Archives for August 2012

MULTIMILLION DOLLAR HOMES WITH BIG SURPRISES

Homes with Big Surprises

The specialty features of luxury homes are pretty commonplace: wine cellar, home gym, swimming pool and perhaps an equestrian stable. Yet for some of the most exclusive addresses, there are distinctive features that set them apart from the rest.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com reached out to its network of real estate professionals throughout the country to find some of the most compelling homes on the market listed for upwards of a million dollars — in many of the following cases, far north of a million.

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My Earthship in New Brunswick

canada wayne fowler earthship

This is a 2 story, 2000 sq/ft home being built just outside of Saint John, New Brunswick into a south sloping rock cliff. It is the first home in NB to have a structural engineered sanctioned and stamped tire wall, it is also the first house to have a collected potable rainwater and a signed off indoor grey water system from the department of heath. The home will also feature a certified composting toilet called the phoenix (http://www.compostingtoilet.com/).

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Casting a documentary about people moving Off the Grid

I’m a casting producer for Leopard Films in NYC and we are casting a new documentary in which we want to profile people who are moving “Off the Grid”.

In a perfect world, we’d like to document your move from Suburbia to off the grid in order to live off the wild, build your own homes, to be safe, and healthy.

We’d love to document the journey of moving in while your family is building your new home from scratch or just moving into new property. It can also be a situation where you are just developing it as a 2nd home as well. This documentary will be aimed at showing what the pros are for doing this life change.

For details, email me at joepinzone@leopardfilms.com. Thanks!

 

Joe Pinzone

Ithaca New York Build – Week 3, Day 13

This is the 3rd and final week with the Earthship Biotecture crew from New Mexico and all of the wonderful apprentices.  I’m pretty sad that it will be over in a week… the camaraderie, teamwork, fun times, and the speed of our house being worked on!  I’ll try to enjoy and take in every moment this week!

 

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 12

Battery box

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 11

A lot is happening inside now, as the roof and berm are finished.  A few people are finishing off the entryway (plastering) and a group of people are concentrating on the back doorway, where we’re having a patio.  Inside, there is still a lot of pipes and tubes for plumbing being placed, and the can walls are rising!

   Another big highlight of today is that the solar panels went up!    

 

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 10

 

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 9

We’re now at Day 9 out of the 18 workdays we’ll have the crew and apprentices.  Halfway!  Yet we are about a week ahead of schedule because everyone here is working so hard, so well together, and really knows what they’re doing.  Plus Chad and I work until after 9:00pm making sure everything is ready for the next workday.  The house looks so cool when you drive by us, and all of the little exterior details are getting finished before everybody moves inside!  Today the interior glass went in, more parts of the roof boxes were flashed, the wing tire walls were packed out, the thermal wrap met the roof, and the outside of the stem wall got insulated.  The back two doorways were added, and we started the bottle work around these.  Kelley finished the bottle work around that front circular window, and it looks so beautiful.  Inside, more footers were dug, and the other two bedrooms were strung up.  Chad and Lou bought a lot of plumbing parts at Lowes again today.  I ended the afternoon with a trip to Chateau Dusseauin Locke, NY, because my new friend Levi said there were a lot of bottles there they could give me.  I think I left with around 600!  Thanks Levi and Robert!

 

battery charging station!

 

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 8

Today we chipped away at more plumbing inside the house, more digging of wall and doorway footers, and finishing screwing the roofing and fastening the flashing to the ventilation boxes.  I was really excited when they started opening the boxes of our greenhouse slanted glass!  Brian, Nick, Osmany, Rob, Smiley and maybe more that I didn’t see carried over and installed all of our exterior glass today!  It looks more and more like a house every day!  

 

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Ithaca New York Build – Week 2, Day 7

Today began week 2 with the crew from New Mexico.  Michael Reynolds had to leave Sunday for some family business, but crew member Taylor and his girlfriend Stephanie came in his place!  We also welcomed several new apprentices as well as several returners.

     Today all of the cedar planks went up on the greenhouse wall, so the next step should be the glass!  Chad and Lou, our plumber, went to Lowes together this morning to figure out what kinds of parts we’d need with our plans for placement of bathroom sinks and toilets and showers.  Meanwhile, some more trenches were dug today for the blackwater travel, as well as our back door airlock.  A lot happened on the roof today!  They first finished installing the double-layer of 4-inch insulation boards, and then screwed in 1×4 purlins with 12 inch screws reaching all the way through to the vigas!  Toward the bottom of the slanted roof we placed a few strands of pex tubing that the solar hot water tank will pump hot water through in the winter to aid in snow melt for water catchment.  After this task, we began the final layer of the roof: the metal!    At the end of the day, my sister surprised us and showed up with an anniversary cake, brownies, my favorite ice cream, and champagne!  Thanks Cait, it was a really special celebration!  Then we went out to eat with a gift card my mom insisted we use tonight, despite how much is on our minds in the middle of this build!  Of course that was followed by a trip to Lowes for screws and spray-foam insulation, and two stops to a couple restaurant/bars to check out their bottle recycling situation (we are now in need of clear wine bottles!)

 

My car last night filled with bags and bags of much-needed cans!

 

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