View Single Post
Old 12-05-2016, 03:08 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 16,512
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Logs are a terrible building material. I strongly consider something more conventional (e.g. brick or siding).
Having participated in building both traditional log and 'native lumber' houses I'd have to agree with this. Traditional-style log houses were built because the materials were nearby and easy to use with minimal processing (debark and trim, cut saddle joints, and stack them together, using smaller pieces to form a sod or thatch roof). They were not especially robust against weather or rot and had to be frequently maintained and even rebuilt several times, which is why painted lumber became so popular once it was more widely available. If money is at issue, buying a small portable cabin or building a cabin from a couple of salvaged insulated CONEX containers is a better alternative, allowing you to set up quickly with minimal foundation work and from which you can later upgrade or expand (tougher to do with log construction unless you planned it from the beginning). If your desire is to build using on-site or local materials then you might look into rammed earth construction or straw bale construction (depending on what is available near you), although both require some expert support or a good deal of research and some testing to build a robust structure that won't suffer from water degradation or rot.

Yurts have been used by nomadic peoples for millenia as mobile structures, or as an open structure in tropical climates. Yurts and yurt-like structures are floor space efficient and easier to heat and cool than other types of portable structures, but unless you really like the spartan lifestyle and don't mind sharing a very small space with no privacy they aren't a good choice for a permanent structure that you might live in for an extended period of time. (The biggest yurts I've seen top out at around 1200 s.f. which may sound great until you realize that breaking it into rooms gives you a lot of unutilizable wedge-shaped space.) The less said about geodesic domes the better; they make fine protective domes for radar systems but they suck as living space in pretty much every possible way imaginable.

The o.p. doesn't indicate where the land is, but don't dismiss the costs of running electricity, putting in septic, drilling a well, et cetera. Unless you are genuinely prepared to rough it, or install and maintain a solar electric system the upkeep costs are going to dwarf your theoretical savings by living off-grid. There are a lot of resources online and in print about how to build and live in off-grid or remote locations, and a critical reading of them will well-illustrate the difficulty of doing so. If you haven't done this kind of work before I'd recommend getting some experience with basic construction by volunteering and/or spending some time on trial projects like building a smaller outbuilding (you'll need some place to store tools and things you wouldn't bring into the house) before committing to a larger build. Such work can be exhausting, and if you can't get a loan or insurance, you'll need to do most of the construction and upkeep yourself.