Manuel Iglesias

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since Jan 06, 2013
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Recent posts by Manuel Iglesias

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:
I would even suggest that the larger forms of Horreos could more than accommodate a young family, and if several were built in a series as a connected compound would not only render a very functional form in living space,...

I think that idea is because you are not living here, IMHO there is no point in build an horreo outside Galicia or Asturias, and even less one bigger than the 99% of them, but that's only my opinion.

Hmmm......unless more than one person was driving the tractor...I do believe this was still a "one man job." Since I do such tasks as a part of my living, I would respectfully suggest this is more about "ability" and "confidence" than...not being able to do it. In job is going to require tools. A tractor is but a tool. I would also recommend that with these old stone versions (like the wood ones as well) it is much better to "dismantle them," clean them, restore damaged portions and reassemble them than it is to risk moving them in their entirety. Again...a one man job. I (et al) have move huge structures all by my I know it can be done, as those that taught me did it...

Well, here I sould have given more information. I don't have a tractor, and as writen in the first post, I have very few money, so no big machines.
As for restore the old horreo, that's was the way we did, we didn't move it, did I suggest it? in that way, sorry for my poor english.
But that was not a one man job, as I would call it if you need a tractor.

I can't speak to your specific area and its rules, yet know several architects in Spain and know of many natural builders as well, so if share more specifics of location and the restrictions "you think there are," I might be able to be of more assistance.

I've put a google maps link in the previous posts, so that is the exact location.
Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain.
A natural arquitect with experience in this region would be most usefull to me, thanks in advance.


Jay C. White Cloud wrote:

So perhaps the challenge isn't the method, yet rather your interest in the method or your confidence that these methods work. I can't really address or help with either of those concerns..., but will be glad to discuss details about them and their very long and well proven track record.

Let me know if I can answer specifics.

Ok, thank you very much for the interest.

By the way, Spain is not a uniform area in that way. There is 17 regions, with diferent laws, and even every village can alter some urban laws.
The "horreo" was used mostly in Galicia (from where I came) and Asturias. They do not allow (code approved) such a building here in Madrid, and as far as I've seen, the only "livable" are from Asturias, as they are square and allow some space, but of course not for a barn/house/whorkshop.

I don't aggree with its residential use, at least, I haven't seen them out of rural little room hotels (not real living families) and always only for aesthetics or keeping the traditional way, but impractical nor cheap as house, as they are design for aireation purposes (those are very wet climates, they store grain in them and must stay dry in very wet conditions).

When we rebuild my grandfather's (in Galicia), we used the tractor with the front loader to move the granite stones, some of 2 meters long and 30 cm wide. Not a one man job.

This is my grandma's one, smaller than the one we rebuild, but you get the idea:

If you mean build in stone (as the horreos in Galicia) it would be feasible (tough expensive) in the north of Madrid, where the mountains are granitic, and there are quarries, but here, there is no question ($$$) nor skill labor.

Of course, adobe is an option, but as you state before, I feel more comfortable with wood, and also there would be a nigthmare to get an arquitect to design it (mandatory) and to code approve it (they even demolish it if you don't) and I think more time consuming.

Local arquitects are not used to it (I don't know of a new adobe building since I was born) and so they overbuild everything "just in case".

Arround here, and I mean in this "code region" they only would consider traditional what I have sown before, and is made with solid bricks, even they call it "the traditional way", and what they consider the most logical method (and there is some truth in it, as it is the most spread and known, so help is easy to get) is concrete slabs, bricks, plaster, maybe steel pillars. Not very environmental friendly, nor cheap and not very "one-man job".

They consider me an "odd bug" trying to make strange things instead the way they sould

Best regards and thanks you for your invaluable time.

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:
Bottom line...humans have been building single family domestic and agricultural architecture in your region from natural materials for about 10,000 or more years. It was done with not complex machinery, tools, or electricity, and many of these structure still exists today...or at least the roads between them and their foundations. Pick one or two local historic vernacular styles and follow them as closely as you can. This will probably yield the most enduring structure you could possibly build. I will fill in the blanks about them where I am able...



Thanks for the answers.

Well, I'm only trying to find the most suitable method for me, maybe it sounds selffish, but that's why I keep in searching, even if I think I've already found something good enough.

There is no standing building with 10000 years and the most traditional, and so easy to get license is something like I've sown before, here another example:

And I think it is harder for me to build, and those bricks are expensive.

Thank you for your time.

I'm sorry I didn't make myself understood properly.

I know poles will rot, concrete will speed up the procces and of course don't like poisonig the land.

So the ground part is bad.

My idea was that the way the upper section is built, is something that fits me.

That's why I mention it.


What I mean is that I can do this:

Nearly all by miself, so are there others methods as "easy" for one man only?

Best regards

R Scott wrote:
What are your wind conditions? Pole barns use poles sunk into the ground because they cannot stand against the wind on their own. They will blow away like a kite if not anchored.

There is no problem with wind, here there is no tornados or similar.


I work in metric so for those readers that don't 7.5 meters (~80ft2)

Sorry about that, here we use the dot "." as a thousand separator, what I tried to express is that the minimun legal plot size is 7500 square meters.
The maximun legal size of a barn is 5% of the plot, so 375 square meters (if the ground is 7500).
One piece of ground I'm intrested in, has 9800 square meters, so the maximun legal barn sould not exceed 490 square meters.

I have facilitated building for myself and others that are over 35 meter long, 20 meters tall, and 20 meters wide all built of stone and timber by one person alone...It just takes time, good planing, and patience.

I have time, patience and perseverance...

In the (scarced) neighborhood people have erected (ugly) modern houses, the ancient model were like this:

Bricks and some stone for aesthetics.

But I'm afraid that is more than one person can achieve alone.

Best regards


Where are you specifically?

I'm looking for a piece of ground here:,-3.5704933,766m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0xd420f9954e55fff:0x3be5f0ff51fa0ff1

There are hundreds (maybe thousands??) but without specifics to location and resources making a modality recommendation isn't really possible. Earth architecture is one of the most common forms (where there are trees and rocks) but locations with trees and rocks usually see some type of timber structures with wooden joints, whether bound or cut. These have been around for over ten thousand years and are probably the easiest respectively to build by one person.

I'll have to buy all materials, it is flat agricultural land. The minimun size allow for an individual plot is 7.500 square meters, irrigation system from the nearby river, some of them also have a well.
I have no income enough for hiring labour, that's why I try to find a one-man-method. Also it must fullfil the code so the project must be revised by an arquitect (I have already talk to one, a friend of mine).

Best regards


Thank you for your kind replies.

That were just thougths, my intended project is to buy a piece of ground, in a semi rural area, and that will be the end of my money well, nearly.
I'm in the phase of looking for the plot and thinking about the feasibility of the idea.

So here is my question, which is the most suitable method of constructing a barn/house, one person 90% of time alone and a small budget?
if there exist something like that.

It sould be big enough to eventually make a living from the farm, so it sould hold the barn, a carpenter whorkshop, the future home (wife, son (6), daugther(4) and grandma) and a greenhouse attached for nursering and barbeques

I'm fond of woodworking (altough I haven't build houses, just furnitures), so my preference is wood, the ground is flat, good soil for plants, continental climate (south of Madrid, Spain).

As we already own a house in a small city and have a job, there is no hurry, but by legal licenses, is easier to build it big enough since the begining, even if it is empty...

Don't know if that question can be answered

Best regards.
I think my english is not good enough for what I mean.

I've read those threads, but I was thinking in combining some of them, selection of species, wood preservatives and what I'm asking you:

Would it be possible to design a pole building with the idea of allowing the change of poles?

I mean as eventually it will rot, hopefully years from now, we could desing the building with that posibility in mind.

In my case, pole building is the most economical way, been the only feasible option.