9 Comments to “Updated Expenses to August 5, 2011”

  1. Bob VonMoss

    Aug 9th, 2011

    $17.8k on the roof. Ha Ha. Wow. Is that mostly insulation, vigas or the EDPM stuff?

    Funny. I was just guestimating and though my roof will be under $5k, excluding insulation and the insulation for the thermal wrap would be $35k if I went by Home Depot prices.

    Was the south wall mostly the price of the glass? or was the woodwork more?

    I’m struggling wondering if water in my cistern will freeze when it’s -40 in Mongolia. We just have little holes with pebbles on top. Let’s say the cistern is insulated on the outside. Isn’t any warmth in the water going to escape out the little rainwater catchment. Mike R. always dismisses these concerns, like the water stays pretty warm. A 5,000-10,000 gallon block of ice in our cistern in Mongolia won’t be helpful.

  2. Sandra

    Aug 10th, 2011

    That cost includes the EPDM and insulation which combined was $13,000. There’s about 4000 in skylights and the rest in adhesives, flashing, etc. Our roof area was about 2600 square feet. We never included the cost of the woodwork in the roof or front wall framing; that was all reject wood that we spent ages recovering. The glass was $8,000 and the extruded aluminium system in which we placed the glass, was $4,000. The cost of the thermal wrap insulation was $5K, I believe, which was pretty much our costs until we started the roof, since the tires and dirt were free. Keep in mind, we are building under permit and that always ensures the costs are higher, as people building without permits will build with less and become more experimental in their process (for example, we followed code and installed perimeter drains…many earthship builders don’t bother). Good luck doing a roof for $5K. Even our tiny traditional roof on our current home (600 square feet, cost us about that 10 years ago when trusses, insulation, building paper, tin, screws, flashing, trim, vent holes and caps, etc were factored in)…what are you building out of for the roof? I guess cost is dependant on the size of the roof, too. No idea about the cistern. Perhaps Chris has read more about it.

  3. Guy

    Sep 7th, 2011

    I see that your biggest cost, by far, has been the roof and south wall. I’m just wondering, are you guys using new windows? Do you think recycled/second hand windows might have saved some money there, or would any savings been eaten up by changes to permits/plans/etc. (you’d have to design the wall as you were building it, instead of ordering windows new). Second question, regarding the roof, you guys might look at ‘earthbags’ (similar concept, only it uses dirt filled bags instead of tires). I’ve seen video of a project in Florida that uses tires for any buried walls, but them earthbags and wire framing to form domes for a roof. I haven’t prices these out yet, but I suspect the material might save some funds on roof construction, though my fear is the water-proofing of the roof is the real big cost there, not so much the insulation/structure of the roof. I’m on Van Isle and hoping to start my own earthship in the next couple years, I’d love to come up sometime and have a look at the great work you’ve done! :D

  4. Sandra

    Sep 21st, 2011

    Thought I’d replied already…all new windows. It was way too hard to accumulate used windows as they were pretty hard to come by . And, you have to be prepared to take your time and gather them over time…time became a commodity in itself. We were constrained somewhat by the framing material we had. It was free, needed work and that determined the sizes of the windows to some extent. Would it have reduced the cost to use 2nd hand windows? Absolutely. We had looked at earthbag construction, but not seriously. Once we submitted plans to our building authority we were loathe to throw too much freaky stuff at them. Ours is a relatively traditional style roof and one that, as former builders of log homes, we could visualize. Also, the decking material for our roof was also “free” so that dictated the style somewhat as well. In summary, yes, there are huge potentials for savings on the roof, but the trade off would be time. It has so far been our single biggest cost. Still we are under $60,000 and have moved into the interior to all the finishing. Come up when you want, just check ahead of time sandra@darfieldearthship.com or chris@darfieldearthship.com. Vancouver Island has it’s own issues when it comes to earthships. We have friends who originally thought about an earthship near Duncan but decided to build a cob house instead. (Earthquake issues and a lack of precedent with the design). There are many more cob homes so the building authority is more comfortable. Did you know there is an earthship in Nanaimo? We’ve visited it, but they are quite private folks, so don’t advertise much.

  5. Nicole

    Dec 7th, 2011

    I really appreciate that you are sharing this information. We plan to build in MB possibly as early as 2012. Do you have any estimates on the costs for: Windows/Glass, Solar Panels, Power System, or Water Filtration System?

  6. Chris

    Dec 8th, 2011

    The window cost has been posted on the site … about $12,000.00.

    We have no estimates yet for anything else on your list … we have been pricing items out as we require them.


  7. Kaci

    Jun 29th, 2012

    I was just wondering if you think it would possibly cut down on the costs some to do a Viga/ Latilla roof that is used as a living roof and to have the windows on the south wall made smaller ( I live in a pretty warm climate)?

  8. Chris

    Jul 2nd, 2012

    Our roof essentially uses vigas … we tend to call them timbers around here but I think it is the same difference! Our biggest cost was in insulation for the roof.

    Smaller windows would definitely cut down on the cost … even smaller windows with the same actual amount of window area.

    Our window costs were high because we decided to go with new windows … building with recycled windows would be very cost effective but require some planning and flexibility in layout.

  9. Sandra

    Jul 21st, 2012

    I am not sure if a living roof would be less expensive. Certainly, the glass cost would be less with smaller windows, but then, you’d be framing more and insulating more? The best way to save money is to do all the work yourself (if possible), take your time and use recycled materials, and build small (er)!

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