A Handmade, Debt-free Home

Blend vision, patience and perseverance and you can build your dream home.



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Steve and Mary Maxwell’s hand-crafted wraparound porch.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Steve and Mary Maxwell built their Victorian-style handcrafted house for an out-of-pocket cost of $35 per square foot. Their family of six resides comfortably on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada.
STEVE MAXWELL
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The 48-inch-wide outside entrance allows produce, firewood and large tools to be carried in and out of the lower level with ease.
STEVE MAXWELL
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An open cathedral ceiling exposes the pine beams and brings light into the living area.
STEVE MAXWELL
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The author’s son, Joseph, welcomes you inside through the three-layer, insulated "warm door."
STEVE MAXWELL
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Hand-carved designs incorporated throughout the Maxwell house add visual interest, character and value.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Combustion gases allow the masonry heater to accumulate heat and slowly transfer it to the house.
STEVE MAXWELL
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"We aimed to design and build a place of beauty, peace and permanence."
STEVE MAXWELL
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Solatube tubular skylights add natural light to the kitchen.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Combustion gases allow the masonry heater to accumulate heat and slowly transfer it to the house.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Steve and Mary Maxwell built their Victorian-style handcrafted house for an out-of-pocket cost of $35 per square foot. Their family of six resides comfortably on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada.
LEN CHURCHILL
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Katherine Maxwell enjoys a sunny spot in a hammock on the wrap-around veranda. Steve (below) and his family love their veranda — it’s a great place to sit, relax and enjoy the outdoors, while still being protected from the elements.
STEVE MAXWELL
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Steve and Mary Maxwell built their Victorian-style handcrafted house for an out-of-pocket cost of $35 per square foot. Their family of six resides comfortably on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada.
LEN CHURCHILL
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Contributing editor Steve Maxwell writes many of our "Do It Yourself" articles, such as "Build this Cozy Cabin" and "A Blueprint for Better Building." You can read all Steve’s previous Mother Earth News articles by searching for his name at www.MotherEarthNews.com.
ROGER YIP











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