When we first bought the property, we intended to keep the barns as barns and growing spaces and build a house on the hill. Fairly early on we realized that it would make sense to build the temporary quarters in the barn, but in the back of our mind we kept planning the house on the hill. Our goal was to employ very cost-effective building techniques yet make the house very energy efficient. Time was not going to be a factor and we would do whatever we could ourselves. We would use salvaged material when possible. We loved the idea of slip form masonry construction … we like the look and its energy efficiency. We also explored straw bale construction, prefab options and SIPs and kept waffling between them all. One thing we were pretty sure of was the basic design and the idea of tucking the home into the hillside for maximum insulation on the north side. Suddenly an opportunity struck. Our resourceful neighbor let us know about an auction at the local school where there would be bidding on windows. On an exceptionally cold morning we experienced our first auction and secured 15 windows for $75. They are double glazed and are 5 feet high and 6 feet wide. Now we had a reason to get building.