I built this house to be energy efficient, before many even gave thought of most of the ideas I implemented into this house. My first plan was to find a lot that had a hill and faced southerly. I built the house into the hill and had 4 sliding doors facing south, to take advantage of passive solar radiation. I usually do not require heat during the daylight time on sunny days in the winter. By building into the hill the natural warmth of the ground does two things. It never goes below 55 degrees so that is the point where I start heating. In the summer the same ground 55 degrees helps keep it cool. If one can notice by the picture I have a 4’ overhang. By studying the suns angles I correctly figured that its lower angle in the winter and all the trees loosing leaves would allow maximum sun light into my house. The 4’ overhand shades the sun in the summer due to its higher angle. Situated in the center is my fieldstone chimney wood stove and separate fireplace. The mass of the 16” thick fieldstone absorbs heat from the wood stove and radiates heat long after the stove has burned out. Plus heating up the flue and stone also radiates heat to the upstairs as well. So actually the walk in is where most people have cellars but I have oak floors and plastered walls, just like everybody else. The next concept was to limit windows facing north (Greatest heat loss exposure). All exposed walls were built with 2/6 with high R ridged Styrofoam insulation, and insulated with R19, giving me an r value (Walls) R26, Twice the r-value of all 2/4 framed homes today, Attic ceiling R38. All windows were double glazed Andersons. Even before double-glazing was required by code 6 years latter. I hand built this house with very little help. It took a year using all my spare time to do it. In fact I slept in a tent there while building it. I personally stick built it including all plumbing, (heating 3 zones FHW) wiring, masonry. Excavation and landscaping, Hung the blue board, but the only two sub contractors I hired was the plasterer and well company. From time to time, I had advice with the plumbing, heating, and wiring aspects of it, but I did all the work. The boiler, not a builder special, but a cast iron boiler with a heat retention and automatic damper, to keep in the heat longer, the most efficient way to do it back in 1977. When I moved in the week before Christmas the bench saw was still setup in the kitchen. My wife Ellen pregnant, and my first daughter Kim 2 days after Christmas, Even all the moving I did by myself, as my wife’s condition could not Lift anything. To the right of the picture: Two years later I built the foyer porch entrance with Ellen’s sewing room above and the two car garage. The window above is a greenhouse window, already started the garden’s seedlings. Two years ago I finished over the garage into a 3 room apt for my daughter to stay, including a full kitchen bath Living room and bedroom, separate electrical panel and FHA by oil Heating system. It took almost every spare hour to complete about 4 months. Not shown in the picture is the family room added to the back with the screen porch and pool area. The family room (1985) was a difficult task. It took the entire Labor day weekend to sledge hammer through the foundation wall to create the opening for the stair way. Also in the family room is my second wood stove, where I built a two-flue masonry chimney floor to ceiling cobble stonewalls and blue stone hearth. A third wood stove is in the cellar and used occasionally to heat my workshop. Over the years I have built most of my furniture, like the dinning room table and hutch. I also have refinished old wooden iceboxes and hoosier. I have many older furnishings I have redone. Over a period of time I have redone all the tile work and remodeled my kitchen in 1997, to reflect the more modern look, and my wife hated the dark walnut cabinets. Last summer I stripped and replaced the roof, all 40 squares. It is possible for one to completely build there own house. Imagine, there has never been a complaint about a contractor. Disclaimer, there was another subcontractor, the concrete form guys.