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We Create - Why we need handbuilt homes

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The benefits of handbuilt homes: affordability, a way to end homelessness, a way to build stronger communities, and heal people. For the second part of this 2-part documentary on building codes please visit: https://youtu.be/aDHE3WnBQr0 Feel free to contact me at www.caricorbetowen.com
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Text Comments (44)
Lisa Cowan (4 months ago)
thank you thank you thank you - been toiling with angst over how to begin building a better life for many - have now signed up for a natural building week long workshop, in South Africa I believe this knowledge can dramatically inspire hope amongst my people living in tinshacks.
Cari Corbet-Owen (4 months ago)
Thanks Lisa, the funny thing about this is that South African living in rural areas have been building safe 'n sturdy 'rondawels' for centuries. Sadly though, when they move to the cities tin shacks become the new 'norm.' Have fun at that workshop!
Frankie Bargas (1 year ago)
Thats awesome sign me up :)
glück & so (1 year ago)
jbench27 (1 year ago)
can you build cob in idaho?
Mimi B (1 year ago)
im amazed how many "grown-ups" need this 'permission' to not only 'build' something but just get their hands muddy & 'play' in the dirt....lol, tell that to a 3 year old and they will usually think thats just goofy/nuts
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
You're so right Mimi - we all loved to play in the mud when we were little....now we're all too 'ground up' but the good thing is that we easily remember how love of mud when given the chance!~
Mimi B (1 year ago)
the self sufficientcy revolution is FINALLY really taking off, its a domino effect now! seeing the momentum building with no stopping possible any longer, seeing how empowering it is to, is so very inspiring 'hippies' started allot but there were so many revolutions they set off had been put on the socieyal backburner for a bit...well time to light those fires!!!!!!!!!
Destinee Wright (1 year ago)
I really enjoyed this video! I was planning on entering one of those 30 yr mortgages after I graduate but not anymore. I'll do this instead.
Truth Detector (11 months ago)
Good conclusion, that thirty year mortgage rules your life until your debt free. Find somewhere where you can build as you pay. Own it outright from day one, even if you live in a camper till you get it done.
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
Yay! If this documentary series saves even 1 person from being a 30-year mortgage slave then I succeeded!!!! If you haven't already, please make sure you also watch the follow up: https://youtu.be/aDHE3WnBQr0
Cathy Anderson (1 year ago)
Eastern Europe and parts of Europe have what is called "cancer zones" because they trust their dowsers and have had so many people die in those areas you are not allowed to built there - at any cost. That phrase "at any cost" seems to be foreign to America. You couldn't pay me to live on a Sha line - I don't know how you could ground it - although the latest and greatest says using cork board or copper spirals under the bed can ground it. Who wants to chance it? it's why I always dowse. You may be interested in Raymon Grace's youtube channels. He's on youtube in various places, and you can learn to dowse by yourself just listening. He also has "Letter to Robin" which has various charts on it as ways of measuring energy. Also I have never heard of Ley Lines referred to as negative energy, there are many lines if you look into it. Curry Lines, Hartman lines, it goes on and on. It is quite fascinating - and the more you get into it, you realize how little you know. Unless you go to school for 5 years in Feng Shui. I still think they don't have the whole picture. Plus their medicine wheel is not part of my view of life, I work under a completely different medicine wheel and their astrology is differently-based than ours in the West. How does that work? It's confusing and complicated. I just know if the cat sleeps there you should be wary. Sometimes it's just comfy but most of the time it's super high bad energy and cats love it. Looks for twisted or distorted trees, like our apple tree where one side of the top is just dead, then about 50 ft away a maple with a split trunk, and an elm next to it that is dying. That's not an accident. I have worked for years on this property and learned bc of it. It used to be everything I planted just died. Now we have a nursery so there's a lot to it. I think you have to find out which viewpoint fits your own, and you are comfortable with it - it speaks to you. Blessings on your efforts - it's a huge and fascinating field.
Cathy Anderson (1 year ago)
Houses in the old days even in America used to be dowsed. Or people would use sheep and see if the would rest at night to check for "Sha" lines which are either earthquake lines, or underground dark water, or water crosses. It was not done to build a house especially a bedroom over a Sha line. Only cats, hornets, oak trees, wasps, etc can live over those high lines. They will kill people over time. They are called Cancer Zones in Eastern Europe still today because dowsers were pulled in to find the lines. You are not allowed to build in those zones. In America people are so desperate they will buy anything in their price range even though their kids won't sleep in the cribs or beds, and dogs won't sleep there. They won't. Animals are smarter than us because they didn't disconnect. Only humans disconnected. Our home was built in 1920 there's still a chimney for the woodstove to cook on here. It's why nothing would grow on the land. It kills fruit trees. Very few trees - oaks come to mind actually will live over crossing black lines and are frequently hit by lightning. It's a fascinating research study. Kathe Bachler spent her life as a dowser working with doctors and cancer patients and found 100% of the patients were sleeping over "Sha" lines. Money should not be leading us. If you're an Athiest, great - respect Mother Earth, those are her accupuncture lines where she releases toxic energy. As someone with fibromyalgia, I have had years to study this and on land where nothing would grow that we planted, my sons now have a nursery, and everything thrives. If it isn't, we know the issue: get the copper wire and make staples and ground the line. It should stop the weeds. It does work.
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
Cathy this is such an interesting topic.  I once went to a talk by a dowser and what we didn't know was that when we entered the room was that he'd dowsed it and put stickers under the chairs that were over what he called 'lei lines'.  And it was totally fascinating....I walked in and sat down, and just didn't feel comfortable in that space, so I moved to another chair and landed up moving from there too....both of those chairs when we were later asked to turn all the chairs over were ones he'd marked.
StarSeed (1 year ago)
Agenda 21, being self sufficient is punishable by death.
B uppy (1 year ago)
Cari, did you make this video?
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
Exactly! Yay for you. I love the principles of Permaculture - makes total sense to me:)
B uppy (1 year ago)
I feel similarly. I am going back to school to study permaculture/ regenerative agriculture because in my area resiliency is a big issue. Permaculture has come to mean broader things. That includes alternative building as a form of problem solving. And I also like plants. 🐱
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
Glad you found them helpful. I made these because natural building is a passion of mine anti was my way of giving back to the community that is so important to me. But it took almost 3 years to complete them from start to finish. I do have other videos, but on my other passions - you can find them on my youtube channel. In my day job, I'm an author, speaker and health guide. So I study the health habits of centenarians and help people stay out of the healthcare system by learning how to fire up their own internal pharmacy without having to pay for medications . So while I'm not doing any more natural building videos at the moment, I'm about to start posting a whole lot of videos sharing what I've learned about staying out the medical system; and also how NOT to automatically buy into what everyone else in society is doing. PS.... there are so many ways that natural buidling is a health enhancer which I've seen first hand. I guess it's just my natural bent to always be swimming upstream from what our cultural dictates are be it housing or health and encouraging people to follow what THEY want endnote what our SOCIETY tells them they should be doing.
B uppy (1 year ago)
Didn't realize that before. Very nice video! Good perspective. Do you have any other videos beyond these two?
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
yes -this one and the follow up
Jim Sadler (1 year ago)
I am astounded at the way towns and cities will fight to stop creative housing. From the cities point of view the higher the price of a dwelling the more tax they can collect. Poor folks who move five miles out of town and build all kinds of tiny shacks any way they can frequently have their entire communities plowed under by the governments. The cops also tend to harass these make shift communities under the excuse that some of these folks use drugs etc.. If society fails to provide housing for all of the poor then my view is that the counties and cities have no right to regulate those that try to help themselves.
Cari Corbet-Owen (1 year ago)
And the hours and hours of 'official meetings' to 'solve the housing crisis goes around and around because we couldn't possibly think about truly creative solutions.
Winter Star (2 years ago)
We ARE in trouble, if we keep doing the same old things, expecting better results. It's all gotten far too complicated. Not even inspectors can grasp all the rules, nor can permitting agents. PLEASE keep making more of these videos!!!! People are increasingly disenfranchised, unwilling to apply for permits from crooked, broken, power-crazed systems. Why should I trust officials who refuse to allow me to live in a well-engineered yurt? Why trust officials who refuse to allow me to build off-grid cob, earthship, or earthbag houses, without forcing those to be built to Codes that only fit for stick-built houses? WHY trust officials who cannot agree on what a good job of building is, or vary between "you need 3 outlets under that window" and "you only need one outlet under that window, IDK why the other guy said you needed 3"......and more? How about home inspectors who routinely MISS egregious damages in a house someone is buying, then play dumb? [One even tried to convince me this house was 2x6 construction--it most certainly is not--it's cheap 2x4s with mingy insulation and trampoline floors with a leaky roof. But it was bought in summer, so they couldn't _swear_ that the roof leaked...so it was not on their report. Inspectors I spoke with, dodged putting anything on a report that might ruin the sale of the property. Septic industry has gotten mandated their engineered, guaranteed-to-fail systems...even though far better can be done using natural systems, which keep sewage totally aerobic and clean, so it cannot pollute ground and water. Or house flippers that routinely COVER/HIDE major defects in houses sold? Trampoline floors [2x8's spanning 15'], badly installed showers that if used, will rot the house; paint hiding failed drywall from roof leaks, slanted floors, bad wiring, sockets, and mains panels, etc. Installing quick, cheap materials that look good, but are highly toxic with VOC's. Realty Industry is a lipstick-on-a-pig _RACKET_, so cleverly patched together, each entity, from repo-lenders to flippers, realtors, and inspectors, can get away with saying: "I didn't know anything about _______". But really? They _ALL_ knew something, but covered up dangerous issues, including wiring, plumbing, siting, air quality, poor framing, leaking roofs, etc. One place we saw, had a laundry hookup box installed in the wall, with water plumbed to it, but no drainage outlet anywhere...the realtor for that one, got lividly angry when I asked if that would be fixed before a buyer bought it, denying that problem existed...same realtor played games to trick buyers, to pump prices, by claiming "Oh! another buyer just put money down...but don't worry...they always fail...". One magic code is: when an assessor returns to the signing table to tell the buyer "you have $30K of instant equity...do you want a 2nd?" That clues the buyer, IF they are savvy, that is exactly how much, MINIMUM, is needed to repair the big-ticket infrastructure in the house the buyer just signed for....but none will tell the buyer. Here's your keys. IT's RAMPANT in SW WA. Probably elsewhere, too. Thurston County, WA, PERMITTED a huge sewage pit [aka agricultural pond], for the Ostram Mushroom farm, up-close and personal to existing tracts of homes, a school, businesses, and a sports park. That's a 24/7 operation to make compost to grow their mushrooms-----very good......except.... that pit FREQUENTLY spreads SEWER GASSES all over at least 1.5 mile radius, depending on where the winds are blowing. The realtor told us, upon a visit here: "You _might_ notice an _occasional_, _slight_ odor from the farm next door".....well, there's _NOTHING SLIGHT, NOR OCCASIONAL_, about it. It's SEWER GASSES everyone's exposed to. Sulfurous, as well as other noxious gasses. Hard to breath, smarts the eyes, triggers nausea and dizziness. Thurston County PERMITTED THAT some years ago. Then....The 1st year, our property taxes were raised THREE times....maybe because we kept the yard mowed? Put a new roof on? The Air Quality Board refused to respond to my emails. The Mushroom farm refused to respond to my emails. County has yet to respond to communications. I told all of them: 'We like mushrooms, the farm, and that they compost-----only, they need to do something drastically different, to contain, or relocate the cesspit for their manures for their composting'. I included some constructive suggestions to remedy that cesspit. It's MALFEASANT, on the part of all involved in stifling owner/builders, stifling natural and energy efficient, cost efficient building, stifling simplifying, stifling creativity. Raising taxes through the roof if people make their places nice. _So.... officials wonder why growing numbers of people lose respect or trust...?!?_ _Or stop seeking permits?_ _Maybe they need to listen to this some more_.
Truth Detector (11 months ago)
Well, that was alot but I agree, my second home, a cute little ranch in Ohio built in1970's, bought 1985, passed the building inspection but two years later, the slider fell out of the frame and almost crushed my 4 yo. On a crawl, the seal plates weren't treated and moisture had rotted them and the ends of floor joist on the full length of the rear of the ranch. The rest of the homes in this subdivision did likewise, about 15 years after construction. I fixed the problem myself and put drain tile to street, hand dug and not code, but was able to sell with no equity after 5 years. So not a good investment. I went on to one more mortgage in IL, nice home in great community, divorce 10 years later, equity $39 after closing cost. Stress of owning home and raising kids, alot to do with failed marriage, but not all.
Cari Corbet-owen (1 year ago)
Nothing like the wonder of miracles - so happy for you.
Cathy Anderson (1 year ago)
I listen to the little voice. When I found this place the owner opened the door and said I knew it was you the second I opened the door. The Universe told me you were coming - and I have 14 people bidding the house. It was sold to us during the time the housing crash happened in 2008. We got a house, sold on a private contract by a woman who is like a sister to me. It's been one miracle after another.
Cathy Anderson (1 year ago)
that was Einstein's definition I think of insanity: keeping doing the same things and expecting a different result. You'd have to check me on that - I think it was Albert Einstein, and it is insanity nonetheless
Winter Star (1 year ago)
Medical? maybe we should kibitz! I have some interesting experience with that..some stuff that might curl your toenails. And definitely...old people who live to ripe old ages, sans most medical interventions, yet choosing poorly out of need or choice, poor foods, bad habits, etc...yet they are still on the green side of the grade, despite all their poor choices in life...go figure!
Winter Star (2 years ago)
I have always _LOVED_ this! But, have been prodded down other paths during this life. KUDOS to those who have had the guts to buck the crooked systems, and just do this stuff! NOW, I'd really like to do something like this, but...how? [financially, Code-wise, etc?] PNW, SW WA It absolutely _IS_ something that is built-into our genes somehow...I've been driven to design self-sufficient semi-underground homes since I was a little kid digging in the dirt, formulating how to make it self-sustaining in all ways. One of the biggest challenges I've observed over the past 50+ years, is growing official obstruction to doing different things like this; it's hard to find localities that ALLOW people to build odd, organic houses and live in them un-harassed, completely off-grid. Our homes should take care of us for life; encourage life and creativity. Living things have beauty, and joy in living...organic houses have that. Being empowered to build your own house, feeds the deepest parts of our souls. It's stultifying, depressive and _inhumane_, to live in costly, ever-falling apart houses that force us to take costly, frequent, maintenance of those, or reduced to paying ever-increasing rents, mortgages, taxes, etc.. Houses should last a very very long time, not fall apart in a few decades, nor require costly annual maintenance.
Cathy Anderson (1 year ago)
When I took my Permaculture course the advice offered was just don't say anything about it unless you have to. Just do it anyway. Living roofs, living walls, grey water, permaculture toilets. A good permaculture toilet with one person living there should have no smell at all. Just be quiet about it.
Cari Corbet-Owen (2 years ago)
Hello Winter Star...I gather you live in the Pacific North West in South West Washington? You ask 'how do you do this'? The way I've done it is to build many many small structures like pizza ovens, benches, sitting places, chicken coops etc... and then built a cottage in a very remote location and then another small shed in my garden which I simply LOVE to spend time in. I also know of people who have built their own cob home in Snohomish country who have then had it retrospectively inspected (after they were told to tear it down and had to get engineers and plans involved) and approved. I also know of plenty people who have just built and made sure they are friends with their neighbors because the truth is building inspectors don't go out looking for illegal structures - in almost all cases where people have had problems it's been because someone has reported them. It's just sad that something so beautiful with such potential to solve so many problems is 'illegal'.
Manus McManus (2 years ago)
another great video
Manus McManus (2 years ago)
yeah,thats why i think your videos are hugely beneficial,in terms of telling 'that story'.Often times in we only get some of the reasons why to build low impact,natural etc and only when we get the full picture does it really make sense.Thanks again,i think these videos will be very important for use within the natural,sustainable and alternative building movements.
Cari Corbet-Owen (2 years ago)
Thank you so much Manus - I really feel this kind of building had benefits that go waaaaay beyond just creating a shelter
Karima Osmani (2 years ago)
This makes me want to cry, it is so beautiful. Thank you Cari for your time, researches, talents and efforts, thank you for your generosity. It is simple, this documentary should be compulsory. Drop the news papers, get out of the rat race, concentrate on getting some land and build your own home. Because you CAN.
Cari Corbet-Owen (2 years ago)
Thank you Karima (I'm sorry I somehow missed your comment) - I often cried at the beauty of what building this way can achieve when I was making it. I would feel this ENORMOUS shelling up in my chest as we filmed and people so generously shared their stories. There is such beauty in the simplicity of what this kind of building can do for people and communities too.
Wendy Anne Darling (2 years ago)
I want to do this! Where do I do this?
Cari Corbet-owen (2 years ago)
Hi Wendy, gosh this is happening all over the country, in fact all over the world. Cob Cottage Company offers regular workshops in Oregon as do many of the people you saw in the video. Many others volunteer their services and find where there are building projects on cobworkshops.org I also offer building opportunities from time to time but don't have anything planned until June next year.

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