I know what you might be thinking, especially if you are a professional contractor, architect, construction worker, carpenter, handyman/woman or just another creative fool, like myself. I have always had my hands on something in the making, and it is not always my art. Not to underestimate the importance of creating art, which I love eternally.
I have always seen myself building my own home. But, there are some things I would never attempt to do. Electrical, and plumbing are on top of this list. I could put in a light fixture, but would prefer not to mess with anything that could send me to the other realm in a scary second.
Same goes for super-heavy labor. I used to think I could lift stones and shovel dirt with the best of them, but at this stage in my life, I am thinking I do not need to kill myself digging ditches. Pouring a concrete foundation falls into this category, and I am not sure it is the way to go for the kind of terrain we live in. Seems everyone has foundation issues in the Gulf Coast area.
I am getting way ahead of myself, but love to dream of my life goals. We want to buy land/acreage a bit north of the city. We used to take an hour's drive out to small, rural areas... lots of rolling pastureland with patches of trees here and there. Would love to not see my neighbors, unless they are invited over.
I imagine having enough land to spread out a bit... build a little separate casita for someone to stay a while. I see a large veggie garden, some farm animals - chickens, for sure, and my dogs running freely, with some sort of fence surrounding part of the property to keep them safe. I see wooded areas with wildlife, a stream moving through, and a peaceful, panoramic view from our back porch - my spacious, well-lit studio extending from some part of the house.
I see a couple of wind turbines, some solar panels, a water catchment system with an underground tank, a greywater garden and whatever else may help this "off-the-grid" plan come to fruition. I would love the home to be totally sustainable.
Over the past few years, I have drawn multiple plans of how this home would be/feel. I have seen an open living space, some sort of fireplace or wood stove, two bedrooms, one office and two bathrooms, all fitting comfortably within less than 1500 sq.ft, including my studio.
I do want cost-effective, safe and green products to make my home. I have looked at so many ideas, and almost everyone of them seemed the best choice at some point. Adobe, SIPs, rammed earth, aerated concrete blocks, strawbale, papercrete, earthbags and one of my latest favorites - plastic bottle construction. I am amazed at the strength and beauty of this kind of building. The possibilities are endless.
Perhaps my writing this will somehow make it more real. Just putting it out into the Universe, or to that wealthy, generous donor... whoever you are. I do know this, sometimes, an artist needs to take a break from her current body of work and envision her dreams. Dreaming from the heart.