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More stories about Backfill

  • Yonder Underdome

    Underground dome home

  • Hidden Hatch

    Unwilling to sacrifice floor space to a standard stairwell in an already compact floor plan, architect Richard Morongell designed and built this custom hatch cover.

  • Job-Site Grind

    Many builders talk about sustainability, but John Suppes has actually put his money where his mouth is by purchasing an $80,000 waste grinder.

  • Next - A Snap-On Addition?

    Jigsaw-puzzle house

  • No Lot Too Small

    Plenty of business cards say “no job too small.” Builder Dan Upton and architect Jeff Shelton could reasonably have “no lot too small” printed on theirs. Not that either of them specializes in small projects — but they did complete a house on a 20-foot-by-20-foot lot in Santa Barbara, Calif.

  • Welcome to Your Future

    In October 2007, JLC illustrator Tim Healey envisioned a future in which pickup trucks would be replaced by freight-hauling bicycles. Who knew then that a few intrepid builders had already made the switch?

  • Model Home for Sale

    Every year since 2001, home builder Cape Associates of North Eastham, Mass., has built a playhouse replica of a local historic building. Past models have included the town library, the Coast Guard station, and the famous Outermost House, which was swept off the beach during a winter storm in 1978.

  • Still Grinding After 200 Years

    Andy Shrake fixes windmills. Not the newfangled kilowatt-generating type, but the all-wood grain-grinding beauties built some 200 years ago. With 14 still standing on Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island, repairing them is a full-time job.

  • Solar Cargo Trailer

    Paul Bias, a green builder in Arcata, Calif., frequently works on sites where it’s difficult to get temporary power. Rather than use a generator — which is loud and dirty and easy to steal — he powers his tools with energy from the sun.

  • JLC Extra: Solar Cargo Trailer

    This schematic shows how to wire the trailer-mounted photovoltaic power system described in July’s Backfill article.