I’m looking for some ideas on how to approach building our island home. We are trying to build the house as inexpensively as we can, and we are certainly open to unusual/alternative approaches. To give you some background on the situation, take a look at the attached mud map I’ve sketched up in MS Paint . Our land is about 3 acres. The black lines represent the boundaries, the thin orange lines are contours. There is also a side-on sketch of the slope of the land. As you can see, it’s a sloping block, facing almost directly North (southern hemisphere). We want to position the house just over the edge of the ridge – mainly because there is a neighbouring house further up the ridge that we want to be out of sight of. This position has a very nice view, basically the same as that right on the top of the ridge. A few details about the site, and the island itself: Climate: *Mild, warm climate year round. Doesn’t get stinking hot, and doesn’t dip below 10-15 degrees C. Usually fairly humid and gets a fair bit of rain. There are no bush fires. Vegetation: *Block is mostly cleared and grassed Building materials: *There is plentiful local timber. It’s not cheap, but it is cheaper other conventional materials. Most locals build their homes out of timber, including timber floors, and use imported Colourbond for the roof. *Concrete is available, but very expensive. *Rocks are expensive and difficult to source in quantities. *Bricks and tiles are very expensive. *Glass is expensive. But this is one thing we’re willing to splurge on a bit, because we really want to have mostly glass across the North side of the house (mainly for the view, and also for the light). Double glazing is unnecessary given the mild climate. *Soil – the block has plenty of red volcanic soil Earth moving: *is reasonably priced on the island. Electricity: *There is no electrical grid connection available to the block. We plan to use solar + maybe wind and hydro (creek). Water: *Rain water for domestic purposes. We might build a shed up on the ridge above the house, so this could potentially allow gravity feeding the water to a tank, and then on to the house for drinking/showering/washing. The house – what do we want: *3 bedrooms. *1 composting toilet *1 shower *1 kitchen *1 dining/living area – adjoining the kitchen. This and the kitchen I think will go along the North side of the house, to get the best views and the sunshine. …That’s the bare basics we think we can get away with. Nice-to-haves include a mud room and maybe a study. We are going to be owner-builders, and we know a retired builder who has offered to give us a hand with building if we want it. So - suggestions on how you might go about building a house in such a place….let’s hear ‘em! I’m particularly interested in whether you would go for a conventional timber sort of house, or something different entirely? Also – any other general design considerations/ suggestions/ criticisms are most welcome!