House for Sale
Magical all-natural, energy-efficient, well-built Kentucky lakeside home
House Description. 960 square feet, timber-frame , straw-bale walls covered in earthen plaster (lime stucco on outside). Concrete pier foundation, hardwood and tile floors. Passive solar design: south facing windows plus interior thermal mass wall. Scissor-truss roof with 16″ cellulose insulation (cathedral ceiling). Metal roof 12 years old. House stays warm in winter and cool in summer by design.
There is a 20×12′ screened porch on the north side. Outside there are: a 14′ treehouse, fire pit, and trampoline. An 8′ cellar (with floor drain) runs the length of the house for wiring, plumbing lines, root cellar, and storage; with a door to the outside plus trapdoor to kitchen. The porch has an engineer-designed living roof with raised beds deep enough for growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs (with plenty of sun!). A 300-gallon tank also sits on the roof, which could be hooked into house system (plus cisterns and/or well) to gravity feed the entire house.
This house was built by the current owner, who knows every detail of its construction. She is moving into town for work-related reasons, but will still be in the area. The house is full of delightful details, from the deep-set windows and undulating walls, to the bas-relief sculpture on various walls–from the dragon and phoenix on the outside, to various little touches such as star, sun, ocean waves, and spiral inside. The space is designed for maximum space efficiency, including details like stair treads opening up for storage underneath.
This property has a parking area close to the road, while the house sits well back in the woods. Straw bale walls create a remarkably quiet, peaceful interior feel, and R-50 insulation value. There is plenty of space on the lot to build a garage, barn, boat shed, guest house; or run a business. The house is built to code.
The house is designed to function self-sufficiently, with or without grid power. It is connected to the grid, and additionally has wiring to plug a gas generator in to run the house. 20 oil lamps are installed on brackets throughout the space as well, which create an amazing ambience. Propane lines are in place for cooking, propane refrigerator, and back-up heat (wall unit). The cookstove runs solely off propane, so will work whether or not electricity is available.
The house has two independent sources of water: roofwater runs into two 1000-gallon cisterns, from which it is pumped through the house. A recently-dug water well has a Simple Pump brand manual pump (5 gal/min) installed, to ensure the availability of water even in drought. A water pipe is buried in place between the well and the house, and could be hooked up at both ends to pump from the well.
Greywater runs to a surge tank and gravel bed system, sited for maximum sun for gardening. The composting toilet system includes an indoor bucket option (downstairs bathroom), as well as a (mouse-proof) masonry outhouse with a dual chamber system underneath (fill one side up, then move the toilet seat over to the other side.) City water is available on the road. Septic systems are used in the area, and there is a cleared spot one could be placed, if you wish to add a flush toilet.
Neighborhood and Area. 7 miles & easy drive from Berea. Property is directly across the street from Owsley Fork Reservoir, a 151-acre lake surrounded by a hollow of mostly forested land owned by Berea College, which has a commitment to sustainability. Boat ramp just across the street and down the road, open to kayakers, fishing, and electric-motor-only boats. View from house is forested hills and the lake (when leaves have fallen).
Berea (pop. 16,000) is a small partly progressive town in central Kentucky, where the Appalachian foothills meet the Bluegrass region. Various music, art, and cultural opportunities year-round. City was founded by Berea College, a highly-ranked liberal arts school with a commitment to diversity and racial inclusivism. Lexington (pop. 324,000) is 45 miles north.
Money from the sale of this house will help fund facilities for people healing from traumatic life events.