Large Debt-Free Log Home Built by Hand

Not only has Roy Trembath built a debt-free home that’s larger than most — he also teaches others how they can do the same. Here is some of his advice.


| June/July 2014



Log Home

The author, Roy Trembath, built his log home in South Africa out of eucalyptus trees, an invasive species.


Photo by Roy Trembath

I have built a mortgage-free home. And even better than that, I have so far taught more than 500 people how to build their own!

I live in South Africa and built a log home (and all the furniture, fittings, etc.) using Eucalyptus trees, which are an invasive alien timber species from Australia. So not only is my house mortgage-free, but it’s also environmentally sustainable and helps our local biodiversity.

Here are some of the tactics I used to avoid a mortgage:

• Always ask for a discount, and always pay cash. While you are counting the notes, you’ll still have a chance to bail out of the purchase if it feels too expensive.

• Get the structure up as fast as possible and move in, and then do the finishing while you are living there. This saves paying rent and means you are always on-site. You won’t have to pack away tools every day, and there won’t be any theft. No one minds a bit of discomfort if they are working toward a goal. Probably 90 percent of the work is finishing.

• Do a time and money study on everything. Often it is much cheaper to build your own stuff than it is to buy the overpriced junk in the shops, particularly when it comes to furniture.





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