Part of building green is using materials that are harvested in a sustainable way. There are few practices more sustainable than not cutting down trees for a home. In fact, every year there are thousands of trees that are knocked down in high winds that have very little wrong with them and are cut up and burned for heating the winter, or discarded in a landfill. With the help of a professional and a bit of initiative, you can make enough lumber to build a house in one season of storms.
Portable Ban Saw
The portable ban saw is a saw that has a blade that runs through a set of specialized pulleys like a belt, giving it a very large cutting width. The machine itself has self loading arms that position a log (up to 20 feet long) onto the ban saw and cut along it to shape out beams, wall studs, what ever you are looking for at what ever thickness you would like. This is perfect if you are looking to build an all natural home that does not use ANY lumber that is chemically treated and contributes to deforestation. A portable ban saw with a professional operator can be hired for a under $50 per hour, making this an economical investment as well because you can get more of the framing cut for your home in about 200 hours. This is only $10,000 for all of the lumber for your home!
Storms and Wind
To get the amount of lumber you need for a home, you will have to become a regular storm chaser around your state. Any downed tree, most people want taking care of quickly and to get it taken care of for free, is even better. You get the lumber you need and they are free of the tree. Everyone is happy.
You can talk to local builders who will be taking trees down to clear away land for homes they are building. You can go in a take the trees down, saving them money and giving you the lumber you need.
As you can see, this will keep you very busy for a few weeks to a few months depending on the time you have to gather enough lumber. one of the greatest benefits of this is that everything is cut on site so you know exactly what you have to work with.
Like all large projects, you have to have a plan:
Make sure you have a house plan that can be built using the lumber you have collected.
Make sure that you have the proper tools or access to the proper tools to turn this lumber into the correctly sized pieces for your home.
Make sure that the application of the lumber is properly used. This may not be a good method for collecting lumber for a modern home, but is great for a rustic home especially if the home is timber framed.
The lumber will need at least a year depending on the type to naturally dry enough to use. Make sure that you plan your project accordingly in order to prevent any structural issues.
Above all, if you do not have the skills to complete a project like this without help, hire a professional to help you. Nothing will be more dissatisfying and emotionally drain you more than a botched home building project.
This is an extreme way to gather lumber for a home, but it can easily be done by just about anyone. Using this method will give your home character that is impossible to come by anywhere else, and give you the satisfaction of doing your part to preserve the trees that provide us the oxygen which we breath.