Mother Earth Living

Readers' Choice: Sweet Home Alabama

This salvaged home in the South is an easy pick for a Natural Home of the Decade.
By Natural Home Staff
May/June 2009
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Guy designed the enormous, open-faced fireplace that heats the home.
Photography By Michael Shopenn

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Made with 85 percent reclaimed materials, the Baker family’s handbuilt Alabama cabin is an easy pick for a Natural Home of the Decade. Guy Baker says his family’s home, which is tucked into the surrounding forest and features several porches and an outdoor dining room, is “a paradise.”

“I wasn’t about to raise three boys who wouldn’t know how to work and get really tired and sweat and bleed. This project turned them into three fine young men. It taught them values and character, respect and responsibility.” —homeowner and builder Guy Baker

Three things we love about this house:
1. Guy Baker collected old wood, tin and other materials from as many as 75 sources; every town in Randolph County, Alabama, is represented.
2. At 1,100 square feet, the Baker home is entirely heated by a wood heat pump.
3. The Baker family hired no outside contractors; they built their home entirely by hand with materials salvaged on-site or from area construction sites.

Read the original Sweet Home Alabama article.

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