215 – Glenn Kangiser on Oehler Structures

Published 11 years ago in homesteading , Permaculture , Podcasts , Wofati - 0 Comments

In podcast 215, Glenn Kangiser and Paul Wheaton discuss Glenn’s Oehler structure. Paul studies the underground cabin as Glenn takes him on a tour of the organic house on the Kangiser homestead in central California. In the beginning, Glenn read Mike Oehler’s book and decided he could build it then began work on his unconventional home that “Just sort of grew.” Now Glenn’s home is his own achievement. It has different levels, one that they call the studio apartment level, with one bed, wood stove, refrigerator and kitchen that they use as a living area in winter. Paul marvels at how comfortable the inside temperature is despite the difficult heat outdoors.

Paul steers their conversation toward wicking and clay soils, describing how moisture can wick from a distance and why it’s necessary to stop the extraneous environmental moisture from reaching the inner weight-bearing logs. Glenn details for Paul his problems with frame stability, foundation depth, California earthquakes and the Oehler structure’s Achilles’ heel: flood, poor drainage and gophers.

As it stands, Glenn’s cozy economic home has ample room for two plus guests, and Paul portrays the masterpiece as a work of art, something tangible that city houses with white square walls cannot compare too. With the cost well under $5000 for 2200 sq ft, Glenn’s basic structure costs next to nothing if you take your time, even cut your own lumber, but especially by crafting the home yourself without the expense of an outside contractor.