Building a Home not a House

Somewhere along the road the construction of a house fell away from the hands of those who would live in it. At some point it was deemed that we could no longer be trusted that it was in our best interest to build a safe and sturdy house. Regulations were brought in along with contractors and codes and the home owner or home dweller was pushed out.

These days you can’t even build a house without getting a piece of paper saying your plan is a good one. By-laws and regulations vary from town to town and province to province but essentially they have all adapted to a convention by which we are now required to build our homes.

And not even good homes at that. Homes built these days would be lucky to see 20 years before being seriously renovated. They are built using highly manufactured materials full of chemicals and plastics designed to keep nature out of your home where it belongs.

Recently I approached a city inspector about the idea of building a stone foundation for my house as opposed to a concrete one as the manufacturing of concrete is known to be hard on the environment and rocks are right down the road from me. He looked at me as though I was a little nuts. But, I argued, are there not houses still standing in the downtown core that are nearing 100 years old built on stone foundations? He couldn’t deny it. Why then, I continued, with nearly 100 more years of mathematical and engineering knowledge could I not safely and very efficiently build my foundation from stones? Because it is not in the building code, he replied.

Interesting….and this is only step one of many more traditional building methods that are ‘not in the building code’ but of course I didn’t mention that part to him.