....................................Sumner's Home Page.......
.............................My Ex-Wyoming House
I build this house in Wyoming when I was very broke (still am) in two parts. The smaller part (slab exterior walls) about 800 square feet was built for less than $4000.00 and that included the septic system. To keep the cost this low I built the entire house, elect., plumbing, septic, etc.. My only cost for outside help was $35 to have a guy dig the leach field and the hole for the septic tank. I also had a well drilled for about $1000. About 10 years later I added an addition (native sawn lumber for the exterior walls) for about $10,000 that almost doubled the size and gave us a green house.
The house was made of native lumber, slabs for the exterior (free) and was of pole construction with a 1 1/2 inch concrete slab floor that floated on piers above the ground. The ground was dug up loose where the floor would be and then I dug holes through the loose dirt back to the solid dirt underneath on a 30 inch grid pattern. The concrete was mixed in with pea gravel and poured. Later the loose dirt settled and the floor remained where it was on the piers (holes I dug) resulting in an air space under the floor. The floor was back about 1 1/2 inches from the perimeter walls of the house. In the middle of the floor was a lowered section for the wood/coal burning stove. Cold air would drop off the walls and return to the stove under the floor (for this reason it is called a no-draft floor). The floor was insulated somewhat from the ground with this air space and wasn't cold to your feet.
I hauled in all the sand and gravel and mixed all the concrete for the house in a 1/2 bag mixer. The house was insulated with about 5 tons ($50) of wood shavings and saw dust from a local stud mill. The walls had 10 inches of wood shavings in them and the ceiling had 16 inches. No electrical wires ran through the saw dust, but were in a base board I routed out on the back side for the wire. I heated the house with a stove I built that burnt either coal or wood for about $75 a winter and that is in Wyoming with 20 and 30 degree below days.
The original part of the house had only one square corner and all the ends here hexagonal. The addition was built into a south facing hill (all excavation was done by me and by hand with just a shovel and wheelbarrow) and featured a green house and a dark room. This provided a lot of winter heat and we had fresh salads when it was below zero outside. If I remember right I moved about 45 tons of dirt by hand. Stupid, but cheap.
All the materials for the house were hauled in with 1FATGMC. Of course it looked different then.
The house was on 20 acres about 13 miles out of Sheridan, Wyoming with a view of the Big Horn Mountains. Over the years I had pigs, chickens horses, donkeys and milked a Jersey Cow (Easter) for 8 years.
I wish I still had the house, but further south like where I am now in Utah. Hope you enjoyed the tour.