This is him with his wife, my great grandmother: https://i.imgur.com/y7sXvaa.jpg
It was his greatest achievement. But unfortunately he only lived in it for a meager year before passing away.
It's this one: https://imgur.com/a/afZgOZ2
Naturally it has been maintained over the years, new roofing, new paint, but all in all it's the same house.
Not only do they protect your siding and walls (greatly extending the life of your siding) but they also have huge energy benefits in warm areas by keeping the sun off of your walls. Oh, and if you have a basement, they help keep it dry.
Build bigger roof overhangs, America!
The trend in building is bigger and larger windows for a reason.
Big eaves are dangerous. They make the roof far more likely to get ripped off in a storm.
I had the misfortune of painting under the eves on one once. The weather couldn’t reach the wood and it had gone so hard that it was like sanding glass.
He also joked that he had a hard time getting a loan. They wanted to see plans, etc. “Why the hell do you need plans for a house?”. He built aircraft; those you needed plans for.
In vernacular architecture, someone woke up one day and decided to build a house. They built it house-shaped, from whatever materials were cheapest and most available in their region at the time, using whatever techniques were common in said time and place. The patterns of vernacular houses in different times and places are fascinating; you're shining a flashlight through the region of a peoples' brains where the archetype "house" is stored and seeing what it looks like.
Loaning standards were different back then, based on my acquired knowledge from The Big Short.
The good old days. I wish this was still possible today. Unfortunately, with every last screw, bolt and wooden panel dictated by regulation, it seems it's not possible anymore.
i spent 9 months building homes with habitat for humanity and found the regulations largely reasonable (like steel strapping for earthquake resistance). the lackadaisicalness of the inspectors on the other hand was frustrating. most of the build could have been done by a single person who possessed determination, ingenuity and loads of time.
What I find less acceptable, is placing them in the hands of and behind the paywall of commercial interests.
In some cases, that does make them quite expensive for the individual.
It also places consumers of building and trade services at a disadvantage. Is your job being done correctly? Well, the building and other code defining a good bit of this, may not be readily accessible to you.
Creating it is and should be a public effort. The public should pay for that, up front. And then we should all have access to it.
Transparency is also essential for good and effective government. And regulation is a part of that.
He does as much work as possible himself, or when I was living at home, by getting me to do it for free (well, I get inheritance one day).
The amount of money he's managed to save by doing his own work is staggering. We saved at least $10,000 by building a retaining wall ourselves. We mixed up over 6 tonnes of concrete in a 200 L concrete mixer.
Every fence on his properties he's put up himself, I've helped out with about 5. You're probably saving $5000 per fence (for a timber fence, 6 foot high). He does a lot of his own painting and drywall work as well. He does a lot of his own electrical work as well since he's qualified to do it, which saves boatloads of money.
We even installed the pool at the family house on our own, saving 5 figures (he did pay for a earthmoving company to dig the hole though).
He's probably managed to save several hundred thousand dollars by doing his own work. He basically spends any time that he's not working at his day job working on his properties.
Building your own house from scratch isn't really worth it these days though. It's cheaper to get a frame preassembled, then trucked in and erected. Doing your own concreting isn't really worth it either, same for bricklaying.
At 50 properties, your friend probably could start leveraging a team and either get more properties and more income or simply get more time for himself and still have enough income. But, a lot of people will have topped out at 10 or so properties, if you're paying other people to do the work there, you may not be making enough income to grow your assets.
My personal pet-peeve: In 99.9% of cases, when people talk about "leading" in the business context, what they really mean is just "managing". Let's not infest our language with corporate newspeak.
Edit: I’ve just realised that your 4th example was Jesus, and you weren’t started with a curse - I’ll leave my error as I like it.
I generally agree, but I have never ever seen that in a business world. What the business owner wants - maximum profit - is in a direct conflict with employee wants (maximum salary for an easy and/or fullfilling job), so I can't see them ever wanting the same thing.
In general, people are willing to forgo their immediate interest (high pay, interesting tasks) only if they believe they're doing something for a greater good, and that does not happen in companies. Even if you're crunching on some innovative product that will make the world better (which is the claim that is often used to motivate people in startups), the main reason for the crunch is that you're trying to beat X other companies that are also working on the same innovation. So, even in such case, you're mostly killing yourself to make the owners rich, as the world will be a better place regardless of whether it's your company or your competitor that manages to win the race to the market.
The other part is being a good coach, which is not about giving advice, it's about helping someone take responsibility for their tasks and helping them learn how to improve.
That's just my opinion, and I'm not a manager so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I have done it both ways...
Concrete trucks are about $80-120 / yd. mixing bags of concrete, assuming you have free aggregate and sand, is about $200 / yd
Building your own house is a good way to get end up in divorce. It hasn't happened in my family but they tell me that the stress is too high. You have to get that house built quick because the loan terms only give you a few months before you have to refinance.
These were times of pleasure, excitement, and productive collaboration for the entire family.
When I see comments like these it makes me wonder what sort of dysfunctoinal marriages people have got themselves into, and if taking on any sort of project requiring teamwork is simply forcing a realization of an already failed state.
All I can say is it didn't drive them to divorce, and they're still together to this day.
I like to believe living in a home surrounded by the fruits of those past projects has played a positive part in their staying together, especially long after the kids left the nest. But that's nothing more than romantic speculation on my part.
The biggest challenge we had with the loans for land, construction and the eventual end-loan was "Why are you building a 1900 sq-ft house? You really shouldn't be building a house under 3k sq-ft."
Here is a link to a book that lays out a very good strategy:
(warning: although I read this book and considered it's approach, I used a slightly different strategy towards home ownership without a mortgage that allowed me to purchase existing homes)
I'm guessing the loan underwriters will be uncomfortable with the risk profile of a decade long project of self improvement, but what do I know?
I'm short on free time anyway so it's not that big of a deal but finding a lender that would let you do everything is probably a bit tricky.
If you work (or have worked) in construction you have the experience to do it at less cost. If you have friends who will all share labor to build their own houses, then you quickly get the experience.
If you can't earn more money in your spare time (burn out from working too many hours at your "day job" is very real!) then your labor is worth zero and you save money. Even if you could earn more elsewhere, if you enjoy working in construction once in a while your time is less valuable.
There might be market distortions that mean labor for construction gets paid more then the real value. Thus making you more competitive.
You might have a job that is less valuable than construction, and thus your time building your own things is worth less than the person you might hire.
You might have reasons (valid or invalid) to believe the professionals would do a bad job.
You might be a complete klutz that should never touch a tool. You might hate building things. You might be disabled. You might want to do something else with your time. All of these are valid reasons not do something.
You are telling me that if economy is properly working, a mother should not cut the daughter's hair since it should not be cost saving ?
I'm sorry if I misunderstood your point.
Which is fine as far as it goes for theoretical economics. But, in practice, as in your example, the mother probably doesn't have a way to get paid for doing some other task rather than cutting the daughter's hair--and would likely take even more time to go to the barber anyway.
It does make sense to pay for some tasks you could do yourself. But in a lot of cases you're not actually saving money especially if you're not earning money by the hour and are maxed out on how much time you're able to spend earning.
I return my cans and bottles for the deposit. Every time I do it I think it's completely illogical because I'm losing $50 each time over just spending the time programming. I justify it to myself as getting paid $5 to take a walk. I can't spend every waking hour programming or I'll burn out. I'm not sure I'm not just trying to rationalize irrational behavior though.
Of course I look like a homeless person walking down the street downtown with two big bags of cans, but I don't let that enter into my calculation.
I used to hate dealing with bottle deposits because it felt like throwing money away even if it was a modest amount. Now my town recycling lets you bring in deposit bottles and leave them in a shed for the local animal shelter which works just fine for me.
I dropped out of Computer Science at my university, but I've done better than my friends who stayed and graduated with honors. My take away is there's no one best formula in life, rather there are more paths to success (and more ways to define success) than we have imagination to think of.
This is just one aspect:
Take for example taxes: 33% is a double whammy. If you build it yourself, it's like making your own bed: you don't pay 1/3 of the labor cost for making your own bed. But, if you pay someone to make a home for you: First your take home pay is cut by 1/3 by your income taxes, and the person your paying or companies, their labor is taxed at another 1/3. In addition to the income taxes, that company has many other taxes to pay as well, not to mention impact fees, environmental fees, etc, etc and the lumber company they buy from has to pay even more taxes,etc.
This man is building a house including the tools you need to build that house completely by himself:
Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut
For the new to the channel, he does all commentary via subtitles so if you want explanations of what he's doing and why turn them on!
Some people seem to like watching them without the commentary as it's relaxing, others want to know what and why. I watched 5 videos before I realised there was explanations.
I hope he goes back to his furnaces and metal, I'd like to see some metal tools from nothing!
Wranglerstar - https://www.youtube.com/wranglerstar
Pure Living for Life - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChhBsM9K_Bc9a_YTK7UUlnQ
Paul Sellers - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc3EpWncNq5QL0QhwUNQb7w
Not quite the same aesthetic but still interesting:
Steve Ramsey - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBB7sYb14uBtk8UqSQYc9-w
Currently in the process of building a spec house out in Oregon; has been filming the entire process so far. Very craftsman-zen, not to mention chock full of good info for anyone building/buying a house.
Also doing much of the work himself.
Although primitive, the video that you linked to is also based on previous technology/knowledge...
Yet one is possible to do literally by yourself without another human being alive as long as you possess the knowledge.
It is a real difference.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRZePj70B4IwyNn1ABhJW... -- Essential Craftsman (a great channel about manly stuff) series on Building a Spec Home, done by a guy with decades of experience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGNuhyfyF6k&list=PL8eqcjvgrQ... April Wilkerson's series on building a shop, she does it mostly on her own, but with some help when needed. She's got a great channel for woodworking, some metal working, and home repairs.
As someone who has no real building experience but has recently done a kitchen remodel (everything except the countertop, most of the cabinets I ordered, the pantry I'm building), youtube is an amazing way to get educated on the specific tasks. I replaced the subfloor, new oak hardwood floors, plank tiles, drywall, texturing, painting, removed a wall, electrical (including inspections), range hood ducting to outside, plumbing, cabinet installs...
Youtube is like that scene in The Matrix where Neo jacks in and then comes back out "I know Kung Fu!" I've spent many nights jacked in downloading Master Vila's knowledge of pressure treated lumber. (obscure Robotman reference)
Do you think people would like to watch videos about such things? My youngest brother now works for my father and he is tech savvy so it's something doable but would be in Portuguese.
Good luck with learning Portuguese. Just like French, you'll need some perseverance in the beginning. ;)
I spent A LOT of time in Vigo, Spain (Well, Vigo, Galicia, as the locals would say) a few years ago - my employer had a major delivery at one of the shipyards, and I volunteered to stay until we had it all sorted. Turned out to take way longer than expected.
I started picking up quite a lot of what I assumed to be Spanish (this being Spain an'all) from being around the locals - and was able to make myself understood, too, after a fashion.
Much to my surprise, I later found when trying out my recently-acquired Spanish skills in Madrid that I was mostly met with blank stares.
In Lisbon, though, my mix of rudimentary Portuguese (picked up in Brazil and Mozambique) and the 'Spanish' I'd picked up in Vigo was well understood.
And thus I found out that Galego was a distinct language, significantly more related to Portuguese than to Spanish.
Of course, the county was just the northern tip of what is Portugal today, before the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconquista
The Primitive Technology guy, mentioned in other comments, makes completely silent videos.
I already know italian, and I'm slowly starting to learn french, so I guess that will help w/ portuguese. I can already understand bits and pieces when I read, but listening, I have no chance.
Do they build old-style houses for clients too?
I remember helping my father to restore a 100+ year old house. We completely raised the roof to fix the brickwork... after this replaced the roof in segments, addressed each room individually... etc etc... renovating everything, add new waterwork, modernize the electricity in an existing house. It took long... but the result is also there!
Structural masonry is a really bad idea in seismically active areas (which evidently Germany is not).
Also consider the renewable + cost + timber supply factor, when it comes to population. Germany's population has barely increased since 1970. The US population has increased by ~55% in that time, adding over 100 million people. Rarely building new structures for a stagnate population base is a very different consideration vs building for a population that has been quite expansive for over a century. Just on the environmental concerns alone, I don't think you want the US to rebuild all of its housing with concrete.
The median US house is between 50% and 100% larger than the median house in developed Europe, at half the price or less per sq metre. The median US house is generally the first or second largest in the world.
Maintenance is not dramatic for wood structures, assuming they're properly built. Once they're enclosed, if properly maintained, you should have to do relatively little work to the core structure of the building over many decades. As it pertains to heating & cooling, high quality insulation today means there's little concern for external weather, whether you're in New Hampshire or Arizona.
Wood didn't last long, but until surprisingly recently, houses weren't meant to last. In Northern Europe, for example, even as late as the Iron Age, houses were rebuilt every few decades.
Exception: rich builders, like the church in Europe, and later on (roughly the thirteenth century) rich individuals, built out of stone.
Having the same percentage of forests is not the same thing as having the same supply of renewable timber. You're forgetting about population density. The US has vastly more timber supply vs population, than Germany does.
US territory size is something like 26x the size of Germany, with just 4x the population difference.
304 million hectares of forests vs 330 million people in the US. A near 1 ratio for hectares per person.
11 million ha of forests vs 82 million people in Germany. A 0.13 ratio.
Now throw in Canada, which is an almost comical 347 million ha (and their modest domestic needs for 36 million people).
edit: adjusted the US figure to hectares
Whenever I see a report about a tornado or a hurricane in the US I wonder what the damage would be like if people had stone houses instead of wooden houses that disintegrate during a storm and then in turn damage other houses. It reminds me of the Kessler Syndrome.
Even if the structure remains intact - and storm surges have no problem washing concrete and stone away - the house has to be ripped apart. The flooding ruins sheetrock, furniture, carpet, etc and mold growth is a huge issue.
The wind is usually not that big a deal unless you have a tornado during the hurricane. I have a 100 year old wood framed house that has been though many hurricanes, including Katrina. Generally the worst case wind-wise for most people is that you see some minor roof damage and little else unless a tree falls on the house. Wooden houses certainly do not "disintegrate" during storms.
Debris doesn't cause a lot of damage, particularly if you've prepped for the hurricane (by boarding up windows, garaging cars, etc.) The biggest factors are definitely trees and storm surge.
Pitched roofs do well against storms (30° roof slope is best).
Luckily, we don't have deadly hurricanes.
(As an Australian - we completely fall on the American side of that remark)
Probably partly from ownership of buildings transitioning form wealthy capitalists to middle class. For the capitalist the house is an investment since they get rent from it, but for the middle class family who own their house the house constitutes a huge portion of their wealth. Banks are the main winners, as they profit from loaning money to middle class to purchase the house.
The second factor is the rise of cities. As more people come closer together, the value of land naturally rises. Hence, the "natural" portion of the houses price does not come from the structure itself, but from the value of the land, and the market forces demand for the building.
If the building becomes... defunct, a huge portion of the middle class familys wealth disappears (sans the land - but, often the land is rented from someone).
Hence it's nice to imagine buildings last forever, while paying back your 50 year loan on the house.
Wooden houses can (from experience) survive magnitude 6-7 earthquakes.
Japanese pagodas have very interesting designs that keep them from toppling. My favorite is the Horyu-ji pagoda. Each floor is not connected to the one above it - they're just stacked, loosely. The floors shift independently during an earthquake. A gigantic central beam in the middle acts as a tuned mass damper, preventing them from sliding off entirely. One person can make the central beam sway. https://gizmodo.com/5846501/how-japans-oldest-wooden-buildin...
Tō-ji pagoda's design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG37gQSvrf4
Design really is everything.
You'll still need the DIY shops for hardware/tools/etc.
Alone in the Wilderness - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss
My brother and I built my 390ft (+ loft) fully equipped, 16' tall tiny house: http://tinyhousemansion.com/
A friend of mine purchased a hundred plus year old wood house. The standards back then were non-existent, boards placed wherever, seemingly constructed stupidly in every possible regard, and it managed over a century regardless through routine maintenance. Keeping in mind that's starting from ~1900. Starting from the standards today, you should easily get over a century. Use a metal roof, replace it every 40-60 years depending, and just take care of it.
My house is 1880s vintage, and it's sorta post-and-beam, with 10x10 beams making up the frame, and double layers of 12" to 30" wide pine floorboards. You can't even begin to find lumber like that today, unless you've got a stand of high quality timber that's been saved out and not cut already, and a sawmill to do custom sawing.
Of course, at any time there are many poorly-built houses being made - it's not fair to compare only the old houses that have survived with the cheapest of current homes. And there are probably some "miracle materials" today that will be found to have big problems in practice, from lower-than-expected lifetimes to significant safety risks (c.f. polybutylene pipes, asbestos, lead paint).
Personally I enjoy living in a 125yo home. It's balloon-framed, and the joist spacing is inconsistent, and if you replicated this structure with modern lumber it would probably be dangerous. With 1890s-era lumber, it's just a little off-kilter. :)
Today, building something with massive sturdy timber would likely not be much cheaper (if at all) than just building a concrete box.
There's really no reason to use huge beams for house style construction. Decent wood is incredibly strong.
This house seems to be employing OSB everywhere anything wider than a 2x4 is needed. I assume most of the criticism being voiced is in response to the OSB, not of the wood frame.
Something as common as a burst water pipe (there's snow on the ground in the video) is likely to cause severe structural damage to this home due to the liberal use of OSB, particularly in the joists.
OSB is a relatively modern invention, none of the history you mention is relevant to its application.
OSB is usually used in the sheathing alone, which can easily be replaced when needed (OSB can't get wet). On higher quality builds, plywood is used for the sheathing.
I've never seen a home with OSB joists, but most of the homes I've seen under the skirt of were built between the 1950s-80s.
Over time the average build quality has certainly diminished. OSB usage continues to increase despite its obvious problems. It's another casualty of population growth. Consumer goods are made of plastic, and your homes are increasingly made from glued together woodchips.
Chipboard is made from sawdust and is completely different in load-bearing ability.
Not the joists. The flat panels he's making the floors and walls from - they're chipboard, or OSB https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-chipboard.
There doesn't seem to be anything solid in the house at all - no brick or stone.
Why does there need to be brick or stone? An all wooden building does better in earthquakes than a masonry building, as one example benefit. Another is that it's cheaper.
I guess there must be no need at all, since Americans are happily building and living in these houses.
It's just so odd to people in countries where you are used to all four walls in every internal room being a foot of solid brick to think you would build houses out of what looks like sticks and not-much-more-than-cardboard. It seems so temporary.
What did the three little pigs teach us?
But as I say this seems to work fine for the Americans so it must be great in practice.
Why would all four walls in every internal room need to be a foot of solid brick? That's so wasteful, and a nightmare for retrofitting with additional utility services. I get that you are used to it, but custom isn't a valid reason for things to be done a certain way. We need to go back to first principles. What's the best way to build a house? Well, in North America, wood is widely available, cheap, and builds a strong house that's resistant to earthquakes. Why would you use anything else? Also keep in mind that farmed wood is carbon neutral, while concrete and bricks are not.
And it's not temporary. Wooden houses will easily last centuries. Given how quickly technology is changing anyway, how long do you really need a house to last? Even one century is probably more than enough. Also consider that the average length of home ownership is 13 years; why does it matter what happens seven owners down the line after you're already dead?
Also, the moral of the three little pigs fairy tale is that hard work and dedication pay off, not that literally brick is the best construction material (it's not).
Well there you go - they're designed to be temporary - a fifth of houses in the UK are a century old or more, so from experience in this country we don't see a century as being 'more than enough' for a building to last and we use brick to achieve that.
They are complete novices and make a lot of mistakes (and are honest about those), so don't take it as an educational channel. :)
I can remember being a kid when he did it; too bad I would never be able to this myself. He's kinda proud that his kid won't have do physical labour anymore, but it makes me sad nevertheless.
Even if the houses were illegal (there's an interesting background on why people takes that risk) the quality of the build and regulations compliance were OK, since the process is the same and done by the same people that builds legal houses.
Now there is a political nightmare around this question, but that's another story.
Or this guy in Bosnia that built a two-story house on top of a residential building.
Ah, it's the Balkans after all.
The old generation of houses has been legalized so the government got a fast influx of money, but a lot of them are ecological disasters and still stand.
Legalization in our case is still a hot topic. There is a local party for people with illegal houses.
At least in some cases, the reason was that paying the fine was quicker and maybe even cheaper than going through the municipal bureaucracy. People would even denounce themselves once the construction was finished.
The town had plenty of land available. Data here:
But unless you owned 1 ha, regulations required an urbanization project. There weren't enough of them to cover a population that doubled in fifty years.
I watch the video about him installing the stairs, and I cringed half the time. The guy is very close to injuring or killing himself.
You can't get shit done when you can't remember how to work.
Source: Moved to the US a couple of years ago and researched a lot of building techniques to be able to work on my own house.
- A poured concrete foundation. (Sometimes blocks are used.)
- Dimensional lumber - spruce/pine/fir cut to standard dimensions for structural members (rafters, studs, joists, posts, beams).
- Engineered lumber - structural lumber that looks like plywood, strandboard, or combinations thereof but is designed to bear significant load in horizontal or vertical structural applications. This stuff lets you build stronger structure in less space than simple dimensional lumber, and there's a huge range of products for different applications.
- Panels - OSB or plywood manufactured panels (typically in 4x8ft sizes) are typically used for roof decks and wall sheathing.
- Housewrap and siding - to seal the exterior against water and air leaks, and provide a nice-looking exterior covering.
- Insulation - because there are nice big cavities inside of a wood-framed wall, that's a natural place to put insulation. Fiberglass is the most common, but foam, cellulose, and rock-wool products are also frequently used.