“When you build a home, it’s not just the human beings who gain shelter.”
The Heart of the Home
I’ve been curious about soapstone stoves for a long time, but had ruled out the possibility of owning one because I’d read that they were very expensive. Then, Lars and I walked through the doors of Kootenay Woodstoves. I saw the soft blue hue of the Hearthstone woodstove collection. And we discovered that the price tag for a small soapstone hybrid stove is the same as for a cast iron stove-between $2,500 and $3,000.
Our Mandala is 2,300 sq.ft. , but it is so well insulated,passive solar and energy efficient, we can use a smaller stove , the efficient Tribute, which normally heats up to 1,000 sq.ft.
Your choice in flooring has a major impact on the use and feel of your home.
Think about it, you ‘interact” with your floor every day. The floor is what you feel under your feet when you step out of bed in the morning, it’s what you drag furniture across, it’s the surface that someone spills food on and you clean it every day. Plus, you constantly hear the sound of footsteps on your floor surface as people and/or animals move in the building.
We chose cement floors over a radiant floor heating system in the basement because we want to use that mass for a heat sink. We chose natural stone in the entryway and bathrooms for significant water resistance, ease of cleaning and the feeling of nature. And, we chose cork flooring for the main Mandala, kitchen, master bedroom, study, hallways, stairs and downstairs bedroom. There are many reasons why we went with cork. I list them below with accompanying snapshots.
We built a small round building on the north meadow that is to be used as a guest space, retreat space, rental, or a separate office. This is an ultimate “flex space”! Here’s a short video of the set-up of the building.
It took us 8 hours Continue reading
Home Builders often complain about subcontractors.
They report experiences of arguing, lateness, inefficiency, sticker shock and miscommunication. All of these are costly in terms of money and relationships.
Knowing the potential hazards, at the beginning of this project, we decided to head off possible problems by calling a meeting with the whole group of subcontractors. Continue reading
“It fits like a glove!”
We’ve transported the pre-built wall panels to the site. The smaller 4′ wide walls can sometimes be manually lifted and set into place, but these walls are 6′ wide, insulated with a new product, Roxul Comfort Board a recycled mineral wool. They are well built, heavy and need to be lifted with a crane. Continue reading
“We all have within ourselves a blueprint for just the home that will shelter our spirit.” Victoria Moran
Building a home is like designing and creating a container for your future life. It’s an opportunity to embed meaning, possibility and care for the life and family you are crafting for. It is a powerful and creative experience.
The following suggestions are processes we’ve used in brainstorming, envisioning and designing our home; Continue reading
Looking for land was fun.
Finding the perfect spot was magical.But, now the work begins.
Creating a budget is an important part of the home building process. A budget gives you a form for making your dreams possible. It stimulates an energy called “Structural Tension” which is an important componant of creativity, according the Robert Fritz in his book Creating. Continue reading
How did this all begin?
Well, Lars owns a company , Mandala Homes. He’s been involved in designing and building many homes – green, rectangular, round, timberframe, prefab, site-built, you name it-over the course of 20 years. It was time for him to build another dream home.
Rachel (me) has had a lifelong love/obsession with the topic of Home . I love soulful, meaningful homes and writing. I love connecting with people (you) around topics that are mutually inspiring (we).
Perhaps you are thinking of building a home? Maybe you want to build a Mandala? Perhaps you just love the topics of sustainable building, home design and meaningful shelter? Whatever your interest – Welcome to the adventure of building our Green Round Home!
Here is a slideshow of a variety of Mandala Homes. This gives you a sense of the kind of home we are designing and building. Enjoy the slideshow and … enjoy reading this diary blog about our personal experience of building a round home!