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Old 11-27-2016, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,183 posts, read 8,757,145 times
Reputation: 20203

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russspeak View Post
Hello everyone, I'm new to this site, although I've been lurking for a bit. The reason is that I am planning on moving back to Oregon probably within the next 18 months. Previously I've lived here a couple of times back in the 60's and early 70's, up in the Portland/Gresham area. I've got lots of relatives still living there, which is partly why when I do move back, it's going to be down South, lol.

I'm basically looking for my final resting place, to retire that is, lol, after a life of living in a dozen places, from Alaska to Costa Rica, and most recently in Iowa. But first I'm planning a trip this coming spring - I'm planning on renting a car and just driving around, checking out the lay of the land, talking to realtors as well as seeing the sights. May even try to squeeze in a day of skiing if any resorts are still open at that time.

SOOO, my question is, between the last week in March till the end of April, what would be the best time to come visit for 10 days? Weatherwise I'd guess the later the better, but it would also be fun to enjoy some local culture and entertainment, so with that in mind could anyone fill me in on the 411 as to the best 10-day window? Any information is greatly appreciated, ;?)
If this is a trip to scout out a location to live, I don't think visiting during the best weather should be your priority. If you move someplace, you will be living there in all types of weather, unless you plan to only live there part of the year. I'd recommend visiting in late December or early January, and again in late July or early August.
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,183 posts, read 8,757,145 times
Reputation: 20203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russspeak View Post
As for why more people aren't using CEB's to build with, especially considering the push towards building green homes that reduce one's carbon footprint, I think the biggest obstacle is just ignorance (as in lack of knowledge ;?).

Compressed earth blocks construction, also referred to as adobe style building (which is a misnomer I'll address later), is about as green as it comes. In most cases you can use the very soil that the house is built on, using the excavated dirt from the basement level for instance. The soil does need to contain a certain ratio of sand/silt/clay, but if this is off one way or another, it can be remedied by adding sand or clay - this does add to the price, but usually not by much.

The most expensive component (aside from labor) is the concrete for the foundation, and second is the cement that will be needed (at a 6% ratio) for the first several courses to stabilize and protect the bricks from rain/splashing/light flooding. After that there's concrete for the bond beam and, as I prefer, steel roof beams/joises and metal roof - this provides the best protection and most of all makes the house completely fireproof, not something you find in most other types of construction.

As I mentioned, labor is the biggest cost as CEB houses can take as much as 60% more labor/man hours, but on the flip side, this system is so easy to learn, most average people with some building skills can learn how to build their own homes, or at least a large part of it. The CEB ram presses aren't too expensive (you can even build your own) and since no mortar is involved, you won't need a professional mason either.

Those presses, btw, are what largely make CEB's different from adobe - adobe uses a mud mixture poured into a mold (usually relying on organic matter like straw to give them strength) which must be dried/cured over time, whereas CEB's have no organic matter and are compressed by the blockpress under high pressure, up to 2,500 psi, which makes them strong enough to go right from the machine to wall, no cure needed.

Hopefully this type of home building will catch on more over time as these homes are great for the environment, beautifully organic, fireproof, soundproof and can withstand anything except a direct hit from a tornado, and best of all can lower heating and cooling costs by 60% or more when properly built. As you can tell, I'm a big proponent of this type of construction, lol, but that's because in my honest opinion, having checked nearly every other type out there, this really is the best all around way to go. If anyone is interested in learning more, I can answer questions or send you links to find out more.
Oregon is timber land. Home construction is at least 99% wood frame. Who would you even get to build you something like that? I would be surprised if any homebuilders in Oregon would do it.
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,485 posts, read 40,173,931 times
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When you are out here, I'd try and locate a builder that will do CEB construction. I know there are the Cob Cottage folks on the coast and they might have a resource for you by Medford/Ashland.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Riverside, IA
51 posts, read 48,723 times
Reputation: 44
Thanks for the replies everyone, appreciate the input. I suppose I didn't make it clear, but I have lived in Oregon, spent my first year in high school at Centennial High in Gresham, and since I have lots of relatives in the Portland area, I've been there several times, often for Christmas, so I know the weather in that neck of the woods. I also lived in Emmett, ID, for 10 years, right next to Ontario, OR, and during that time I had a business that required me to drive from there up to the Tri-Cities, WA every other week for several days at a stretch, so did a lot of driving in all kinds of weather through eastern Oregon. And finally, I've been on several vacation trips to Sisters and Bend, skiied Mt. Bachelor a few times, so all in all I have a pretty good idea what the weather ought to be like, although I imagine the Medford/Ashland area to be a bit warmer.

And as for home construction, I plan on doing most of it myself - I've been in the plumbing business for 8 years when I was a young man, I've done lots of home remodels, flipped some houses and so am familiar with most aspects of the business. As for the CEB side, I've studied it for years, even went to Arizona to take a week-long workshop to learn the basics. My current plan (subject to revision) is to hopefully buy a used CEB automated press machine - they can run up to $20K for a new one (small/medium size, not the bigger commercial size ones), but I hear there are often used ones available for much less, as low as $8-12,000. May have to be patient, but that's okay.

A lot will depend on how things are financially - my 401k has already taken a hit since Trump won, if that (explicative deleted) doesn't crash the economy I should be okay, but I'm not highly optimistic (didn't think he was going to pull off some of the more crazy crap he talked about, like the stupid wall, lol, but if he starts a trade war with China, that could cause a big slump in exports and depress the global economy, so still wondering where to put what money I can move at this time, lol). It's like that old Chinese curse which goes, "May you live in interesting times." You gotta admit, this certainly fits the bill ;?D
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:04 AM
 
989 posts, read 1,507,763 times
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There are deals out there that are actually cheaper than building your own house. I wanted to build but it was cheaper to buy a farm already built. Remember to factor in well, septic, driveway, etc. when developing from scratch.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Riverside, IA
51 posts, read 48,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray horse View Post
There are deals out there that are actually cheaper than building your own house. I wanted to build but it was cheaper to buy a farm already built. Remember to factor in well, septic, driveway, etc. when developing from scratch.
Good advice, it's easy to forget all the niggling details that can unexpectedly balloon your costs. I will be looking at possible fixer uppers, but unless it's a great opportunity, something I could flip, I doubt I'll find something that fits what I want to do.

I want to build something rather unique, shall we say, something small but not tiny home small and with special features that would include features that can make it adaptable as I grow old, lol. Plus the setting is as or more important, which is likely to be hard to mind. That's what I will be investigating when I come visit.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Riverside, IA
51 posts, read 48,723 times
Reputation: 44
I am also interested in glass blowing - not small things like knick-knacks, but the bigger stuff, and I was wondering if anyone knows of anyone in the area. I did find one place in Medford when I did a search, but maybe there are some smaller operations that don't have websites.
Anything in the area from the Gold Coast to Klamath Falls, and from say north of Grants Pass to Hornbrook or Yyreka, CA. The idea being that I'm willing to travel to get to them, but would prefer not to have to drive more than an hour from the Medford/Ashland area.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:40 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
32,473 posts, read 47,383,819 times
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There's a glass blower in Bend who makes the most amazing drug pipes. I only know because she is trying to find a place to rent and is running photos of her work in her housing wanted ad. I've thought about contacting her to see about some Christmas ornaments. I've got some lovely Mt St Helens glass, but those pretty things look like balls of mud next to her work.

There is a big glass blowing place in Newport, just as you get into the city coming from Corvallis, and there is a glass place just south of Newport. I'm pretty sure they are blowing as well as selling. Fish floats seem to be the specialty that the south of town one.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:11 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 18,728,417 times
Reputation: 10782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russspeak View Post
I am also interested in glass blowing - not small things like knick-knacks, but the bigger stuff, and I was wondering if anyone knows of anyone in the area. I did find one place in Medford when I did a search, but maybe there are some smaller operations that don't have websites.
Anything in the area from the Gold Coast to Klamath Falls, and from say north of Grants Pass to Hornbrook or Yyreka, CA. The idea being that I'm willing to travel to get to them, but would prefer not to have to drive more than an hour from the Medford/Ashland area.
Gathering Glass in Ashland. Not sure what size kiln you are looking for. Portland has some large glass studios.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Riverside, IA
51 posts, read 48,723 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
There's a glass blower in Bend who makes the most amazing drug pipes. I only know because she is trying to find a place to rent and is running photos of her work in her housing wanted ad. I've thought about contacting her to see about some Christmas ornaments. I've got some lovely Mt St Helens glass, but those pretty things look like balls of mud next to her work.

There is a big glass blowing place in Newport, just as you get into the city coming from Corvallis, and there is a glass place just south of Newport. I'm pretty sure they are blowing as well as selling. Fish floats seem to be the specialty that the south of town one.
Yes, I have seen a lot of fantastic work by pipe blowers/creators, amazing creativity, but at the same time I think they are saturating the market as that seems to be the fastest growing market these days.

Bend might be a little far afield too, as is Portland and others, although I would like to visit to see their work sometime. While I'm probably setting my sights a bit high, I like the kind of big glass art, like Dale Chihuly (one can dream, lol ;?).

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