ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3-Step Guide to Alternative Home Building

Updated on October 31, 2012

Choosing to build a green home is a big step. For most people, it requires a lot of learning. For everyone, it requires a lot of planning. It is important to recognize that the planning stages of alternative home building are at least as important, if not more so, than the building stages. The best way to save money and improve the environmental friendliness of the green home is to make your mistakes on (recycled) paper instead of on the building site itself. Researching your options for alternative home building materials and methods and working to make the best choices for your home in advance will provide you with the best green home you can build. If you follow 3 basic steps in alternative home building, you’ll be able to do the process smoothly enough to make it work.

Step One in Alternative Home Building: Researching Options

Step one is to identify the materials you may want to use in building your home. You should take the time to get a solid overview of the different options available today for building in an environmentally friendly manner. You want to explore the differences between earth-based materials, other natural materials (including appropriate green building techniques for wood and lumber), and recycled materials. You want to learn a little bit about what each material is, how it is used, and what types of geographic locations it works best in as a building material.

By the end of doing this research, you should be able to tell someone else the pros and cons of building with earth-based materials (such as adobe) in comparison with other natural materials (such as bamboo). This is when you will start to make decisions about whether you want to use a product like sod or a product like recycled beer cans to make your home. The research helps to guarantee that you make the right decision.

It is also during this stage that you should also look at the basic cost comparison between these different alternative home building materials. Compare these costs with each other as well as with standard building material costs (that aren’t green building materials). This research should give you a good understanding of what materials are available to you. It will also point you in the right direction of those alternative materials that are going to be most cost effective. This leads to the final decision about which materials to buy for the home based on the greenest, smartest choices that are also within your budget.

Step Two in Alternative Home Building: Finding Materials

Having this knowledge about the right materials to use in alternative home building for your region and budget, you will be ready to start finding those materials. Step Two of the process is all about locating the materials and resources you are going to use in the building of your home. You will still be doing more research at this time. For example, you will want to learn some basic information about what to look for in each material if you are going to be harvesting it yourself. (For example, you will learn how to look for natural water erosion to determine the efficiency of certain types of earth as a building material.) In this step, you will also want to learn about your options for ordering these materials and what the pros and cons are to ordering locally, nationally, and internationally. You’ll learn who the suppliers are and how to work with them.

Most important during Step Two is that you will want to learn how to locate the resources and services you need to get your questions about alternative home building answered as they arise. This is the most crucial part of the planning process. You will save time, money, and efficiency by working with professionals to get the designs for your home complete and accurate before you begin building. In step two is when you should look into working with a green designer and green building consultants to facilitate this second planning stage. Consider what qualities and experience to look for in hiring each of these professionals. Take your time in finding the right people. Finding the right materials and the right people will allow you to get ready to actually build your home.

Part Three of Alternative Home Building: Building

Once you have decided on the right building materials and located those alternative materials (as well as the service providers who will assist you in building your own home) you will finally be ready to build your new green home. Note that this is only one third of the process. Doing that other groundwork will make this step a lot easier. This is when you start to actually mix the adobe and turn it into bricks for building or lay out the recycled materials in the proper manner in order to construct the home. By now, the hard work is done, but of course the physical labor is just beginning. If you’ve done proper research then you will know what you’re doing when it comes to building. If you’ve hired the right green building consultants then you’ll be able to get the help that you need when questions come up about the home building process. And if you’ve got a lot of people to help you with the actual building process then this third step is going to go even more smoothly.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)