The Economics of Home Ownership (Part 1)

The thought of actively engaging in the building of one’s own home is surely gratifying. What’s more is that you don’t have to be an engineer, architect or general contractor to be involved in the building of your home.

As is outlined in The Hand-Sculpted House, time, skill, and money are largely interchangeable and we have control of what proportions of each we supply. Of course, determination is the fourth ingredient, and without it you can’t succeed. To obtain a home you will need one of these combinations:

Even with minimal skill and savings it is possible to obtain a home if you have the time and determination. And natural building offers plenty of options for stretching your savings. Raw, largely unprocessed materials are nearly always more affordable than highly processed foreign materials, and applying creative economics to a building project – practicing frugality, starting small, planning ahead, using what’s available, involving friends and family, salvaging materials from building sites, to name a few – are essential for those wishing to avoid a suffocating life-long mortgage.

If you are one of those “dreamers”, thinking there must be a better way to a roof over your head, then hopefully this will give you some inspiration. The skills to build a home can be learned through workshops and helping out with projects your friends or family have underway is a great way to gain experience. Whether the project is large or small, getting your hands dirty is the first step in building the confidence you will need; this is where the rubber meets the pavement.

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