Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ozark Medieval Fortress

OK, so this isn't really an owner-built castle that will be someone's home, but it is a castle that is being built by hand a la Guedelon Castle in France.

Check out the website for the Ozark Medieval Fortress. It is designed by Michel Guyot, the creator of Guedelon, and looks to be following the path of construction of the same.

Plenty of information on the website about the castle.

EDIT 5/26/10: NPR covered the castle

Ravenstone Castle

Ravenstone Castle is located in Harvard, Illinois.

From their own site:

"In 2001, Jose and Rose Michel broke ground on their dream home - a castle in the 16th century style. Truly making the house their own, Rose designed each room, arch and turret.

With plans in hand, the Michel family - including four sons and a daughter - built the castle from the ground up. They rented equipment, excavated the basement, set forms and poured concrete. While they were framing the roof, they realized they could see all the way to the grocery store in Harvard

So, at a glance, it appears to be another owner-built castle. I'll see if I can come up with any more information.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Land Ho!

Well, it has happened. Since thinking it might be fun to build a castle several years ago and then starting this blog in 2007, it's been a long road to this point. We've finally got a piece of land. Whether or not we actually build on it is another matter - life has a funny way of changing your plans for you - but no matter what, this land is in a great location and a worthwhile investment. Not the best picture in the world, it was starting to drizzle when we took this picture. Approximately 10 acres should suffice for a fine building. No plans to build anything yet, the market needs to pick up so we can sell our existing home in order to afford any sort of construction loan, so plenty of time to pin down a design and see if life lets us do what we hope to.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Polls!

Yep, the title says it all!

Poll results

Similar to the last set of polls here, there seems to be a disconnect between cost, size and materials used. Lots of respondents want all-natural materials, but also expect to have a huge and expensive castle. I was honestly surprised that there weren't more folks looking to build cheaply using "whatever is cheap or free".

Seems most folks are planning on having someone build their castle for them, which I can totally understand - if one does any amount of serious research in the direction of building a castle (or any home for that matter), the romantic idea of DIY quickly loses its luster compared to the huge amount of work that it would actually take.

To split hairs, the new polls will see what share of the work potential builders will do of their buildings along with some other miscellaneous questions.

Poll Results: What would you build your castle out of?

All natural materilals such as fieldstone

40 (50%)

Wood frame with stone facade

15 (18%)

ICF with stone facade

8 (10%)

CMU/CMU variants with no facade

4 (5%)

CMU/CMU variants with stone facade

6 (7%)

Other materials such as AAC or Rastra

3 (3%)

Whatever's cheap!

4 (5%)

Votes so far: 80

Poll Results: How much do you expect your castle will cost?

$10,000 - $50,000 with me doing most of the labor

14 (11%)

$50,000 - $75,000 with me doing most if the labor

3 (2%)

$75,000 - $100,000 with me doing most of the labor

4 (3%)

$100,000 -$150,000 with me doing most of the labor

7 (5%)

$150,000 - $200,000 with me doing most of the labor

4 (3%)

$200,000 + with me doing most of the labor

13 (11%)

As cheap as possible! I'm using local materials, factory seconds, and anything I can find that's cheap or free...

9 (7%)

Less than $100,000 and I'll be using a contractor

2 (1%)

$100,000 - $200,000 and I'll be using a contractor

6 (5%)

$200,000 - $300,000 and I'll be using a contractor

7 (5%)

$300,000 + with a contractor

49 (41%)

Votes so far: 118

Poll results: How big of a castle do you expect to build?

A cozy castle less than 1,500 square feet

24 (18%)

A modest castle 1,500 to 2,000 square feet

25 (19%)

A good sized castle 2,000 - 3,000 square feet

18 (14%)

A serious castle of 3,000 - 5,000 square feet

23 (18%)

5,000 square feet plus, and I'll need to hire a cleaning staff too...

37 (29%)

Votes so far: 127