Home. Its such a personal thing. What it looks like, what it feels like.
How big is it, or how small is it.
Is your home your castle or is it just a place to store all your stuff.
If you had the opportunity to build your own home with a limited budget, how would you prioritise the spend. What must your home have or do in order for it to be your home, your sanctuary.
Let me posit this argument. Every single person on this planet no matter what kind of climate they live in, no matter how affluent or not they are, everyone needs a home. The most basic function of a home must be to provide shelter from inclement weather and security from those who would do us harm. But this needn’t be all a home is. It can be so much more.
What if a home were to keep you warm when its cold outside, WITHOUT the big energy bill. Imagine waking up on a cool winter’s morning with the sun streaming in through your kitchen windows, warming the floor, warming the air. Your home hugs you like a big down jacket with a heat pack stuffed down the front. The temperature is more or less the same in every room, in every corner of the house.
And there is light, not just when it’s a sunny day, but you have thought about what direction the sun comes from and what might obstruct that light, and you have positioned the windows in just the right place so that you needn’t turn a light on so long as its daylight outside. You are exposed to natural light from early in the new day as your serotonin is stimulated and you feel energised and your mood is lifted. You are in tune with the natural rhythms of the day.
With your budget you prioritise quality of the building fabric, over sheer size. Good quality double glazed windows, thick walls with more insulation, low VOC materials and finishes, and of course good passive solar design, which didn’t cost anything extra.
The result is a smaller home than what most people think they can live with. But at 65msq for a one bedroom home, there is everything you need and nothing you don’t. A place for everything, room to move, light and a private outlook. Its all the space you need for the body and the mind.
The mortgage is lower and because the energy bills are so low it is quicker to pay off. A home that works for you so that you can focus on doing what is important in your life. Imagine that?
Set your house in from the property boundaries so that you have some distance from your neighbours and room to move around and enjoy all of your land. Have some space in the sun to grow your own food. Store your own rainwater, generate your own electricity. Your land is expensive, use it to be productive and not just to drain finite resources from the grid. Self-sufficiency is and will be key to our quality of life into the future.
Create your future heritage.