Best Places to Live: Scenic Byways

As a young man, I traveled across Nebraska on Highway 20 that parallels the main east-west interstate across the state. It’s very beautiful country. The scenic byway was far more interesting than the interstate which I had traveled many times … Continue reading →

Minimal “Owner-Built Code” in Cochise County, Arizona

Hi Owen, I plan to build in Cochise County, Arizona and they have what they call an “Owner Built” building permit program (for rural residential dwellings) that does not require regular inspections, etc. Owners can build pretty much anything they … Continue reading →

Better to Buy Inferior/Degraded Land Rather than Have No Land

Most people who want to build a sustainable homestead look for the perfect piece of land with good soil for their garden. The trouble is, the most productive land is locked up in profitable farms that’s typically not for sale, … Continue reading →

Q&A: Choosing Land for Off-Grid Living

When buying land, natural builders are faced with one of their biggest challenges trying to decide: what area is best?, how much to spend?, what will I need?, what about codes? It helps to hear firsthand advice from people actually … Continue reading →

Area in Wisconsin with Few or No Codes

The following comment left by a reader got me thinking about publishing a few blog posts about areas in the US with few or no building codes that allow do-it-yourself alternative building with earthbags, straw bales and local wood, and … Continue reading →

Restoring Degraded Land

Urban areas have strict building codes that often make it difficult and costly to build with natural materials. Good rural land is expensive and hard to come by. So where can you live? Pinyon-juniper scrub land is very abundant, cheap … Continue reading →