De Soto, Wisconsin — Green Home For Sale

Eco- friendly…Country Escape !!! Solar photovoltaic, timber framed, 1999 home nestled in the heart of historic Battle Hollow on 6.25 acres, surrounded by rivers, lakes, streams, towering bluffs, picturesque farmland with deeded access to 184 acre preserve.


Listing ID: 18139


  • Green Home
  • Healthy Home
  • Natural Home
  • Straw bale
  • Off the Grid
  • Solar - Photovoltaic

Annual Property Tax $1,407
Annual Utility Cost $900
Home Area 1,250 sq ft
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms
Total Property Area 6.3 acres
Year Built 1999

Property Description

Year Round Recreational Opportunities

• Minutes away from the Mississippi & Blackhawk recreational area (Swimming, boat ramps, playground)


• Hunter’s dream
o Deer, Grouse, Pheasants & Ducks Galore !!


• Bird enthusiast paradise…year round migration of hundreds of species.

• Well known concentration of local Artists, Arts & Crafts & Skillful entrepreneurial enthusiasts

• Gardner’s delight! Greenhouse, fruit trees, highly fertile soil

• Winter paradise… Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, skating

• Hiking, paths throughout out woods, countryside

• Star gazing from your private wood burning Snorkel ® Hot Tub

This house was designed by local architect and environmental home-building pioneer, Roald Gundersen, of Roald Gundersen Design, http://www.roaldgundersen.com/ from nearby La Crosse.

Construction: Timber-framed internal construction forms the internal bones of the house underneath an exoskeleton of 18-inch thick plastered strawbales, making for an exceptionally sturdy and insulated home. The logs used in Gundersen’s roundwood design concepts were harvested off the land and tied in with repurposed 8 and 6-by Amish barn timbers. A bale-insulated foundation (shallow, frost-protected slab design) lies beneath the finished floor consisting of quartersawn heart pine milled from 150-year-old timbers bought from a local timber salvage dealer. The trim around doors, windows, and the siding for the greenhouse and earth-sheltered back end of the house were milled from century-old Douglas fir wine tank staves. 18” thick strawbales insulate the floor, walls and ceiling.

Layout and Appliances: The open-floor layout first floor consists of a kitchen, living area, a dining room and a full bath. Two lofts flank the east and west sides of the house upstairs, with a catwalk accessing both lofts. An Aquastar 125S tankless hot water heater located in the greenhouse provides hot water on demand to both the bathroom and kitchen. Other appliances include a Vermont Castings propane-fired heat-stove, propane-fired Servel refrigerator and cooking stove, washing machine and dryer, an additional Aquastar in the utility room (for the washer and the additions in-floor radiant heat), a utility room propane heater.

Heating and Cooling: This two-storey home has a 200 square-foot greenhouse on the southern side, and a 350 square-foot utility room in the back. The utility room is earth-sheltered up to eight feet, capitalizing on geothermal heating and cooling to modulate seasonal temperatures. The passive solar gain from the greenhouse alone will heat the main house up to the mid-seventies in mid January, when the outside ambient temperature is below zero. The upper level of the greenhouse can be used to start plants in February-March; in time for planting in the four raised bed gardens in front of the house (two more raised-beds are located opposite the driveway). An overhead ceiling fan on the ceiling destratifies the air between the two lofts on down to the living room directly below. An attractive Vermont Castings stove provides backup heat during the winter months. It’s LP-gas fed.
Water: The house collects spring water from the year-round stream meandering 500’ along the southern frontage of the 6.25 acreage. Two year-round feeder springs flow into the main stream. I've built a small spring house over one of the feeder springs, where you can keep milk, wine, butter & whatever chilled. The second feeder spring supplies a water ram that pumps fresh pure water to the house. There are two more feeder springs that can be improved for use as desired. The spring water has been tested for impurities, and it is pure. There is a charcoal filtration system underneath the kitchen sink for dedicated drinking water purposes.

Graywater System: The graywater from the kitchen and bathroom is circulated through a sand filter in the greenhouse. All blackwater is contained and evaporated through the Sun-Mar NE composting toilet. The building permit authorized for the property was granted after coordinating with the Vernon County Zoning and the Madison Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) regulatory office in 1999, which approved the graywater design.

Power: Eight, 100-watt Siemens solar panels feed a battery bank of 12 Trojan deep-cycle 6V batteries (purchased in Nov '04). Two inverters supply modified sine-wave (Trace 2424) and pure sine-wave (Exceltech 1100) AC into the house. IF utility tie in is desired, a power pod for the local grid exists right across the road.

Snorkel Hot Tub: The six foot hot tub requires about 2.5 loads of wood over the course of 3 hours to heat 50-degree spring water up to 105-110-degree soaking temperature. A gasoline-powered water pump is included to pump water from the spring box up to the hot tub; takes about 45 minutes to fill. (http://www.snorkel.com)

Year-Round Living: This is not just a cabin in the woods designed for 3-season utility. This is a year-round home.
As the property owner, you’ll have deeded access to 184 acres across the road from the house, and access to the 3-acre pond a quarter mile down the road to the west. There is an annual $150 Battle Hollow Association Fee that keeps the road plowed of snow during the winter and maintained during the other seasons.


What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

No VOC finishes, natural or recycled building materials, prolific spring water, plentiful ventilation, clean air and abundant natural light.


Neighborhood Description

Two miles east of the Mississippi in Battle Hollow valley, where a dozen families live full-time and another dozen have their cabins. the property is private yet accessible without being completely secluded, and the buyer will have deeded access to the 184-acre preserve across the valley road.


Market Area

The property is located near the Iowa/Minnesota borders with Wisconsin. La Crosse, WI lies 25 miles to the north, Viroqua, WI 25 miles to the northeast, Gays Mills, WI 20 miles to the southeast, Prairie du Chien WI 25 miles to the south, and Decorah, IA 40 miles to the southwest. All of these communities have vibrant farmer markets.


School District

De Soto


Community


Home Type or Land

Single Family - Two Story


Location of Home or Land

Rural


Elevation of Home

Other


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area Yes
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Fireplace
Solar - Passive
Wood Stove
Cooling System Passive Cooling
Other
Ventilation System Other
Whole House Filtration None
Whole House Vacuum No

Energy & Water

Energy System Off the Grid
Solar - Photovoltaic
Water System Other
Wastewater System Composting Toilet
Other

Construction Information

Construction Type Masonry/Concrete
Straw bale
Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Wood Timber Frame
Exterior Finish Plaster - Earth
Plaster - Other
Wood
Interior Finish Earthen Plaster
Wood - Solid
Other
Interior Paint No VOC
Floor Material Wood - Solid
Roof Material Metal
Window Material Metal Dual Glazed
Metal Single Glazed
Wood Dual Glazed
Insulation Material Recycled Newsprint
Other

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport No