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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:29 AM
 
12 posts, read 17,496 times
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Default Underground Solar Home in Mtn's

I've been down into the WNC mountains several times now. I love log cabins and might build one myself as I am an accomplished home builder. But what I really wanted to do was build an underground home I designed and planed to build in WNY. But, since I'm getting out of this state, I was wondering if anyone knows of any underground homes in the WNC area I might use as comparison. I guess with all the stone you'd have to excavate, basements would not be to common in the mountains and of coarse there is the termite issue too. I wanted to know if it would be feasible to build. Even a shallow excavation with a back fill to create a hill around the home would work for me. I just don't have the experience or knowledge of the soil conditions down there in WNC.

I also see a lot of homes for sale around Lake Lure. Is everyone selling and moving out? Or are these just 2nd homes people can't afford any more.

I have to say, I was in Lake Lure around Thanksgiving and it was booming with business. Even the store owners were surprised at how many people were in town.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Palm Coast
207 posts, read 437,161 times
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Check out the thread in Tennessee forum "Going off Grid in East Tennessee". Not a full underground home but possibly might help you. Everyone pretty much watched them build from beginning as Lisa took us all through their trails, tribulations and triumphs. Excellent reading. Wishing you luck with your plans.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Fairview, NC
358 posts, read 544,665 times
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Honestly, I've never heard of an underground home (other than a Hobbit hole in Middle Earth). I'm not sure how possible it would be to do something like that, here. I guess you'd just have to find the right piece of land. As far as actually building it, I dunno if local builders would know how to go about doing that or not.

As to your Lake Lure question, the majority of homes there are indeed "second homes." There are a number of people who actually live there, but my guess is that most of the homes you're seeing for sale are indeed second homes.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Western NC
5,433 posts, read 4,891,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WNYer View Post
I've been down into the WNC mountains several times now. I love log cabins and might build one myself as I am an accomplished home builder. But what I really wanted to do was build an underground home I designed and planed to build in WNY. But, since I'm getting out of this state, I was wondering if anyone knows of any underground homes in the WNC area I might use as comparison. I guess with all the stone you'd have to excavate, basements would not be to common in the mountains and of coarse there is the termite issue too. I wanted to know if it would be feasible to build. Even a shallow excavation with a back fill to create a hill around the home would work for me. I just don't have the experience or knowledge of the soil conditions down there in WNC.

I also see a lot of homes for sale around Lake Lure. Is everyone selling and moving out? Or are these just 2nd homes people can't afford any more.

I have to say, I was in Lake Lure around Thanksgiving and it was booming with business. Even the store owners were surprised at how many people were in town.
There are issues with radon in the mountains. Most would rather perch a beauty of a log or timber home on a mountain somewhere and have a view .... folks don't want to live underground like moles in this gorgeous area. You should know there is a lot of animosity around here though with NY'ers and others coming in and stripping the land. With so many beautiful homes for sale in the area on land already developed, there really is no need to ruin more land.

Lake Lure is a summer tourist attraction as is Chimney Rock Park which other than the park itself, is a tacky strip of gift shops and chatzkas. Not much going on in Lake Lure, yes homes for sale, many developers during the big boom period here went belly up. You might be more interested in Lake Adger or Lake Hiawassee.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
43,739 posts, read 53,292,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridgerider View Post
Check out the thread in Tennessee forum "Going off Grid in East Tennessee". Not a full underground home but possibly might help you. Everyone pretty much watched them build from beginning as Lisa took us all through their trails, tribulations and triumphs. Excellent reading. Wishing you luck with your plans.

I was going to say the same thing

Here is a link to the cool thread: http://www.city-data.com/forum/tenne...tennessee.html
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:57 AM
 
12 posts, read 17,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
You should know there is a lot of animosity around here though with NY'ers and others coming in and stripping the land.
Maybe NY'ers from NYC but I'm from the country. I helped preserve one of the finest old growth forest in my area in perpetuity. I'm very into the land and that is one of the reasons why I'm interested in an underground home. More like an earth berm home with garden on top, open to the south with mostly glass. A self heating, self cooling home, hopefully off grid with as little impact as possible to the environment. One using PAHS technology.

We have radon in my area as well. It's all over most of North America. It is easily mitigated. I know, because I am also a licensed home inspector, as well as an accomplished builder of 36 years. Believe me, I will be an asset to where ever I move to.

I also like the Southern hospitality and so far, haven't met anyone with an attitude once they find I'm from the North.

And, yea, those shops at Lake Lure are very touristy and all seem to sell the same stuff. I'm more into enjoying the lake and surrounding area.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
143 posts, read 165,109 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNYer View Post
I've been down into the WNC mountains several times now. I love log cabins and might build one myself as I am an accomplished home builder. But what I really wanted to do was build an underground home I designed and planed to build in WNY. But, since I'm getting out of this state, I was wondering if anyone knows of any underground homes in the WNC area I might use as comparison. I guess with all the stone you'd have to excavate, basements would not be to common in the mountains and of coarse there is the termite issue too. I wanted to know if it would be feasible to build. Even a shallow excavation with a back fill to create a hill around the home would work for me. I just don't have the experience or knowledge of the soil conditions down there in WNC.

I also see a lot of homes for sale around Lake Lure. Is everyone selling and moving out? Or are these just 2nd homes people can't afford any more.

I have to say, I was in Lake Lure around Thanksgiving and it was booming with business. Even the store owners were surprised at how many people were in town.
I don't know of any underground houses around this area specifically. However, I'm sure that there will be parts of this area that would be easier to build this type of house than others...

My husband and I moved here about 4 years ago and are originally from Vermont. The ground here is so much different than what we were used to... When we dug the foundation for our basement, we fully expected to find a lot of rocks like what we would have found in Vermont. However, that wasn't the case at all. As a matter of fact, we actually found very few rocks and the ones that we found were few small. I'm sure that when you get farther into the mountains that where we are that you'll have more difficulty digging into the ground.

Now, there is definitely the issue of termites that you would have to content with, that's for certain... They seem to be everywhere around here.

I've always thought that an underground home sounded interesting... I wish you the best of luck...
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:05 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,756 times
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Default Anything new?

Hi I was reading this post, then seen the date. I am looking at why there aren't more people taking this approach! I would love to have an earth sheltered home. I would love an update to what you encountered.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:44 AM
 
3,381 posts, read 2,255,314 times
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Natural Building | Resources | WNCGBC might have some resources for you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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This area of Asheville has a lot of rock. And now we have sink holes. I do not think one would want to build an underground home knowing this.
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