HOW TO Design/Build 
To construct our own shelter is a primal desire.
but beginning this undertaking is daunting.
Take a day to explore your primal urge to build and discover
if this desire and challenge is one you wish to meet.
T. Pepper Clayton~ Building science, design/engineer, builder...
Cynthia Clayton~ designer,building assistant,finishes,Procurement & Purchasing, budgets & scheduling...

The Hill On Higher Ground 

Completed August2018


Sustainable Earth Sheltered Construction

The Hill ~The Double Dragon Pub

The Hill ~Baggs Inn

180-year-old Post & Beam Barn Before

After ~ The House on Higher Ground 

The House On Higher Ground (2006) and The Spring Cottage (2007)


"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - benjamin franklin
Start Preparing!
SATURDAY Workshop with YOURairbnb booking
9 – 4:30
happy hour follows 

Min: 2 Couples or 4 People
MAX: 4 couples or 8 people
$100 per couple includes Lunch from sissy's kitchen

How to Book

Book your date through Airbnb noting in the message box that you wish to also book the DIY Shelter Workshop. Note how many guests will be taking the workshop.

We will confirm availability with an email with your invoice, which will include the cost of the DIY Shelter Workshop. As soon as you pay 50 % through PayPal we will confirm your reservation on Airbnb.  The remaining 50% balance is due a month after your booking. If the balance is not paid the month prior to booking we will refund your deposit less 10% . You may cancel the workshop but keep your Airbnb reservation.  


9  ~ 10:00

Tour our three builds on our  12-acres in Middletown Springs, Vermont:

  • A Retrofit of Two Garden Sheds into One Charming Cottage
  • A 180-year-old Post & Beam Barn to Green Home
  • A Hobbitish Earth Sheltered Fantasy Home
  • Plus: The Tiny BAG: Basement, Attic, Garage

 10:30 ~ Noon

  • Where to Build &Permaculture Design
  • Land/Site, Codes and Permits
  • The Vision: Buy, Build, Renovate or Retrofit?
  • Interior Matters Upfront

Noon ~ 3:00

  • Design: 101 ~ Art as Architecture, Rightsize it!..square footage is key!
  • Building Science for Sustainability 

3:00 ~ 4:30

  • High Performance Team Building: Build a house keep a spouse...or friend or family member.
  • Organization, Time Lines, Budgets

Private Design and/or Build Consulting Available on Sunday morning.
$75 per hour
bring your ideas or plans!