAY, ASAP. I am reminded that while it is lovely to be all Bohemian on my carpet, under the tarp in the woods, the weather will be outrageously hot, and fairly cold in the next year, so something has to happen to make working out here on a more permanent basis more of a reality.
Plus, listening to the wrens, and the cardinals carrying on their morning conversation, while a cool morning breeze tickles my bare feet, just increases my belief that we have to do what we can to protect this planet. This is too precious to lose and figuring out how to preserve it is a good thing to do.
I'll keep you all posted.