Earth Sheltered Timeline, 2006 thru 2011
2006: Started seriously thinking about and researching the idea of more sustainable living (Earth Sheltered Origins) and started discussing it with my wife… She liked the idea, so the research got more serious.
2007: Shared the idea with my friends, I am sure a few thought it was wacky, but not many said so, and a few were down right encouraging. Some how, it is all more serious when you say it out loud. But life got in the way, I lost most of my nest egg, then the crash of 2008 cost me my home equity… Plans went on hold, but the research continued (the library is free).
2008: Books, books and more books. I read 28 in 2008. With all that reading combined with my own engineering and management degrees, I decided that, If I ever overcame my deplorable lack of experience, I could probably write my own book when this is all done. I started taking notes, book summaries, etc. I started working on early plans for the house…
2009: I decided that the financial crash could be a good thing if I bought land before the market bounced back. (and here is a link to my suggestions for anyone else looking for land). We spent the whole summer driving around and looking at properties. Wow, that was tiring. Eventually, we found a great piece of land for a great price, and tossed in a very low ball offer, they agreed… Meanwhile, work progressed on the house design.
2010: More reading and working on the house plans… We decided to flip the whole design around to take advantage of the site. This included taking advantage of the easier driveway access to the south and the nice view to the north east and required major changes to the passive solar earth sheltered design). I also planted hundreds of trees. This was long before my website, so I didn’t manage to write down as much of this as I should have.
Since I never took care of the “tree story” elsewhere on this site, I will sneak it in here. I had ordered several hundred trees from our county conservation authority for about $80. I called and asked how big the trees were and the guy told me they were 3 years old… I imagined them being in at least a 1 gallon bucket each and did some quick math… Wow, I was going to need some help. My brother-in-law bugged his boss to get permission to use a big van and trailer, both of which he had to empty and clean out first. When we got to the county fair grounds to pick up the trees, we discovered that they were bare root trees in bundles of 25 or 50 and all fit in a single garbage bag that I could hold in 1 hand… Oops, over prepared. Here is a pic of Sherri holding a couple bundles. The only person not laughing was my brother-in-law.
2011: more reading and house plans… More land taxes to pay. Washtenaw is an expensive county, plus the our share of the cost to repave the private road… Ouch.