My husband and I have decided that our first building project will be an earthbag shed (or tea house if one is grand about it). This will serve as our construction shed: a place for a bed, while other needs (such as a shower and a rudimentary kitchen) will be on the veranda. So we will “camp” on the land while we build. It will be a very tiny space. (I will also be building an earth oven, since my plan to import a solar oven would cost me $161 shipping PLUS duty for a $225 oven. It is NOT cheap to live here.)
We have been reading a lot about the “tiny house” movement and it will be an interesting experiment for us. But not completely unfamiliar, since for years we camped in a tiny camping trailer on vacations. You can read more tiny house stuff here: Tumbleweed Tiny Homes.
The “big” house itself will be a spiral, built around an open courtyard. From a bird’s eye view the floor plan closely mimics a Nautilus shell. We are excited about building this, although it will be a huge project. We plan to build using earthbags on a rubble trench foundation with a floating concrete footer. Since we live in a highly seismic environment, this seems the best plan for our shaky land. Building the tiny tea house (aka: shed) will be the beginner project where we cut our teeth.