LESLIE: Mike in Florida, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
MIKE: Well, I’ve got some questions about earth-covered homes.
MIKE: And several. But in general – I don’t know how much – how many questions you want me to ask (Tom and Leslie chuckle) but in general …
TOM: Well, let’s start with why are you considering an earth-covered home?
MIKE: Well, we’re going to move to – eventually we have an 80-acre family farm in Oklahoma.
MIKE: And so we thought, for one, tornado protection.
MIKE: And for two, utility savings.
MIKE: And just because, you know, we’ve lived in conventional homes all of our lives …
MIKE: … and are kind of interested in it.
TOM: And that’s the biggest reason. Because you can get a good, well-insulated home and you can get one that stands up to tornadoes by using conventional construction. But if you just are interested in it because it’s going to be a unique, unusual home then that’s terrific. I mean the earth is a good insulator and I have seen some earth homes and they are very attractive. It’s always interesting to be able to mow your roof, you know? (Leslie and Mike chuckle) This is something that you can’t do everyday.
MIKE: No, or you could have goats, I guess. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: I guess you could. That’s right. I guess you could. Now, what’s your question?
MIKE: Is there any – like can it be built – is Oklahoma a fairly decent place to do it? I know that in Florida I was told that it was – you know, the water level was too close to the ground sources to do it here. And – at least where we’re at. And that was my question. And you know, the land in Oklahoma is pretty flat. I guess that would probably make it easier. You know, we just – some general construction questions.
TOM: You know, Mike, earth homes are very, very popular in Texas. So I see no reason why they wouldn’t work well in Oklahoma. There’s actually several types of earth buildings, though, that you might want to consider. There’s rammed earth. There’s poured earth, which is similar to concrete homes. And then there’s earth bag. There’s a good website that will give you a good overview of earth homes and earth-building techniques and it’s called GreenHomeBuilding.com. GreenHomeBuilding.com.
TOM: That would probably be a good place for you to start investigating this. And you know, I certainly congratulate you on wanting to do something that’s environmentally responsible.
MIKE: Thank you very much.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.