Mother Earth Living

Your Natural Home

Creating a cozy hearth for the family

Add to My MSN

Salvaged Homes Introduction

1/17/2012 12:51:09 PM

Tags: Elizabeth Richardson, Phoenix Commotion, Dan Phillips, Texas, salvaged homes, reclaimed materials, housing

Elizabeth RichardsonElizabeth “Neko” Richardson is a licensed counselor in the State of Texas, a veteran, and holds a degree in Environmental Science. She currently lives in Hunstville, Texas, where she is building and designing her own home and studio using reclaimed and salvaged materials on a budget of $16,000 or less. She also works as a carpenter’s apprentice under the mentorship of Dan Phillips. Follow her building progress living experiment in design on her blog, Salvaged Homes.   

My name is Elizabeth Richardson (I go by Neko), and I have been lucky enough to get an apprenticeship with Dan Phillips at the Phoenix Commotion in Huntsville, Texas. Dan Phillips is a innovator in small housing design made from reclaimed and salvaged materials. (See him and the ridiculously creative homes he has built of reclaimed materials here.)

The Tree House 
The Tree House, by Dan Phillips 

My goal is to build a small, artful home made from salvaged materials on a budget of $16,000. I have the property, have begun building, and will write weekly updates on my progress and pitfalls as a novice builder. Teaching others how to build this type of home—so that we can create new a new niche in the housing market of owner-builders, who use creativity, human scale design, sustainability and economic freedom as core values—is also part of my agenda. Showing how human creativity can alchemically transfer what we think of as "junk" into beauty, and featuring the "flaw" will be central to my work. Small buildings, made from reclaimed materials, with original design, full of human gesture and that are inexpensive and easy to build, will be my focus.

My intention for building and writing about this process is to show that other means of living and housing are available to us, and that anyone can build one of these homes if they have a sincere desire. Instead of just making a down payment on a home someone has built for us, we can build our own homes and own them outright. With reclaimed housing, everyone can have the dignity of their own space.

These houses will enable cultural creatives, artists, activists, farmers, craftspeople and dreamers of all types to create a new frontier in America. These salvaged homes will allow us to create new communities populated by people who are doing what they love to do, and can afford to do it with small homes that have no mortgage, using minimal amounts of the Earth’s resources.

We will no longer have to choose between following our dreams and economic stability. These homes will allow us to do both. We will remember that our value is not the square footage of our houses, but the quality of our lives, the quality of our relationships, and the quality of the land we leave to our children.

I’ll be writing again soon.  



Related Content

How to Design With Junk and Work with Reclaimed Materials

Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home...

The Winter of Our Content

Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 20...

Turning Trash Into Affordable Housing

The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build the...

Finding Beauty in the Flaw

Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—an...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.