Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
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Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Follow along as we share our experiences building our own home. We are neither builders nor architects so we get a lot of help along the way!
 

Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Rural Ozarks
Madison County
Northwest, Arkansas 72632

Call Us At:
(479) 555-5555

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The mis-adventures of the Bailey family building their own home Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
More Photos From Our Project.

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Click on the Name of the property to see pictures and more details.
 Photos in this section of the site

Photos displayed in this area may also appear on some of our other family photo sites.  One of which can be found at Tigger Travels...

Scale Model of the earthshelter house
Scale Model of the earthshelter house

Last fall, in preparation I build a scale model of the earth shelter house.
Click title to see 4 more pictures

This is a rough model to get some more ideas of what I am facing with the building of the house. Frequently, scale models help with site lines and how things fit in a 3 dimensional world after they are translated from a 2 dimensional set of plans.

Obviously, changes will be made as we go but the...

Winter 2013-2014
Winter 2013-2014

Looking forward to resuming the project

After taking some time off from the whole building process I am preparing to get going again. It has been sitting nearly untouched for a while due to other projects but its time has come.

Of course, winter weather is still upon us and I must wait till the end of the snow is melted.

Footings ready to pour
Footings ready to pour

Bracing for the big day
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We have spent several days preparing for the big pour of 40 yards of cement for the footings of the Earth Shelter House walls, the post footings and a much smaller footing for a decorative wall that will be built along the front of the property.

Video of the footings
Video of the footings

It is slow and hard work
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May 28, 2009.

Today we dug for a couple hours and did not get far.  We keep running in to veins of very hard rock.  This slows my progress a lot!

I drive the back hoe, Val takes the removed dirt with Onslo, the smaller tractor.  To keep things cleaner, I dump the back hoe right into the front...

A new Patio for the Cabin
A new Patio for the Cabin

Now there will be no more tripping over rocks just to get out to the car
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We opted to proceed with plans to pour the section of the driveway that is closest to the front door of the cabin.  For now we will be calling it the patio. It will also serve as a place to park the Durango so that we can get in and out without tripping over rocks that seem to grow out of the ground...

The Garage has been started!
The Garage has been started!

Framing from our own GREEN HARVESTED wood.
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I know it is green harvested because I personally harvested every tree.  They are all naturally fallen trees that fell within a mile of our property (or on our property).

We will be picking up the metal roof in the morning (Tuesday June 15, 2010).  That means we will actually have a roof over the...

Early drawings of the outside of the Earth Shelter House
Early drawings of the outside of the Earth Shelter House


Click title to see 1 more pictures

These early images of the berm cabin show the exterior of the cabin. We wanted to create a home that has a small impact on the environment and is hidden from the road. (Granted, the road only has about 5 cars a day on it)

The home is build into the top edge of a hill, so the back side of the cabi...

Details on the Lot
Details on the Lot


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As mentioned earlier, the lot is not a very large one. Across the road a farmer has 78 acres and behind us is a large area of state land that goes for miles. We will never have neighbors, however there will likely be people across the street in under two years.

This lot sits atop a ridge with a v...

Cut Stone
Cut Stone


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As mentioned before, I discovered that the stone on the property is interesting rock. I brought some small pieces home and cut them open on my small saw. The patterns were vere interesting. To determine if this was a good stone for tiling, I neede larger pieces and a bigger saw.

Jim loaned me a s...

The Floor Plan
The Floor Plan


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Always need a good floor plan, but this will do till one comes along.

This floor plan has gone through MANY mutations, some of which you would not recognize. I have use round shapes and diamond shapes. As a result, the next major project will be a bit more unique. (Click here to see the hobbit ho...

A Look Inside
A Look Inside


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It is my goal to make this cabin a rustic yet refined retreat from the rigors of our island home at the Texas Coast. In this sketch of the living room, you can see the fireplace and the clear-story windows that will help to warm the place in the winter. The ceiling will be drywalled between the raft...

Rafters and Beams
Rafters and Beams


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Drawing the plans for the framing of the rafters has been a bit of an education. At one point, I thought I would spread out rafters over the roof with 35+ inch centers. That means that there are 35+ inches from the center of one rafter to the center of the next rafter. If I use planks to deck the ro...

The Fireplace
The Fireplace


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The fireplace will serve several purposes; ambiance, radiant heat and heat storage.

Jen and I have always wanted a place where we can relax on cool or even cold evenings and sit in front of a fire with a big cup of hot cocoa. When I was still single, just the few months before we married, I lived...

The Trap Door
The Trap Door


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Just to the left of the refrigerator in the kitchen, there is a door that leads to the laudry/storage room. This will have ample shelves to store our 'extra' stuff of serve as a GREAT pantry/wine cellar. In the floor will be a trap door that will lead into the warm 'basement'. It will be nearly 4 fe...

The Sifter
The Sifter


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The ground around the property is rich in beautiful stone. As we dig, I plan to sift out enough gravel to drain the water away from the sides and bottoms of the berm house. Also, I am looking for enough rock to face the exposed brick on the back of the cabin with insulation in between.

To sift th...

My First Solar Water Heater
My First Solar Water Heater


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I created my first solar water heater today. I got the design for this heater from the e-Book Sunshine to Dollars by Steve E. Harris. He has done some consulting with government groups to determine what to di if we sufffer from some catastrophic disaster leaving us without heated or clean water. I m...

Earth Shelter Technology
Earth Shelter Technology

Boyer, Lester L. ,Grondzik, Walter T. Earth Shelter Technology College Station: Texas A & M University Press 1987

221 Pages

David's Thoughts: Wow, this book is heady stuff. I muttled my way through portions of it. I beleive you need some engineering background to understand it all, but with patience, there proved to be countless pieces of information throughout the book. The folks that wrote this obviously s...

How to Plan and Build Fireplaces
How to Plan and Build Fireplaces

Menlo Park, California: Lane Books 1974

96 Pages

David's Thoughts:

In the early and mid 70's, many people tried their hand at writing pointless how to books and see them at a small profit. I wrote one in the mid 80's for the same purpose that sold a few copies. This book falls into the same category. Some one took a lot of great bla...

The Craft of Modular Post & Beam; Building Log & Timber Homes Affordably
The Craft of Modular Post & Beam; Building Log & Timber Homes Affordably

Mitchell, James The Craft of Modular Post & Beam; Building Log & Timber Homes Affordably Vancouver, BC: Hartley & Marks Publishing 1997

368 Pages

David's Thoughts:

WOW!!! Great book!! If you plan to build or contract a log cabin, this is a MUST READ. At worst, you will be familiar with the steps taken to build your new home. At best you can build it yourself with a little know how.

James Mitchell, a cabinet maker by trade,...

The Complete Book of Underground Houses, How to Build a Low-Cost Home
The Complete Book of Underground Houses, How to Build a Low-Cost Home

Roy, Rob The Complete Book of Underground Houses, How to Build a Low-Cost Home New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1994

144 Pages

David's Thoughts: This is the mother of the whole process. Before this book, I had no idea of the specifics of what I was doing. I knew how to design some basic floor plans, but that was it. Rob Roy does an incredible job of telling you the process he went through to build his berm hous...

Building Underground; The Design and Construction Handbook for Earth-Sheltered Houses
Building Underground; The Design and Construction Handbook for Earth-Sheltered Houses

Wade, Herb Building Underground; The Design and Construction Handbook for Earth-Sheltered Houses Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press, 1983

289 Pages

David's Thoughts:

This book was noticed in the bibliography af a few other books and sites, though it was seldom recommended. I am not sure why. I got a lot out of it.

The book feels and reads like a relaxed textbook for a class on Building Underground. There are eight chapters th...

Underground Home
Underground Home

Wampler, Louis Underground Home Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2003

121 Pages

David's Thoughts: Although it is a small book, there are some great tips on how to determine the size of footings and other design tips. It cleared my mind of several minor questions that have been haunting me from early on.

Book's Description
High energy costs have spurred the sear...

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