Handmade Houses
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 20:09:01 -0600 (MDT)
On 4/25/2003 4:26 PM, "Casey Morrigan" <cjmorr [at] pacbell.net> wrote:

>> In California in the 70s when people were going out into the country to build
>> their own houses, they found all sorts of ways to get around the code. One
>> person followed the code for a boat house. She was out in the middle of a
>> huge field and her house was up on 10 ft stilts but she had her house.
> I thought, surely there are Other Jurisdictions, besides that ever-flaky
> California,  where people have tried to get around codes?  Perhaps?  Come
> on, midwesterners, southerners --- 'fess up!

This made me think about the whole movement of handmade houses and how much
they may have contributed to cohousing. While many of the houses were quite
elaborate and beautiful, they were all built by the owners by hand. Many
were built a room at a time. All were built at low cost, the objective being
to live as free as possible -- meaning as little corporate and government
contact as possible. People helped each other build their houses.

This required avoiding a lot of code requirements so they could be built
without expensive central heating systems, electricity, plumbing, etc. Some
were built "secretly" in the woods and mountains. Many were in California
because the temperate climate made a heating system less important, but many
were built around Woodstock, NY. I'm sure they were in other places too. One
piece of advice I remember was "design your house so that no piece is too
big for you to handle alone."

One family had a moving van pull up to their door, load all their stuff, and
drive to the country where they had the van unload everything under a tree
on an open field that had bought. The moving men thought they were crazy.
They gradually built their house. Sociologically interesting  things were
learned -- for example, at 14 children would go out and build their own
houses while returning home for meals and other life supporting activities.
At 16 they would begin spending ore time in their "own" homes, taking food
with them. The whole process of becoming independent was very gradual.

This would certainly be one way to build cohousing for less than the going

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
Where all roads lead to Casablanca

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.